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Better Customer Experience – whether Online or In Store

Give your customers an excellent IN-STORE or ONLINE experience:

Train your staff to KNOW the products. Product knowledge is essential and often a #1 difference in making your store’s customer experience great rather than just OK.

In 2016, online shopping increased 10.1% with brick and mortar growing only 1.4% (PWC 2017 Retail Trends, US Census, Bloomberg, Strategy & Analysis). Stores must keep the inventory up-to-date, well organized and easy to find. After all, one of the best store attributes is the ability to touch, try on, and have a hands-on experience with how it works. No shipping is also a huge in-store benefit.

Make sure your payment processing is EASY to use and understand. Keep it quick and simple. If in a store, look hard at line wait time. How many customers “walk away”. Same applies to abandoned shopping cats online.

All businesses need a presence online and in social media. Be easy to find. 40% of customers research their purchase online before they buy. Make sure you are there! If you don’t sell online, you can still have a vibrant site with coupons, demos, and examples of your products.

Have LOCAL goods. This is a huge advantage of a store, you can specialize in items that online doesn’t carry or even seem to care about. Providing goods that are unique and local can increase a customers preference to shop in your store. Have items that are unique and not carried in big online retailers.

Have online reviews…. gather opinions. Encourage loyalty. Respond to reviews with THANK YOUS and problem solving messages for experiences that were not up to par!

 

Combining AI, Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics

For those that love social media and are involved in the interplay of new ideas, there are several resources to learn more. Many groups are using all the tools available to create communications / marketing / white papers that are “on-point” and enticing to their customers and potential customers.

Getting the look and feel “just right” used to be enough, but no longer. Big Data analysis is combined with AI to create everything from web sites, social media posts, to marketing campaigns. Polling, gathering preferences and checking through consumer preferences affect our perception. These engineered statements move into your home, your heart, and they just “feel better”.   You are likely to ADOPT the message, RESPOND to the action item, and JOIN in the conversation. One statement or white paper can be altered over time to create dozens of other communications, just like the TV commercials that are played multiple times in an hour, but at a fraction of the cost (no human writer needed in many cases!).

Or is this all just a way to get you to pay attention and a manipulation of your emotions? Making communication have less “friction” is a way to get the viewer to spend money. Marketers & Advertisers have been doing this for centuries: getting you to buy something you never wanted or didn’t even know about.  Now they can do it faster and better with computer algorithms and AI. This being done now to develop news articles, to test appeal then to refine messages into “facts you believe”.  — the editor

From Accenture: We augment the power of humans with artificial intelligence to help our clients pivot to the new, now. We leverage AI and proprietary advanced analytics algorithms to sense, comprehend, act and learn across the value chain – at unprecedented speed and scale. Our network of over 1800 Data Scientists, Academic Alliances, patented apps and Innovation Labs and Studios rapidly test proofs of concept and accelerate time to market so our clients become industry disruptors. LINK TO ARTICLE

From TechSmith—84% of all marketing communications is predicted to be visual by 2018, and social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

From BrightTalk and Dresner Advisory: The data landscape is constantly evolving, and the proliferation of smart devices, machine learning, and embedded analytics promises to introduce many exciting new breakthroughs in business intelligence…

From ReadWrite: This landscape is our way of visualizing all the disparate pieces of our industry. Our goal is to use that understanding to make more fluid connections between the different areas, driving innovation and deals.

From Pyramid Analytics: Are you considering a self-service analytics solutions? It makes sense. Reducing the dependency on others to gather data and build reporting provides agility and allows you to make faster decisions…

From ATD and Comcast: “A consistent learner experience drives a consistent customer experience, and that’s what the cable TV business is all about…”

Web Strategy by Jeremiah: Jeremiah is a great promoter of crowd sourcing ideas, he develops insightful info-graphics and has seminars to help you understand how ideas and various industries work together.

From the Content Wrangler: You know all those “rules” you were taught in school about “good writing?” They were lies. Our focus today needs to go beyond grammar and punctuation, and towards clarity and understanding. What works for real people? And what really ARE the rules?

Thought Leadership and Results

LinkedIn and Edelman partnered to produce a study which clearly show some interesting results for Sales Managers and those whose jobs depend on lead generation.

Info-graphic

And so powerful. In research hot off the press, LinkedIn and Edelman interviewed over 1,000 C-Suite executives for their views on Thought Leadership. For 86% of respondents, the single most important factor in being effective was that ‘it’s forwarded by someone I know and trust.’

Quick summary: The expected results vs. the actual from the decision makers is profound.

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Jobs and Health Care

The crisis about not having consistent portable health care is not a political debate. I know we are hearing a lot of “they did…” or “they won’t…”  between Republicans and Democrats but the political squabbling is masking a bigger problem.

