Economy

A pool of under-employed… Office dog days… Loyalty lessons… Advertising no no’s

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Hidden answer to the skills shortage?

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that many Australian workers would like to work more: nearly 5% were under-employed in September 2006. Mostly women and young people aged 15 to 24, the under-employed work part-time and want more hours.

Dog days at the office

Would a drooling four-legged creature creeping around the desks at your workplace make you feel more relaxed, happy, and work harder? Those converted to the bring-your-pets-to-work concept think so.

A growing number of employers are letting staff bring their pet into the office. Google in the United States is famous for its pet policy and more than 400 organisations have signed up as pet-friendly workplaces in America, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Locally, Nestle Purina PetCare’s Sydney office has a roster for staff – you can bring your dog(s) in once a week. As long as you clean up after them!

Lessons in loyalty

Loyalty schemes are losing their effectiveness, reports trade magazine Inside Retailing. Kerrie Bridson, senior lecturer in marketing at Deakin University’ Bowater School of Marketing, says it would be naive to think that loyalty cards make people more loyal to the store. She advises companies to:

  • Use the program to build relationships with customers.
  • Reward visits.
  • Use the information to serve customers better.
  • Balance recognition and rewards.
  • Make your scheme distinctive from other schemes.

Advertising don’ts

Thinking of making an ad? Here are six tips on what not do if you want to make an ad that people will watch, courtesy of Entrepreneur.com:

Stick to what you’re best at. Don’t try to hang your ad on the latest groovy thing if it doesn’t relate to what you do. Hip hop may be cool, but that doesn’t mean your fridge repair company needs to go all Snoop Dogg to do a good ad. Instead, why not talk about how good you are at repairing fridges?

Events mean nothing. You may be proud about opening your 10th store, but the punters don’t care. If you’re having a sale, advertise the sale, not the event.

Avoid ego trips. If you want people to take you seriously, go professional. You wouldn’t do a job in your business you weren’t trained to do, so why think you are qualified to get on TV?

Keep the message consistent. You may have seen your ad a thousand times, but chances are nobody else has. Resist the temptation to come up with a dramatically different ad form of media, and keep focused on your message.

Target your budget. Don’t try and spread your advertising budget too thinly by splashing ads everywhere. Instead, figure out who you want your customers are and focus your spending on media that targets them the best.

Quality, not quantity. It depends a bit on your business, but generally speaking it’s better to have fewer, higher quality ads. It’s not just about eyeballs; your ad needs to cut through.

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