Blog RSS feed for this section

Becoming an Industry Leader: Factors to Help you Rise to The Top

Looking to take your company to the next level?  Between work and your personal life, it may seem impossible to address all of your opportunities for growth.  Don’t fret – La Voz Marketing can support you with key marketing and public relations strategies that enable your company to become an industry leader.  We aren’t the only believers in the power of these practices.  Forbes.com also believes and outlined some of these concepts in a recent article:

industry leaderHonesty

Your customers’ trust is huge when it comes to staying on top.  Being dishonest or hiding things can demolish that bond.  An example of a company attempting to be more straightforward with their consumers is McDonald’s.  Adding the calorie count to their menu risked cutting sales, but it was considerate of their customers’ concerns.

Trusted Source for Information

Customers naturally trust companies that provide them with good information.  Great examples of companies that make a point of doing this are HubSpotGrasshopperSwitch Video, and Moz. All of them have solid blogs, and they consistently produce content that their customers use to make day-to-day decisions. When you combine the quality of their content with their consistent distribution in industry publications, you hold the recipe for their credibility.

Contributing Executives

Are your executives contributors to your industry’s publications? Are they speaking at industry events? If not, they should be.  Your company strengthens its position as an authority when your executives are sharing their knowledge in the space your industry covets.

Meaningful Relationship with Target Market

Industry leaders care about more than just moving product. What information, service, or program can you provide that won’t dig deeper into your customers’ pockets — but will instead help them?

Industry Expert Employees

Look at the key employees who lead your different divisions.  Are they positioned as industry experts?  If you’re running a development company, then your senior developers should be the subject matter experts.

Awards and Placements in Top Industry Lists

Being recognized as the best helps establish you as an industry leader and fuels future growth.

Good Reputation

Whether you’re dealing with a customer or an employee, it’s important to treat people well.  Customers want to know that their money’s going to a company with a conscience.  Test your own reputation by having your employees and customers rate you.  If you’re swamped with positive reviews, then you’ve got this one covered.

Visible to Target Market in Search Results

You never know what kind of attention you might receive through search results.  Quality content, social influence, and author rank are important factors to pay attention to when it comes to dominating search results in the future.

Presence at Major Industry Events

One of the easiest steps you can take to establish yourself as an industry leader is to make sure you’re present at major events.  Keep a list of all your industry’s major events and create a solid presence at them.

Becoming dominant in an industry is challenging because there will always be an up-and-comer developing a new product or service.  La Voz Marketing can help you address the list above to establish you as an industry leader and enable you to maintain that position.

LVM Supports Charitable Educational Seminar

photo (2)

The Elite OC recently hosted a powerful educational seminar focused on ‘Achieving Success’ and ‘Making a Difference’, two pillars on which the young professionals society was founded.  Over 70 professionals gathered to listen to an interactive panelist session featuring two successful figures in the community – Ivo Tjan, President and CEO of CommerceWest Bank, and Matt Steward, Co-Founder of National Service Group.  

Always striving to bring awareness and support to regional non profits, The Elite OC partnered with Mercy House for this event. Attendees were asked to donate personal care supplies as their admission, which went to support the variety of homeless populations that Mercy House serves in the local community.

photo (1)

After time spent networking and enjoying the continental breakfast, attendees enjoyed a riveting discussion between Mr. Tjan and Mr. Steward, who spoke on tips to achieving success, why some people succeed and most people fail, carving a career path, and how to make an impact both personally and professionally.

La Voz Marketing was happy to support this inspirational event and would like to give a special thanks to The Elite OC and its guest speakers for encouraging young professionals to give back while building a path to success.

For more information on how to become involved with The Elite OC, visit TheEliteOC.com or facebook.com/TheEliteOC.

Fashion, Technology & Friends at AGENDA Long Beach

Having recently attended the AGENDA show, a two-day youth-culture forum held at the Long Beach Convention Center, we experienced the latest in fashion and technology products coming available in 2014.  Representing every facet of California lifestyle, AGENDA brought together over 600 brands within fashion, action sports, streetwear, sneakers, accessories, hardgoods and more.  Notably, this year’s show revealed a strong participation from technology product and accessory companies such as GoPro, OlloClip and Mophie.

