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E-commerce that supports local business

In Business, Economy, finances, Holiday, Local News, National News, Technology, Uncategorized on November 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm
GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing's "e-commerce kiosk," at Amazon.com

GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing’s “e-commerce kiosk,” at Amazon.com

JAMESTOWN, OH – Shoppers are being encouraged to buy from small, local retailers this holiday season, but did you know there was a way to support local business and still buy from Amazon.com? They’re called “Amazon aStores,” and they allow local business to set up a virtual storefront through Amazon.com and offer products of their own choosing.

Retailers can set up what is essentially a virtual kiosk inserted within the company website. Each item is selected individually and can be categorized for easy indexing. Shoppers can then visit the main website for the company, providing the owner with valuable marketing information about how often the site is frequented, and then click on the business’s amazon store to shop further.

The hosting business is then paid an advertising fee by Amazon for each product sold through its store. Such a store doesn’t generate a great deal of revenue, but it can provide some helpful cash flow, if people know to use it.

Gery L. Deer, owner and creative director fro GLD Enterprises of Jamestown, Ohio has three such Amazon stores in operation on different websites. “We do a great deal of work with local authors, and the Amazon store allowed us a way to market the electronic versions of books, as well as other specialized items, often unavailable from local retailers.”

Deer says this kind of pre-packaged e-commerce is a good way for small businesses to have an online sales presence, even if the company is not necessarily a retailer. “Our business is primarily a business-to-business marketing and copywriting agency,” Deer says. “As a service business, we don’t have retail sales, but the products we provide through our online store can benefit the customer by offering another way to both save money on shopping and support local business, all at the same time.” For more information visit Amazon.com.

Here are links to the Amazon stores managed by GLD Enterprises and its partner companies:

GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing Amazon Store: Features locally-authored books and related products. Some product sales benefits the Western Ohio Writers Association.

GLD Enterprises & Production: Features a wide variety of books, electronics, specialty items and locally-authored material.

Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd.: Books, software, electronics, and more “computer” related products.

 

 

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Cause and effect of drug advertisements

In Business, Education, Health, National News, Opinion, television, Uncategorized on June 26, 2014 at 10:37 am

DIH LOGOAccording to a 2008 study by the peer-reviewed medical journal, PLOS Medicine, pharmaceutical companies spend nearly twice as much on marketing than research. In a review of the study, the consumer advocacy website, Consumerist.com, indicates, “Drug companies pour $57.5 billion into marketing, dwarfing the comparably paltry $31.5 billion devoted to research.”

Pharmaceutical manufacturers have rigid guidelines for promoting their products, but the question lingers: should non-over-the-counter drugs be promoted to the general public at all? The short answer is, probably not. The longer answer is more complex. Since, as a rule, Deer In Headlines deals with “fact,” not “truth,” here are some facts about drug advertising. Incidentally, if it is truth you’re interested in, check out a philosophy column (thanks Dr. Jones).

The official website of the United States Food and Drug Administration states, “Prescription drug advertisements can provide useful information for consumers to work with their health care providers to make wise decisions about treatment.” Leading the pack of heavily-marketed drugs are prescription sleep aids, blood thinners, anti-depressants and erectile dysfunction remedies. Most of the television ads for these medications appear during the day, carefully targeting certain markets.

What the general public fails to realize, however, is that these ads are intended to plant an idea in the head of the consumer who, in all their medical wisdom, will take the information to a doctor and insist on a prescription. Mission accomplished; more drugs are sold and the company’s stock goes up a quarter of a point, not to mention the fact there is one more person who simply can’t live without the latest pill. Perhaps a better understanding of how these ads are structured might help.

pillsThe FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion classifies medication advertisements into three categories: Product Claims, Reminders, and Help-Seeking ads.  The product claim ad names the drug, the treated condition and lists the benefits and risks. A reminder ad shows the name of the drug, but not its use. Finally, the help-seeking advertisement is directed at people with a particular condition for which they are trying to find a remedy. There is, however, no guideline for how much money a drug company can spend on advertising and some consumer advocates argue that it’s wrong for them to be able to spend more on marketing than research.

The fact is that it’s really hard to say exactly how much any one drug company spends on research vs. marketing because reported advertising expenditures are mixed in with the accounting category which also includes other figures, such as executive salaries. Research money is usually accounted for in a separate line item (R&D), even though it technically could be in the same classification with general operation costs.

