———— Starting #ExitSeats Training ——————————–

“… 300 series plane, so no flight attendant will help you
with emergency exit doors.” Points to Emergency folder…

“Your resposibilities are found in here. Any questions?”

————— End of Emergency Exit Door training. ——————–

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a ...

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a passenger airplane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what did I just agree to do?

Well for those of you that have agreed to this position of power, note that there are certain written responsibilities that come with the extra leg room. And if you do have any relatives flying on the plane with you then you should not be sitting in the exit row. These are serious federal laws.

Or you can use my line, “I don’t like those relatives, so I will be showing them anything but favoritism.”

Written on the Airplane’s Exit Door Emergency Folder:

If you are seared in a row of seats having direct access to an
overwing exit, you are in an emergency seat and may be called upon to
open the exit window and help other passengers leave the aircraft if a
crew member is not available to assist.

Each person seated in an exit seat must be willing and able to perform 
the following functions:

- Locate The emergency exit.
- Recognize the emergency exit opening mechanism.
- Comprehend the instructions for operating the emergency exit.
- Operate the emergency exit. Assess whether opening the emergency exit will
increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed.
- Follow oral directions and hand signals given by a Crew Member.
- Stow or secure the emergency exit window so that it will not impede use of exit.
- Pass expeditiously through the emergency exit
- Asses, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit.

A passenger seated in exit seat must have sufficient mobility strength & 
dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to:

- Reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of the emergency exit.
- Grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate mechanisms.
- Push, Shove, Pull, or otherwise open the exit.
- Lift out, hold, deposit on nearby seats, maneuver over the seatbacks
to next row or out the opening objects/obstructions the size and
weight of overwing window exits.
- Maintain balance while removing obstructions
- Reach the emergency exit and exit the aircraft expeditiously.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must:

- Be 15 years of age
- Have the capacity to perform the applicable functions without the
assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative
- Have the ability to read and understand instructions related to
emergency evacuation provided by Southwest Airlines in printed or
graphic form.
- Have the ability to understand  oral Crew commands.
- Have sufficient visual capacity to perform applicable functions
without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or
eyeglasses.
- Have sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions
shouted by Crew Members without assistance beyond a hearing aid.
- Have the ability to adequately impart information orally in English
to other passengers.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must not:
-use potable O2 concentrator.
- Have preboarded the aircraft. Required a seatbelt extension to
fasten his seat belt.
- Have a condition or responsibility such as caring for small children
or pets, that might prevent him  from performing the applicable functions.
- Have a condition that might cause the person harm if he performs one
or more of applicable functions.

Federal Regulations  Require that you identify yourself for reseating 
if you:
- Cannot meet the selection criteria
- Have a condition that will prevent you from performing the
applicable functions
- may suffer bodily harm as a result of performing any of the
applicable functions.
- do not wish to perform

Window door approx 50 pounds

_______end of folder training________

 

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happy-valentine-day-ballantyne

So it’s Valentine’s Day! Yeah!! ..or Nay? For those that suffer through Valentine’s day, I understand. I feel the sentiment behind a friend’s words in saying, “it should be renamed ‘Singles Awareness Day’.”

But hey, being so closely named to this day, I have decided to embrace it and all the cheesiness that comes with it.

And as a pest control guy, this mean double “Love Bug” trouble.

bug-treat-recipeYes… that’s my crafty work.  I spent some time making these cute little love bugs. You can get your Love Bug Recipe here: http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/bug-treats

And beyond that, I played the romance killer in this short feature:

So there you have it…

Hope you have a Wonderful Happy Valentine’s Day!

oh.. and if you want to win a free year of pest control service in this year’s Valentine Video Contest, then might want to check out this link:

http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/contest-rules

 

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A recent study by Ryan C. McDevitt of Duke University lays claim that plumbers who bid on Google’s PPC ads have a high likelihood of being poor quality plumbers.

