Flyers are still superb marketing tools

lampIn 2013, a survey of 1 420 young adults in Britain yielded a rather surprising result: 62% of 16- to 24-years-olds prefer print books to ebooks.

The findings of the research, conducted by the agency Voxburner, are at odds with a generation that has made digital content its own, particularly given the time they spend engaging with apps and social media.

The two biggest reasons for preferring print books were value for money and an emotional connection to the physical product. Those surveyed also offered that they “liked the smell”, “liked to collect” and “wanted full bookshelves”.

According to Voxburner’s Luke Mitchell, to the young adults books were status symbols, in that a person “can’t really see what someone has read on their Kindle”.

What is so interesting about these findings is that regardless of technological innovation, certain physical media continue to attract attention.

While reams of digital content can become overwhelming, traditional print media focuses the attention on a specific product, service or concept, making it far more memorable for the onlooker.

This is why flyers continue to be so effective, provided that the designer has understood what it is he or she hopes to achieve.

Take the example of going to the supermarket on a Saturday morning. As you arrive, you are handed a flyer on which the store’s weekend specials are highlighted. Simply by reading the flyer, you might find that a product you had not budgeted for is suddenly affordable.

The chances are slim that an online advertisement would have had the same impact, primarily because it would be lost among online searches for information.

The key to a good flyer is ensuring that it is reaching the right people, and for this reason it is recommended that it take into account the following:

  • It must be eye-catching. Too often businesses opt for flyers that are too text-heavy, with not enough emphasis on the design. Flyers for music events have become famous (and collectors’ items) because they grip the reader by employing designs and imagery synonymous with bands and genre.
  • There should be an element of intrigue. Unless it is getting straight to the point (as in the shopping flyer example), the content should be thought-provoking. People like a bit of wordplay or a clever anecdote, and will be sure to tell their friends about it, thereby enhancing word-of-mouth praise for a business. Being too obvious can put customers off.
  • Ensure the brand is well represented.  The flyer needs to be attention-grabbing, but never lose sight of its purpose – to promote the business and whatever it offers. Tucking away a company logo in the bottom corner will take people away from who is responsible for getting their attention in the first place.
  • Distribution: Always ensure that the flyers are reaching the right people.  Distributing flyers for a beer special outside a baby emporium is an exercise in futility.

Research by South African printing and signage companies such as Assignment 3 has also indicated that variations on the traditional flyer work especially well in drawing attention.

DL flyers & leaflets, for example, are characterised by a specific size of 210mmX99mm, which follows the same width of an A4 page, but only one-third the height, where A4 has a universal dimension of 210mmX297mm. This results in a neat rectangular format.

The purpose of DL flyers & leaflets is to make use of a smaller area, where the information supplied would not effectively fill up an A5 or A6 sized space and is slightly more than an A7 sized space – DL is known as the “in-between” format, but serves its purpose well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect your valuables from a home invasion

Many people in South Africa has fallen victim to incidents of crime, and there are many who do not report these crimes because they feel it would be rather pointless. If you should ever become a victim of a house break in, then report it to the police so that measures can be taken to curb any further break-ins in your area.

Double check your deadbolt lock

If not properly installed, the deadbolt lock can be easily manipulated. The effectiveness of the lock depends on its deadbolt and the mortise hole. The easiest way to ply open the lock is if it is not fully extended, and pushed back in its place. Check whether the mortise hole –the gap in the door frame where the deadbolt extends, is deeper than the deadbolt itself. Ensure that it is at least 2.5 centimetres deep into the frame. Always get professionals from your area such as locksmiths from Johannesburg South, Durban etc. to check that your lock is properly fitted.

Hang a bell on the door

Anyone entering will trigger this modest, yet simple alarm. Once it rings upon entry you will be certain enough that someone has entered your home. It might even scare off the intruder because then they are well aware that you know of their presence.

Plant thorny bushes around windows

Not only do the bushes serve as an appealingly deterrent, they can also collect DNA from blood and skin. Torn clothes can leave evidence which makes it easier for the forensics team to find the intruder.

Avoid hiding your spare key outside

Many people hide their spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot in case they get locked out. This may seem like a good idea, but it can cause them more harm than good. If someone should see where the key is hidden, they can easily gain access into your house.

Rather be safe than sorry by giving your spare key to a neighbour or friend you trust for safekeeping. If you happen to lock yourself out you can just give your friend a call or walk over to the neighbour’s house to retrieve the key.