Another fact is that everyone is a medical expert – yes that’s sarcasm. From the neighbor with every ailment more painful than the last or the relative who insists his doctor is an idiot but goes back every time his prescription runs out, self-diagnosis and treatment are a real epidemic in America.

There is also the concern that these advertisements actually plant the idea of a particular illness in the mind of the viewer who then heads to the doctor with a new problem, and a new prescription demand. Studies show that about 40-percent of all doctor visits are with the intention of getting a prescription. Since people keep going back, it’s safe to assume there are plenty of doctors obliging, and that needs to change as well.

Prescription medication should be marketed to the experts who will be prescribing it to the patient. Drug companies already spend billions on advertising and on-site sales representatives who offer samples and various other motivators to get the doctors to push their products for various ailments. The patient has no business self-prescribing and doctors need to be more responsible.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, Ohio. Side effects of reading Deer In Headlines include a more open mind, alternative points of view and a better understanding of the world around you. No prescription necessary.

 

Long-running BNI chapter to hold visitors day April 3

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Local News, Media, Technology, Uncategorized on March 30, 2014 at 2:18 am
Greater Dayton Professionals BNI Chapter was originally established more than 14 years ago.

Greater Dayton Professionals BNI Chapter was originally established more than 14 years ago.

BEAVERCREEK, OH – The Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter of Business Network International (BNI), will hold a visitors day event from 7:30 am to 9:30 am on Thursday, April 3, at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Avenue in Dayton. The free, no-obligation networking event is open to all entrepreneurs, business managers and sales professionals in the Dayton/Miami Valley region.

The Greater Dayton Professionals BNI Chapter is one of the oldest of 23 in the Miami Valley region, having been established early in 1999. Founded in 1985 by professional networking guru Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI has more than 6,400 chapters world-wide.  According to the leadership team of the Greater Dayton Professionals chapter, BNI’s purpose is to help members create a wide-reaching, profitable referral network free of internal competition, something unavailable from chamber organizations or service clubs.

Along with the open networking opportunity, each participant will have the chance to introduce themselves to the group and give a one-minute sales presentation. Many of the Greater Dayton Professionals BNI members will feature table displays and there will be a special presentation on referral-based marketing by BNI Executive Director Darrel Bender.

Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter Vice President and Public Relations Coordinator, Gery L. Deer.

Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter Vice President and Public Relations Coordinator, Gery L. Deer.

Gery L. Deer, of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing, is the vice president and public relations coordinator for the chapter. “We are interested in meeting highly motivated, professional business leaders who want to increase their sales as much as 30-percent from referral marketing,” Deer says.

“This event provides our visitors with the opportunity to observe the process first-hand and see the success achieved by our members.” He also added that in 2013, his chapter members passed between them nearly a half-million dollars in closed business and just under $100,000 since January 1st of this year.

Using the organizational philosophy called “Givers Gain” members trade in fully-qualified, outside referrals rather than open-ended, unchecked leads. “In order to pass a referral to another member of our chapter, the giver is required to have already communicated with the subject beforehand,” Deer explains. “Qualifying the referral in this way before passing it, rather than giving random leads is what separates BNI from other organizations and nearly assures a closed sale.”

At present, the Greater Dayton Professionals BNI Chapter is looking for applicants to fill a host of classifications including electrician, printer, banker, health insurance provider, property title agency and more.  Visitors to the chapter are encouraged to bring plenty of business cards and invite others to accompany them to the event.

A brief visitor orientation will be held immediately following the business meeting. For more information go online to http://www.greaterdaytonpros.com or contact chapter public relations coordinator, Gery L. Deer, at (937) 902-4857 or email gdeer@gldenterprises.net.

But Wait, There’s More, on a Smartphone Near You

In Business, Media, Opinion, Uncategorized on March 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

From the DIH Archives. Originally published, April 24, 2012.

dih-logo-SEAccording to a recent survey by CBS News, there are more than 4.6 billion cell phones in the world and the potential for perspective mobile marketing is virtually unlimited. Experts believe that soon mobile marketing will likely become the most influential advertising medium of all time, surpassing even television.

