CureSearch 2017 Chicago Walk

This year I am the public relations chair for the CureSearch Chicago Superhero Walk.  CureSearch was one of the first organizations I was introduced to when my daughter Kennedy was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 at the age of 4.  CureSearch was the logo on the stationary I took notes on.  It was the organization that sponsored the experimental protocol my daughter received after day 29, post induction.  CureSearch was also the beneficiary of the walk I attended in September 2012, only 4 months after my daughter was diagnosed.  To me, CureSearch is synonymous with childhood cancer research.

If Kennedy were diagnosed with ALL Leukemia in 1967, we likely wouldn’t have celebrated her 10th birthday last month.  In fact, only 4% of children diagnosed in the 1960’s with low-risk ALL Leukemia survived; today 94% do.   Although the 5-year survival rate for some childhood cancers has increased drastically over the past 50 years, still nearly 2,000 children under the age of 19 die each year – making cancer the leading cause of death by disease in children in the US.  42 children are diagnosed in the each day!

 Edan Gelt CureSearch 2017 Chicago Walk
Edan Gelt CureSearch 2017 Chicago Walk

While working on public relations for CureSearch, I personally met and lost Superheroes that lost their battle with cancer – Ana, Julissa, Tyler and Blake.  It is for these amazing children and children like them that we need to continue to walk and fundraise for Children’s Cancer Research.

Why CureSearch?

Edan Gelt believe in CureSearch because for every dollar donated, 58% goes toward children’s cancer research and education projects and 31% for fundraising to secure the funding to do it. Only 11% of every dollar goes toward operating the organization.  This says a lot.  There are many great organizations out there like the American Cancer Society or Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that fund cancer research but only 4% is dedicated specifically to children’s cancer research.

Children’s cancer can’t be treated like adult cancers because most of the treatments can be toxic to a child’s body, damaging their organs, mental health and more. To treat childhood cancer, specialized protocols are needed.

To help fund the future of cancer-fighting superheroes, join CureSearch on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at the Boomer’s Stadium, 1999 South Springinsguth Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60193.

Find CureSearch on Facebook @CureSearchChicago

Signup to walk at www.curesearchsuperheroes.org/chicago

By:  Edan Gelt

CureSearch Chicago Walk Chair

 

Direct Mail Marketing

Contrary to its pricey reputation, direct mail is an effective and AFFORDABLE way to market. Affordable was never a word attributed with direct mail but now it is one of the more cost effective mediums of messaging. When digital options first emerged, advertisers could reach consumers for pennies, which made direct mail seem like a fortune.

Times have changed and the cost of digital can range from a few cents to upwards of $20 for an impression. In addition, the digital environment is so saturated with pop ups, banner ads, sponsored feed and in-mail junk, consumers have become desensitized to the digital clutter appearing on their screens.

Enter the comeback of direct mail – or for some marketers (like me), it has never left.

Direct mail, when implemented correctly, can be the most impactful way of causing consumers to take action. At direct mail’s average bulk cost of $0.35 apiece, it is an affordable way to capture attention.

So how is a good campaign established?

Target Market

Look at your CRM or your research. Establish whom your key customers are, what they look like (age, income, geography, etc.).

For consumer retention, use the list from prior targeted purchases. Specific lists may cost a little more in postage than bulk but it’s worth retaining previous purchasers.

For consumer acquisition, you can purchase a lists by specific attributes of each recipient or by carrier routes that have the qualifiers you are looking for. Usually, the more specific your list: the higher the postage rate. There are also shared mail programs like DAL cards offered by publications. DAL-like cards are cheaper (sometimes as low as $0.10 for print, prep and post) but you don’t get the freedom of choosing your target market qualifiers.

Timing

Target your customers when they are buying. Look at your sales reports. When are your highest sales? This is the time your consumer is buying so this is the time you should be targeting them. Timing varies for different products and industries.

Message

Determine what it is your consumer values; then offer it. If you can afford to customize your message to each recipient, do it. If not, that’s okay too. Whatever you do, keep your message simple and make the headline appealing and relevant.

If you are a restaurant offering a free appetizer, make it pop. Don’t bury the offer in small writing amongst all the other entrees you are offering. Keep your offer clean, concise and engaging.

Edan Gelt DIRECT MAIL MARKETING

Design

Nothing is less appealing than receiving a mailer that has a ton of tiny images with small text telling the consumer everything about your business. I recently received a mailer with a message for deck cleaning, lawn care, painting, lighting and windows all on one 5×8 post card! That’s great if your company offers all of those amazing services but too much information and pictures can be overload and garbage material. Look at your sales – which service or services are the most popular? Feature the top one, maybe two.

