Managing Personal Worth Deflation

Most of us understand that asset values go up as the value of the dollar and your buying power go down due to inflation (I bought a $1.20 standard size candy bar today), but what about your personal worth and why do Americans keep losing jobs?Personal-Worth

There is a lot of conversation lately about the economy, unemployment and jobs as well as who should provide them and who should get them. One statistic you should understand is the employment ratio of Americans from age 15-64 years old which was 66.7% as of 2010.

That means 33.3% unemployment. This does not account for stay at home parents, students and early retirees who do not wish to be employed. However, The numbers do tell us that we should feel blessed to be part of the “haves” with gainful employment.
104 million people are unemployed!

I want you to think about your personal worth as businesses and employers all over the globe struggle to keep doors open in this bankrupt economy. What are you doing to make sure you stay employed in your lifetime? What makes you different than the 33.3% unemployed people that don’t have jobs?

Let’s compare business competition for sales to your personal competition for jobs.

A business owner has two paths to choose to sustain business. The most common method (the most dangerous) revolves around trying to be low-cost leaders for easier sales. In this method they usually hire the cheapest employees to create a profit at the lowest prices with this undertrained and under-appreciated workforce. They then attempt to copy what their competitors are doing long after they are doing it for as cheap as possible since tiny profit margins don’t afford you to lead at anything.

This is service and value deflation, you are behind your competition and worth less than those around you. This could easily describe the personal struggle for good paying jobs or the struggle for businesses to remain relevant and profitable.

In the personal-worth world (as a person), if you follow this model you will never create personal wealth because you quit creating personal worth. Businesses go broke everyday using this model too when just a small drop in the business cycle sends them to bankruptcy.

People lose their jobs everyday because they quit learning new skills and fail to increase their value to employers including the one they currently depend on. They become a labor commodity and they are easily replaced with cheaper labor or someone more eager to work and/or more skilled.

The other path for businesses is to increase value to their clients every year with new services, new products, unique programs and ways to help customers make money when they use your company. This is service and value inflation. This is where we inflate the worth of our services by increasing the value of those services to our clients. This is positive for all parties involved. It helps a business keep up with inflation, it provides an R&D budget for new products, helps your clients make more money and helps them inflate their values and worth to their clients as well.

What is your personal business model?
You compete in the marketplace for jobs and wages, what are you doing to increase your worth?
Are you unknowingly becoming a lowest wage commodity by not increasing your worth each year?

You are in a very weak position if you ever come to your employer for a “cost of living increase”. This means you are doing so little to better yourself that you are hoping your employer will give you more money for the exact same skills you had last year. You are asking for more money to offset your rising expenses in your personal world even though you have never invested in yourself or increased your skills, your offerings to your employer or your worth. You are not actively managing your personal worth.

Just think about those 33.3% unemployment rate. Those are college grads, ex-military men and women, machine operators, graphic artists, sales people and managers all looking for work just like what you have. How are you worth more than they are if they have skills a business can use and you are on personal-skill-cruise control?

As your value declines due to lack of growth (deflation), everyone else’s ongoing improvement makes them much more valuable (inflation) than you are. Who would get cut first if it came down to cutbacks and layoffs? This is how people lose jobs. They lose value (deflation) compared to those around them and they are pulling down the entire team by being the weakest part of the team. You need to help the team and yourself by getting better with new skills, knowledge and experience.

Even as a business owner I take new classes every year. I study and create new technology on my own time. I come up with ways to help clients save or make money without reducing our costs. I study the competition, I study industry trends and I do everything I can to stay ahead of my competition. That is what it takes to survive as a business.

Do you forget about work after 5pm or do you study and learn tricks and trends that make you more competitive in the workplace? Do you create value for your employer and yourself in a win win situation and inflate your skills and worth? Maybe you are unknowingly on skill-stand-still and will one day be worthless to any high paying employer. It’s worth your time to understand the difference.

It’s up to you to judge your personal growth and long-term goals but if you are not a valued leg of your company team you may want to rethink your long-term job prospects and the 104 million people that are looking for a job just like yours. Businesses are all looking for growth oriented employees and the win-win partnership of a truly growing and expanding skill set. Alternately, the skill-stand-still team are the first ones to get cut in a business down cycle. Don’t let that be you.

In the ultimate example of personal worth deflation (with no disrespect intended) the average Wal Mart greeter was once a very popular employee in the workforce that just let their skill set devalue against the rest of the population until they had no real value in the common workforce. We all joke about not wanting to end up there, but in all seriousness don’t let society required skill growth pass you by.

Here are some things you should ALL know by now:

  • MS Office
  • Blogging
  • Company Products
  • Customer Service
  • Twitter
  • Calendar Management
  • SQL
  • Smart phones
  • Online banking
  • email setup
  • online research
  • Linkedin
  • HTML
  • posting pictures
  • online security
  • virus avoidance

These are all skills needed to just get caught up with the rest of the workforce. To get ahead you should take classes related to your employment every year the rest of your working life. Step up your game folks. Survival of the fittest is a law of nature that you should not be ignoring.

