Friday, November 28, 2014

The Turkey on Your Table: Not Like Its Ancestors


The estimated 45 million turkeys that many Americans eat on Thanksgiving are genetically distinct from their wild turkey ancestors.

"Ancient turkeys weren't your Butterball," Rob Fleischer, head of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, said in a press release. "We set out to compare the genetic diversity of the domestic turkeys we eat today with that of the ancestral wild turkey from South Mexico. Some of what we found surprised us."

He and his colleagues determined that the domestic turkey that ends up on the dinner table has less genetic variation than not only its ancestral wild counterparts, which were first domesticated in 800 B.C., but also than other livestock breeds, such as domestic pigs or chickens.
The genetic traits affected by the variation are body size and breast muscle development — features that can help determine the likelihood of a consumer buying a turkey.
"Few people know that the commercial turkeys served at Thanksgiving descended from Mexico, where they were discovered during the Spanish Conquest and transported to Europe," said Julie Long, senior author of the study and research physiologist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Md.

"During the next 100 years, Europeans created many different varieties of the domesticated turkey. It's important to assess the differences between ancient and modern domesticated turkeys in the event that some unforeseen problem might threaten the stability of the commercial turkey lines."
The scientists sequenced the genomes of domestic turkeys from seven commercial lines and compared them to those of three South Mexican turkeys collected in 1899 from Chihuahua, Mexico. The ancient turkey samples came from specimens at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

"It is often the case that selection in domestication reduces the level of variation," Fleischer said. "What did surprise us, however, is how well the ancient DNA from the three museum specimens worked to generate the genome sequences needed to determine the genetic variation and structure. These data and this approach show great promise for determining what genes were involved in the process of turkey domestication."

The findings were published in BMC Genomics.

As a side note, turkeys in the 19th century were often boiled instead of roasted for fancy dinners. I'm guessing that the meat from these birds was tougher, but perhaps more flavorful. Isabella Beeton, the Martha Stewart of her day, wrote about the "noble dish" of turkey in 1859. Some companies still sell free-range "wild" turkeys.

Discovery News

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Blogs are Good


Blogs are a great way to promote your ideas and opinions and get others to join your conversation.


Blogs are similar to message boards in that they usually focus on a specific topic, but blogs are much more friendly and personal. They are your platform to speak your mind, share ideas, and elicit comments from others.

Blogs are also a great way to get your content picked up by the search engines. Technically, blogs are very effective for distributing searchable user generated content. This is important. And if you have your blog linked to your website, you have more opportunities to add content that the search engines consider valuable.

Personal blogs tend to have a “diary/journal” feel to them, and people tend to write whatever is on their mind, interesting things that may have happened to them in the past of the present.

Business blogs focuses on a specific topic or idea that is relevant to your business and meaningful to your customers. Things like “marketing for small business” or “compliance requirements in the energy industry” or “compensation strategies” would be more appropriate for a business blog. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring!

First time bloggers are often intimidated by the black screen and fear of putting their ideas out there. If this is how you feel, try writing a little “hello, welcome to my blog” paragraph and post it to your blog. Then you can add a little more about yourself, your background, and your company and with a little practice, the ideas will start flowing. After all, you are a marketer!


Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com



Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 







Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - As I reflect on my blessings I am brought back to a time when I didn't know where my next meal was coming from - or how I was going to feed my children. Thankfully, that time in my life lasted for only a short time and people - strangers, really - helped me out. 

There was one year that food for Thanksgiving was provided by a stranger and Christmas gifts was non existent for me and slim for my two children. I don't want to ever be in that position again but it did teach me a few things. Thanksgiving and Christmas is in the attitude and behavior of the person/s not in the gift/s received or given. 

I came away from this time with a stronger trust in our Lord, Jesus Christ. The knowledge that God really does love me and will meet my needs when I can not do for myself is strong. And He will choose to use people who are willing to be the deliverer of blessings. 

That time has taught me the value of not judging people by what they have or they don't. Sometimes those who have much also have a lot of debt. And, sometimes, those who don't seem to have much, have no debt. I've learned that there is a lot more to life than money. 

Because of that time, I promised myself that when I was able, I would do what I can for others too. 

