Marketing Your Way Across The World

Greece1

Not Georgia but Greece in Mykenos

Hi, I hope you and your family had a great summer. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Fall! Here in Atlanta we still have some heat but it’s starting to finally cool down at night. Hayrides, pumpkins and apple cider are here! North Georgia is simply a delight in the Fall with college football dominating the scene.

So it’s an odd contrast to talk about traveling overseas for this article, but I needed to continue this thread while it’s fresh on my mind. As I mentioned last month, my wife and I were blessed to visit Italy for our 24th anniversary trip over the summer. We were also able to take a short cruise to Croatia and Greece on the same trip.

What is the tie to “marketing” you might ask? Well, first of all I wanted to reiterate that 10 years ago we would never have been able to even afford this kind of trip. The ONE THING that has made the most difference in Torrid over the last 10 years is a focus on “marketing”.

Over the last 10 years I have been studying marketing, learning from marketing gurus, reading books, attending marketing conferences, trying new marketing methods and generally taking the job of “marketing” seriously. Something I knew little about and didn’t realize how important it was until I saw the “results” slowly producing fruit.

For financial advisors, you got into the business probably because you like people, or are good with finances. You are a technician and can operate your financial practice just fine. But without a consistent focus on “marketing”, you just can’t grow your practice fast enough.

Croatia

Along the Waterfront in Split Croatia

More and better marketing is what has allowed my wife and I to take the trip this summer to Italy and Greece. It was the “key” to make that happen. Without the marketing, the growth in our customer base and revenue would not be occurring. This allowed us the freedom and the financial resources to take the trip.

Now onto the trip so you can live vicariously for the duration of this article… Our first cruise stop was Split, Croatia – a place I never thought we’d visit in a million years. This city was a delight. Imagine stone streets and historic buildings facing a clean harbor surrounded by flowering plants and glorious mountains. Roman ruins, walls and towers gave a unique character to an easily walkable “town”. The food and wine were worth the visit.

Santorini Church

The Blue Domes are Churches in Santorini

Our first port in Greece was the scenic Santorini. We booked a bus tour to get a feel for the island. The views from everywhere were spectacular. Part of the tour we walked up to the top of a town to see houses and blue domed churches up close. Afterwards we took a taxi to a beach and enjoyed the seafood while relaxing by the ocean.

The next day we were in Mykonos. Wanting to avoid the crowds we shied away from the ship excursions and instead took a taxi to a nearby beach that the driver recommended. We set up at Atlantis hotel and beach with chairs and umbrellas. The water was crystal clear. The seafood once again delicious. Without all that “marketing stuff” we would never have been there.

After a day at sea we then visited Katakolon. I know we stopped here so people could visit the ruins of Olympia. We just weren’t interested in it and instead took an excursion bus to a beach. Unfortunately the beach wasn’t that great and was crawling with people selling stuff which made it hard to relax. Our intuition in Mykonos to take a taxi off the beaten path would have been best repeated here.Tim&MelissaGreece

When we were getting married in 1991, Greece was our dream honeymoon. Due to the Gulf War breaking out we couldn’t go, and instead had a wonderful trip to France. So it had been a long time dream to finally make it to Greece. We were so glad we were blessed with this chance. Santorini was certainly the jewel of this leg of our trip.

Do you have a place that you’ve dreamed of going? What plans have you put in place to get there? Spending time focused on your “marketing” to grow your practice should be at the top of your “to do” list…you will be well rewarded for your efforts.

FeastFromTheSea

Seafood ah the Seafood!

GreecianSunset

Sunset leaving Santorini

AtSea

Sailing around the Greek islands

BeautifulWater

Can you believe the color of Blue?

Greek Seafood

Love the seafood!

SplitCroatia

Diocletian’s walls in Split Croatia

ClearWater

You can see your feet in the water

Coastline

Taking the cable car slide down from Santorini

Ships

Greek sailing ships with island backdrop… up for sailing anyone?

Seaside

Relaxing at the beach in Mykenos

CoastalScene    IslandBeauty  SantoriniChurch2 Seaside2

How Do You Stay Excited About Your Job?

Pre-season football is all about motivation. The second and third-string players might have one shot to prove their worth. If they don’t, the consequences can be ruthless and rapid.

Entrepreneurs might sometimes wish motivation was that simple.

How do you stay engaged when

  • your plays fail,
  • your team is losing, or
  • the game is boring?

Successful business people have their ways of staying alert on the field.

