No Junk Mail – Inbound Marketing

Everyone would agree that marketing to your target audience is an integral part of building your business. Sounds simple enough, but when it comes to online marketing, the avenues are endless. New web applications and concepts are constantly being developed, and with the Internet ever evolving, some can get a little muddled in their advertising efforts and go about their marketing the wrong way.

Firstly, there are two major types of marketing – inbound and outbound. These are most easily defined by inbound being 'permission' and outbound being 'interruption'. If you think about these two words, one has an obviously more generally positive connotation than the other, and in this lies the secret to successful online marketing – inbound marketing, that is, marketing that is done with some level of permission and is usually specific , Is what works when you're trying to reach out to that massive online audience at your fingertips.

Outbound is on the way out

Outbound marketing is that traditional form of advertising that we all grow up with and that still surrounds us today. In fact, this type of marketing to the masses is everywhere. We all know that we can not walk down the street, open a magazine or switch on the television without seeing it, but advertisements accost us on escalator hand rails, inside golf holes, in public toilet cubicles, even on grocery registers. Every space deemed seeable to the public is strewn with advertising – and so it is no wonder that we have learnt to turn a blind eye to much of it; Which here lies the problem with outbound marketing. Not only do people grow annoyed by interruptive advertising, you are also less likely to find that one fish that wants what you've got if you throw a line out into the ocean.

Get found by the people that are looking

So what exactly does inbound marketing entail? In a nutshell, it is getting yourself or your business 'found' by people that are already out there searching for what you're offering. Through the Internet, you have access to millions of people worldwide, so of course (with the right strategy) you'll be able to find the group that is hunting for you. Inbound marketing also involves giving those potential customers what they want, in order to attract them to your business and brand.

Using digital media online is the surest way of successful inbound marketing. Social networking sites are great, as you not only establish your brand and place within the community, but attract those that are interested in what you have to sell or offer. And once those people are a part of your network, they are most likely there to stay, as long as you keep on giving them what they wanted in the first place. Take Facebook, for example. As people like what they see and join your Facebook group, or become your 'friend', you have a ready-made relationship with consumers that want exactly what you have. Pizza Hut, for example, has more than one million fans on Facebook – not only a testament to others of their popularity, but that is one million consumers that have a very high chance of consuming (pardon the pun) whatever new things Pizza Hut offers . That's effective inbound marketing.

Two-way = double the results

It is generally accepted that people do not like one-way communication on the Internet. With collaborative communication one of its greatest attractions, the World Wide Web has boundless opportunities for businesses to connect directly and personally with their customers, or would-be customers. Inbound marketing makes use of this in its two-way communication. Involving the consumer means the consumer feels good, and that's what you want. That way, your customers stick with you. Nobody likes feeling as if they're just a number. Say you're walking along and see huge billboard. You may like what you see, but then you walk away and may very well forget what you saw. Compare this to an online medium such as a forum, where you see others talking about a particular product, see good reviews, read the company's notes – you're definitely more more likely to get involved and become a customer, right?

Love the one you're with

So the idea of ​​inbound marketing is that you are reaching those that want to be reached. You have a better chance of building up a solid and long lasting relationship with the customer, so that when it comes to marketing, they do not mind you 'interrupting' them every now and again with special offers and new products. You've been quite willing to accept a call in the middle of a night from your mum or brother, because you'd assume it was important and necessary. Not so much if you did not recognize the number, though. The same works for marketing – being familiar with a consumer through two-way, online communication mediums means that your 'call' will be answered.

Perhaps you need to take a look at your current marketing strategy and see if there is enough inbound marketing. Remember, inbound marketing not only invites the customer 'in', building that relationship, but you become a larger part of that person's online life, and extremely lead to more a higher conversion rate.

The Top 5 Gadgets of 2012

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. Believe it or not they make the world go round. Whether we love them, hate them, need them, use them, or just plain want them; gadgets are cool. Yes, if nothing else they’re cool! Life can be tough at times and gadgets are there to make things a little easier (and have fun while doing so). It was a real shame to hear “Q” in the new Bond movie, Skyfall, say that gadgets are a thing of the past, part of an “old” generation and have gone out the window for Double “O” agents. Why do that? We want to see a gun doubling up as a homing beacon, or a trip wire dispenser. The bottom line is we all love gadgets and here are few to look out for this Christmas season.

HOME: – liGo BlueWave

Given the popularity of mobile phones, landlines are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But for those unwilling to carry their “hand extensions” everywhere they go so as to not miss a call, need look no further than the new liGo. Connect liGo to your mobile via Bluetooth technology and simply plug-in your landline. Now you can answer up to 3 different mobiles via your home phone (corded or cordless) and make use of dialling out with those 1000′s of unspent inclusive mobile minutes from anywhere in the home. Impressive, right? Especially useful for those of us whose mobile carrier signal suffers severe paralysis anywhere except for the most cumbersome of places. It’s fully iPhone Voice Dial and Siri compatible as well. What more could you ask for?