I have learned to live simply. A few good friends, a few four legged pets in my home, the laughter of my children, those that I love healthy and a few dollars in my bank account.

With that being said, may you and your family have plenty this season. 






#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen See and Be Seen


Visibility means you can be found when someone is looking for you.


Whether you are a new business, an existing business just beginning to develop an online presence, or a large business that’s been around forever, what you care about is being visible.

Visibility is a function of placement and messages.

Many companies think they can have a purely online marketing strategy. After all, it is much more cost effective. On the other hand, not everyone hangs out on the internet waiting to be bombarded with messages about your product. Some people still go to conferences, trade-shows and real life face-to-face meetings.

When you find their hangouts (either real or virtual) do what it takes to be really visible in those places. Having a booth at a trade-show is one thing. Having a booth that is facilitating a workshop, placing an ad in the daily and a hosting a customer luncheon tells a much different and more compelling story. You are everywhere and people know you exist.

What you say has to address something that is important to your customers. If you can provide helpful information then you become valuable and they will remember what you had to say. Then it becomes a matter of asking your customers to take the next step which can be clicking a link to learn more, downloading a white paper or article, returning a registration card, or calling you directly.

It isn't easy. Half the battle of executing effective marketing campaigns is being in the right place. The other half is having a message customers remember once they find you.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com

Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish. Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Use the Right Tools


Images, music, and voices – they change the way you think about the story you are telling and how you tell it.



You constantly hear about the latest new marketing trends and the coolest new technologies. As cool as they are, these things are only useful if your target customer uses them.

It is critical to the success of your marketing campaign that you identify customer preferred vehicles and prioritize them above “really hot” things. While these may be the latest trend, they may not produce the results you want.

Depending on how we combine different marketing vehicles we can address awareness, demand generation or lead conversion objectives.

Another thing to think about is the way your activities are communicated. The world has moved way beyond traditional text based communications. Now you need to think about how to use a variety of media including video and audio, to best communicate your message.
Audio = Radio

Video = TV

Text = Print

However, with the explosive growth of online video sharing sites like You Tube, these distinctions can quickly be blurred. You can embed audio help files on your website. You can create a video for your customers. The possibilities are endless.

The use of Audio is increasingly becoming the norm with many marketers. Plus, the distinction between online and offline mediums are quickly becoming blurred.

You can move beyond words to tell your story. Images, music, and voices – they change the way you think about the story you are telling and how you tell it.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com

Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 





Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Be Consistent



Your messages need to be integrated into every customer interaction.


The American Heritage Dictionary defines consistency as follows: agreement or logical coherence among things or parts.

If you want your marketing to work double time for you, you need to consistently communicate your message so that customers have the chance to hear you, internalize the message and then act on it.

Your messages need to be integrated into every customer interaction. You don’t need to use the same words over and over. However, each communication needs to reinforce the core idea that has been developed to support your strategy. It is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

From the company tagline to your email signature; from the CEO’s keynote to your e-newsletter, press releases, website and advertising, your message must be communicated consistently in order to be heard.


Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com


Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 




Monday, November 24, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Do it Their Way


No one likes to be asked for their preferences or opinions and then have them ignored.



Before you create a marketing mix that really works, you need to know two very important things.

First, how do your customers gather information? Who do they go to for recommendations? Do they search online or do they ask for suggestions from colleagues, friends or family? Who influences the purchasing process? Answers to these questions help you target those who influence your customers, as well as, the customers themselves.

Second, how do your target customers want to receive information? Do they want a lot of detail but not very often? Do they prefer to get more frequent information with less detail? Do they like phone, email or old fashioned paper and envelopes? Again, this information will directly impact the types of marketing activities you invest in.

Once these preferences have been stated, it is your job to execute them consistently. No one likes to be asked for their preferences or opinions and then have them ignored.

Remember to put the customer first. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Your goal is to create a marketing mix that reaches your customers in ways that are appropriate for them. Find out who influences your customers and make them love you. Find out how your customers like to hear from you and be zealous in your attempt to abide by their wishes. They will thank you for it with increased sales and impressive loyalty.


Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com



Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 




Friday, November 21, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Be Compelling


All your customers think about is how your product can benefit them.