Direct Mail Trained Professional Certificates

Mail Value ProfessionalSerious direct mail professionals continue to learn everything they can about the past, present and future of direct mail.

The team at CSG Direct Mail takes our profession seriously.  We are not a printer ‘that mails too’. We are the prime example of direct mail professionals ‘that print too’.

We are professional direct mail trainers, equipment specialists, barcode nerds, and database marketing wizards. Nobody has the direct mail innovations that we continue to create here at CSG Direct Mail.

We are The Greatest Value in Direct Mail,
and proudly support our community.

Preparing Your Variable Mapping Mailpiece

Are you ready to use variable maps on your mailpiece to give your customers directions to your business? Great! Let’s learn how to set it all up to make it work!

DESIGN AND SPECS
Your first step is deciding exactly what you want your mailing to look like and getting CSG Direct Mail your information so we can output your maps.

1) Design your mailpiece and decide where your map will be placed

Design your mailpiece

Design your mailpiece

2) Measure your map area and send us the dimensions of the map area in inches or pixels

3) Choose your markers using the pdf provided below and send us the codes for both the START and END makers you would like
DOWNLOAD MapQuestMarkers

4) Provide us with your database and tell us what locations you’d like for START and END

5) We will create your variable maps

 

PULLING IT TOGETHER
If we are doing your mailing, you’re done!
All you need to do at this point is send us your artwork and we’ll take care of everything else!

If we are providing you with maps and you are doing your own mail outputs, follow the instructions below for variable output in InDesign.

1) Set up your file in InDesign, and link to your database using your variable program

2) Define and assign  your variable area however your program requires it

3) Place/link your map

4) At this point you will need to make sure that your map is scaled correctly for your variable area

Use the fitting command to do this

 

5) Once you have it looking the way you like, you can do your mail output

 

That’s all there is to it!


Raving's 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference Day 1

Raving's 14th Annual Indian Gaming conferenceWe drove 4.5 hours from Las Vegas to Rancho Mirage, California today to get set up at the Raving’s 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference.  It was a crazy drive through 29 Palms but I trusted my GPS! We’re just getting setup today so there will be more to talk about tomorrow.  Here is the sign from the registration table.

Agua Caliente is the host property for this event. This is my first visit to Agua Caliente. It is a beautiful property.  It reminds me of a mix between Thunder Valley Resort and Redhawk Resort in Nor Cal or possibly Red Rock in LasVegas.

We got our booth set up and met with everyone, but for the night I will be working at my mobile office in my room (below). The rooms are fricken’ sweet!

My Room Workspace

These are cell-phone pics. I will have much better photos for my next update.

Tomorrow I lead a workshop on personalized direct mail and variable graphics and themes.

Very exciting!

Raving Consulting tells its fans about 21% response rate from QR code direct mail campagin

Raving Flash. Late Breaking News, Compelling Ideas, Just Plain Good Stuff for the Gaming Industry!

We never think of marketing as a 1-touch experience so we did our Christmas mailing as a 5-Touch Campaign. 5 easy touches created better results fast! This program was creative, inexpensive and easy to execute. In the past this kind of campaign was intimidating for most people. But now you can enjoy the giant response rates and stay within your budget too.

Read the original article here.

CSG Direct Mail has over two decades in variable data printing, casino direct mail, variable direct mail maps, US Mail Tracking, randomization, personalized emails, personalized websites, QR codes and much more.

For more information about Raving Consulting call 775-329-7864.
To learn more about CSG Direct Mail visit the CSG direct mail website.

Modern Casino Direct Mail Personalization Workshops

CSG Direct Mail CEO, Michael Hemphill; is teaching modern casino direct mail personalization workshops at Raving’s 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference January 30th – February 1st, 2012.

Modern Casino Direct Mail PersonalizationLearn modern personalization secrets from a variable data casino industry veteran. Learn how to create much higher response casino direct mail programs.

Michael Hemphill leads a hands-on variable data printing casino direct mail workshop at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa,
in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Learn modern Casino Direct Mail personalization secrets at the 14th Annual Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference. Variable printing pro Michael Hemphill will show you how to make an offer more appealing to each guest individually creating a much higher response program.

Michael Hemphill brings decades of experience in results driven casino direct mail marketing to teach how to use available data to personalize the guests’ perception of a casino.

Learn the secrets to high response modern casino direct mail marketing.

Participants in this hands-on workshop will brainstorm creative opportunities for personalizing their direct mail, email and text message communications driven by data available to them through their player tracking systems.

By the end of this one-hour session, attendees will have learned easy, medium and difficult variables in personalization that can increase direct mail responses in their current campaigns and drive more bang for their marketing buck. They will learn how to easily be more relevant to your guests’ specific tastes and purchasing style.

If you don’t know enough about them to truly personalize and get better results, you can append tons of additional consumer data from known purchase data. You can personalize your direct marketing using all kinds of personal interest information, home and family structure, gaming preferences, shopping habits and wealth.

Variable direct mail marketing is one of the most powerful mediums of our times. However, most people who sell this to their clients aren’t really doing variable printing. Mail merge and fancy fonts is not variable personalized printing.

