Archive for the ‘Sales and business development’ Category

Beer Future: Coming to a Bar Near You

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Technologically advanced beer walls allow customers to be their own bartender

By Andrea Donaldson

Has anyone else experienced the exhausting battle of trying to get a drink in a crowded bar? Initially, the fight is with the crowd. You must deal with the jerks who will push, shoulder, and argue their way to the closest bar opening. And once you’ve finally secured the coveted empty bar location, round two begins. Getting the attention of the bartender. Of course we all have our tricks, whether it be holding out cash to show that we’re ready or desperately trying to force eye-contact. But, aren’t we all just tired of the hassle?!

Fortunately, the newest trend in beer dispensing has arrived. They call them beer walls. These state-of-the-art devices feature up to eight taps that patrons themselves use to pour their own beer. The dispensers have tablet screens that feature information on rotating taps, the ability to hold five full kegs, and computers that keep records of everything. Aside from the customer’s ability to save on tips, here are five reasons why these beer walls will prove to be a major success.

1. Record Keeping: Owners are provided with access to an online database that keeps up-to-date records of all beer wall transactions. Owners can use this information to track consumption habits and create promotions that are specifically tailored to their patrons.

2. Information: Ever wondered more about a beer on tap than the bartender could tell you? The beer wall features tablet screens that provide customers with extensive information on beer choices. The wall also prints the customer a receipt detailing all of the beers they tried. Customers can easily remember which beers they liked and continue to build a loyalty to particular brands.

3. Online features: In a world where everything is going viral, why shouldn’t your beer habits? The beer wall features a “buy a round” option online. This feature allows for patrons to purchase beer online for their friends at the bar. Another online feature alerts patrons when an exclusive brew has been added to the beer wall. Customers can select the “reserve my pint” feature and guarantee a pint of beer before the keg blows out.

4. Advertising: The beer wall opens up an entire new world for advertising beer. Companies will be able to utilize the interactive tablet screens to push new products. They will also be provided with demographic information about their customers. The wall sets up an account by checking a customer’s identification card. Breweries will be able to access information on exactly who is buying their product. The beer wall could potentially offer interactive surveys and other features that could be very beneficial to marketers.

5. No waiting: The beer wall features the ability to allow multiple people to pour beer at the same time. Also, if it is typical for customers to experience lengthy waits at your restaurant, a beer wall just might be the perfect distraction.

Although excitement and curiosity were my first responses to the new device, I received mixed concerns from customers at a local pub in Louisville, Ky. Some people questioned if this type of device would damage the service industry. Would customers tip less, because they are used to doing the work themselves at other bars? Others mentioned how uncomfortable they would be with a bars ability to access their personal information. They also showed concern over the price shock of finally receiving the bill at the end of the night and realizing each taste really added up.

It will be interesting to see how cities around the nation react to these new devices. I know I will be excited to play with the first one I come across.

Work Cited: Innovative Tap Solutions, (2013). Retrieved from

Movie Theaters: Cutting Out the Middle Man

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Movie theaters create a restaurant atmosphere to rake in the profits

By Andrea Donaldson

In America, the classic date has always been considered dinner and a movie. But, how many of us have rushed through dinner to make it to the movie theater on time? How many of us have longed for a cocktail to ease awkward first date jitters during endless previews? And, how many of us would sin for a beer while watching Wreck-it Ralph for the second time, because, “Dad, my best friend didn’t get to see it yet!”?

Well, we might be in luck. A new trend is developing among theaters to include restaurants and bars that serve gourmet food and drinks for you to take to your seats. Other theaters have even gone as far as providing servers once you’ve sat down. Featured below are several reasons why this new trend is sure to provide cinemas with increased profit from their new concessions.

1. They have the customers: According to the Motion Picture Association of America Inc.’s research study, Theatrical Market Statistics, released on in 2012, more than two-thirds of the United States and Canadian population went to the movies at least once in 2012. This was a six percent increase from 2011 and a twelve percent increase from 2007. Proving that the cinema is still a top entertainment choice for Americans.

2. Many people eat either before or after a movie: Movies are not only a popular choice for a date, but many families consider it a practical choice for entertainment as well. According to a research study done by Arbitron Inc. titled, The Arbitron Cinema Advertising Study, released in 2003, for Forty-three percent of Americans ate at either a sit-down or fast food restaurant directly before or after seeing a film. If movie theaters are able to attract these customers to frequent their restaurants and bars instead of dining out, they are sure to increase their food and beverage sales.

3. Most Americans drink: Sixty-six percent of Americans drink alcohol, suggests Lydia Sadd in an article based on a 2012 Gallup Poll titled, Majority of U.S. Drinks Alcohol, Averaging Four Drinks a Week. This statistic is sure to translate to alcohol sales for cinemas.