How do you create a compelling message?
First, write all of your marketing pieces like you are talking to your customers. Customers don’t care about why the company thinks this is a good idea, or why the company decided to pursue this strategy. All your customers think about is how your product can benefit them.

During the process of developing your message, keep these in mind:
  • How does it benefit the customer?
  • How does it solve the customer’s problem?
  • How is your message different from the customer’s options?


Second, talk about something your customers actually care about, not what you think they care about. Based on “what’s in it for them” you can talk about how your product will help them.

Third, try and make it personal. Ask customers a question to help them identify the challenges they might be facing. Sometimes customers don’t realize they have a problem until you ask the question. Then they think, interesting. Now you have started the ball rolling.

Finally, always have a call to action. Different customers are going to connect with different benefits of your message or product. Each time you highlight a benefit, follow it up with a prompt to “buy now” or “learn more” or “contact us” or “try a free demo”

If your customer doesn’t know what to do next, then you have lost them.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com


Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 




Thursday, November 20, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Say no to jargon


The point is, make sure what you write actually means something.


This will empower you to leverage your thinking and step outside the box so that you can help customers find solutions to their problems.

In an effort to sound smart, different and credible, the language of corporate marketing has taken a turn for the worse. Complete websites, brochures, and datasheets are written that don’t mean anything.

This type of corporate gobbledygook is not helpful. In fact, it has the opposite affect. Since it would take your customers more effort to figure out what you are saying, they move on to the next guy and you lose a potential customer.

What is a solution? Bull Fighter is one solution. It finds “bull words” and suggests alternatives.

Here is an example:

  • Stakeholder: Alternative words were vampire slayer, victim and forks. “Overused to the point of pain by consultants.”
  • First-Mover: “Battle cry from the first Internet boom bust, one with little remaining credibility.”
  • Empower: “A grandiose word…solidly enshrined in the consulting cliché hall of fame.”

The point is to get away from buzz words that mean nothing and say what you really want to say. Make sure it means something to someone who doesn’t work for your company.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com


Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Messages need testing too


Keep in mind, just because people inside the company think the “messages” are on target doesn't mean your customers do.


Some companies are hesitant to approach customers for “message testing.” If you work with your customers to understand what they need and then deliver it, why would those same customers not want to help explain what you do to other customers?

The idea of testing can be scary. What if you don’t pass? What if you decide to go with a message that you and your team like, but your customers don’t understand? Which is worse? Testing should be done in stages. Begin with an informal discussion with valued customers. You want to understand what they think about your company, your products, your service, your employees, and your executives. You don’t get this kind of insight through an online survey or focus group. Early in the process is the time to gather possible messaging ideas straight from your customers.

The most effective approach is use customer interviews to gather the feedback you need. Typically, interviews of this nature are 30-60 minutes, either face-to-face or on the phone with the latter being more common.

  • Here are a few potential open ended message testing questions:
  • What do you think is the main idea behind each message?
  • Are these messages important to you?
  • What do these messages mean to you?
  • How do these messages satisfy your needs?
  • Why are these messages believable and credible?
  • How do these messages differentiation our offering?

The outcome of these interviews will cause you to look at your messages differently. At this point, you want to take the input that is most relevant, integrate the feedback into your message options and start the more formal process of actual testing possible messages.

A combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis is best, but it’s not always possible.
Qualitative research includes focus groups, one-on-one interviews and such. Quantitative research usually involves surveys where the responses are mostly closed ended.

The most important aspect of message testing is to test with a significant enough sample of your target audience.

Regardless of how you do the testing, the results you find can either validate your messages or give you new insights and direction to keep you from making avoidable mistakes.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com


Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Admit your mistakes


Most customers would rather know the truth and work with you to find a solution.


Mistakes happen. Its one thing to forget to update the slide presentation to include a late breaking piece of data. But what if you ship wine that goes bad in transit? What if you mess up and end up on the evening news because you left millions of customers stranded? Not fun, but it does happen.

Many examples could be used but the bottom line is this: Customers want the truth, not a list of excuses or finger pointing; although doing both of those is sometimes easier than apologizing.


Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com



Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 




Monday, November 17, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Be Different


Differentiation is the way you go about separating your product from the crowd so it is more attractive to your potential customers.

