Monday, 1 December 2014

7 Direct Marketing Ideas Small Business Marketers can steal from Fortune 500 Companies

Are you one of those small-scale business entrepreneurs who dream of getting large-scale success that international brands such as Apple, Samsung, Google, etc. have achieved? If you are then the successful methods that are used, at least at reaching out to the customers are more or less similar.
Depending on which type of product/good or service that you are selling you can choose your method accordingly. Although there are many types of reaching out to your target audience, direct marketing remains one of the most hard-hitting and effective manners where by companies can directly communicate with their customers. They can measure the feedback of their customers without an intermediary involved. This method, thus involves a direct call to action that has to be taken. It is an effective method that can be used by companies of all sizes; from start-ups to even some of the biggest leaders on the Fortune 500.                                                                                                                     
Leading companies such as Sony, Microsoft, BMW, Toyota, Disney, Wal-mart, Honda, Pepsi, H&M, etc. are all known for having used some form of direct marketing. Whether it is has been through brochures, online display ads, interactive consumer websites, cell phone text messaging (SMS), emails or any other method of directly communicating with the consumers, this method of marketing is known to carry with it a strong sense of reliability and trustworthiness behind the brand.
So, if you are on the scout for some sure-shot effective marketing strategies that will help your business you can definitely refer to what has been successful in the past. Fortune 500 Companies are well known for their high amounts of revenue that they have generated.  
Some of the top 7 direct marketing ideas that can be used by small businesses (which have been also used by some of the Fortune 500 Companies) include:
1)      Direct E-mails: By sending a direct e-mail to the personal email account of the customer where either a questionnaire or certain direct questions or posed forward; it is easy for a company to measure the feedback of their product or service.  Although a guaranteed response is not ensured, many customers can directly give their feedback to the company. A method which is used by all types of businesses, in an attempt to get and retain customers Google is well-known for using this method. Other well-known companies include National Geographic Channel, etc. You won’t be surprised if your small business will increase in its outreach by using this method!  
It is a great way for small businesses to establish a relationship with their customer. Although, there is always the downside of emails being deleted immediately this method is sure to help your business grow!
2)      Social Media Sites (such as Twitter and Facebook):  An easy way for both customers and a company to communicate (instantly) is through various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. where direct messages can be sent and received. A method, which is tremendously becoming one of the most popular methods of reaching out to customers, social media sites are great places where your company can engage with customers on an ongoing and instantaneous basis. For example, well known companies such as DSP BlackRock Mutual Funds, CRY India, Thomas Cook India, B2B companies, restaurants, etc. all engage in this method.  Through this method, polls can be taken, contests held and various other creative methods of engaging with the target audience.   
3)      Internet Ads: Although ads which can be found on the internet (via various search engines) can give out the message to the customer, there is little room for direct feedback. These advertisements can be in different forms – display or textural ads and are placed in search engines.    
4)      Mobile Marketing: Have you ever looked down at your cell and seen an SMS that has been sent to you requesting some feedback? Many of the leading companies in the retail, dining, NGO sector, etc. have all used this method to get feedback from customers. Your small business can reach out to hundreds and thousands of people when employed well. Brands such as Macy’s Victoria’s Secret, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, etc. are aggressively and continuing to make use of this method. This method involves receiving direct feedback from customers through text messages (SMS-short-messaging service) and MMS (multi-media message service- i.e. those messages which are marketing communications which are sent in the form of media messages.)  
5)      Telemarketing (where the marketers directly call the customers by phone): Receiving a phone call from a company is not a surprising method of obtaining feedback in today’s times. Known to be a very powerful tool to obtain feedback, many companies engage in this method. Although this method is known to help increase the number of leads, it may not always be effective (as customers may choose whether to receive telemarketing calls on their landlines). For instance, haven’t you been on the receiving end where you have got a call from companies such as Birla Sun Life Insurance, Flipkart nor even Amazon where a person asks for your feedback? Similarly, although it may seem strenuous and futile, the long-term impact created in the mind of the customer of your brand if you were to use this method is enormous!
6)       Direct response magazines and newspapers: Two of the most popular forms of media that people refer to are also great ways by which companies can also receive feedback regarding their products or services. Known to contain plenty of ads, both magazines and newspaper ads can be used to elicit a direct call-to-action. Some of the different methods would include a QR code that can be scanned by a mobile device, a toll-free number to call on, a coupon that is redeemable at a store or any other method.
7)       Insert Media (such as a wide array of media that are inserted in to other communications (such as in newspapers/catalogues/package: Businesses can also reach out to their customers through insert media, which is a form of marketing that directly reaches out to customers.                                                    
So, take your company to another level of fame and make use of these methods of direct marketing to engage your customers!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Unique Restaurants in Mumbai
We all have been to restaurants throughout our lives, but wouldn’t you want to visit a funky, out-of-the-box styled restaurant as well? Wouldn’t it be cool to dine in a Shikhara or even an ice-lounge; or perhaps have your food while sitting in a rickshaw? Mumbai is a place where you not only can eat in luxurious restaurants and even find small quaint cafes as well; but you can also find extremely ‘unusual’ places to dine at.
Not only will you find good food with great music in most of the restaurants in the city; but you will experience a different ambience in each place.
Some of the unusual but unique restaurants in Mumbai that you might want to try out include:
1) KongPoush - Flavour of Kashmir, Goregaon: Apart from the breath-taking view of Kashmir, the state’s delectable cuisine adds to the list of the country’s regional food favourites. Located on a rather inconspicuous street (BEST Colony Road) near Oshiwara Bus Depot in Goregaon (W) KongPoush is a popular joint for people to get their hands on Kashmir’s rich and meaty food. Having a chef from Jammu and Kashmir who prepares the meal, there is also a wide variety of vegetarian cuisine as well. An air-conditioned restaurant, there are many popular Kashmir delights to savour on. 
2) 21 Fahrenheit, Andheri: Have you ever dined in a restaurant having the temperature at -6 degrees? Probably not! 21 Fahrenheit, located in Andheri is one such place. Not only this, you are given a thick warm jacket, warm boots and a pair of gloves to wear! With everything inside the lounge made of ice; whether it is the seat, the stringed curtains or the wall; one immediately forgets that they are in Mumbai!            
3) Firangi Dhaba, Andheri: Rickshaw’s are meant for daily transport, right; but how would you like to eat in one? Sounds strange; but Firangi Paani in Andheri offers you this experience.  With old lanterns, film posters, glass patchwork wall, kites and other kitschy pieces that form a backdrop you can enjoy a continental fare as well as authentic dhaba da khana (authentic Punjabi-style). Interesting highlights of this restaurant include the cart-converted table and funky cut-outs of Salman and Aishwarya and the sewing-machine converted table.  
4) Aer Bar and Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel, Worli: A restaurant located at the 34th floor of the hotel, Four Seasons, the Aer Bar and Lounge offers a refreshing panoramic view of the city which never sleeps. Having futuristic furniture which lends a lounge feel that is cosy this restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail along with a mezze platter.  

