Thursday, May 14, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend - Things to Remember & To Do!

Memorial Day - Let's never forget those that made the ultimate sacrifice!
Things To Remember for Memorial Day!! 

MEMORIAL DAY - 1st and foremost Memorial Day is a Day of Remembrance! Why? - "Memorial Day started off as a somber day of remembrance; a day when Americans went to cemeteries and placed flags or flowers on the graves of our war dead. It was a day to remember ancestors, family members, and loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice." Memorialday.org The remembrance started in the years following the Civil War and became an official holiday in 1971! 
Many of my direct family members fought and survived fighting in WW I & WWII. Many of my friend fought and survived Vietnam! They have passed along the importance of remembering those who fought for our freedom and gave their lives to keep us free! We encourage you to observe Memorial Day by at least displaying the U.S. flag! For more ideas for observing this day visit Sheknows.com

Enjoy Memorial Day Fun!
Things To Do!
HAVE FUN -  In addition to a day of remembrance, Memorial Day weekend has become a time to enjoy life and the transition from Spring to Summer - after a long brutal Winter for many of us! I was rather amazed when I Googled "What to do on Memorial Day weekend?".It appears that:
  • Almost every city has a Series of Events! 
  • Stores provide Incredible Sales! 
  • Families Open Their Patios & Plan to Grill Out!
  • Pools and Backyards Open For Play!
Here are some Time & Cost-Saving Suggestions we've gathered for you!
1) Google the city where you live or visiting - As an example, if you plan to be in or around Boston go to their events website - Celebrations Landing Page.
2) Visit these stores for their SPECIALS for Look'in Good & Having Fun:
          a) Lacoste - For Your Summer Styles! 
          b) Lord & Taylor - For Incredible Savings for the Entire Family! 
          c) Nautica - For the Whole Family to Welcome the warm days in Style! 
          d) Orvis - For great Men's & Women's Sports Wear!   
3) Plan your Outdoor Events!
           a) Chicago Steak Company - Make Your Grilling a Great Experience!
           b) Home & Patio Decor Center - Everything for Your Patio Experience! 
           c) Wicker Paradise - Turn Your Yard into an Adventure of Comfort!
4) Plan Your Outdoor Fun!
            a) Step2 - Their Specialty is Kids Play!
            b) WillyGoat - The Ultimate in Swing Sets, Playhouses, Trampolines & Much More! 
            c) Brookstone - Outdoor/Indoor Speakers, Fun Items & So Much More!  
Let's all Remember those that made the Ultimate Sacrifice for us! While we are enjoying a long weekend keep in mind that those Men & Women made it possible! 
Freedom is not Free -  it is Earned!!
Have Some Ideas for Observing or Enjoying Memorial Day? Comment or Email - phil@exclusivepurchases.com 
Let's connect on Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/in/benefitplace

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BENEFITPLACE -- All About Insurance, Benefits & Related Services: Marketing - An Employee Benefit Combo That Employees & Employers Love - Affordable with a Trackable ROI!

BENEFITPLACE -- All About Insurance, Benefits & Related Services: Marketing - An Employee Benefit Combo That Employees & Employers Love - Affordable with a Trackable ROI!

Marketing - An Employee Benefit Combo That Employees & Employers Love - Affordable with a Trackable ROI!

The Marriage of Wearable Fitness Trackers, Wellness Plans & Employee Benefits - What a Combo!
A Three Piece Combo: Fitness Tracking - WellnessPlans - Employee Benefits
A Unbeatable Combo!

While recently reading Employee Benefit News (EBN), I was attracted by 3 related articles focused on #Wearables, #Wellness Plans & #Employee Benefits! My attraction to the articles was based on my background in Employee Benefits, my interest in Wellness Plans, and my recent experiences with a wearable fitness tracking device called Fitbit! I had honestly not tied the 3 value propositions together!

The two companies I co-founded, BenefitPlace.biz & ExclusivePurchases.com, seldom have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand in terms of content, focus, and promotions - except for the Section "Insurance Related" on ExclusivePurchases.com! Reading the 3 EBN related articles opened my eyes to the perfect integration that wearable fitness devices bring to Wellness Plans and the overall Benefit Plan Design. Let's take a look at the focus of these articles!

The 3 articles discuss three components:

1)  Fitness Trackers - "...a device or application for monitoring and tracking fitness-related
metrics such as distance walked or run, calorie consumption, and in some cases heartbeat
and quality of sleep" (Wikepedia)  In the case of this article they were referring specifically to Fitbit. In pevious ExlusivePurchases.com blogs we had been discussing & promoting the

effectiveness and affordability of wearables and specifically Fitbit!
Fitbit provides stylish choices for their wearable fitness band!
Fitbit Choices & More!