Consistency

One mailer is not the answer to all of your marketing needs. Consistency is key and the rule of thumb is three times is a charm. It takes three impressions for a consumer to make a decision. You can reach out three times via direct mail or you can mix up your marketing mediums – maybe email, mail, engage them on social, or pay for the creepy ads that follow them around the net.

Direct Mail can be a profitable marketing strategy if done correctly. The recipient has to look at your offer and register it before deciding to keep or toss your piece. That holds a lot of value in today’s cluttered digital environment.

By: Edan Gelt, CMD, MBA
Edan Gelt is an award winning, innovative, energetic, highly creative and consumer-centric marketing leader with successful results in increasing sales and traffic.

Her experience includes business-to-business and consumer marketing, advertising, media-buying, branding, e-marketing, public and community relations, strategy creation/implementation, budgeting, direct marketing, grand openings, trade shows, grass-roots marketing initiatives and special event planning.

Originally posted on : http://edangelt.com/post/161761924421/direct-mail-marketing

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

“Miracles are just a shift in perception from fear to love.”, Marianne Williamson

Five years ago, my 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. At the time, I was working full time and running a side business, while my husband and I also managed property and he worked full time. We had a lot going on and the diagnosis was like being hit by a freight train.

I remember the fear in the hospital as we sat up all night, discussing what the long-term prognosis could be and what our lives as a family would look like. I had all these balls in the air and for the first time, I was okay if all my projects crashed around me; everyone would understand – my baby had cancer.

Day two, or maybe it was day three of our hospital stay; my husband and I sat whispering over our daughter. I’m not even sure what we were saying but she grabbed my hand and said something about it being okay.

My mother used to quote “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”, by Susan Jeffers. She died 11 years before my daughter was born and I never truly understood what she was quoting until then. We felt the fear and we put on our grownup pants and moved forward, each action at a time.

The next few months passed and we learned a lot about what it took to keep moving when the world seemed like it was falling apart. Thankfully my daughter survived her 2.5 years of chemo and we kept up with all of our crazy activities. We were often asked “how we did it”, by friends and family – and the truthful answer was “we had no choice”.

 Edan Gelt Feel the Fear

Looking back, we did have a choice. We chose to live and here are some basic tips from our journey:

REMOVE NEGATIVE PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS

Run, don’t walk. Remove yourself from situations and people that cause conflict. Life deals us enough stress without being sucked in by energy vampires. Energy vampires believe their happiness comes from your lack there of. If you want to succeed in life, do the best you can to rid your world of these people. Usually taking a break from negative people and situations will give you perspective. Get rid of the drama.

STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT MATTERS

Make a list. On one side, right down what you need to get done now and on the other side, what you need to get done long term. Don’t get distracted by stuff not on the list, or stuff that doesn’t require immediate attention. I used a journal and a white board to keep me on task.

Edan Gelt’s Marketing as a Game of Chess

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Have a routine that doesn’t suck the life out of you. Include family time, a workout and a time for self-reflection. The busiest person doesn’t mean the happiest person. Schedule the simple stuff, like reading with your kids, a date night with your partner or even a nap. This way you give the people who matter most the same attention as you give menial chores or office work.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

On an airplane, they always say “put the breathing mask on yourself before assisting others”. What is the importance of this? If you are helping someone else breathe before you’ve helped yourself, it is likely you could pass out trying to help and wind up being no good to anyone. Get some rest, take a shower, exercise, pamper yourself. When you are taken care of, you have more to offer the world. Besides, you just feel better about yourself when you approach the day.

JOURNAL

This is not an assignment but an outlet. It’s a way to release your emotions when it is 2am and the never-ending to-do list is flashing like a neon sign. Make a practice of writing just a bit each day and journaling when you need to. Write about things you experience – it could be aggravating situations, things that made you laugh, achievements you are proud of – whatever it is that comes to mind. This is your private place so go for it.

MEDITATE AND READ

Interesting that these two are combined? I’m awful at clearing my mind which likely means I need some yoga or meditative practice ASAP. However, when I just can’t get to yoga (my effort is poor) or get myself to sit still long enough to meditate, I read. I read something that is entertaining. It takes me to another place and lets me escape my mind long enough to reset it. Reading is my escape from my racing mind.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY

This is huge. It’s not fun to be the smartest or happiest person in the room. Find a group you can learn from. For me, it was moms whose kids survived cancer or women who made it big in their career. I work on surrounding myself with people I can learn from, people who inspire me; people who inspire me to be better.

What do you do to keep moving forward when life gets hard?

By: Edan Gelt, MBA, CMD
Marketing Strategist, Child-life Volunteer, Change Agent
https://www.linkedin.com/in/edan-joy-gelt/

North Shore Dads develop Trainerly Offering Last Minute Online Fitness Deal without Membership

Edan Gelt

Northbrook, IL – Russ Berkun and Leo Akselrud, local dads and residents of Glenview and Northbrook, developed Trainerly (www.trainer.ly) – an online fitness platform to deliver last minute deals for classes at local fitness studios. Users of Trainerly can log on the night before or on their way home from work to find an available class deal near them without committing to a membership at a studio or gym. Unlike popular fitness site ClassPass, no membership is required for Trainerly, classes are available based on need, location, and budget.