Agenda Long BeachWe were thrilled to see what these brands, among others, have in store for 2014 and enjoyed visiting with our friends at The Ampal Creative, TAVIK, Vestal, Mophie, Wonderland, Olukai and Beach Riot.

The Agenda team (via Agenda.com) recently interviewed the founders of The Ampal Creative, Andrew Potash and Daniel Schechter, who provided advice, insights and background on how they got started.  Check it out:

How did you get started in the industry?
It started with supportive and creative parents and a family that always told me to do what I love. I graduated from USC in 05 with a degree in Business and Cinema. I was looking at a buyer program at a large high end department store and positions in a couple of big talent agencies’ training programs. Although, both were associated with creative outlets, both seemed pretty soul-less. I trusted my gut and walked away from the offers. I went on a couple of surf trips and spent the summer surfing and being a beach bum again with all the boys n girls down in SD. I literally washed away any desire for the corporate route and reconnected with my roots and loves.

A big head with a limited hat market, a desire to not go the T-shirt/hoodie/printed route, and a small, personal line of credit lead to the first http://www.theampalcreative.com hats. They weren’t embroidered basics, they were cut-n-sew from fabrics I picked. We basically spent the next couple of years overcoming all sorts of production nightmares as we grew and am really proud to be where we’re at now.

What brands were you inspired by growing up? Name 3-ish.
Stussy – I remember being at La Jolla Elementary School and walking down the street to California Surf n Sport on my birthdays and picking out Stussy shirts. I did a third grade report on a Stussy 8 Ball snapback I wish I still had – I had no idea what an 8 Ball was.

Bald – The coolest brand by the coolest dudes from the coolest shop when I was a grom. Pablo and Ricky from Mitch’s (OG surf/skate shop, one of the first surf/skate “boutique” way before such an idea existed). They started this rad clothing/skate line, with a flip of the dunlop logo with a B. I doodled it countless countless times. Without knowing it, this was my first exposure to streetwear.

Polo – I grew up in La Jolla. My parents never bought me Polo, but I knew there was something about it and aspired toward the little embroidered horseman my friends had on their gear.

Continue Reading →

Apple Enters the Smart Radio Space with iTunes Radio

In an attempt to gain share in the smart radio space industry, Apple recently announced its decision to launch its own Internet radio service called iTunes Radio.  iTunes Radio is considered to be a cross between Pandora and Google’s new Google Play Music All Access.  This streaming music service allows you to create custom radio stations from artists or songs within your iTunes library of purchased music, which is altered whenever you like or dislike a song that plays on the station.  It is available across all Apple devices and is offered as an ad-supported free service to everyone, or ad-free to those who have signed up for Apple’s iTunes Match service.

itunes-radioGiven Apple’s position as the largest seller of digital music and producer of the most popular mobile devices, the company’s decision to launch its own Internet radio service makes a lot of sense.  However, other companies in the smart radio space don’t seem nervous about their latest competitor.

Take Pandora, for instance, the leader in Internet Radio with over 70 million active monthly users in the U.S. alone.  Pandora’s stock price actually rose slightly upon news of Apple’s new iTunes Radio (this may be because Apple is not entirely focused on taking away the audio advertising market, especially when it comes to local ads, which Pandora targets specifically).

Below is Pandora’s official statement about iTunes Radio, followed by statements from others in the industry such as Slacker, TuneIn, and Stitcher (as found in a recent Venture Beat article).

Continue Reading →

Society’s Newest Influential Segment: Upscale Latinos

Upscale Latinos are the most influential segment since the baby boomers, according to a recent report by Nielsen and the Association of the Hispanic Advertising Agencies.  Defined as Hispanic households earning $50,000 to $100,000 in annual income, this sophisticated market of upscale Latinos will drive shifts in purchasing behavior, brand relationship and category consideration, providing lifetime value and upside opportunities for many high-end, luxury brands.

Upscale LatinoThe report found that 15 million upscale Latinos in the U.S. accounted for 29% of the country’s Hispanic population in 2012, 37% of the group’s total spending power and is expected to double in size by 2050.  It also found that upscale Latinos are younger than upscale non-Hispanic Whites (33 years old compared with 39 years old) and they live active lifestyles, often with young families.