2)  Wellness Plans - Often talked about but generally difficult to: implement, gain traction with Employees, and to track results. Most employers before expending capital on wellness, want to know that they will see results and an ROI!
3)  Employee Benefits - A broad brushed terminology that includes insurance programs, retirement plans, employer-provided services and voluntary benefits offered by employers to their employees. As hard as employers and employees try there is generally a dynamic tension between the Employers and the Employees regarding what is offered, who pays, and how to track the effectiveness of the specific Plan, Product or Service!
The 3 articles in EBN tie these components together and make a strong case for Employers working with Employees, Individuals and Brokers to examine and take action on integrating wearables into their Wellness Plans as part of their Employee Benefits Plan Designs. 
 The 1st was titled -  "Putting wearable wellness into practice" (Read the Article)!
 The 2nd was titled - "5 reasons wearable wellness is here to stay" (Read the Article)        The 3rd was titled - Wearable devices: Future of wellness or just a fad?" (Read Article)

When your research is complete - Fitbit will be your choice!
My suggestion - (1) Read through the three articles (2) Click on the link to Fitbit for more information about this specific wearable (3) Try-out a wearable for yourself before adding it to your Wellness Plan and your Employee Benefits Plan Strategy (4) If you see the value - Take Action!

Have questions or suggestions, please comment on this Blog or Email -- phil@exclusivepurchases.com or max@benefitplace.biz

Let's connect on Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/in/benefitplace

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Make Your Summer A Success - For Business & Personal!

What is the Linchpin for #Meeting Your Goals - Fulfilling Your #Wish List?
Your Business & Personal Wish LIst

The basics for Success in Meeting Goals - Fulfilling a Wish Lists - are often boiled down to a few words:
  • When I was in Real Estate Development it was -- Location - Location - Location!
  • In my Insurance/Benefits experience it has been -- Qualified Prospects - Qualified Prospects - Qualified Prospects!
Linchpins for Success Meeting Goals - While the the above are extremely important, I would suggest that the lynchpin is really -- Planning - Planning - Planning! I'll define planning as: Setting Goals, Developing Strategies, Budgeting,
Meeting Your Goals & Expectations!
Outlining Tasks, Scheduling & Executing. 

To "Make Your Summer Successful - Fulfilling your Goals/Wish Lists  for Business & Personal!" I suggest that the internet provides a plethora of opportunities to assist in reaching your goals, implementing strategies, leaving only the Budgeting, Scheduling & Executing to You!

We recently asked several clients to tell us their Business & Personal Goals - Wish Lists" for the  Summer. We, BenefitPlace.biz/ExclusivePurchases.com, followed-up by providing them companies/websites that could assist them in reaching their goals efficiently & cost-effectively! The following is a sampling of our suggestions:

For The Client's Business Goals - 
Build an Online Store to Promote Products & Services - Shopify!
  1. Better track Website Activity to improve conversion - Mouseflow!
  2. Affordably Update Computers & other Technology - Refurbees & SnaggStuff!
For The Client's Personal Goals - 
  1. Grill Outside more often with Great Steaks, Chops, Fillets, etc. - Chicago Steak Company!
  2. Make their Back Yard a Better Place to Relax & Play! - Home & Patio & Willygoat!  
  3. Get some affordable new Tech. Gadgets for Fun, Exercise, & More - BOSEFitbit & SnaggStuff!
  4. Take a Great Vacation - GreatValueVacations & for Singles - Best Single Travel!
Follow this Blog to meet your needs or Comment to let us know your recommendations!  
The above opportunities all came from visiting ExclusivePurchases.com (http://www.exclusivepurchases.com). The

website is an "Online Boutique Outlet Shopping Mall" dedicated to assisting Individuals, Families, Businesses Owners & Managers in Efficiently and Cost-Effectively Meeting Their Needs" - START NOW!  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's Small Business Week - Small Business Deserves Our Attention!

Cheers To Small Business - It's Small Business Week!

Having been a #small business owner for most of my 46 years in the workforce, I
It's Small Business Week!
have a tremendous respect for the guts, talent, creativity, endurance and optimism that's required for the small business to survive!