Writing for Fortune, Julie Smolyansky, CEO and president of Lifeway Foods, recommends checking up on competitors to see what others are doing. This review may give you the competitive spark you need to crank up your game.

Lee Polevoi, writing for Intuit, advises business owners to find their original entrepreneurial spark. What was originally the source of your inspiration and vision? Reconnect.

Most writers on motivation talk about goal setting. Write precise goals. Don’t let negative thoughts get in your way. Set future goals now.

Many entrepreneurs had already set a goal when they created the original business plan. If you have one of these plans, it might be time to review it. According to evancarmichael.com, start-ups are 90 percent likely to survive the first 18 months of business if they’ve written a business plan.

Many things might have changed since your original business plan, but it was once your playbook. Imagine you are a startup trying to outline your vision, attract investors and draw up a new game play for the next year or 10 years. Maybe writing a new business plan today can help you clarify your motivation.

Finally, if you wonder about how your business is really doing, talk to customers. Find out how you have helped them and how you could do better. Then do it.

August/September Newsletter for Advisors

August FA Newsletter

Who’s Up For A Disney Cruise?

Disney

What does that name mean to you? Mickey Mouse?  Trips to Disney World?   Animated films?  I could write a long list of Disney characters, themes, and movies, but I wanted to share with you another aspect of Disney – some of the business lessons you can learn from Disney.  First, Disney is known for its great attention to small details.  It is reported that even Walt himself would pick up a piece of trash if he noticed it in one of the parks.  Having been to the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom in Orlando, I can certainly vouch for how clean the place is.  Now the crowds that’s another matter.

I was blessed to take my wife and two youngest boys on a Disney Cruise this past Spring Break.  The cruise line continues Disney’s reputation for handling small details and having great customer service.  We had been on a Disney Cruise before but this time I noticed some of the signs on the ship.  I have included pictures of a couple below.  These could be very generic “Hamburger Grill” like signs. But notice they incorporate their branding.  They incorporate a character.  They make a dumb old sign look almost fun.

Do you ever think “luxury” when you think of Disney?  We didn’t splurge on a fancy room, but we did sign up to use what they call the “Rainforest Room” in the spa.  You can go there and use the sauna, steam room, and various Rainforest showers.  You then can relax on hot stone lounges while looking out at the ocean by two hot tubs.  They claimed they only sold approximately 37 of these, which I found  hard to believe until we were actually there and rarely saw anyone using it.  In business, this package is called an “upsell”-something additional you can offer already captive customers.

Another upsell occurs if you want to dine in the fancy “Pollo’s” Italian restaurant.  You have to pay an extra fee to do that, and once there you are offered additional upsells of wine as well as an optional tasting menu. The food at the restaurant was pretty incredible considering we were on a cruise ship!

The cruise line stops at Disney’s own private island called “Castaway Cay” off the Bahamas.  You can take snorkeling trips, enjoy the beach, and generally relax along with 5000 of your closest friends from the ship.  Since our teenage boys were in their own group, my wife and I headed for the “grown-ups beach” where you can totally relax without any of the crowds.  The people working the ship and the island were all so friendly, prompt, and eager to please, including my new best friend – Jack Sparrow.

We did have a snafu with our snorkeling trip.  We were scheduled to go snorkeling in the morning so we could relax for the rest of the day, but our trip time was cancelled.  They rebooked us for the afternoon but it just turned our day upside down.  Due of the new order of things and we lost an extra hour at the beach.  However, the Disney people knew of the trouble this had caused and sent a package of snacks and a bottle of wine to our room because of the inconvenience it caused us.

I could write a much longer piece about Disney, but for now I just wanted to share a few nuggets. 

  • In your business, pay attention to the details. Have your people do the same. Offer luxury upgrades and upsells when you can.
  • Incorporate your branding in fun and creative ways.
  • And if you ever have a “client snafu” consider a small note or gift to make up for it.

By Tim Turner- CEO of Torrid Technologies

World of Coke and Ideas for Business

by Tim Turner

When friends or family visit us in Atlanta, we often take them to tourist sites like the aquarium, a Braves game or the World of Coke museum. A few weeks ago I went yet again to the World of Coke. Having been there many times, I decided to take a few pictures to prevent boredom.Bottles

Luckily Coca-Cola is way ahead of me and had changed out their introductory “movie”. It was quite interesting and totally geared towards their global reach and message. It was all about people and how they live and how Coke is a part of their lives. We walked out feeling upbeat and feeling good about the Coke brand and its impact on the world.

