Marketing Juice — 7 Blogs For 7 Days

7 Blogs for 7 Days graphicMitch Joel and Robin Sharma start the weekly roundup with insights that just might change the way you look at your business. Then we’ve got an in-depth look at email opt-ins. Don’t underestimate this one — Michael Zipursky will give you real food for thought (I changed my mind twice about opt-in boxes while reading it). We’ll finish up with tactical advice from Rebecca Coleman, Melonie Dodaro, Anita Hovey, and Linda Daley.

There’s a special bonus in this “7 Blogs For 7 Days” as Rebecca’s post contains a video from Steve Dotto of Dotto Tech. So that make 8 experts in this weekly roundup instead of 7!

1. Mitch Joel of Twist Image presents his view of business opportunities created by rapid changes in media during a 25-min. video entitled Rebooting Business. Twitter link: @MitchJoel

2. Robin Sharma – The last line in this post sums it up perfectly: “Helping people get to their dreams via the superb product you offer still remains the single best marketing strategy.” How To Build A Movement Around Your Business – Twitter link: @_robin_sharma

3. Michael Zipursky – 7 Clever Ways You Can Increase Your Email Opt-ins and Get More Subscribers. You’ll want to bookmark this one. Twitter link: @MichaelZipursky

4. Rebecca Coleman – GMail’s recent change to a tabbed window has some email marketers crying foul. Rebecca shows us it’s not all bad news, in fact, it’s not bad at all. And there’s a special appearance by Steve Dotto by way of an embedded video. Enjoy How GMail Tabs Are Affecting Email Marketing. Twitter links: @RebeccaColeman @DottoTech

5. Melonie Dodaro – Prioritizing The Right Social Networks For Your Business. You’ll appreciate the way Melonie provides a brief overview of each of the major platforms, including major industries and demographics. Twitter link: @MelonieDodaro

6. Anita Hovey of Twirp Communications gives us Finding Leads On Twitter (if you ask me, that’s a grossly under-utilized social media benefit). Twitter link: @AnitaHovey

7. Linda Daley gives us 25 eNewsletter No-No’s. Twitter link: @DaleyProgress

Do you see business opportunities today that were less evident yesterday? What are you ready to take on?

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Just Released: Canadian Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate chart

Employment was little changed for the second consecutive month in August and the unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 7.3%.

Western Provinces Set To Drive GDP Growth in Canada

Canada’s modest GDP growth forecast will outperform that of the U.S.  We should expect to see a continued influx of U.S. companies as growth-oriented organizations look for new markets in stable economies.  I’ve heard from several U.S.-based staffing providers who see Canada as their next target for international expansion.  Are you prepared for increased competition?

GDP Forecast 2012 % Change

Canada overall 2.5 Modest growth expected. Challenges: government stimulus spending is winding down; record household debt levels, high food and gas prices and a cooling housing market.
Alberta 3.3 Heavy oil output ramping up.  Demand for technical, scientific and legal professionals will remain strong as the province’s economy continues to grow and diversify. “Alberta Innovates” initiative is providing funding to a wide variety of knowledge-intensive industries, including health, energy and the environment.
Saskatchewan 3.3 Oil well drilling & natural gas production increases.  Agriculture hit by poor spring conditions but fueled by strong growth in agriculture bio-tech sector.
British Columbia 3.1 Mining & mining support services (engineering, legal), natural gas export to Asian markets, software, film industry.
Manitoba 2.7 Utilities (construction & energy export), service sector expected to outperform (finance, insurance, real estate)
Newfoundland & Labrador 2.5 Mining & related construction, offshore oil, housing market fuelled by strong employment numbers and rising income
Quebec 2.5 Aerospace manufacturing, mining, technology
Ontario 2.2 Service sector growth (finance, retail, wholesale trade).  Manufacturing will benefit from tax reforms.  Auto manufacturing expected to jump following the Japan crisis.
Prince Edward Island 2.1 Food manufacturing, wind power research & manufacturing, pharma and medical manufacturing increase.
New Brunswick 2.0 Potash expected to double. Non-durable goods production increases. Challenge: NB is most vulnerable to U.S. exports (over 85% of exports are U.S. bound) and high Canadian dollar placing more pressure on outsourced call centre sector. Local talent not keeping up with technology sector demands.
Nova Scotia 1.9 Manufacturing stabilized & poised for growth in international export sectors. Finance, real estate & insurance remain strong – partially attributed to “jobsHere” initiative.

Source: Scotiabank Group Global Economic Research, July 2011

Margin Squeeze – Are You in a Race to the Bottom?

margin profit commoditization value businessThe problem with commoditization is it leaves little room for differentiation or innovation.  Some businesses used the recession as a strategic tool to reduce vendor costs by pushing suppliers to renegotiate pricing.  It was definitely a buyer’s market for savvy procurement types tasked with making up for revenue shortfalls by realizing cost reductions.  Even seasoned business people confident in the value of their offerings fell victim to margin squeeze.

Pricing pressures are not limited to B2B or commercial relationships.  Consumers impacted by employment instability are making a mark as they seek new ways to stretch discretionary dollars.  The Hotel giant Marriott is feeling the pain from cash-strapped vacationers looking for better deals.  Even Walmart is feeling the pinch from the formidable growth of dollar stores.

It seems those of us who live in western Canada have become adept at ferreting out a deal according to Shoppers Drug Mart.  The company runs 160 stores in the four western Canadian provinces and is the top drug store player in Canada.  Says Shoppers West President Dave McDonald: “This is probably the most competitive market in all of Canada…”

It’s tough to regain lost ground.  Here are two questions that merit consideration:

  • Are your pricing strategies well understood by the teams who defend them?
  • How firm is the team’s belief in your value proposition?

Vancouver’s Green Capital Business Mission

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

Vancouver is working hard to grow its reputation as a green city (pardon the pun).  There are many ongoing initiatives – one of which is the green building program.  The latest is a mission to China where Mayor Gregor Robertson and an entourage of 22 local businesses will seek to leverage good relationships begun during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“The purpose of this business mission is to land investment and jobs for Vancouver companies in China’s growing market” – Mayor Robertson

Read the full story:  Vancouver Mayor, local firms head to China to court green-business deals