What's So Important about the Small Business? 
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) - There are between 20 to 30 million small businesses in the U.S., depending on who you ask. They employ almost 60 percent of the nation’s workforce. They pay 44 percent of the country’s payrolls.
Quote About Small Business "Like any small business owner, I experienced the pressures of building a company from the ground up - developing a business plan, balancing the books, meeting payroll and building a customer base." Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. CA.
Small Businesses make incredible contributions to our economy!
Things to Remember About Small Businesses - Forbes Magazine reminds us: "Local business owners are more likely to give back to your community. Beyond actual dollars being kept within your local community – which is significantly higher when dollars are spent at a local business vs. corporate one – small business owners are also more likely to 'do good' for your community, as well. Small businesses deliver community character and economic advantages to the town they are positioned in, but also strengthen partnerships among neighbors, residents, other small business owners, community leaders and even schools by offering social and economic relationships. Many also support local causes, creating even more good within a community".
Helping Small Business? - Rather than make suggestions about how you can better help small business, we at ExclusivePurchases.com (specifically our section on "Business Solutions") and BenefitPlace.biz (a website that assists in making the Insurance and
Helping small businesses make important decisions!
Benefits Industries more accessible, efficient and cost-effective) - both of which are being re-vamped - we are going to dedicate more time and focus to small businesses! As ourselves a small business, we realize that the small business owners have special needs and that business and personal decisions are often intertwined. We're going to make a committed effort to be of assistance!
We welcome your ideas on how to assist small businesses - Please comment or email - phil@exclusivepurchases.com 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Beyond Business! Let's Celebrate With & For Your Pets! It's National Pet Week - May 3-9, 2015

About National Pet Week - “National Pet Week® (NWP) celebrates the relationship
It's {et Week - Buy Your Pet A Gift!
individuals and families have with their pets “encourages #pet owners to be certain they provide their best friends with all they need for a happy, healthy life every week of the year!” NPW

Quote About Pets - “Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” John Grogan, Marley Marley & Me

NPW was created to celebrate the “... 200 million pets that enrich our lives each and every day” NPW. The following are a mix of tips and interesting information for and about your pets:

Interesting Facts (by APPA) --
  • 83.3 million—Number of owned dogs
  • 95.6 million—Number of owned cats
  • $231—Average annual amount spent by dog owners on routine veterinary visits
  • $193—Average annual amount spent by cat owners on routine veterinary visits
Great Pet Care Ideas - Click the Specific Sites Below or Visit the Pet Section on ExclusivePurchases.com -- Enjoy Ideas & Big Savings!
1) Toys - ActiveDogToys.com - You won't see any dog toys like ours in the stores!
2) Supplies - Pet Fancy - They offer a vast and stylish selection of pet supplies!
                      EntirelyPets - Affordable solutions to give your pet a healthy and happy life!
                      Pet Plan  - A stylish selection of pet supplies that you are going to love!
                      Pet Street Mall - A collection of fantastic pet products all at one retail store!
3. Pet Food - Only Natural Pet They provide Natural Pet Products!
                       Pet Food Direct Makes pet parenting easier!
4. Pet Rx - 1-800 PetMeds A licensed pharmacy w/ only dispense U.S. FDA/ EPA approved!
PetCareRx Enhancing the lives of pets and pet parents!

5. Training - TrainPetDog They educate dog lovers across the globe!  
We encourage you to comment with additional Companies that help us provide for our pets!

Don't Have a Pet or Looking For Another Friend? - Go to the ASPCA Website or Visit Your Local Shelter!

Have a Favorite Pet Picture? Post it on our Facebook Page

Let's connect on Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/in/benefitplace
Celebrate Pet Week With A Gift For Your Pet!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Want To Build Your Marketing/Salesforce Without Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring, Training, & Praying for an ROI?

You can cost-effectively & successfully build your Marketing/Salesforce with a not-so-new strategy called #Affiliate Marketing! Think it's not for you? - - Read On! 

A Little History - After years as an entrepreneur in the Financial Services and Insurance related industries, I thought I had a fair grasp of the alternatives in building a salesforce. Like most of my friends in the industries, I had my share of successes and failures. 

When I entered the realm of #Inbound Marketing a number of years ago, it was a breath of fresh air. I had finally discovered an effective, cost-saving alternative to traditional Outbound Marketing and standard Prospecting. I became quite effective in "Leveraging the Power of the Internet, Search Engines, Social/Business Media, and SEO. I became an advocate for the Insurance and Benefits Industries to embrace Inbound Marketing. 

Marketing and advertising can be an expensive puzzle!
What's New? - It took me a while before I realized that I had missed a major piece to include in the Inbound Marketing puzzle - Affiliate Marketing. I barely new Affiliate Marketing existed and was clueless about this established and continually evolving marketing/sales strategy! 