After that, we ended up in the area where they talk about how Coca-Cola grew as a business. The initial early history started when Asa Candler bought the company from the man who invented Coke – John Pemberton. So Asa Candler is to John Pemberton what Ray Kroc was to the McDonald’s brothers. He saw the bigger picture and bought the entire company.

Why did he buy it? He loved the taste so much he just bought the company. He knew it could be a big success and he knew he could vastly improve the company through better “marketing”.

If you can see the picture to the right, it talks about how Asa bought the company and began many “marketing activities”. One of his top ideas was to use the logo on every day items, constantly reminding people of the Coke brand.

One exhibit had you looking for the Coke logo in historical pictures of various towns and streets. The logo was on signs, on buildings, on vehicles, and on billboards. And these were really old black and white photos in a lot of cases. As a small business owner, we can’t possibly get our logos everywhere, nor would that help.  We need to focus on things other than “branding”.

Asa the marketing genius also used the idea of sampling to get people to taste Coke. The idea being that once they tasted it they would then want to continue drinking it. Is there a way you can use “sampling” in your business to offer something free or something small to get people to get a “taste” of what you do? Could you give people a taste using a free report, free videos, free webinars, or free consultations? If you sell a service, could you offer some small service for free?

This other plaque talks about the “Path to Innovation”.  It mentions that a lot of trial and error is required. In marketing this is also true.  You have to try a bunch of things until you find what works for you. Too many of us in business try something as a one shot attempt and conclude “it doesn’t work”. The reality is we need to revise and try again. We need to tweak the copy and try again. We need to target a different group and try again. Success is not a one shot deal. Yes feel free to quote me on that.

One of the plaques in the Coke museum talks about the number one key to their massive global growth of Coca-Cola and that is through franchising. They franchised the bottling rights which allowed them to partner with local companies who would be their feet on the pavement stocking, shipping, and selling the product in their areas to everyone’s mutual benefit.

Is there some way that you can use some type of franchising to spread your influence? Can you sell some type of system as an “area exclusive” opportunity? Maybe it is a marketing system to others like you in your industry but in non-competing areas. Maybe you use joint ventures to work with others to bring you mutually beneficial business.

Coke is a global brand and a Fortune 500 company with massive popularity over a long time period. They are an 800lb. gorilla. But don’t think that you can’t learn from what they have done or what they are doing now. We can all learn from other successful businesses, no matter how large or small.

Successful business people are constantly looking at other’s success and thinking “how can I apply that in my business?” Is there something I can learn from them. Being a lifelong learner will help your business and your bank account in the long run.

And if you are ever in Atlanta, visit the Coke museum for the incredible drink tasting room, and also for gobs of valuable business lessons!

Plaque Marketing Plaque Innovation Coke Machines Coke Fountain Bottles Coke Art Coke Ceiling Coke Chamber

 

Torrid Advisory Solutions Helps RIAs Fight Back Against Pure “Robo-Advisors” by Releasing White Label Advisory Platform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Torrid Advisory Solutions Helps RIAs Fight Back Against Pure “Robo-Advisors” by Releasing White Label Advisory Platform

 

Marietta, GA, November 17, 2014 – Torrid Technologies has thrown its hat into the online advisory platform business competing with large financial companies and others using advanced technology integrated with a competing custodian. It is very clear that the online advisory business is growing and here to stay.

 

The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform competes with pure electronic “Robo-Advisors” by helping existing advisors extend their practices to the “cloud” with ease.  This new “Cloud-Advisor” model  shines a light on the “Robo-Advisor” shortcomings, which are mainly a lack of human interaction and guidance.

 

The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform changes the game for advisors looking to leverage the technologies needed to compete with existing solutions and leap over the competition. The service is immediately available for white labeling by Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and advisory firms.

 

As Tim Turner, CEO of Torrid Technologies shared, “Most robo-advisors are simply low-cost portfolio management solutions that rely totally on computer-based decision making.”  One robo-advisor firm, for example, has gathered over $1 billion in assets since 2012.  Unlike such pure “robo-advisors”, Torrid Advisory Solutions is different because it provides a Financial Advisor or Investment Advisory firm the ability to extend their existing financial practice to the cloud.

Doing business in the cloud shouldn’t represent a reduction in services in order to reduce cost. Torrid Advisory Solutions believes “bringing an Advisor’s business to the cloud” means increasing scalability while increasing efficiency and automation, so that an Advisor can manage a business growing without borders.