Mobile marketing utilizes the data capabilities of smart phones, tablets and other portable devices as advertising media. The concept originated around 1999 with subscription-based text messaging services that were free to the customer but paid for by sponsors.

Since then, mobile ads have blossomed from short text message blasts to detailed ads, complete with video and sound, sent directly to the smart phones and tablets of buyers when they are closest to shelling out their cash. Sometimes the ads reach potential customers while they are standing in front of the product display in the store. Many ads encourage the viewer to scan the 2-D, block barcode in order to take advantage of special offers.

Sometimes, it can take decades for a new process like this to catch on, often failing on the drawing board. But, with the feverish demand for more and better mobile technology, the field has advanced from in novelty to practical application in only a few short years. Improvements on quality, signal, delivery and service by wireless integrators has only served to increase the response by the consumer to buy more and better smartphones and tablets.

The more devices there are in the hands of the users, the more advertising opportunities exist for business. Some estimates suggest by 2015, more than $163 billion of worldwide sales will come as a result of mobile advertising, in part because of the potential pinpoint accuracy of customer targeting.

It may seem as if advertisers are the only beneficiaries of mobile marketing, but that’s not the case. Consumers are in a unique position today to save money on products and services that they are likely to buy anyway. Often mobile advertising offers on-the-spot, and in some cases exclusive, savings directly through a smart phones – the modern equivalent of an in-store coupon.

Mail order online shopping may also be irrevocably changed by the mobile revolution. Consumers can get an ad for an item on their smart phone, touch the screen a few times, and the product is on its way to their home; quick, easy, and effortless.

For retailers, the advantage is being able to reach a more direct market, giving them more for the dollars spent. But that doesn’t mean it is cheap.

Continuous innovations in technology will require sellers to spend millions more every year just to keep up with the competition. As each company strives to outdo the others, those innovations will grow exponentially to meet the demand and the consumer will be hit broadside with an onslaught of ads on everything from cell phones to blue tooth headsets.

Even in the grocery store, we are bombarded with digital messages!

Even in the grocery store, we are bombarded with digital messages!

Avoiding such a barrage of mobile ads may be near to impossible but the best way seems to be by opting out of every possible source of marketing. For example, free applications (aps) for cell phones and tablets often require the user to be subjected to advertising – that’s how the providers pay for the free ap. Users need to carefully read each screen as the product is installed and used for the first time. Often additional options for the receipt of special offers can be declined only at that time. Once a marketing ap has entrenched itself in your mobile device, there may be no way to remove it.

As an ever increasing number of ads light up the screens of smartphones and tablets, at some point the buying public will begin tuning them out and, indeed, insisting they stop. At present, though, advertisers have their feet firmly planted in the trenches of mobile marketing and they’re not likely to change their tactics anytime soon.

Voters can’t handle the truth

In Business, Economy, Education, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, State News, Uncategorized on October 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

Politicians distort the truth and exaggerate facts to elicit effect from an audience. All of them do it. The idea of any candidate being open and honest is not only unbelievable, but would likely bring the American political system to a dead stop.

No one is going to be completely honest and the determination of whether a politician is lying is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately die-hard fans of a particular candidate will insist that it’s only the opponent who lies. The hard, cold truth is, they all “lie.”

In the Star Wars film series, mentor Obi Wan Kenobi warns Luke Skywalker that many of the truths we cling to in life depend greatly on our point of view. Nowhere is that a more appropriate statement than in the political ring.

Often, distortion of the facts is an effort to cover uncertainty or a lack of knowledge. No one could possibly provide an answer to every problem and, rather than appear weak or uninformed, a candidate has prepared a neutral response to counter his or her lack of a solution. Voters should learn to read between the lines and determine whether this behavior is a character flaw or the nature of the job.

Sometimes a candidate, in a moment of either clarity or misstep, will betray his or her thoughts. Mitt Romney’s off-the-cuff remarks about the 47-percent of people who will vote for Obama because of the president’s predilection for endorsing entitlement programs is a perfect example of what can happen when a candidate’s true thoughts come to light.

Political candidates are under intense, constant scrutiny. Every word, every step, every mispronounced name can affect their overall image and subsequent performance in polling. Even misspeaking can be inferred as a lie and bring a campaign crashing down at any moment.