The article makes a comparison of PPC ads to the former yellow pages. The argument begins with the home based services whose names begin with the letter ‘A’ or a number. They found plumbers with ‘A’ or numeric names charge a 8.4% price premium. They used a study from 2005 based on the Chicago yellow pages which documents ‘A’ names and number names by percentage of total listings in each category to point out plumber’s beat the average 9.3% of business with ‘A’ names. This study they used is pretty eye opening.

Rank Yellow Page Headings by Percentage of “A” or # Names

1
 Locks & Locksmiths 65.90%
2
 Towing-Automotive 28.90%
3
 Taxi & Limousine Service 21.20%
4
 Convenience Stores 21.20%
5
 Plumbing Contractors 21.00%
6
 Associations 20.80%
7
 Insurance 19.90%
8
 Roofing Contractors 15.20%
9
 Cellular Telephone Services 14.90%
10
 Art Galleries & Dealers 14.90%
11
 Employment Agencies 14.80%
12
 Automobile Repairing & Service 14.50%
13
 Electric Contractors 14.10%
14
 Travel Agencies & Bureaus 13.50%
15
 Painters 13.30%

Source: American Business Disc,2005

Does it correlate that yesterday’s Yellow Page spammers are today’s internet spammers?

The fact that Locksmith’s tops the list reminds me of the notorious Locksmith spammers in today’s SEO world. Albeit it may not be entirely fair to suppose an ‘Automobile’ category is gaming the system by using ‘A’ names as the category itself begins with ‘A’.  It is also insightful that roughly 6.2% of competitive categories use ‘A’ or numeric names. If name selection for a business were unbiased we would likely see an average closer to 3.9% ‘A’ names, which is where Lawyers and Attorneys fall due to regulations requiring firms use names that match the lead attorney. Pizza companies actually fall below that mark with a 3.4% ‘A’ name ratio.

My Thoughts

The idea that plumbing spammers are more likely to bid on google PPC ads is intriguing. However I found that the study by McDevitt of Duke makes a lot of assumptions. Further, it used Yelp as a primary source for counting reviews and comparing complaint averages. I highly doubt that the data included Yelp’s obnoxious filtered reviews. Plus, as Larry Kim added, 25% of Yelp’s reviews are suspected as fake.

And if the conclusion has some merit among the plumbing industry, I find it hard to believe it is applicable to all home service industries. Granted I am a bit biased to the pest control industry, but even still, I find it hard to imagine a business model that could afford the current cost per ‘pest control’ click and not retain customers.

The study does have some tenable findings in the yellow pages with regards to A and numeric names associated with quality. I believe the choice to take the AAA name for phone book ranking is an indication of choosing short term gains over long term strategy. A well developed quality service takes more careful aim with long term strategies in the crosshairs.

But… “Hey, I am just the pest control guy.

for further discussion on this study visit HBR : http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/11/beware-the-plumbing-firm-that-advertises-a-lot/

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Good-Bye 2013 It’s been great

Posted: December 31, 2013 by Thos003 in Just for Fun
Tags: , , , , , , ,

While the idea of getting old lacks some luster, I must say each year accumulates more memories, more love, and more life. I love that despite life not being perfect that each year is a little better than the last. I look back and say, “Wow” and then look forward excited for more.

And despite one of my favorite Princess Bride movie lines, “LIFE IS PAIN, your highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something” I must say, Life is awesome.

But then again I am a Marketer.

Enjoy…

Happy New Year!

This past week yelp changed a few things, they no longer filer reviews!

But before you get too excited, they now “Recommend” and “Highlight” reviews, while they  have other “reviews currently not recommended.” But.. You can NOW click through to this reviews that are not currently recommended,  without having to enter a captcha!

“Yahoooooo!… No Captcha!

Wait there’s more, the “NOT RECOMMENDED” reviews are now sorted from low to high stars… AND they have a new video!!!

yelp-not-recommended-review-filter

Highlight reel from Yelp’s New Video

Yelp-recommendation-software

(hmmm…. EVERY review? But what about the businesses that trip a review filter that causes their reviews to pass a different standard…???)

