Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Employers must pay for most personal protective equipment

OSHA has promulgated a new personal protective safety standard which, in a nutshell and with few exceptions, requires employers to pay for all employees' personal protective equipment. For a full read, click this link.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Are you at the right venue?

I recently attended the Workers Compensation Disability Conference in Chicago. There were over 200 exhibitors vying for the attention of the attendees. I tried to visit every booth to view new products and look for article ideas for my monthly column in Workers' Comp Bottom Line. Do you know what I noticed? Some exhibitors were at the wrong trade show.

That's right. They had spent thousands of dollars to buy space, transport and house personnel, furnish marketing material and burn valuable marketing time. The results? Some probably are back in their offices this week, wondering why their phones aren't ringing.

There are many vendors developing products that are ripe for an insurance industry eager, no desperate, to cut costs. But your marketing consultants may not be the best vehicle to ensure you're reaching the right portion of the industry with your message because they don't have a hands-on knowledge of the industry.

You've heard the phrase "targeted marketing." Targeting your prospects ensures your advertising dollars are reaching the audience that needs or will consider your product. The insurance industry is complex, and the consultant or ad agency you use must understand the industry to help you penetrate this complex market.

Here's one example. One young vendor was there with what appeared to be a great program that adjusters can use to dictate their reports and receive them back in just a few hours. With the amount of outsourcing carriers are now doing, this product makes sense. Unfortunately, this venue, where many attendees were Federal employees and adjusters not empowered to make purchasing decisions, probably wasn't a great show for this product. There's several other venues I recommended to this provider that would reap much stronger results.

Your advertising agency should be more than a vehicle to produce copy; it should provide a tailored marketing program that will help your product penetrate a highly competitive and increasingly technical marketplace.

Today, every advertising dollar counts. For a free consultation on your product, call me at 573 638-3738.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Are we focused on the goal

to the exclusion of seeing those around us?

The Oakland Police Department recently spent hours trying to oust a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his house. After two hours of firing tear gas canisters into the house, the officers noticed the home owner standing beside them in the police line up, chanting, "Please come out and give yourself up!"

It's a great thing to set goals and feel proud of our successes, but to truly succeed in life as well in business, we should remember the others beside us, also helping us to succeed. Survey after survey shows employees feel increasingly disenfranchised from their work, which hurts productivity and creates customer service issues galore.

Take a moment today to sincerely thank those who help you to succeed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is your Blackberry costing you too much money?

I am attending the Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference in Chicago. I've noticed a few striking changes in the audiences attending events.

Attendees (and many exhibitors) are so busy scrolling through messages on their PDAs and returning cell phone calls or reading text messages, they've stopped talking to people. And they've also, in some cases, stopped listening to speakers. Many of the audience member are terribly distracted, and the same held true in the exhibitor center.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do feel that one of the benefits of attending a conference is to schmooze, network, and otherwise meet people and learn about new products. If we're so preoccupied with what's going on back at the office, I'm not sure attendance benefits anyone.

Next time you send your personnel to a conference, suggest they take a break and enjoy the show. One thing I've learned the hard way, whether I'm answering my phone and reading e-mails 24/7 or not, the world spins on without me.