No matter how carefully words and phrases are chosen, however, they can still be used out of context to paint a candidate with a single brush stroke. Generally referred to as “sound bites,” the act of hacking up entire speeches into 30-second snippets has become far too common and can lead the listening public to the wrong conclusions.

Along the same concept, political advertising should be focused on informing the public about the intentions of the candidate. Instead, the point of these messages is to tear down the other guy, discrediting the opposition to the point of exclusion. Millions of dollars are poured into these ads just so each campaign can go back and forth on television, radio and on the Internet, just trying to counter the latest round of jabs from the other side.

Print or broadcast, generally the ads follow a simple pattern. One candidate takes a stab at the opponent’s position on something which is then answered from the other side with an accusation of lying about it, followed by some kind of weak rebuttal. But who is actually lying? Once again, that may depend on a point of view.

Developing and keeping on track a strong platform is tough for a political operative in today’s 2-minute news cycle. Since the American voter tends to go on hearsay and emotional preference rather than fact, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a consistent message. Much of the time is spent on damage control, like the president is doing now after his lackluster performance in the first debate.

Still, whether or not a politician lies is almost irrelevant to the modern voter. Americans seem to be more interested in trivial issues than the larger picture, proven by how easily they are distracted from more important problems by garbage issues. One man’s garbage, however, is another man’s treasure; so once again, it’s back to the pesky point of view.

One thing is for certain – all politicians lie. Voters just need to come to terms with how much of that really matters and learn how to separate the facts from the rhetoric.

 

People Treat You Like The Clothes You Wear

In Business, Economy, Entertainment, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, television, Uncategorized on September 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

DEER IN HEADLINES

By Gery L. Deer

How do you think people see You?

From the earliest of ages most people are taught not to judge the proverbial book by its cover. But, contrary to that advice, we all tend to treat people like the clothes they wear, even though we only see what they show us.

Each of us is judged every day by our friends, employers, customers, even those on the street who we don’t know. We are judged because of height, weight, hair color, skin color, clothes, shoes, the car we drive, what kind of dog we have and, especially during this election season, our political views.

Sometimes these assessments are socially motivated. If you are active in a particular political, social or economic circle, your sociopolitical survival may dependent solely on the perceptions of others. Your clothing, how you walk, how you speak and even the color of your eyes can affect whether people accept you into their clique.

Still, while most of us avoid calling such critical attention to ourselves, some people crave it or are naturally argumentative, choosing instead to invite a challenge to their choices. When you put a bumper sticker on your car or dye your hair blue, for example, the purpose for doing so couldn’t be clearer – you are trying to get a reaction from people.

Naturally, someone is reading this saying, “No, that’s wrong! I’m exercising my freedom of expression.” A valid point; but we express things so that people will hear us, otherwise why bother? So again, whatever the motivation, you’re seeking the attention and someone will be judging you for it.

Now, in an era of high-tech surveillance, even more people are watching and judging us. For those who actually thrive on such attention, reality television has set an unprecedented tone of exposing the worst in people.

Exposure seems to be the operative word here, with TV shows that exploit virtually anyone all in the name of ratings. Cable television, once dedicated to entertainment and news, now specializes in parading before us a sideshow that would have embarrassed even the likes of P.T. Barnum.

From little people and hyper-religious families with dozens of children to hog-hunting hill folk and spray-tanned uber-rich housewives, producers jockey for best train wreck for prime time. Why? Networks are raking in the advertising cash by feeding on the voyeuristic, excessively judgmental nature of the American public.

People think it’s fun to watch and criticize those who have willingly thrown themselves out there to be fed upon by the vultures in the viewing audience. All of this comes from our inherent tendency towards prejudice and the underlying critical nature of humanity.

Something worth mentioning is that as I was writing this, I realized I had used the word “judgment” or “judge” more than I normally would in one essay. Reviewing several online thesauruses, I discovered there were no direct synonyms for the word “judgment” when it applies to forming an opinion or condemning someone based on personal opinion. It was the only word that fit. How’s that for a narrow-minded reality?

In the end we’re all judged and we all do the same to others. We might not act on those opinions, but we certainly have them. It’s a fact of society, and always has been. A person in a business suit will likely be treated differently than someone in dirty, torn jeans and a t-shirt. As inaccurate as it might be sometimes, people treat you like the clothes you wear.