Avoid putting any identifying information of yourself on your house keys. If you lose your keys, and someone else finds them, it would be fairly easy to trace them back to your home and break in without difficulty.

Trick burglars

There’s a greater chance for an intruder not to break into a house if they suspect that someone is home. Many break-ins occur during the day when people are at work. For that reason, when you leave the house, create an illusion that someone’s still at home. Install fluorescent bulbs that last longer and are good for the environment, and leave it on during the day. As for good measure, also leave on the television and radio. Also put up a home security sign, even if it’s a fake one. It won’t guarantee that burglars won’t target your home, but it is an added safety measure.

 

According to News24,”About 7.8% of the households surveyed experienced break-ins twice and 8% experienced robberies twice. Another 3.5% experienced break-ins three times and 2.2% were robbed at home on three occasions between 2010 and 2011.”

Keep intruders out of your home by simply outsmarting them. There are many solutions that do not require you to spend a lot of money on home security systems, but it does bring about peace of mind when you have the best security installations installed on your property.

Saving for a home

homeMost people have the dream of someday buying property. Not only is the idea of owning your own home appealing, but it can be a great investment as well – one that starts to look very attractive after years of renting.

However, buying property is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you make in your entire life. An important word of advice is to save for your home before you jump in and sign the dotted line. That is because the more money you put down upfront for your deposit, the less you will have to borrow and the less interest you will end up paying.

How much deposit should you pay?

How much deposit should you actually put down? While you could technically get away with only putting down a five per cent deposit (and in fact some lenders might even give you a bond without any deposit) that is not the wisest thing to do. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a 20 per cent deposit on your home.

Get the numbers right

If you are going to save, it helps to know how much you need to save, so that you have a goal to work towards. Use a bond calculator to work out the numbers. Playing around with home loan calculators will really illustrate what a difference having a sizable deposit will make in the long run. You can either begin with the starting point of how much you are able to afford a month and how long a term you want to sign up for, and then calculate what value a home that will get you. Alternatively, if there is a specific price bracket you are aiming for, you can start from there and work out how much you will be paying monthly, tweaking the payment period until you find a number that can work well with your budget.

 Save money

We are not going to get too deep into the actual mechanics of how you go about saving money, but there is advice here and here. One tip is of course to cut back on frivolous spending, which of requires drawing up a budget. This should be the first thing you actually do when determining to save. Another way to save for your bond is to put away the same amount of money you will eventually be paying on your loan. That will help you get in the rhythm of paying your home off every month, and will also give you a chance to see if you can actually afford the home loan amount you want to apply for, before making a serious commitment.

What risk means especially for property

Nothing is without risk – from driving to work to having a job at the end of the year. This is due to the unpredictability of life and our negotiation of that with as much foundation as we can have. Yet, risk still needs to be managed – whether in our daily life or, specifically, in terms of things like property.

As the Business Dictionary highlights, risk is:

“A probability or threat of damage, injury, liability, loss, or any other negative occurrence that is caused by external or internal vulnerabilities, and that may be avoided through preemptive action.”

When it comes to business, the basics remain. “The probability that an actual return on an investment will be lower than the expected return.”

The point is it’s all about probability of something occurring that threatens the intended goal of your actions or behaviour.

Risk also shouldn’t be completely equated with hazard. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Therapy says:

“A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone under certain conditions at work.

Basically, a hazard can cause harm or adverse effects (to individuals as health effects or to organizations as property or equipment losses).”

Thus, when considering major payments for things like a home loan, we need to consider various kinds of risks. For insurers there are concerns many of us might not consider.

 

“The relative vulnerability of real estate fabric is [a] consideration for insurers. This includes the age of infrastructure. For example, climate-resilient measures, such as water-resistant construction materials, are more often present in new developments than in older structures.

“However, while new buildings may be able to withstand windstorms and tornadoes more effectively, newer structures can be less resilient when it comes to flooding, since far more infrastructure, from heating and electricity systems to computer servers, is now placed underground.”

The risks to property do intersect with risks to people themselves – but of course there are unique aspects to property. Wear-and-tear, proximity to dangerous areas, and so on, all impact property and insurers’ view of property in ways they don’t of people. (We don’t usually talk about people in terms of wear-and-tear, for example.)