HEALTH/FITNESS: – Garmin 910XT

Looking to get fit and stay healthy? This little device may quickly become your best friend. Sporting all the goodness of Garmin that runners have come to love, this GPS watch will do more than just track your run. Non-runners, or those keener on other disciplines have swimming or cycling mode fully supported, along with multi-sport and triathlon mode – you’ll be sure to find fitness indoor or out a pleasure whatever the weather. With ANT+ wireless technology you can connect your foot pod or heart rate monitor (HRM) or both if you fancy and get instant feedback on up to 4 different workout statistics at once and full workout review upon completion at your PC. With accurate GPS tracking you’ll soon be pushing yourself harder, faster, and further than you ever have trying out the Xbox Kinect, and be “cool” while doing so. Although it comes with a steep price tag compared to simpler and cheaper models for fitness newbies unsure of whether fitness is for them, it’s a good a multi-sport fitness aid and one you’ll be sure to hold onto for many a year, the 910XT gives great bang for your buck in the long run.

FUN: Archos Gamepad

This 7-inch 1024×600 resolution device is truly built with gamers in mind. Packing Android 4.1 JellyBean straight out of the box, the Gamepad is a fully functioning tablet with a lot of twist. Under the hood, it boasts an impressive 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with a Rockchip RK3066, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with Micro SD support for more. The major appeal of the device is the built-in dedicated gaming buttons that most console and handheld gamers are used to with controls, buttons and triggers to keep everyone happy. Due on the market at any day, at a possible price tag of just over £100 this is one to look out for. Okay, it’s no PS Vita, but with an Android platform, HDMI port and all things tablet worthy, it’s not trying to be a one trick pony handheld console. An awesome gamer tablet it surely is.

TV: LG EA93 21:9 monitor

For the serious cinematic experience seekers look no further than the LG EA93 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Sporting 1080p HD resolution but on a massive 2560 horizontal pixel display making it a visual utopia bettering the 16:9 by a mile and then some. Imagine coupling up 2 of these babies via its Dual-Link connectivity and we are talking one major screen viewing area. There’s the standard HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and others, giving you everything you need from a screen. Bear in mind though, it’s not the same height as an IMAX screen, but nothing is, so you’ll still get a little cropping here and there, so be warned. Otherwise, welcome to cinema at home.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Sony NEX-6

Although a love for film and all the darkroom developing fluid goodness that comes with it still has a place in many a heart, there’s nothing like having a good quality digital camera to hand when you want a good photography experience without lugging around your DSLR, and no, an iPhone simply won’t do. As a step between the NEX-5N and NEX-7 the NEX-6 is perfect for those wanting beautiful 16 megapixel photos in a small package. The APS-C sized sensor produces wondrous low light pictures, preferable over the NEX-7′s 24MP offerings, and you can pixel peep til your heart’s content on the flip out screen. Using the same amazing OLED viewfinder found on the NEX-7 and Alpha A99 models, manual focusing is a doddle, whilst if autofocus is your preferred modus operandi then it’s as fast and accurate as you can get in mirror-less technology, even if not quite beating the competition in the higher price bracket. With Wi-fi included in the body, uploading your pics couldn’t be faster or easier, using the PlayMemories app. Using Sony adapters you get compatibility for all your Alpha, Leica and third-party Tamron/Sigma lens offerings, meaning you can use your favourite lenses as usual just on a smaller scale.

So there you have it! A little something for everyone to dip their hands into. One thing’s for sure with these gadgets, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’ve tried them so jump on board, the ride is wild!

Motor Insurance Quotes – Are Motor Insurance Quotes Legally Binding?

Q: Are the motor insurance quotes I receive from insurance companies binding? If so for how long?

A: The answer to that is yes and no. Let us explain. If you receive motor insurance quotes from an insurance company – then that is the price they are going to charge you. However, they are not legally bound to quote you the same price if you call them back three days later.

It is likely you will receive the same quote from the same company provided there were no incidents from when you first received the quote, but just because it is likely doesn’t mean that the company is bound to stand to by the earlier quote.

A good way to find out how long the quoted rate is good for is to ask the agent or representative who is giving you the quote. Be wary of a hard sell at this point however as the agent is going to realize you will be requesting quotes from other companies.

Motor insurance quotes are liable to change suddenly due to market changes, new insurance legislation, or a driving offense that may have occurred. To avoid this we recommend doing all of your insurance shopping over a one or two day span. This will ensure you get the price that was quoted to you.