The largest benefit from modern personalization (besides higher response rates) is that each person in your database feels like your property is their favorite venue. It appears that your product is exactly what they are looking for. Every player gets a unique experience that feels most comfortable to them and you get a greater share of their annual gaming budget.

CSG Direct Mail has over two decades in variable data printing, casino direct mail, variable direct mail maps, US Mail Tracking, randomization, personalized emails, personalized websites, QR codes and much more.

For more information about the conference call Raving Consulting at 775-329-7864.
To learn more about casino direct mail visit the CSG direct mail website.

Casino Direct Mail Client Testimonial

We love our clients and we are blessed that they love us too.
Here is a note from one of our clients.

I’ve worked with CSG Direct for many years, and they are absolutely the best mail partner a casino could hope for. They are innovative Leaders at what they do and a friendly hard working company as well. Not just a vendor but a true Casino Partner. They know a good part of the casino marketing side so it helps to have this company on your side when it comes to making decisions about what types of mailings will work best.

Randy Tidwell
Database Marketing Manager
Silver Legacy Resort Casino

Casino Direct Mail Client Testimonial

We love our clients and we are blessed that they love us too.
Here is a note from one of our clients.

CSG Direct is so easy to work with.  They just know how the casino business works and “they get it”. In my 15 years of working with CSG, they have never made a mistake or missed a deadline!
Lisa Rahme
Director of Marketing
Gold Dust West Reno

Casino Direct Mail Client Testimonial

We love our clients and we are blessed that they love us too.
Here is a note from one of our clients.

CSG makes me successful and our company shines because of their diligence. Nothing goes out to our players unless it is perfect.  I love CSG Direct!
Jeri St. Onge
Database Direct Mail Manager
Tropicana Laughlin

21% Direct Mail Response Rate

Digital Personalized Christmas Cards

Personalized Christmas Card Campaign

There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing the light bulbs come on when I teach people how to use player databases to personalize the players direct mail experience. Personalization is not about using your customer names in the art anymore, that isn’t the secret sauce.

Instead of “telling you” about personalization I am going to show you how. You’re about to learn how to personalize the content of your direct marketing to get better results on your next mailing. I have a great example of a mailing that many of you got to play with recently.

Our personalized Christmas card program got a 21% response rate.
Sharing the details of our own database marketing efforts is the best way to share some of our better ideas. It’s a behind the scenes look at a high response campaign you’ll get ideas from.

Campaign Layers make it fun and effective
We never think of marketing as a 1-touch experience so we did our Christmas mailing as a 5-Touch Campaign. 5 easy touches created better results fast so lets walk through them.

Personalized outgoing campaign touch 1

Touch 1: They received a personalized Christmas card with multiple fascinating components worth sharing with co-workers for greater brand sharing and interaction. This included variable maps from Santas house to show how Santa would travel to deliver gifts to you. It also included a personalized message and a personalized QR code embedded with customer# that was scanned to get a gift.

We also created variable outside envelopes to personalize and localize the message from our closest facility.  Customers nearest to our Las Vegas direct mail plant received their mailer from our Las Vegas plant for example. Variable envelopes are very effective and a huge upgrade on traditional ‘static’ direct mail envelope mailings.

Try the Mobile Site here

Touch 2: is our clients interaction with the personalized card and their smartphone. 21% of our recipients scanned these barcodes with their phones so don’t underestimate the smartphone evolution. The personalized QR Code (a working sample to the right) was used to drive a personalized mini-site. We built the QR Code so that no log-in is required and we could track who is using the program. There is a hundred uses for these barcodes when tied to mobile mini-sites.

High Response Direct Mail Mobile Site

Direct Mail Mobile Site

Touch 3: was a personalized mobile-website driven with auto-login we built into the QR Code in Touch#2. These really are easy to make and there is no end to the automated tasks that can be triggered by these small but powerful mini-sites. Our mini site was a Christmas question to see if you were naughty or nice. Your response drove a variable gift card held by Santa on your cell phone.  This was very cool as we watched the live tracking behind the scenes as entire marketing teams were playing with this and sharing it with co-workers. Gifts were tiered and variable.

Database drives personalization

The database varied gifts and triggered campaign steps

Touch 4: was triggered by the live program database to send a timed text-only personalized email. We integrated our normal corporate email footer and personalized message from your favorite member of our staff congratulating you for winning something in our Christmas program. I love this part for many reasons; it plays to our service brand and engages the customer with their CSG rep in a positive way. (a real behind-the-scenes tour)

Final Direct Mail Campaign Touch

Final Direct Mail Campaign Touch

Touch 5: was the final campaign step where gifts cards were sent out each day triggered by the database. We designed a gift card mailer for delivery of Santas gift card. The primary mailer and the followup mailer were designed together and the second mailing was triggered for immediate response to the first mailer. This easy step is not done enough these days.

That was easy and fun!
This program was creative, inexpensive and easy to execute. In the past this kind of campaign was intimidating for most people. But now you can enjoy the giant response rates and stay within your budget too.