Summary: Mumbai is a city having restaurants which are popular for its global cuisines. Some of the unique restaurants in Mumbai include KongPoush, 21 Fahrenheit, Firangi Dhaba and Aer Bar and Lounge. Not only are they unusual restaurants but offer you a unique experience.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Milk Balm Treatment -Get a lustrous look with a natural home ingredient!

A Natural Cosmetic Product?
Do you have hair that is dry, damaged and dehydrated? Is it too tangled up, that combing it becomes a tedious process? Hair in these cases lacks a chemical called sebum- one of the protective elements which leads to hair losing its natural lust, and beauty which eventually causes the hair to wither away. In such conditions and times, careful attention must be payed to strengthen the hair and regain its texture.

"Milk is a necessity for protein and calcium!

 Many turn to chemical substances to solve the issue of hair damage, not knowing that they have a natural cosmetic product lying right at home- MILK!
The usage of milk has been in existence in our society since ancient times too…dating back to ancient times when the Queen of Egypt- Cleopatra ruled; when she used to bath in milk baths to get a more lustrous skin look. Milk contains natural beta hydroxyl acids which exfoliate old skin, and leave it revitalized milk has a mixture of essential nutrients, proteins and lipids in it which helps strengthen the hair. Milk helps to seal split ends and control frizzy, uncontrollable hair. Rich in Vitamin D, milk contains calcium which helps the heart, muscles, and nerves function. A valuable source for strengthening the bones milk provides robust qualities for the body. It also promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss.
Milk has the following properties:
·      Moisturizes the hair and skin.
·      Has a speedy skin renewal process.
·      Milk contains lactic acid, which exfoliates the skin and brushes away dead skin cells.
·      Helps in relieving stress and softening the skin and hair texture.
A milk balm treatment is the simplest to apply
It involves four easy steps:
1.     First rinse your hair, and lather it up with shampoo. Make sure that you wash out all the shampoo after application.
2.     Next take your “milk balm treatment,” and pour the milk onto your hair.
3.     Leave the milk on the hair for 15-20 minutes.
4.     Finally rinse off the milk with warm water.
This not only, brings a lustrous shine to your hair, but also leaves your hair feeling softer than before.
Now here’s your chance to add volume to your hair,