Politics?

Yes, I know my nephew thinks its just nasty politics, and doesn’t want to get involved. I understand.

However, getting health care for temp workers, contract workers and full-time traditional workers could change the landscape of WORK in America.

This huge issue affects every 18-30 year old profoundly. If you have been looking at jobs for this age group (~Millennials), they are relying on contract work, gigs rather than careers. Their parents look on with worry, wondering WHEN they will ever have a “real job”.

REAL JOB?

The job landscape has changed profoundly and permanently in many sectors – – working temp is a real job and often preferred by many groups. It helps our workers that are starting out gain lots of experience, find their niche, experience the work rather than applying for grad school in Adaptive Technology or Environmental Science and hoping they will like that industry. (–or be able to find employment with their A.A., B.S., M.A. or other degree). Getting a temp job or a series of temp jobs can be so rewarding. I did this for 10 years, switching to something new every 6 months or so. I had to study, learn new tech and land “on my feet” ready to fix, code, plan in tools I had never used before – but it was thrilling, good, hard work. It DOES NOT work for people with families or health care issues IF there is NOT PORTABLE AFFORDABLE health care available.  Yes, you can go “naked” without care for a while, but not for a decade. It is just too risky.

If we had an innovative plan that worked for me …. I’d go back to contracting. I’d free up my well-paid predictable job, and someone else with kids, dogs and a family would love it. I’d like the flexibility of tech contracts again. Imagine! More work getting done where people are engaged and working the way they want.  More satisfaction, more productivity.

But we have to get portable, flexible affordable health care to make that move. The job market would become much more fluid. And for all the “potential contractors” out there – We’d stop waiting on the sidelines… waiting and wishing… and jump in the big pool of flex-time, virtual work, work-anywhere and live the dream.

Great Articles:

American Dream and Portable Benefits (Fast Company – Senator Mark R. Warner)

2017 YERBA BUENA ALLIANCE HONOREES

The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD)is honoring heroes to the community with the establishment of the Yerba Buena Conservancy. Their mission is to provide programs that foster a safer and more secure community, create a cleaner and greener neighborhood, and reinforce the viability of our economic base.

UNSUNG HERO AWARDJohn Ratto

Senior Operations Manager of Recology Golden Gate, is honored for helping to bring Yerba Buena to the forefront as one of the greenest neighborhoods in the world. As a Board Member of the Alliance John has been instrumental in helping all of our businesses and public areas meet and exceed our goal for conservation and awareness. And as a community advocate working with a variety of residential and business groups and non-profit organizations.

 

GUARDIANS of the GARDEN

Southern Station of the SFPD is recognized for their true partnership and commitment to the future of the Yerba Buena community. Their dedication ensures the continued growth of Yerba Buena by providing security, getting to know the community, creating an inviting and safe atmosphere, and improving the quality of life for businesses, residents and visitors  on a daily basis.

YBCBD mailing address:
Yerba Buena Alliance
735 Market St.
Suite 302
San Francisco, California 94103
415.541.0312    | 

WHAT TO KNOW MORE about the GALA on OCT 18  AND THE ALLIANCE?    WEBSITE

 

 

Our Military Heroes – Happy 4th of July, America!

Learn more about these great exhibitions, web sites and the history of our military service that keeps the USA safe and proud.

Soldiers to Summits – This climbing expedition is designed to help wounded veterans overcome barriers in their lives. This year, the expedition will take place on Mt. Whitney. Located in California, it is the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S. with a top elevation of over 14,000 feet (the exact height varies depending on how it’s measured). Visit their website to learn how you can get involved.
Presidio to Pacific Powerhouse, How the Military Shaped San Diego Exhibit – This exhibit runs from April 26, 2014 to January 4, 2015. There are several special events this July, with speakers.
“It was an honor to be one of the first to see this exhibit and its fantastic documentation of the long standing tie between San Diego and our military,” said Captain Curt Jones, commanding officer, 32nd Street Naval Base San Diego.
Blue Star Moms & Blue Star Mothers Blue Star Mothers FaceBook here, a discussion of issues to military families, Moms in uniform and more. Blue Star Moms have chapters all over the USA, and provide support and service to our military.
There are also often campaigns to send postcards and letters to our Active Duty soldiers. It is a wonderful thing to do as a team (gather postcards) and sending an encouraging word is wonderful to receive. Look at all these bundles of postcards on their way to remote spots overseas.
The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center is primarily an oral history program that collects and preserves the firsthand interviews of America’s wartime veterans. VHP relies on volunteers(both individuals and organizations) throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories to VHP. In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, VHP accepts memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps and other historical documents from World War I to the present. For more information or to learn how you can participate, visit the Veterans History Project website. There is no deadline for participation.
 