By definition these are things like product design or brand image. Not only do you need to differentiate your product from the competition but also from your other products that you may offer.

Differentiation can come in the packaging, merchandising and branding between your products or a competitor’s product.

Quality can be a powerful customer desire. Promotional activities and incentives can also serve to differentiate products. These tactics ten to have very short term impact on sales figures.

Where do you start? What do you do to actually gain this differentiation? Start by summarizing what you now about your customers problems, challenges, needs and fears. Follow that with a short description of how your product addresses what your customer needs and make it better. Map this against your customers’ alternatives – this is your real competition. This is where you find your real differentiators. They are often not technological, but rather business differentiators like service, quality, efficiency, relationships, and so on.

If nothing jumps out at you, then look beyond the basics. Look for opportunities “outside the box” and you might be surprised at what find out.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com


Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.
Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 




Friday, November 14, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Involve them and they will understand…

Involve your customers in a dialogue. Show them your products, your facilities and your people.


Confucius said, “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.”

Here are three ways your potential customers learn about your product:

  1. They hear one of your messages directly.
  2. They are told about an experience someone else had.
  3. They have an experience with your company.


It is generally understood that if someone has a negative experience with your product, brand or company, they are far more likely to tell someone about it. Tat means it is even more important to help customers have positive experiences. These experiences can range from buying the product in a store, online, of from a global account rep – was it a good experience?

Your message and the experiences you create are the common threads that tie these three things together. Technology enables you to offer online, real time demos of your products. You can give virtual tours to customers in Maine, United States, of your product to someone in Penang, Malaysia. You can download a free trial version of the latest multi-player racing game in minutes or less.

Involve your customers in a dialogue. Show them your products, your facilities, and your people. Pull them in to something that matters to them and they will understand and remember.

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com

Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish. Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 







Thursday, November 13, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen Change the words, not the idea

Copy can and should change frequently. Messages should not.


There is a difference between messages and copy. A message is an idea or concept that you communicate to a target audience through a variety of activities. Copy is the articulation of the message for a specific activity.

Message = Idea
Copy = Words

Example: A message or idea may be “Ease of Use.” The copy coveys the idea and may or may not use the specific words. 

Copy can and should change frequently. Messages should not. Copy should reflect current industry trends, cultural icons and social phenomena. Messages should focus on a single core idea. This may sound like a contradiction, but in fact it is an important distinction.

The core idea your company or product stands for is fundamental to your business strategy. Therefore, shifting this message should be considered in the same league as shifting your business strategy.

Unfortunately, sometimes you get bored with you r messages. You spend hours fine tuning and testing them. Finally, by the time your campaigns launch and the message is out there, it feels old and stale to you. But you have to remember that your customers are just beginning to see the messages and that it takes a while for them to get through. Even though you’re bored, your customers are not. They need to see your messages over and over again for them to register. Not necessarily the same words, but eh same idea supported by the same brank.

You wouldn’t change business strategies just because you are bored, yet marketers change their messages all the time to their detriment. You want to keep the message fresh and alive by changing the copy. This means using unusual language, a clever play on words, or a connection to a current event in your copy that adds life to a message while giving it some “staying power”

Make your copy memorable, interesting, and quotable. It becomes a commonly used phrase that people begin to use in everyday life. How cool is that?

Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com

Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#Marketing #IndieBooksBeSeen See the forest and the trees

It’s important to look beyond the walls of your cubicle and get a sense of what is going on around you.


Your job is to convince customers that your product, service or solution is obviously the best choice for them.

Understanding how your company, product or service stacks up against the competition is a logical step towards creating a message that is convincing and compelling.

  1. Don’t bash the competition.
  2. Know your relative strengths and weaknesses
  3. Position your offer accordingly.
  4. Look beyond the walls of your cubicle and get a sense of what is going on around you
  5. Look for external market influences and how they might affect your product taking in consideration the political, economic, social and technical issues surrounding your customers.
  6. There are moments when it is more important than ever to take a look around and see the forest and the trees.


Information provided by Laura Lowell and, with permission, shared. www.lauralowell.com

Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. She enjoys history, aviation, writing, and romance. In addition, she enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has multiple published books which are available in paperback, eBook, audio and Spanish. Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.