So, What Is This Thing Called Edumarketing?

We Live in a Society driven by information. Information provides the building blocks upon which knowledge is constructed. Today, knowledge is the real currency of business-the stimulus that drives our economy and then our lives.

Two of the most revered thinkers of the past 100 years, Peter Drucker and Philip Kotler, were clear in their characterization of the contemporary business environment. That is, we now live in a knowledge society.

Peter Drucker noted this transformation in his book The Post Capitalist Society, exhorting, "That knowledge has become the resource, rather than a resource.

According to Kotler "the passage from an Industrial Economy into an Informational Economy is introducing new considerations that question the suitability of conventional marketing thinking in developing today's and tomorrow's marketing strategies."

Why Edumarketing?

The past ten years have seen tremendous tumult in the field of marketing. We live in a media-rich world in which information bombs us from all angles. In his compelling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini states, "You and I exist in an extraordinarily complicated stimulus environment, easily the most rapidly moving and complex that has ever existed on this planet."

These views suitably describe the world we live in, where information and knowledge are central to our existence. The advent of computers, the Internet, wireless communication, and other technologies are presenting new opportunities for marketing practitioners.

One of the areas is that of partnering with customers, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, to create a learning experience in which the customer learns-both how to better define their problem and how to best solve this problem.

In this new reality, it's the customer who, for the most part, runs the show.

Customers are using technology to learn about the company behind the product and services they purchase along with dissecting every element of the product via self-education-and that fundamentally changes everything.

Capturing the customer's attention is no longer possible by simply putting your message "out there." An emphasis on knowledge creation calls for bold changes.

What has to change? The way you communicate.

The fast pace of today's marketplace-whatever your industry-has changed the way customers want to do business. Marketing has become less about pushing messages out to people, and more about empowering them to make informed purchase decisions.

Rather than engaging in a specialized process, marketing communicators should look to inform and educate potential customers, providing them with insight and information that they need to make an intelligent decision. Doing this is the new way of building customer loyalty.

This paper discusses a new method of understanding and influencing the customer through communications that inform and influence. This method is called edumarketing.

Edumarketing is the activity initiated by a company that is designed to influence changes in knowledge, skills, or attitudes of customers-whether individuals, groups, or communities.

Cognitive psychology, and particularly research dealing with how people learn, tells us that people use existing perceptual filters and mental representations when making decisions.

Numerous studies verify that thinking involves three constructive elements-that together drive they way people learn. These elements are cognition, emotion, and the context in which the thinking takes place.

Edumarketing impacts the path to purchase using education-based marketing that informs, instructs and educates. Weaving together the cognitive, emotional and social components of learning.

Today, your customers are likely to hold you to very high standards when it comes to providing them with data and information necessary for them create knowledge and understanding. Ultimately helping them make the best purchase possible.

Education based marketing, edumarketing, provides an opportunity for the marketing communicator to connect with customers in a way centered that delivers high-received value. Instead of overwhelming people with a self-inflated message, the marketing communicator presents an educational basis for helping the customer find the proper solution to their idiosyncratic issue. And this changes the way you create and exchange messages about your products and services.

How does it work?

The main task for marketing communicators has become every bit as much that of an educator as it is an informer and entertainer. Certainly a great many consumer products will continue down the path of least resistance-that is, to simply entertain in the hopes of building brand image or manipulating one-time sales.

However, what is quickly becoming a prominant part of the marketer tool kit is the use of educational techniques to help build loyalty resulting in sales.

Take for example the ordinary cereal box. Cheerios adorns its box with its "Heart Healthy" educational messages. Cheerios uses the cereal box to educate consumers on the issue of cholesterol and, of course, how Cheerios can be a part of reducing cholesterol.

This new approach to marketing relies on educating the customer, and for that different principals of marketing apply. The new marketer must understand principles of learning and for sophisticated products and services-get this … learning theory.

Another example, small industrial detergent maker ChemStation (www.chemstation.com) supplies thousands of products in hundreds of industries. ChemStation sells industrial cleaning chemical to a wide variety of business customers, ranging from car washes to the US Air Force. Whether a customer is washing down a fleet or a factory, a store or a restaurant, ChemStation comes up with the right cleaning solution every time.

ChemStation partners with customers working with them to custom-design solutions to their unique cleaning problems. ChemStation works with each individual customer to concoct a soap formula specifically designed for that customer.

This works because many business buyers prefer to buy a packaged solution to a problem from a single seller. ChemStation sells its intellectual capabilities to firms that need solutions.

Another firm that excels in the edumarketing arena is Butterball, a leader in the marketing and selling of turkeys. Customers can visit the Butterball web site (www.butterball.com) for information on cooking and carving a turkey.