Fourth of July
Did YOU Know?? 
When the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists wanted complete independence from Great Britain. By the following year, hostility toward Great Britain had grown along with the desire for an independent country.
On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress voted for independence from Great Britain. Two days later, Congress signed and adopted the Declaration of Independence, and the United States has celebrated the Fourth of July every year since (Independence Day was officially declared a holiday in 1941).
Since 1776, millions of men and women have fought in multiple wars and served in peacetime to protect the United States and keep that independence.
There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States. 9.2 million Veterans are over the age of 65 and 1.9 million are under the age of 35. 1.8 million Veterans are women. Five states have veteran populations over 1 million: California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania. (Information in this section was collected from History.com.)
 
As we celebrate Independence Day this month, thank a veteran, active military member and military family members for all he or she has done to keep the United States “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Did You Know?
  • In the Roman calendar July was originally called Quintillis, meaning fifth, because it was the fifth month. However, Julius Caesar added two months at the start of the year, and July became the seventh month. It was then named after Julius Caesar.
  • George Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence; he was in New York City with his troops on July 4, 1776. John Adams believed that July 2 was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4 events in protest.
  • In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence to later serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the declaration.
  • A women’s rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, New York in July 1848. Topics discussed included voting rights, property rights and divorce. The convention marked the beginning of an organized women’s rights movement in the U.S.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2, 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, publicly owned or operated facilities, employment and union membership and voter registration.
  • The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 fireworks displays light up U.S. skies each Fourth of July.
  • The famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place on the Fourth of July at Nathan’s flagship restaurant on Coney Island. It has been held every year since 1916, except 1941, as a protest to the war in Europe and 1971 as a protest to civil unrest and the reign of free love.

 

South Bay (San Jose) Team Event?

I love bringing a group to a game at the San Jose Municipal Stadium! It is easy to get to, lots of parking, the price is right – about $12….. and the have the best Churros. It is great fun, all kinds of things to see and do. You’ll cheer, you’ll laugh, and you will definitely relax.

C’mon managers…. bring your team for some great summer fun!

San Jose Giants

Minor League Baseball Team

The San Jose Giants are a minor league baseball team in San Jose, California, — Class A – Advanced team in the Northern Division of the California League, and have been a farm team of the San Francisco Giants since 1988 and have played continuously since 1962 under several different names/affiliations. Home games are played at the  San Jose Municipal Stadium. Fireworks nights are fantastic, and often sold out. Check early!

The San Jose Giants are a minor league baseball team in San Jose, California, USA. They are a Class A – Advanced team in the Northern Division of the California League, and have been a farm team of the San Francisco Giants since 1988 and have played continuously since 1962 under several different names/affiliations. Home games are played at San Jose Municipal Stadium.  Official website

TIP! OSH – Orchard Supply Hardware makes complimentary tickets available to the community! Stop in at a local store to pick up some passes and check the dates available. BIG THANKS OSH!! 

We love these tickets, I have brought several Boy Scouts or little league players, the free tickets are so generous, and the kids love watching their heroes!

July Days to Celebrate


Each Day listed below, can be the spring board to a fun employee celebration. This is a great time for a picnic, Popsicles at work, or some patriotic music to “wake up” your first team meeting of July 4. (Are you thinking Chili? In many communities, Chili Cook Offs happen in July on Independence day! And BBQs are the most fun summertime event for a group.)

These team building events are so important. Make sure to plan ahead AND announce the event so that your team has something to look forward to and can participate.  And there are MONTH LONG events too.

July

1 Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day
2 World UFO Day (and also June 24!)

3 National Chocolate Wafer Day

4 Independence Day!

4 National Country Music Day

5 Workaholics Day

and also on this day, on July 5, 1946, The bikini goes on sale after debuting during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris, France.

6 National Fried Chicken Day and In 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.

7 National Strawberry Sundae Day

8 Video Games Day

9 National Sugar Cookie Day
10 Howard Hughes sets a new record, in 1938, by completing a 91-hour airplane flight around the world.
11 James Abbott McNeill Whistler, is born in 1843, an American-English painter (d. 1903)
12 Bill Cosby, American comedian, actor, producer, and author is born in 1937

13 National Ice Cream Day – YUM!!

14  Bastille Day, French national holiday celebrates the beginning of the French Revolution

15 National Tapioca Pudding Day  & Gummy Worm Day

16  Father Junipero Serra founds California’s first mission, in San Diego 1769

17 National Peach Ice Cream Day  & Disneyland opens in 1955 in Anaheim, CA. also World Emoji Day

18  Cow Appreciation Day

19  Stick your Tongue Out Day

20 National Lollipop Day

21 National Crème Brulee Day
22 Born Today: actors Terrence Stamp (1939) and Danny Glover (1946)

23 The edible Ice Cream Cone makes its debut in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair by Ernest Hamwi in 1904  (Patent 1,342,045 issued June 1, 1920)

24  Amelia Earhart Day

25 National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
26 Born Today, actor Kevin Spacey (1959) and  George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856 d. 1950)
27 Finland celebrates National Sleepyhead Day

28 National Milk Chocolate Day

29 National Lasagna Day

30 National Cheesecake Day and in 1975 Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant.

31 Parent’s Day

Fourth of JulyJULY Month-long celebrations! Some things cannot be done in a day!