Yelp-Fake-Reviewer-filter

Wow… Not sure where to go with this one since Nick B. in Austin is so obviously fake, yet he’s reviews only got filtered for a “Bridal Company”. Check out this thread to see how many Yelper’s agree that Nick’s review should be filtered >>> Austin Pest Control Reviews on Yelp

Yelp Testing Carousel Layout

Apparently I was one of the lucky 1% to see Yelp’s new layout. But I did find a way for you to see it yourself… CLICK HERE! 

Yelp-New-layout-carousel

The page is wider. The font is larger. The “Competitor Companies” on the right are pushed further down. The reviewer images are bigger. They encourage users to add photos, for better or worse. What I surely don’t like is that they have distorted the video image by taking a landscape layout and squished it into a square. It would be ideal if I could select the image to show in the video box… even worse is this:

Video-Yelp-Broken

They have also eliminated a few options, like bookmarking and linking to a review. They moved the compliments, messages, and follows to the left and only visible upon scrolling over them.

Yelp-new-design2

I give the new design a 3 star rating… nothing to be too excited about, but not too bad either. Still don’t like the review filter even if Yelp has changed the name to “Not Recommended”. And I am still not happy about the number of fake reviewers that Yelp knowing permits to remain on their system. Yes… KNOWINGLY permit. I’ve reached out to the uppers at yelp and they have assured me that this user and others like him are being looked into. But they have been aware of him since I first reported it over 2 months ago. Here is Luther with Yelp responding…

If anyone wants the details on the fake review network that yelp isn’t doing anything about, ping me. I’ve got a pretty little spreadsheet I can share with you.

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Google is constantly testing and refining their search. This also applies to their ad section. Google cares about conversion optimization. Click here to see previous changes to sponsored section. Despite their “Do no Evil” slogan, they are still in the game to make money. Here is the latest testing of their ad section.

Google-Ads-Section-testing

Compared to current “Ad section”:

Google-Search-PPC-Section

my first reaction…

google-ads

What is that Big Yellow Tag doing there?

I am actually a bit skeptical on if this is going to help click through rates. It does grab one’s attention which could help CTR. The main advantage I see is that the shading has disappeared. I think most people have grown cold toward the shaded “sponsored” area and simply skip over it out of habit. I assume that Google isn’t going to do anything that will hurt revenues.  Only time will tell if this test goes live in all the searches and how much it helps Google’s bottom line. But you can take this away, “Always be testing. Always.”

EpicDinner

Yes you’ve got SEO Skillz… Don’t let it go to your head.

Hey it’s Friday!… Just keeping it real.

First Day at Ranked Hard, SEO Comic

First Day at Ranked Hard, SEO Comic (Photo credit: ByronShell)

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Here is the best Hummingbird Joke I’ve got:

Why does a hummingbird Hum?

Why Does a Humming Bird Hum?

Answer: Because it doesn’t know the words! Dumb bird.

Hey it’ Google’s Birthday!!

The humming bird is set to make the search faster. Along with other updates google is 100% happy. And why not, it’s their birthday. So blow out the lights and make a wish.

Related Posts:

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Scorpions and spiders at the top of the list isn’t much of a shock but…

Cats are a pest?

Frankly I am a little surprised that “CAT” was ranked so high. Is there really that much of a love hate relationship with cats? So let’s poll the audience:

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A fellow Bulwark employee and I recently attended AZIMA‘s August dinner event: How To Build Social Communities For Your Brand. The night’s speakers was Kevin Spidel, a self described “recovering political hack” who has extensive experience building and growing online communities in the political realm before doing so for more mainstream clientele.

Though the entire presentation was excellent and worth reviewing if you can find a copy, here were the few takeaways that really stood out to me. (Not all the ensuing content was covered or discussed during the presentation, but has simply served as a foundation for the following thoughts.)

Online communities are not audiences. Like the minions, they need direction and support.

