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I get by with a Little Help…

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courtesy of creativecommons.org

Its  Been a Tough Year

2008 has been arough year for all of us, not just in the real estate business. The economy was experiencing a recession that wouldn’t be recognized until the end of the year, we had contentious primaries, and a tough election, the war in Iraq dragged on, and every time you turned on the news the was another company going under.

The Good News is its Almost Over

This is the time of year when there are holidays for everyone Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and even Festivus for-the-rest-of-us. And its a time when we look for things ot be grateful about. Me, I’m grateful the year is almost over and we can start on a fresh one, battered and bruised though we may be from this one. I’m grateful for my son, and daughter-in-law, and the manner in which her family embraced me and shared their strength with me.  And I’m grateful for all of the people that I found in my computer, and connected with in real life. They have been support and strength I needed to get through my challenges this year. They have been there for me every day when I needed them, though they asked little in return.

HO,HO,HO

And in the holiday spirit (which we imbue to all holidays, even when they don’t actually share it) I thought that this would be a wonderful time for each of us to take a moment and get away from the tough times we had this year, and focus on what we are grateful for.  If you have taken a moment away from your holiday celebration to read this, please take another moment and share with me what you have to be grateful for in 2008.  And do me a favor please? Have a wonderful holiday season, get yourself focused on the good things in your life and have a great year in 2009!

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Peter Maclennan

    December 24, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I am grateful for all the interesting people I have met this year. Even though the market was tough, the people I have met have been invaluable and will be a resource for life.

  2. Monika

    December 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Happy Holidays Bill. It sure has been a rough year for many of us. I’m hopeful that 2009 will be better.

  3. Bill Lublin

    December 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Peter; That’s what we all need to focus on Best wishes for the holiday

    Monika; You and Jay are two of the good things to come from this year. Best wishes to you both and I join you in your wishes that next year be a better one for all of us.

  4. Heather Elias

    December 24, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Bill,

    Love and hugs to you this holiday season. 2008 has been an interesting year of personal growth for me, amid a challenging market climate. I am most grateful for the clarity of what is most important to me in this world, and the peace of mind to know what I am striving toward. As difficult as this year has been, I have made so many new friendships (including yours!) that I am eternally grateful for, and have grown so much.

    Here’s to a new year, a fresh start, and great successes to come!

    Cheers,
    Heather

  5. Jeff Turner

    December 25, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Bill… you are one of the gifts I received this year. I just got to “open” you long before Christmas morning. And quite a gift you are. 🙂

  6. Anne Rubin

    December 25, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Bill,
    I bet you thought I didn’t pay attention, but I’m grateful that you wrote this so that I can thank you for all that you have given to me in the years that we have been together, all that you continue to give. I hope I return to you and others in the same way. Here’s to 2009 and beyond.

  7. Bill Lublin

    December 25, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    @Heather; It has been wonderful watching you this year and seeing your infectious smile Look forward to seeing you soon

    @Jeff You are easily as much of a present for me as I may be for you. Just the relationship we’ve begun would be enough ROI for a lifetime of social media 😉

    @Anne Its scary how long we’ve been in each others lives, and all of the changes we’ve seen in the business, but I hope we have much more to see and more growth for us as individuals and for our company – youre a great friend and partner. As you say, here’s to a 2009 and beyond!

  8. Ines

    December 27, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Bill – damn! there you go again making me cry! what’s wrong with you? 🙂

    I am grateful for my on-line community…but most of all for having the wisdom to know that they are more than just people I know.

    They can be life long friends that I will treasure more than anyone could realize. You, my friend, are one of those treasures…and I look forward to getting to know you even better this coming year.

  9. Benn Rosales

    December 27, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Bill, I have so many things to be grateful for this year, so it’s really tough to list my top, so I’ll just say thank you for caring enough to make our list of greatness we’ve been blessed with…

    Have a Blessed Season into the New Year and beyond.

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible; if your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Who’s teaching Gen Z to adapt to working with other generations

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Gen Z patch 1.1: How to work with other generations. The newest tech savy generation might need an update to work well with others

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generation z

We know the current work force is made up of a multitude of generations which is the first time so many have been working at the same time in history and this is should be absolutely fascinating to dig in to the research and how this drastically affects businesses.