Butterball's web site receives over 500,000 visitors during the Thanksgiving week accessing its timely features and tips. However, the dedication to education is found in the fact that the Butterball help line (1-800-BUTTTERBALL) is staffed by 50 home economists and nutritionists who respond to more than 100,000 questions each November and December.

BMW has capitalized on its edumarketing capabilities. They offer an exiting a training program for young drivers. As a part of its "Ultimate Driving Experience" tour, BMW offers to teach people how to drive their cars-at fast speeds! The offer: "Experienced professional drivers will be on hand to guide you through a variety of exhilarating driving techniques designed to hone your abilities – and make you a safer, more confident driver." The benefit: Drivers turned on by their new driving capabilities and ready to engage in a conversation about how to integrate these capabilities into their daily driving habits.

Gone are the days when advertisers could simply tell the world about their new and wonderful product or service. Today's customers are smart. They have access to information from a wide range of sources-and they use it. Firms must go beyond the simple show-and-tell of yesteryear.

Classified Advertising – Online vs. In Print

The downhill slide of daily journalism began decades ago, when television introduced nightly news programs on both a national and local level. That decline, however, has been radically accelerated by the advent of online classified advertising. Craigslist has probably been the most important development for local classified advertising. This simple, unadorned website provides free listings for most of its classifieds, selling only placements for job opportunities.

Classifieds have always been the bread and butter for newspapers, providing the lion’s share of black ink. Yet by three years ago, Craigslist had become a principal local resource for job recruiters. Research organization Classified Intelligence reported two years ago that Craigslist costs the San Francisco Bay Area’s traditional newspapers, and their online divisions, between $50 and $65 million annually in revenues from employment ads alone.

According to the study, Craigslist had 12,200 active job listings on its San Francisco site the week of November 21, 2004. In contrast, the San Francisco Chronicle had 1,500; the Oakland Tribune had 734; the San Jose Mercury News had an estimated 1,700; and the Contra Costa Times had around 1,000. The average recruiting ad in a metro Bay Area daily cost $700 in 2004: on Craigslist it cost $75.

That’s a local snapshot. The same is occurring at a national level, also in the critical area of job recruiting. Careerbuilder.com is the largest job search and recruitment site in the country – it is also owned by a partnership of the Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune newspaper conglomerates. Monster.com defined the art of national job recruiting. There are also elaborate online executive recruiting services that mix the traditional personal touch with digital resume files and client searches.

By 2003, online classifieds had nearly matched the newsprint business in classified revenue. In that year, the market for classified ads in the United States was $15.9 billion (newspapers) and $14.1 billion (online), again according to Classified Intelligence.

There is a widespread belief that the online classifieds are more effective with younger people and the more in-depth advertising probably belongs in print. JupiterResearch, another online ad research firm, says that a lot of people research cars online, for example, because it’s a great price-check resource. Jupiter goes on to say that only 1 in 10 will shop for cars on the Internet. This analytical point overlooks the fact, however, that many people who do their auto shopping with shoe leather are going to dealers that they may have selected online.

The tools for online classifieds provide easy shopping methods and, generally, more information on the sales item. Photos are easily included as well. The trend is expected to continue in all advertising formats, but especially in the classified arena. In Jupiter Research’s “U.S. Local Online Advertising Forecast, 2005 to 2010,” the forecast is that spending in the U.S. for online local advertising will grow at an annual compounded rate of 11 percent, or from 2005 to 2010. Seventy percent of that revenue will come from classifieds.

A reflection of the trend at the national level is that one of the primary reasons for Google’s $500-per-share stock valuation is the fact that their business model garnered them over $9 billion in revenue in 2006. The preponderance of that money was generated by text based classified advertising, developed through partnerships or through the sale of keyword placements.

Readership for traditional dailies does skew to the older generation, especially now that job recruiting has become such an effective online function. But even with high-end, family oriented purchases such as homes, online advertising often outshines its printed counterpart. The real estate sales bible, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is readily available to consumers online – for the first time. The major brokerage chains all have national sites and nearly all local brokers use the web as well.

Things You Need To Know If You Are Taking Up Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is very popular these days but many people are afraid to dip their toes into it. The thought of starting a garden can be intimidating for many people, due to the fact that it is not something a lot of people are familiar with, and it does seem complicated. Read through this article and you can gain better insight on what it takes to start and grow your own organic garden; it’s not as hard as it may seem.

Avoid rose mildew. This fungus affects many types of roses, especially in wet weather, when days are warm and nights are cold. Small gray or white spots will appear on the plant, forming a felt-like down. Shoot tips are killed and buds fail to open. Don’t plant roses close together – they need good air circulation to avoid mildew. Spray any affected plants with fungicidal soap.