Recent moviegoer Zack Weissrock from Louisville, KY, said. “Last week, I went to the theater with some friends and noticed a bar. We all laughed thinking the alcoholic drinks would be outrageously overpriced; we were shocked to find that it was actually cheaper to get a rum and coke than to get a medium drink. Two out of three of us bought one.”

It seems as though some theaters have figured out that lower prices can introduce consumers to spending their money on nontraditional snacks. It will be interesting to see if these prices are hijacked once they establish a consistent following.

4. Movie theaters make huge profit on food and beverages: Movie theaters have huge overhead costs and a pressure to keep ticket prices low. They must turn toward food and beverage sales to make a significant portion of their profit. This explains why a medium popcorn can cost up to four dollars and a medium beverage even more than that. The more food and drinks the theater sells, the more profit they make.

Overall, movie theaters are likely to see increased profits by offering customers extended choices for food and beverages. I know before my next movie, I’ll be looking up theaters that serve alcoholic beverages, will you?

QR Codes: 5 Reason to get on board

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

QR Codes: Five reasons to jump on the bandwagon

QR CodesIt has been very exciting to see the acceptance of QR codes

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in many different industries, but there are still many critics who do not understand the point of the codes, or why people are so mesmerized by them.

Here are five reasons those critics should jump on the QR code bandwagon:

1. So much plastic. Nowadays, every business is offering its customers reward cards or frequent user cards. You know the routine: you fill out some basic information, the nice girl at the cash register gives you your card, you lose the card after using it a few times, and you stop caring about the program entirely. With every store now offering these reward cards, it has become an inconvenience as opposed to a reward because it is impossible to keep track of all the cards.

But, what if stores started keeping an electronic list of all its reward card holders and allowed customers to scan an in-store QR code that kept track of which customers have earned which rewards? For example, if I had a reward card from Qdoba Mexican Grill, each time I visit a Qdoba I tell the cashier I am a reward card member, they ask me to scan the QR code on the counter, and it automatically tells me what rewards I’ve earned from previous visits and purchases.

If every store that offers reward programs did this, just

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think of all the plastic that would be spared.

2. Slow as a turtle. It seems to me that every time I am in a hurry to find some information from the Internet using my smartphone, the Wi-Fi cannot seem to connect or it goes so slow that I resolve to give up on finding the information. This has happened many times when I’m in a store and I need to know where the next closest location is because the particular location I’m in doesn’t have the product I’m looking for in stock.

The solution would be for every store to post a QR code next to the front doors that when scanned, tells the person information like the next closet location, the stores hours, contact information for the store, directions how to get there, and it should also give the person the ability to search for the item they want and see if that location has it in stock.

3. Cutting down on deforestation. We all know that the amount of trees we cut down for paper is absurd, so what if the use of QR codes helped save the planet? If more people started posting information permanently in stores as QR codes for customers to scan as opposed to printing thousands of copies of the same information to give to customers, we could really help the tree huggers in their mission.

For example, what if businesses posted QR codes that took the place of sale ads by the front door? Or how about QR codes for in-store coupons as opposed to forcing the customers to carry a little sheet of paper? The customer could simply scan the QR code and it would automatically pull up the coupon for the cashier.

4. Here’s my card. Most business cards are very boring. A great

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deal of money is spent on getting hundreds of them made, and they’re so… dull. The solution to this problem is for people who have business cards to create a card that has only two things on it: their name and their QR code. The name is necessary so people don’t have to scan 50 of them to find the one they needed, but the QR code cuts down the money spent on ink, and also makes every card the same. Once a person scans the QR code, it displays all contact information for the person on that card from their business, to phone numbers and email address.

5. It’s just plain cool. This simple idea really could change the world. Just think of how many trees and how much money will be saved by these brilliant little QR codes. Besides, how can a person not be fascinated by the initial simplicity of them; you never know what information you will find unless you scan the code. It’s like a game, and I plan on playing.

By Kelsey Deckard

Creativity at Trade Shows

Friday, October 21st, 2011


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trade shows can be expensive. So? Get creative!

trade showsAttending trade shows and providing advertising and PR services is a business of mine. My partners and I used to be at about 30 to 40 shows a year, working with the show management and individual exhibitors on generating visibility and recognition as well as producing video for multiple display units spread throughout the convention facility.

Making sure local media were invited to major show events and allowed access to important speakers and panel members are always a key role of our responsibilities.

If hired by an exhibitor, one of the orchestrated elements of our PR-contracted involvement at each show is walking the floor looking for “Press” badges. They are almost always a different color than attendees, vendors or exhibitors. We will constantly watch the pressroom for media reps happening by to pick up show info or individual press kits as sponsors, exhibitors or vendors might leave them. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that these professionals are seeking information and contacts. They want to know what’s happening and when. While not necessarily “easy pickins,” they are actually hungry for material and usually quite cooperative and friendly.