Lastly, we strongly recommend that you take comparison shopping seriously when it comes to finding the best deal on auto insurance. While it may sound like common sense, there are many drivers who don’t take the time to compare quotes from different companies and end up overpaying for their coverage as a result.

Top Five UK Restaurant Stories – July 2010

5. Skye Restaurant Named One of the Top 5 in the World by Famed Critic

A restaurant in Skye has been declared one of the best five places in the world to eat by famed food critic Frank Bruni. Staff at The Three Chimneys were ecstatic at the news that Mr Bruni rated them so highly, with the critic lavishing praise on the popular sea food restaurant in an article, stating that the restaurant was “an enchanting experience through and through. Some diners come by helicopter from Edinburgh or Glasgow: that’s how big a deal this restaurant is in Scotland. It’s intimate, beautiful, serves amazingly fresh local seafood, and does right by the local lamb as well.”

The restaurant is run by a husband and wife team, with Shirley Spear acting as Head Chef while running the business alongside her husband Eddie. She said that “We did not know it, but he visited us two years ago and obviously still retains fond memories of his experience here. To be selected as one of only five well-known greats such as Trattoria Monti in Rome or Hill Country in New York is staggering.”

The Spears took over the restaurant when they decided to make a lifestyle change and move their young children from Croydon to the comparatively quieter region of Skye.

4. EU Not to Ban Selling Eggs by the Dozen

In a move that food lobbyists in Britain will likely celebrate, it has been confirmed that the EU is not planning on banning the sale of groceries by quantity. Renate Sommer MEP responded to suggestions that shoppers might have to change their habits by stating that “There will be no changes to selling foods by number.”

Earlier in the month the European Parliament rejected an amendment that proposed that some foods traditionally sold by number could be exempt from the proposals to label food by weight.

However Ms Sommers confirmed that the new rules would simply allow for both weight and number to be indicated, requiring little in the way of changing the traditional method of purchasing. The law appears to have no actual effect on how goods are sold, and simply seems to enforce that each product sold should have its weight indicated.

British Labour MEP Glenis Willmott said “there is absolutely nothing in the new rules… that would prevent producers from selling their products by quantity – so to say that it won’t be possible to sell eggs by the dozen is plain wrong”.

3. Bromley Beats Out Birmingham to be Named UK’s Curry House Capital

The small town of Bromley has been named the UK’s curry house capital after a survey revealed that the town had one Indian restaurant for every 853 residents in the town in south-east London.

The town beat of stiff competition from a number of other locations, including Birmingham which has become renowned for its “Balti Belt”, a range of Indian Restaurants in the city centre. Other hotspots include Reading and Leicester.

There are currently believed to be around 9,000 Indian restaurants across the country, with Birmingham hosting a large amount of them but simply not matching the restaurant to person ratio of Bromley. The survey was released to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the UK’s first Indian restaurant, with one in five UK residents now claiming that Indian food is their favourite meal.

2. Radical Indian Restaurant Defies Normal Conventions

Chef Dev Biswal is looking to bring through wholesale changes to the Indian restaurant scene after opening a restaurant that doesn’t serve any curry dishes but does serve pork dishes. The controversial move comes attached to a promise that the restaurant will provide gourmet Indian food, however the use of pork seems to go completely against the halal traditions upheld by most Indian restaurants.

Biswal, who has worked as an executive chef in a Michelin starred restaurant, says the move is “something almost unknown in the UK’s 10,000 predominantly Bangladeshi-owned south Asian establishments.” Dishes are scheduled to change daily and will include a range of off-kilter Indian recipes.

He also intends to prove that wine can be matched to Indian cuisine, and is holding a tasting session to prove his point on the 8th August.

1. The Restaurant Show Begins Preparations for 2010 Event

The Restaurant Show 2010 is getting closer and closer, with event organisers promising everything from live shows to competitions and seminars in an attempt to attract visitors working in the restaurant and pub sectors. The show is now in its 22nd year and will run between October 11 – 13, boasting a line-up that includes some of the UK’s biggest chefs as well as tips from restaurant heads on how to succeed in such a competitive field.

Show organisers are planning a number of features, such as;

- A Centre stage to host the top chefs in the business as they provide workshops for interested foodies.

- A competition theatre that will see chefs from around the country go head to head to see which can create the best dish.

- A drinks quarter that allows bar managers to gain extra information and insight into stocking the right wines and spirits.

- Business seminars in which visitors can tap the minds of some of the biggest names in the industry.

Clair Bowman, features manager for the upcoming show, claims that “This year’s Restaurant Show is set to be the best yet – in fact I’d say it’s a must attend event for those working in the industry. We have a number of really exciting features, key industry networking opportunities and high profile competitions running over the three-day event providing even more entertainment for our visitors.”