Key to any garden activity is using the right tools. While having a shovel is essential, so are other tools that work best with your garden size. For smaller gardens, short handled tools work best, for larger gardens longer handled hoes and spades work better. Make sure you keep a sharp edge on your tools for easier work.

You can test the viability of your seeds by soaking them overnight. Drop them into a container of water and keep them in a dark place for a day. Check the location of the seeds. If they sank to the bottom, they are usable. If they float the top, they may be dead.

Add some earthworms into your garden soil. Earthworms are great in tunneling and loosening up the soil, giving the roots of your plants plenty of air space. They help make soil that is rich in nutrients by breaking down dead plant materials. Earthworms are a much better solution for your garden than commercial fertilizers.

There are several all-natural ways to keep pests out of your garden, including certain plants. Slugs who want to enter a vegetable garden, for example, can be repelled by a simple border of marigolds and onions. Wood ash used as mulch helps repel pests as well when around shrubs and trees. These methods are environmentally-friendly and mean you do not have to resort to harsh chemicals.

Once you understand and begin utilizing the tips you have read, the thought of working on your own organic garden should not seem intimidating at all. It is relatively easy to have an organic garden, that you can show off with pride. Soon you can have fresh, environmentally-friendly fruits and vegetables on your table.

From BIM to Facility Management

BIM (Building Information Modeling) has become an essential tool in building architecture and construction. Creating a logical, structured model of all information related to a building project can help the project move seamlessly from one phase to the next.

BIM helps keep building projects on schedule and on budget. It helps ensure regulatory compliance. It helps facilitate the necessary collaboration that must occur between a project’s planning and eventual construction. A quality BIM also helps keep stakeholders involved in the process, adding a kind of transparency that inspires trust and confidence.

For most people, the notion of a Building Information Model implies a detailed 3-dimensional rendering of a building. With the 3D imaging and design software technology available today, it is true that designers and architects are enjoying powerful new tools to do their jobs, and these 3D models are in fact a big part of BIM. They are not, however, what BIM is all about.

A typical BIM will include not only detailed renderings of the planned building, but also specific information related to the engineering, construction, and operation of the building. This information can include designs, architectural specifications, site information, material sheets, budgets, schedules, personnel and more. BIM is not only useful in the design and construction of a building, but can also be very helpful in the management of the building once construction is complete.

COBie

In 2007, a pilot standard was developed by Bill East of the United States Army Corps of Engineers for the delivery of building information that is essential to the operations, maintenance, and asset management of a building once construction is complete. COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) was accepted by the National Institute of Building Sciences in December 2011 as part of its National Building Information Model (NBIMS-US) standard.

COBie is used to capture and record essential project data at the point of origin, including: product data sheets, spare parts lists, warranties, and preventive maintenance schedules. COBie’s popularity is increasing, and in September 2014 it was included in a code of practice issued as a British standard (BS 1192-4:2014 “Collaborative production of information Part 4: Fulfilling employer’s information exchange requirements using COBie – Code of practice”). This standard will require contractors involved in the construction of government buildings to comply with COBie when delivering facility information to the building owner after construction is completed.

While this expectation in Britain is controversial, and it has been characterized as “unrealistic”, it is becoming increasingly clear that the information involved in Building Information Models can, should, and will be used to aid in the maintenance and management of the building after its construction. This is where BIM becomes facility management, and this is where some enterprising software developers are creating a new market for themselves.

Some developers of BIM software have expanded their product portfolios by including Facility Management products that transfer the information from BIMs into a useful format for operating and maintaining the constructed building. This seems to be a natural extension of BIM, and these companies will benefit greatly by placing themselves ahead of their competition in what is nearly certain to become a large and lucrative market.

In the space between BIM and Facility Management, there is often a need for greater automation. The exchange of building information today frequently requires a tremendous amount of labor – an amount of labor described in man-years.

Often, facility managers are provided several large boxes of paper documents, from which they must manually retrieve asset information and maintenance schedules to be entered into Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). This process usually involves pallets of boxes full of paper of operations and maintenance manuals and drawings. Imagine the time required to create, review and transcribe hundreds of pages of documents, validate the transcriptions, and manually enter data, assuming a system like a CMMS is even used.

Even if a CMMS is used, maintenance technicians often still need to search for information in these paper boxes to complete many of their jobs. As time passes, documents can be moved or lost, increasing the cost of maintenance activities and potentially increasing downtime in mission-critical facilities. A study in 2011 suggested that 8% of annual maintenance budgets could be eliminated if open-standard electronic information were made available to technicians before starting complex work orders.

This is where some BIM software developers are finding a new market by providing the tools to painlessly transfer BIM information into a facility management system. This is also where there are still many who would benefit from an open software platform that allows users to consolidate and organize disparate information, making it available for real-time visualization on any device.