To think how we each have our work ethic and style influenced by so many factors on how and when (and where) we were raised, plus what generation our parents were in and what was passed down to them from the generation before. Millennials received a lot of attention for being entitled and lazy. Gen X receive constant jokes that they are the forgotten generation. And let’s not forget the cringe-worthy “OK Boomer” meme theme recently.

Now we have moved on to Gen Z (b. ~ 1997-2012) in the work force and many are currently attending college. There were other considerations for their name: Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Plurals, and Zoomers. If you google about them, there are many books to read about this generation that has never NOT known technology.

They are used to being seconds away to finding an answer on Google, sending their current status to friends via a fun picture or video and learning anything they want to learn via their laptop (for example on YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, Google online courses, Udemy, Teachable, among others). They are no strangers to businesses evolving to continue to be consumer-minded and have an app for that when it comes to convenience like: ordering your coffee before you get there, order a ride from no matter where you are, order your groceries online and pick them up outside the grocery store or (gasp!) even have them delivered to you via some other third-party app. And let’s not forget, there better be Wi-Fi on the plane.

There are a lot of wonderful things about every generation and maybe some things we all contribute to regarding stereotypes. No matter age, experience or style, it’s key to learn about the people you are working with (peers, supervisors, leadership teams) or if you are an entrepreneur and business owner: your customers and any differences needed for them (should you be on Tik Tok? Is Instagram still where it’s at? How do you add online appointments to your site? Do you need an app for that?).

In this world of instant gratification, we have all adapted to the conveniences of technology so why would this new generation be any different. There’s been research shared with how they shop and even how they learn. Is anyone teaching them about those that came before them when they enter the work force or look to gain professional experience working with entrepreneurs, startups or small business owners?

I’d like to recommend taking a look at Lindsey Pollak’s research, read or listen (thank you, Audible) to her latest book, The Remix, How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace and even her new podcast, The Work Remix, for any limited on time or attention span. It is really powerful how she is able to easily translate lots of research in to actionable items (let’s bring back apprenticeships! Skip the ping pong table for more time in nature!). She is kind and provides refreshing ideas on how to adapt our work styles to others as well as what is important in the workforce. She is also really against generational shaming. ALL OF IT. And that’s beautiful.

So, before we roll our eyes and throw a generational comment at someone, can we get to know each other better and be flexible and adaptable in how we find and work toward our common goals? For one, I’m excited working with iGen and am always asking myself (as a loud and proud Gen Xer) how I can adapt or meet their learning styles. All in fun, I do wish they would read my emails but I might have to let that go and get more used to text.

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Business Marketing

Malomo helps online retailers keep up with retail giants

(BUSINESS MARKETING) With giant companies like amazon able to offer free shipping, and super fast arrival times, how can a smaller company keep up?

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Malomo home page

When Amazon is out here offering two-day shipping on all kinds of products from televisions to toothbrushes, ordering something from a smaller online retailer can have an almost humbling effect.

When faced with a basic UPS tracking number and shipping email, you realize how accustomed you’ve gotten to receiving play-by-play shipping information and a little photograph of your package when it arrives at your front step.

People have come to expect a lot from their online shopping experience. Huge online retailers, like Amazon, are crafting these expectations as another strategy to edge out competition. It’s all by design. So, how are smaller companies supposed to keep up with this demand?

Online retailers need tools that allow them to compete with the big boys and Malomo is here to help. Malomo is a shipment tracking platform designed for ecommerce marketers who want to level up their customer experience. Their mission is to help brands build authentic relationships with customers. Their platform allows online retailers to keep their customers up-to-date with shipping information using a beautiful branded platform.

Malomo could be a game changer for online retailers looking to build a more faithful customer base. Malomo’s platform can do so much more than send tracking information. The platform adds another layer to the customer journey by letting you create a digital space where your business can continue to build that customer brand connection.

Online retailers can use the platform to inform customers if there are any issues with their order such as a late shipment or a problem with an item. The platform can also be used to advertise other products, educate customers about the brand, or send targeted coupons.

In addition to offering a beautiful platform, Malomo provides online retailers with valuable analytics on customer behavior such as click-through rates on tracking information. Malomo integrates with popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify making it a smooth addition to your overall strategy.

By integrating these ecommerce tools online retailers can harness the power of data to improve their customer experience, drive future sales, and keep up with customer demands for a world-class shipping experience.

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