Trainerly founders Berkun and Akselrud decided to launch the platform after finding it frustrating to make scheduled class times. Whether they were stuck in traffic, in between meetings, racing home after work or driving kids around town, the partners said they often missed scheduled class times at their local studios and wished there was an app that would offer a fitness class near where they were at.

Trainerly is primarily a listing service for fitness classes – similar to Expedia for airfare or Hotels.com for accommodations. Requiring no monthly membership, Trainerly is designed as a pay-as-you-go platform. Trainerly is great for individuals who have unpredictable schedules, not sure of the type of fitness program they want to belong to long term, or not ready for a commitment.

Edan Gelt

The program was designed as a win-win for the studios, Trainerly, and the users. The fitness studios set their own discounted pricing, Trainerly offers an array of classes on its website for a small percentage of sales and users can choose a class that fits their needs without any long-standing commitment. Currently, there are 40 studios on the Trainerly platform, from boot camp to yoga and boxing to pole dancing. Trainerly expects to sign on more than 100 studios by the end of 2017.

The studio owners like Trainerly because their class prices aren’t devalued like Groupon or ClassPass. Since studios set their own pricing, they can change it based on demand. If the class is more popular, the fee will be higher than a class that has more than 5 spots left.

“There is nothing like it in the Chicago market”, said founding partner, Leo Akselrud. “Sure, there’s ClassPass but you have to pay a monthly membership to try their classes. At Trainerly, you only pay for the classes you use. Some studios offer classes as low as $5”.

The founders worked with local fitness blogger and marketing strategist, Edan Gelt, at Joy of Fitness – www.edanjoygelt.com to help identify the needs of local studios and gyms before launching. “We learned that studios wanted qualified leads and were concerned about devaluing their classes and offending current members. We addressed that in our location and pricing structure when building the platform”, said founding partner Russ Berkun. “We custom created a program to cater to the end users but also benefit the gyms or studios by delivering qualified and valuable leads”, he said.

Subscribe to Trainerly at www.trainer.ly or at Trainerly on Facebook for last-minute classes up to 50% off. Gyms and studios can find out more information about joining Trainerly in the Chicago market by visiting their website or by emailing founder Leo Akselrud at leo@trainer.ly

Sourcehttps://patch.com/illinois/glenview/north-shore-dads-develop-trainerly-online-platform-offering-last-minute-fitness

https://www.dailyherald.com/submitted/20170514/-north-shore-dads-develop-trainerly-an-online-platform-offering-last-minute-fitness-deals—-no-membership-required

Welcome to the market Lock & Roll Organizer!

Edan Gelt

One of the greatest joys about my role as a Marketing Consultant is that I get to work on several projects and see amazing ideas bloom from concept to rollout.

The latest project is Lock & Roll Organizer. The idea was born sometime before 2012 in Mark Tavolino’s garage. A builder by trade and an organization guru by nature, Mark built a unique organization system for gardening tools, golfing gear and his kid’s toys. The organizer is similar to a Lego system that locks together without tools and can be configured and customized based on consumer needs. A video about the project can be seen here https://vimeo.com/207562365.

I was invited to join Lock & Roll Organizer’s brainstorming team in 2012. At that stage, Mark had a wooden prototype and was raising funds, while determining how to position the product in the marketplace. The first thing I admired about Mark was his candor and his ability to recognize what he could and could not do. He was good at surrounding himself with experts in their field and stood firm in his belief in the product’s success, his ability to bring it to market and delivering a quality American-made product worldwide.

Marketing Consultant Edan Gelt

Fast forward to 2017 and Mark has produced several plastic prototypes, developed marketing and packaging, raised funds and is having the product tooled. He is now in the process of negotiating with distributors and retailers. The Lock & Roll Organizer will hit the market in August this year.

I attended the Hardware Show with Lock & Roll Organizer this past week and am excited to see Mark’s dream become a reality. Bed Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, Amazon and Ace all showed interest in the product and will be following up in the next few weeks.

Look for Lock & Roll Organizer in stores near you or visit their website to pre-order at www.lockandrollorganizer.com.

By: EdanGelt
Marketing Strategist

Originally published at www.edangelt.com.

The Importance of Community Relations for Business

Community Relations is the driving soul of an organization – it is not an afterthought or reactive endeavor but a strategic undertaking for all companies, big or small.

When a business commits to community relations as part of its core business strategy, it helps attract and retain top employees, positions itself positively among customers and improves market and brand position.