Are you searching for a vacation spot, but left confused at the variety of options before you?
Search no further, for Himachal Pradesh is your perfect solution!
  Mashobra- a small town in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh is at an elevated height of 2,500 mts. Covered by thick Oak and Pine forests, it is located on one of Asia’s largest watersheds with the Indus and Ganges on either side of it.
Affluent in various fruits and vegetables this remote little town in Shimla has historical roots, being built in the 18th century by Lord Dalhousie. Shimla is also referred to as the “Queen of hills” is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. It is surrounded by forests, and is popular for its tourist visits.
     A perfect place for nature trails and trekking, Mashobra has the scenic beauty of the western Himalayas i.e. the Pir Panjal Range (the range of the middle Himalayas stretching across the states of Jammu and Kashmir) as well as India’s second highest peak Nanda Devi, part of the Garhwal Himalaya range.
 Located at a 9 hour drive from Delhi, or a at 360km distance from Delhi, Mashobra is well connected by trains from Delhi.
   Once, in Mashobra a host of outdoor adventure awaits you! From hiking, river crossing, rappelling to outdoor recreational activities like relaxing in a hammock under shady trees, badminton, carom, darts, chess, rope swings, daily bonfires one can never find an idle moment when in this serene hidden pocket-town in Himachal Pradesh.
  Where the main activity here is outdoor adventure and fun, one usually stays in tents which are a spoonful of an experience!
   For those who have a knack full of liveliness and adventure, a weekend getaway to this small town would be the best bet! Whether with a group of friends or with family, Mashobra is a sheer delight. With breathtaking views, to panting nature trails, to mountaineering; one can have hands on experience with the world’s tallest mountain range- The Himalayas!
Part of the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary, you will find rare species of animal and plant life. Monkeys, baboons, jackals, barking deer, leopards and a myriad of birds including pheasants, Himalayan eagles, chikor and partridges are some of the animals you will notice in the region. Trees vary from pine, oak, deodar, maple, horse chestnut, cedar and rhododendron species.  Unlike the rest of Himachal Pradesh which tends to get bitterly cold, Mashobra’s weather is fairly good. The temperature always seems to be fairly decent, never getting too chilly.
  The Reserve Forest located here is a great place for camping, picnics and trekking and Mashobra is the perfect place to unwind, relax, and rejuvenate your mind!
 If you are not in for the camping and tents, don’t fret or hassle yourself over that- your sure to find numerous hotels and resorts in the area. Mashobra is a pocket full of delight, and is a must visit destination if your looking for a holiday full of bustling activities, scenic beauty and breath-taking experiences. Also, at this high altitude- you will stay steer clear from the polluted and smoky air of the city!
So, pack your bags, and book your trip to Mashobra in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh!

King of Nuts-Coconuts (Weight Gain category)

These water-bearing nuts are much more than a cool evening drink, but find a place among the weight-gaining category of foods. Coconuts- or better known as The King of all Nuts is an Indian delicacy- which has most commonly been associated for the cool water and flesh (Kernal)- the white layers of thick fibrous skin in it; as well as the key ingredient for Indian chutneys.

By just, including this nut in your daily diet you can be sure to add those extra kilos! A coconut is loaded with fats and is estimated that 90% of its fat is saturated fat. It has less sugar than most fruits and contains many more proteins than well-known fruits like banana, apples, and oranges. Although, this fruit has high amounts of saturated fats in it, it yet has less fat than any of the other nuts like almonds.

Depending how it’s eaten a coconut varies in its calorie content; one whole coconut has 140 calories in it, whereas when eaten in its shredded form it has 283 calories in it.
Coconut can be eaten in various forms- be it in solid or liquid form.

Coconut branches out to coconut milk, and coconut water in its liquid forms; and its fleshy meat (Kernal) in its solid form. Surprisingly though, coconut has found its place among other foods like in ice-creams, flavour boosters to curries, milk-shakes, pastries, etc.

Common food items where coconut can be used:

  1. Add coconut milk to your Indian Curry to bring about a rich, sweet and milky taste.
  2. In fact, coconut milk is the base of most Thai curries
  3. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top of your pastries to get an enriched sweet flavour.
  4. Add in coconut pieces to your milkshake and bring in a rich delightful flavour.
  5. Add in coconut while making chutney to bring about its delicious taste.
  6. Shred up the coconut fibrous skin, to provide a delicious snack.
  7. Flavour up your Indian dishes by adding in coconut pieces or coconut milk.

Coconut, by nature contains many fatty acids- out of which 92% is saturated fatty acids, 6% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Many different oils like virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil, hydrogenated oil, fractionated coconut oil are made using coconut; and can be used for cooking purposes. Coconuts also have medicinal properties and have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti- viral properties. It can be used as a laxative and can be used for healing mouth ulcers.

Calorie-catching facts!

  • Coconut chutneys differ in their calorie content, but roughly contain 56 calories, where calories from fat are 48!
  • Calories in coconut milk are estimated at 552 calories, where 515 are calories from fat
  • Calories in coconut ice-cream are 329, and calories from fat are 30.2 gm.
  • Coconut (Thai) curry has roughly 234 calories, and with chicken in it has 479 calories.]
  • Coconut flakes contain 80 calories, where 41 calories are calories from fat.
  • Coconut water contains 46 calories, where calories from fat are 4.
  • Coconut cake has 239 calories, where 117 are calories from fat.

Indulge in a coconut diet, and you can be sure to put on that extra weight! Incorporate this delicious kernel in your food substances and it won’t be too long before you notice the changes!