When considering what risk means, then, we should maintain these broader perspectives, especially when it comes to property.

 

 

 

 

 

What you need to know about vehicle cloning

When it comes to your motor vehicle, generally the kind of criminal act you worry about is that it will get stolen. However, this isn’t the only thing to be concerned about. Have you ever given consideration to the possibility that you are driving a cloned and stolen vehicle?

What is a cloned vehicle?

A cloned vehicle is a vehicle that was stolen, and then equipped with the forged vehicle identification number of a legitimate vehicle. In other words, car cloning is the identity theft of vehicles, and there is more than one victim in this scenario.

What’s it to you?

Even if you believe that you have bought your car fairly and illegally, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that if it is a stolen vehicle and its true pedigree is discovered, the car will be taken away from you. Even worse, you will still be liable for any outstanding loans.

Even if you aren’t the unwitting owner of a stolen car, but the innocent owner of the vehicle that was cloned, you could be accused of a variety of civil or criminal offenses, especially if the stolen and cloned vehicle was used for criminal activities. You could spend a lot of time and money trying to prove that it wasn’t you or your vehicle.

What can you do?

The best way to fight vehicle cloning is data sharing between relevant entities (such as the police, Financial Intelligence Centre, National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of Transport and financing companies and insurers).

Unfortunately, South Africa still has some steps to take to achieve adequate data sharing. However, there are still measures you can take to protect yourself. You can help prevent illegal activities like vehicle cloning by buying vehicles from reputable dealers, and being careful about private dealers, like a stranger who put up an advert simply with a cellphone number. If you are going to buy from a private dealer, make sure you see the papers proving ownership with your own eyes, and ask for proof of residence as well. And whatever you do, do not buy used cars without a service book or owner’s manual.

Further, check that the vehicle identification number and chassis numbers of a vehicle are identical, making sure that there is no evidence these numbers were tampered with.

Also look out for other signs that you are not dealing with a stolen vehicle. For instance, the vehicle should ideally have two sets of keys, with the keys for the doors and the ignition correlating. There also should not be damage to the locks or ignition system.

Finally, trust your instincts. If you don’t get a good feeling from the seller or if the deal sounds too good to be true, just walk away. There are many pre-owned cars for sale that are both legitimate and a good deal. Don’t be scammed into getting involved in a criminal act you want no part of.

 

You can rob a bank…

If you want to spend your life in small cell thinking about the good old days before you went and did something as ludicrous as robbing bank, then you should probably go ahead and do it. If you go in thinking that all you have to do is shout, “Freeze! Nobody moves,” waving a gun around, then you stand a better chance of surviving the jump from an aeroplane. Without the parachute.

Is it possible with high-tech gadgets?

Biometric technologies such as eye/fingerprint scanning, man traps, silent alarms, exploding dye packs, and time-locked vaults would make a bank heist nearly impossible to achieve. If it wasn’t for technology improvement then robbing the bank wouldn’t have been simple for these guys:

Jack Flanagan reported for the Weekly, “A little more hard core is the Brazilian bank heist that took place in 2005. A group of men bought a house in central Fortaleza, in the province of Ceará. They put up a sign calling themselves a landscaping company and over the course of three months tunnelled beneath the house toward the vault of a Banco Central. They were meticulous — disabling the bank’s alarm system before the grab, and spreading burnt lime around the property to prevent finger prints. The money -160 million real-dollars was unmarked, meaning tracing was impossible.”

Money can be marked

If you do pull of the heist, there is something you should keep in mind. If the money is “marked,” i.e. if it is identifiable as stolen currency, you will be caught in an instant. Most banks have at least one bundle of bait money. This is a bundle of money on which the serial numbers are recorded and can only be made known to the individual bank until the bait money is stolen. There is no way you can remove the serial code or marking on the money. What would be the point then?

It’s not like the movies

A disguise would never work – Banks use tightly controlled ID cards that are checked in, checked out, and counted every night. If someone loses their card, it will be terminated immediately.

No point in targeting the money truck – There’s a button in the truck that sends out an emergency signal to armed response for back-up, who will show up with guns drawn. Someone in the truck will always be within arm’s reach of that button.

Many thieves have been caught because they flaunt their new found riches. Don’t think the neighbours won’t notice and don’t assume that people don’t talk. If you had the patience to plan the heist, have the patience to spend it at an inauspicious rate. The best advice: Just don’t do it.