I often wonder if PR reps in attendance with an exhibiting company realize the incredible opportunity that virtually passes them by. Dozens and dozens of key industry reporters are in attendance at every show and they are there for one reason: get stories and unique information about exhibitor booths that may have special or distinctive products that specialty or even mass audiences will find interesting and valuable. Each exhibit booth contains the CEO and Marketing Director obediently watching the crowds, smiling and nodding as thousands pass by. In among those thousands of passers-by are dozens wearing those colorful, special badges clearly labeled “Press.”

It’s not just the hand-shaking and chit-chat on the floor that makes chances increase that you’ll get attention. It’s knowing where the special events are, especially the ones you didn’t choose to attend. Now they get to have special meaning. Does the word, “work” suddenly come to mind?

Could your missed opportunities be happening while one of your competitors brought in a competent, experienced PR team to leverage the show’s media list, capitalize on local media and orchestrate news coverage? Could be, do you think? While attending trade shows can get expensive, getting good, solid media attention in the right pubs can easily justify costs. This seems pretty logical and even unsophisticated in terms of basic PR/Media relations.

Yet few company honchos think about it, no less leverage the extraordinary PR opportunities in existence at most trade shows.

Trade show PR can be a strategic science if approached with pre-planning and assumptions of opportunity in mind. Yes, it takes a little aggressive outreach and some creativity, but the PR rewards can be exceptional. Put the front-end effort out, look for every media opportunity at your outstretched hand and the payoff in having several stories come your way is like money in the bank.

For every news release and scheduled interview at the upcoming show where you have a booth, there are probably ten or more unplanned but waiting opportunities if you just get off your butt and make it happen.

by Neil Kuvin

Nonprofit Board Members Responsible for Future

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

nonprofit boardNonprofit Board members must sell and market to grow an organization

Congratulations, you’re on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit organization.

Now, what — what will your committee assignment be? Finance, Membership, Special Programs, Communications — the list of possibilities seems endless.

Well, congratulations AGAIN, because even if you don’t think you can sell or market, that’s what EVERY board member becomes in a nonprofit organization — a salesperson and a marketer! In addition to all other responsibilities, nonprofit board members must be able to advance the cause of the organization.

You were asked to join the board, and now it’s your responsibility to begin MARKETING the organization and SELLING the organization’s benefits to the community. Yes, you and your fellow board members will wear both hats.

That’s because successful sales people are always marketing and good marketers are always thinking about the sales and where they’re coming from (and will come from). That’s how your nonprofit organization will grow — by packaging your vision and mission, identifying the community (the niches) that will benefit from being associated with your organization and then selling it to that community.

And by selling it, you generate membership, which generates revenue, which generates more opportunities for growth, and, well, you can see how this cycle continues. Remember that one community begets another community and that’s how the marketing and sales cycle works — in business AND nonprofit organizations.

So, the bottom line is this: if you agree to become a member of a nonprofit board, be prepared to learn how to market and sell. You’ll need those skills in the nonprofit and business world.

Joseph R. John

City Selling: Four Things Every Tourism Marketer Ought to Know

Monday, July 18th, 2011

City Selling the Republic of San Marino Not every city can pull off a Rome or a Paris—that is—not every city can speak for itself.

But everyone is City Selling. The juxtaposition of centuries of art, architecture and natural beauty makes these cultural capitals come alive with personality and flavor. With hundreds of years of promotion already behind them, they are at the forefront of the race when it comes to vacation destinations. Faced against such tough competition out there, how can a travel marketer put his own location on the map?

Just because a city, town, or village does not boast a Fontana di Trevi or the Mona Lisa does not mean that it is not worth visiting; destinations are popular for a variety of reasons. The French-speaking Swiss town of Montreux, for example, draws thousands of spectators with its annual jazz festival. Eastern European cities such as Budapest and Karlovy Vary have long been renowned for their thermal baths. And across the pond, many tourists flock to the United States each year just to cruise along the “Ole’ 66.” So even the smallest things can be of great interest to people: a concert, a spa, or even a mere road.


Mobile Marketing: Emails trigger Smartphone Buys

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Study Shows that 69 Percent Would Choose to Keep Their Smartphone over Tablet Computer

24 percent have scanned a QR code or barcode on their Smartphone

More than half of U.S. consumers who’ve made at least one purchase on their smartphone have

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done so based on a marketing message delivered via mobile email according to a study by ExactTarget.

The finding is one of many new insights

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into how consumers are shopping, making purchases and becoming more dependent on emails, text alerts and mobile coupons delivered to their smartphones every day. Mobile marketing is coming of age.