“Communities are not audiences”. This is an important starting point to remember. Communities simply don’t happen. They don’t just appear all of a sudden and coincidentally happen to be comprised of people with strikingly similar preferences, passions or habits. Communities form for a reason. If you’re wondering where a given community is in the consumer funnel, forget it! You’re thinking of a different funnel. So don’t think like that. For that reason, communities do not need to be spoken to. They do not need marketing in the raw sense. They are beyond that point. What it needs is direction and purpose.

“Once you have a brand ambassador, forget a digital strategy. You need a volunteer strategy.” As vendors, or as markers, we easily get wrapped up in numbers. “What’s the ROI from last month?” “How was last month compared to like-month from last year?” “This customer just bought our product. How can up-sale him on additional products or services?” These are all statements that stem from the line of thinking that dwells on numbers and upper-right trending charts. It’s too easy to only view a consumer as a potential repeat consumer. Measureable performance is one thing, but when it comes to an organic community in an online setting, that is simply not the case.

Singer Michael Buble let a fan accompany him on stage for an unstaged duet.

Once you have a self-appointed brand ambassador on your hands, the possibilities are limitless. So, stop figuring out a way to keep selling stuff to that individual and come up with with a plan to empower them as vocalists. Provide a way for them to vocalize and share their experience or opinion. Build them a soapbox that they can stand on and say it in their own words. Better yet, let them borrow your soapbox.

If you think about it, brand ambassadors will continuously and willingly purchase your brand, so don’t worry about that. Your strategy for those consumers should be to help them educate and proselytize within their circles – circles that you most likely don’t even know exist and to which you will certainly not have access.

And, the gem of the night: “Loyalty is lack of a better option”. HALLELUJAH!!!

We as marketers have a propensity to pat ourselves on the back at the thought of how loyal our customers have become. We often credit our elaborate campaigns and strategies as the reason our consumers like our product and service so much that they are unwilling to defect to a competitor, even at the temptation of a lower price or additional perks.

WRONG!

Maybe, just maybe, it’s because they don’t have a better option. Or, said different, consumer’s don’t know they have other options. Every company thinks they provide the best products within their industry. Every pizza parlor thinks and advertises theirs is the best in town. Every bike manufacturer sells the “best bikes in the world”. On top of that, each one of those companies’ marketing campaigns suggest they have successfully conveyed that idea and that is the reason they have as many customers as they do.

Now, let me tell you a different story. A friend of mine has been with his insurance agent for close to 15 years. All his insurance is through the same agent. Minus any catastrophic claims, they’ve been through thick and thin with each other. Their business relationship has even survived the possibility of changing to a competitor based on price….until recently. My friend was recently solicited regarding his policy and this unnamed competitor offered the same coverage, plus additional products at a noticeably lower price. Not just a few dollars, but a considerable sum. My friend even consulted with his long-time agent first, to see if he was able to compete with the new competitor. His agent still could not get within the same ballpark. Given that my friend was actively looking for ways to cut living costs, he has now agreed to terms with a brand new face and a brand new provider. Just like that!

An Ohio native, Lebron James was destined to play for Cleveland his entire career. Until Miami came along with a better offer. Even loyalty has as price.

At the end of the day, doing business with consumers or other businesses comes down to three things: price, results and tolerance. Are consumers comfortable paying the determined price to receive the expected return? Are the results in line with the consumer’s expectation, and within reason relative to the vendor’s price? Does the consumer harbor enough tolerance, mentally and financially, to accept the results (or lack thereof) relative to the price and expectation. When it’s said and done the consumer will ask themselves one thing: “Am I getting what I pay for?” Consumers will be loyal to those that get the job done. End. Of. Story.

Building and nurturing communities within your brand has an intrinsic way of bypassing all of that. Healthy communities are comprised of believers, and even their faith in the brand will be tested. That’s normal. As you continue to educate and monitor your fold, the likelihood grows that their trust and belief in your brand will stand the test of time.