June Days to Celebrate are Here!
August Days to Celebrate are Here!

JULY – Special MONTH Long Events

You’ve all read my lists of daily events. By now you have probably celebrated a few speical days in your group… but you can also celebrate MONTHLY events. Many organizations make a big occassion to promote their cause or interests.
Here are some Month of JULY events:

Anti-boredom Month

Berries Month

National Baked Bean Month

National Hot Dog Month

National Blueberries Month

National Ice Cream Month

National Tennis Month

Parks and Recreation Month

 

SpringFling3July…. ah… I love summer. I think I will have some ice cream with berries in the local park. What a way to celebrate?! I’ll try to get my co-workers to come with me for a break.  That won’t be too hard!

Go play in the garden, check out a museum, find a wine tasting or art walk! There are so many things to do and learn about, remember it is Anti-Boredom month!

 

For JULY DAYS to Celebrate, check Here.

Invent your own Small Business

You have a burning passion to have your own little biz, to sell shower curtains, but that could put some crucial extra funding in your pocket.

Excerpts below from an article: 

How (And Why) To Launch Your Own Product Line, No Startup Required    By Arianna O’Dell

This week, I’m working on my own line of dolphin beach towels. Last week, I designed some yoga mats. Next week, I’ll be working on unicorn beach towels. While bouncing from Hong Kong to Spain, I’ve been able to create, market, and sell my products all over the world using just my laptop and a Wi-Fi connection.

If this sounds appealing… you might be a good fit as a global nomad, entrepreneur.

Whatever the case, developing you own product line might be a smart move. Here’s how to get started on that before dinnertime tonight.

Related: Four Ways To Earn Extra Money While Keeping (Or Preparing To Quit) Your Day Job

Step 1: Pick A Print-On-Demand Service

In November, when I tried out print-on-demand platforms: Printful, Teelaunch, and Cimpress Open. With these services, I’ve been able to print and sell hundreds of mugs and yoga mats from Mexico to Oman.

Some see print-on-demand technology as more than a means to just earning a so-called “passive income.” Frank Denbow, founder of an apparel company called Startup Threads, argues that “brands of the future will be built by creative individuals who are empowered by technology. With these new services, creatives won’t have to deal with printing and fulfillment and can concentrate on the creative aspect of building their brand.”

That’s the case, anyhow, for Allison Otterbein, who’s used print-on-demand platforms to build her travel and lifestyle brand, Numinous, from the road.

To get started yourself, these are some of the services whose pricing models and product catalogs I’d suggest checking out first:

Choose a few products you’d like to create for whatever target audience you have in mind. Next comes design —brainstorm a few of the ideas you’d like to bring to life.

Related: Banking On Nostalgia—How Ban.do Figured Out What Millennial Women Want

Step 2: Find A Talented Designer

Find them using Upwork, Dribbble, and Behance. Without these expert freelancers, my store would still be just an idea in my head, like it was five years ago.

Hints: Find a great designer. Give shoppers a large product offering to choose from with no inventory required it is now possible.

Step 3: Create A Storefront

Ten years ago, building an e-commerce business was tedious and time-consuming. Today, there are many out-of-the-box solutions that can have you ready to sell in a matter of hours.

When I was starting out, I had a limited budget and not enough funds to build a full-fledged website. I used Etsy;  testing different ideas there.

One benefit of listing on Etsy to begin with is that you can easily download all listings into a CSV file to upload to Shopify or even Amazon. After looking into many options like Squarespace and BigCartel, I personally chose Shopify for its competitive pricing and customer support, though you might go with another platform depending on your needs.

Step 4: Stick With It

Launching a product line and turning it into a sustainable e-commerce business—even as a side project—takes time and continuous effort. Some expect to see instant results and get discouraged if sales don’t surge in their first few weeks.

If you start small, there’s little risk. An unsold shower curtain isn’t the end of the world, but if you do sell one—and then another, and another—a world of opportunities might start opening up to you.

About the author : Arianna O’Dell is the founder of Airlink Marketing, a digital agency that helps hotels, restaurants, and travel destinations attract and retain clientele. When she’s not working with clients or traveling, you’ll find her making fun gifts at Ideas By Arianna.   More