It took me a while to see that Affiliate Marketing was more than an old vehicle for merchants to sell retail items through a network of part-time marketers utilizing their contacts, computers, and the merchants banners and text provided through networks. I have come to realize that Affiliate marketing in its evolved state can be a lucrative strategy for merchants - the creators of Products & Services - and astute Affiliates. This is true for almost all Industries including the Insurance & Benefits! We're acting as an affiliate for a number Insurance related providers of Plans, Programs, and Services - Click Here to visit the specific section of ExclusivePurchases.com. ExclusivePurchases.com is an online boutique outlet shopping mall for individuals, families, and business to efficiently meet their needs.

Combining Inbound & Affiliate Marketing - While I understood the Power of Inbound

Marketing, I had no experience with Affiliate Marketing. To me it was an old school strategy with a checkered history. I have learned that this was a misconception! As Blurgroup's blog points out, "...those who are really excelling right now in the affiliate marketing world have shed much of the negativity associated of the industry by renaming what they do. Affiliates are now SEO Specialists or Performance Marketing Specialists or even Bloggers and Content Marketers. It all points to the fact that the industry has changed and those employing the old tactics are being left behind." 
Affiliate marketing is a viable alternative to hiring marketing and advertising staff.

Blurgroup goes on say,"Affiliate marketing has gone from coupons to content’ and mainstream publishers are quietly making huge revenues with this model whose longevity in the world of digital marketing is unsurpassed. It has done so by rebranding and adapting to new trends, creating long term relationships and participating in inbound marketing tactics instead of pushing offers and vouchers."

Affiliate marketers utilize a combination of traditional outbound marketing combined with Inbound Marketing Strategies. As AMWSO (Affiliate Marketing Management Services) points out, "Inbound marketing has risen in popularity along with blogging platforms such as Blogger or WordPress, which make it easy to create content, optimize for search engines and even promote that content on social media, all of which are types of inbound affiliate marketing". 

How to get started with Affiliate Marketing!
Three Stages to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing as the Primary Source of Products, Plans, and/or Services (Called "Publishers in the world of affiliate marketing).

1) Select a Network to assist you with setting-up your back office, attracting affiliates - called the advertisers - and to assist in promoting your campaigns. Networks are an extremely valuable resource! According to Clicksure, "Networks offer a degree of quality control—the best networks will only take merchants that are relatively reliable. In addition, they have sophisticated tracking technology that can improve your ROI and make it easier to optimize your campaigns". Along with several others, we have a relationship with ShareASale - a leading network.
2) Build a Storefront for an Inbound Marketing landing page and to assist your marketing campaigns and affiliates. We are working with two companies to assist clients of all sizes:

Shopify - They make marketing and commerce simpler "so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products". 
 BigCommerce - They power some of the world's most successful online stores "from startups to billion-dollar businesses, companies in 150+ countries".  
3) Enhance Your Social/Business Media Presence - This will generate traffic to your website/landing pages, assist your affiliate marketing network, and drive sales! Consider using several services
Yext Allows you to reclaim your brand in the social sphere. Yext instantaneously syncs and updates invaluable content—like hours, a new address, or an important status update.
Mouseflow - Lets you record/track website visitors and see website heatmaps showing where they click, scroll and even their focus. Areas being overlooked by users can then be improved to gain more attention.
SEO Profiler - A complete SEO tool that offers everything that you need to get high rankings on Google and other search engines.
PRWeb - Effective press release distribution helps you create buzz, increase online visibility, and drive website traffic.

Conclusion - Affiliate Marketing - especially when combined with the power of Inbound
Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing Today!
Marketing - will "Build Your Marketing/Salesforce Without Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring, Training, & Praying for an ROI". I am not suggesting that you abandon your traditional marketing and advertising people or resources. I am suggesting a shift to affiliate marketing as an efficient and cost-effective strategy. Affiliate Marketing - especially when combined with Inbound Marketing - will help you stay with or ahead of your competition. You will also better meet the needs of current and potential clients. 

Your potential clients are utilizing the internet to efficiently meet their needs! According to Brafton - a branding specialist - "89 percent of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases". They go on to note that "70 percent of enterprise purchasing decisions begin on search engines"!

It's Time To Get Started!

Let's Hear From You - If you have questions, suggestions, or require additional information, please comment or send an email to phil@exclusivepurchases.com

Let's connect on Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/in/benefitplace