Positive, proactive connections to the community can translate into a boost to the bottom line.

Here are 10 steps to Community Relations best practices:

1) Create a written vision statement, which acknowledges the importance of community issues, and the direct relationship they have on your company’s future success.

2) Mainstream this vision statement as foundation throughout the organization.

Edan Gelt Chicago Business

3) The business leader, boss or CEO must continually communicate and act on the company’s commitment through emails, presentations, websites and collateral to employees and also take a personal leadership role in the community.

4) The relationship-building activities, community programs, charitable benefits and plans must be uniquely tailored to the company. Focus on the company’s goals; unique products, services and core competencies; and the access to resources, such as money, people, products and services.

5) The vision statement and the organizational strategy must become a key part of the business culture. This means a commitment beyond words, one that is actually used to guide business decisions.

6) The business should create a structure to allow for the implementation, including ways to involve a cross section of managers and employees in the plan – like a matching program.

7) The company must allocate resources, including naming a senior-level community relations director or a person in charge of the endeavor, to implement the strategy and community relations must become the responsibility of the entire management team and not just the community relations staff.

8) The business must establish policies and procedures for implementing the strategy. Volunteering should be rewarded in some way.

9) Training activities should be established to make sure the community relations strategies are implemented regularly.

10) Evaluate internal audits to monitor the strategy and its progress.

Community Relations

Community relations projects can be as simple as matching funds donated to charitable organizations or as complex as setting up your own organization for a cause.

Businesses can start simple by inviting a charity to set up a giving tree for the holiday season. Another simple start is donate a percentage of sales from a certain product towards a community or charitable organization it chooses.

Inform the community of what your plans are, as a business you have social influence to make a difference and your efforts will be rewarded.

Written by:
Edan Gelt, CMD, MBA
Marketing Strategist and Child Life Volunteer

Edan Gelt is an award winning, innovative, energetic, highly creative and consumer-centric marketing leader with successful results in increasing sales and traffic.

Her experience includes business-to-business and consumer marketing, advertising, media-buying, branding, e-marketing, public and community relations, strategy creation/implementation, budgeting, direct marketing, grand openings, trade shows, grass-roots marketing initiatives and special event planning.

Presentation or Content: What is more important?

A marketer for more than two decades, Edan Gelt has often debated with colleagues and clients about which is more important, presentation or content. This argument has covered everything from RFPs and presentations to marketing campaigns and website development. On one hand, you want to present the importance of your concept but on the other hand, a ton of data does not entice someone to consider you.

Decisions

The best way to describe the presentation and content is to relate it to the way children make choices.

It’s a holiday, you offer two equally sized packages to your child and tell him/her to choose one to open. One of the packages is wrapped in sparkly paper with a beautiful bow – the other a brown beat up, raggedy box.

In the brown box sits a brand new iPad, the other sparkly package contains a blank old notebook of the same weight. The child doesn’t know what each box contains. Which box will be chosen?

Plan Ahead

Before you create your presentation, RFP, website, etc. – know your target audience. According to Edan Gelt, if you don’t know your audience, you won’t know how to engage them. For example, my son would want something wrapped in blue where my daughter would immediately go for the sparkly wrapping.

Are you presenting your ideas to clients, business partners, or colleagues? Do you want to encourage, inspire, or persuade them to take action? Knowing your audience and your goals will help you craft your content and presentation. What package do they want to open and what do they expect to find?

Edan Gelt

Content with a Kick

This involves gathering data and supporting information about your content and including visuals to make your message clear. Consider what your audience needs to remember after you deliver your message. Begin by removing all the information that isn’t important or may be confusing.Then add color, pictures, metaphors, examples or whatever it takes to make the content visually appealing and relatable

Designer Delivery

If you are emailing an RFP or delivering a speech – connecting with your audience doesn’t just depend on the presentation itself. The delivery is just as important – the introductory email, the passion that shines through when you talk, or the platform you use to introduce a new product.

If you are emailing your RFP, relate to the person you are emailing. Learn about them or their business and express interest before adding the “attached, please find”.

If you are giving a speech, be dynamic, use body language and facial expressions to engross the crowd – show the passion behind the product.

If you’re promoting a website through an online platform – engage with the audience with information they find relevant that relates to your website.

Using snail mail? Consider packaging that entices the recipient to open the package.

Conclusion

While many business professionals prioritize content, the presentation should never be neglected in lieu of great information. You may have the most relevant and groundbreaking information or product of all time, but an uninteresting delivery will bore your audience or may never reach them.

According to Edan Gelt, a fancy package or dynamic presentation might dazzle the audience but will achieve nothing if your content is lacking. This only proves that presentation and content are equally important to a successful end result.

Originally published at http://www.allperfectstories.com/author/edangelt/