 

At the heart of the Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platforms is “video”. Whether it is an Investment Advisor looking to share their portfolio management decisions with investors, or a financial advisor performing a video consultation with a client, integrated video conferencing and video communication makes the cloud feel a little closer. Providing Advisory Services is a consultative business and without integrated video, “Robo-Advisors” are little more than a computer program.

 

Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform is more than just video. It provides automatic

rebalancing and simplified portfolio management all without the advisor having to do anything to make a trade. But the icing on the cake is the robust client communications layer. Client’s will never feel left out in the cold with the real-time notifications of portfolio changes (including video explanations), and any other pertinent information shared by the advisor. Combined with Social Media integration, clients and advisors can participate in discussion threads that reach the masses with personal interactions.

 

The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform competes with pure electronic “Robo-Advisors” by helping existing advisors extend their practices to the “cloud” without much effort. a This new “Cloud-Advisor” model  shines a light on the “Robo-Advisor” shortcomings, which are mainly a lack of human interaction and guidance.

Access a demo and solutions-driven white paper:

www.torridadvisorysolutions.com

 

About:

Torrid Technologies RetirementView software is used by thousands of customers including agents, advisors, planners and brokers This top-rated software for both consumers and financial advisors has been seen and reviewed favorably in Forbes, Barron’s, BusinessWeek, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among many others. Torrid Advisory Solutions is a service of Torrid Technologies, Inc.

A New Opening For Annuities

A New Opening For Annuities

Straight from the IRS:: Under the new IRS guidance, a target date fund may include annuities allowing payments, beginning either immediately after retirement or at a later time, as part of its fixed income investments, even if the funds containing the annuities are limited to employees over a specified age.  The guidance makes clear that plans have the option to offer target date funds that include such annuity contracts either as a default or as a regular investment alternative.

 

The new policy change is another step reflecting the continuing commitment of the Administration to work in a variety of ways to further bolster retirement security and saving.

 

Torrid Tech Explains:  This means that the employer plans have the flexibility to offer the annuity as an option or as a default when employees save into their 401(k) plan.

 

http://blog.insurancenewsnet.com/2014/10/24/new-opening-annuities/#.VFk-2RY_lEs

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

IRS, Treasury Support Annuities Use in 401(k) Plans

IRS, Treasury Support Annuities Use in 401(k) Plans

Straight from the IRS: The new guidance or policy provides plan sponsors an additional option to make it easier for employees to consider using lifetime income.  Instead of having to devote all of their account balance to annuities, employees use a portion of their savings to purchase guaranteed income for life while retaining other savings in other investments.

 

How to use this info to your benefit?

 

Torrid Tech Explains: This means the employee can choose to put some into annuities for lifetime income and still also have savings in other investments like mutual funds.

http://www.financialbuzz.com/irs-treasury-support-annuities-use-in-401-k-plans-market-news-168915

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with using part of your savings for guaranteed lifetime income while using another portion for other investments? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

Treasury, IRS OK Deferred Income Annuities in 401(k)s

Treasury, IRS OK Deferred Income Annuities in 401(k)s

Straight from the IRS:: Many employer-sponsored 401(k) plans offer so-called target date funds as a default investment for participants who do not affirmatively elect a different investment.  Target date funds get their name from the fact that their allocation of investments shifts gradually from equities to fixed income as participants approach an intended target retirement year.

 

How does this apply to you?

 

Torrid Tech Explains: In recent years target date funds have exploded in popularity by offering workers a way to reduce risk in the market as they approach retirement.  Recent abnormal bond pricing has made it difficult to achieve this result and has left many wondering whether target date funds are accomplishing their goal.

 

http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2014/10/24/treasury-irs-ok-deferred-income-annuities-in-401ks

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with target date funds? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

New IRS 401(k) ruling aims to boost retirement income

New IRS 401(k) ruling aims to boost retirement income

Straight from the IRS: Designed to expand the use of income annuities in 401(k) plans, IRS new change makes clear that plan sponsors can include deferred income annuities in target date funds used as a default investment.

 

Your new options?

 

Torrid Tech Explains: Employees saving in their 401(k) plan at work can choose annuities from insurance companies inside their 401(k) plan so they can reduce market losses on their retirement savings by putting their savings into annuities, instead of mutual funds or target date funds.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/irs-401k-ruling-aims-to-boost-retirement-income-2014-10-29

 

Afraid you may outlive your savings? Have youtried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with putting your savings into annuities? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

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