Remember also, that all of this depends on your point of view, like the car missing two hubcaps on one side. If the observer is looking at the side of the car where the wheels are still covered, what difference does it make?

 

Jamestown Entrepreneur on Living Dayton, June 7

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Entertainment, Local News, Media, Senior Lifestyle, State News, television on June 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

DAYTON, OH – Jamestown, Ohio writer, entrepreneur Gery L. Deer of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing will be the guest expert on the business segment of WDTN-TV, Channel 2, daytime show Living Dayton, beginning at Noon, on Thursday June 7.

Hosted by Nathalie Basha and Zuri Hall, Living Dayton is a live, one-hour lifestyle talk show featuring a variety of news and entertainment information from around the Miami Valley. The show premiered in February of 2012, replacing the noon-hour news program on Channel 2.

Best known locally for his work as a freelance columnist and author of the weekly opinion/editorial series, Deer In Headlines, Deer’s entrepreneurial career started in 1993 when he established one of the area’s first on-site, computer support companies – Deer Computer Consulting.

“This month on Living Dayton we’ll be talking about branding your small business,” Deer says. “Every business needs to build a brand and identity. Often, small business owners do this in a makeshift fashion and rarely get to a cohesive, marketable brand identity that will attract customers and keep their company sustainable.”

Deer’s firm, GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing provides concierge (on-demand) freelance business writing, public relations and marketing consulting services. In addition to working with small business, the company also provides marketing and publicity assistance to independent, self-published authors. The small business segment featuring Deer as guest expert will air on the first Thursday of each month. For more information go online to www.gerydeer.com or visit the Living Dayton page atWDTN.com.

Greater Dayton Professionals BNI to Hold Visitors Day April 5

In Business, Economy, Local News, Media, Uncategorized on March 26, 2012 at 11:19 am

Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter of BNI welcomes visitors from the Miami Valley April 5.

BEAVERCREEK – The Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter of Business Network International (BNI) will hold a special Visitor’s Day beginning at 7:30 a.m., Thursday April 5, 2012 at the City Barbeque Restaurant, 2330 N. Fairfield Rd. in Beavercreek. There is no cost or obligation and the event is open to all local business professionals.

Founded in 1985 by professional networking guru Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI now has more than 6,000 chapters worldwide. The goal of organization is to help members network with one-another on a level that is not possible in chamber organizations or service clubs.

In the BNI strategy, each member tries to learn as much as possible about the others to the extent that they can give an informed recommendation to potential clients. Direct, qualified referrals like these generate a greater closed business rate and provide more success for each individual. Over the past 5 years, BNI members around the world have referred more than $11 billion in closed business to other members.

The Greater Dayton Professionals (GDP) Chapter is one of the longest running BNI groups in the Miami Valley area. In 2011, reported $1.3 million in closed business through referral marketing within the group.

Long time GDP chapter member, Gery L. Deer, of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing, is part of the group’s membership committee. “The BNI process is well defined and we have a great leadership team,” Deer said. “I first started with BNI in 1998, in this same chapter. It’s great to be part of a group of professionals who not only promote but practice a mutually beneficial philosophy.”

The Dayton/Miami Valley Region of BNI (Business Network International) was recently rated #1 in the world according to Traffic Lights Report. According to Jim Weghorst, the Executive Director of BNI’s Dayton/Miami Valley Region, the ranking was achieved four consecutive months; July, August, September and October of 2011 among 440 BNI regions in 48 countries. In addition, the Dayton/Miami Valley Region was recognized for being a top ten region, worldwide, for the entire 2011 fiscal year.

Through the BNI structure, a network of professional connections can grow well beyond the core group and extend the reach of a small business to unrealized potential customers. The organization is intended for entrepreneurs and sales professionals in all types of businesses from plumbers and photographers to landscapers and attorneys.

During the event, Executive Director Jim Weghorst and Assistant Director Sheryl Wagner will provide a presentation introducing visitors to BNI’s word of mouth method of marketing. For more information or to make a reservation for Visitor’s Day, please call chapter president Don Sword at (937) 426-2886. Visitors are encouraged to bring plenty of business cards and be prepared to stay after the meeting for a short follow-up. To learn more about BNI, go online to http://www.bni-ohio.com.