While reading through the report, we found some additional characteristics that we felt were necessary in describing this new age of boomers.

Homeowners and Financially Savvy

The report found that half of upscale Latinos have investments: 86% maintain savings accounts and 50% are more likely to manage their financial accounts from their mobile device.  The report also found that they were more likely to invest in the stock plans their employers provide them.  In fact, they invest more in mutual funds than the total U.S. Hispanic population (21% vs. 16%).

Continue Reading →

Independence Day on the Back Bay

Independence Day

Looking for something to do on Independence Day and over the holiday weekend?  One of Southern California’s most explosive 4th of July celebrations is set to take place in Newport Beach as Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort hosts ‘Independence Day on the Back Bay‘.  Among the festivities included in this 3-day celebration are a chili cook-off, a food eating contest, a live performance by the legendary folk rock group America, and one of Southern California’s most dynamic fireworks displays.

As a convenience for our readers, we’ve provided a schedule of the events that will be taking place over the next few days at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.  You can also visit eventbrite.com for ticket information.

Thursday, July 4th

All Day Carnival games, crafts, face painting, temporary tattoo tent, balloon sculptor, snow cone vendor, BBQ, access to Moe B’s Watersports (aquatic park featuring enormous floating obstacle course, 15-foot slide and high-dive), Kid’s Corral (bounce house and other attractions for young children).

11:30am – 4:30pm Chili Cook-Off with judging from 1:00pm – 3:30pm; winners will be announced at 4:30pm.

12:00pm – 4:00pm Ruby’s will sponsor the All-American Food Eating Contest where 25 hungry contestants will dig into massive chili cheeseburgers, Texas portioned sides, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon and banana splits and vie for prizes.

1:30pm Kid’s Sundae Eating Contest in 3 age groups (6-9, 10-12, 13-15).

4:00pm – 7:30pm Live music by popular local bands including Black Star and Carlos the Experience.

7:30pm – 9:00pm America performs. With hits like “Horse With No Name,” “Tin Man,” “Ventura Highway” and “Sister Golden Hair Surprise,” the Grammy-winning band helped shape the music of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

9:00pm Fireworks Spectacular

Friday, July 5th

All Day Moe B’s Aquatic Park opens & rentals of all water crafts including paddleboards, kayaks, peddleboats, sailboats, etc. are available. To reserve in advance call 949-999-3180.

6:00pm – 9:00pm   Locale Magazine and OC Fiat are hosting ‘The Locale Red, White and Luau’ party  with Hawiian music, fire dancers, free food, free libation tastings and more at Newport Dunes! Proceeds to benefit the OM Foundation – tickets available here.

Saturday, July 6th

All Day The carnival comes to town complete with Ferris wheel, zip line, hydro climbing wall, giant slide and “larger than life” attractions like the Orbitron and Roco Plane.

12:00pm – 4:30pm Food Truck Wars will see Chomp Chomp Nation, Wahoo’s, Bare Flag, Garlic Mike’s, Barcelona, Lime Truck and others duke it out.  The public will cast their votes for their favorite and a $1,000 prize will be awarded for 1st prize truck.

4:00pm – 9:30pm So Cal’s hottest DJ, Richard Blake, and local bands will take turns heating up the night.  Including DSB “Don’t Stop Believing” tribute to Journey.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.eventbrite.com.  Happy 4th of July!

Advancements in Today’s World of Home Automation

The world of automated home gadgets is young and exciting, filled with a vast amount of promising new products. In previous years, the “smart” home was dreamt about, shown only in movies and prototypes.  Now, that home is finally a reality with a variety of usable devices, many of which can be controlled from the convenience of a smartphone.  Mashable and CNN broke down the benefits that come with the home automation evolution.

Improved User Experience

Nest Learning ThermostatCompanies that develop household appliances will have access to an incredible amount of data about users and their experiences.  This new data will allow professionals to gather more insight into how products are used in real life and will provide opportunities to create a more personalized user experience.  Nest, the “learning thermostat”, is a great example of putting this data to use.  Users “teach” this proactive device their patterns for a few days and then Nest automatically adjusts settings to save energy based on user habits.

Reduced Costs

Home automation brings the concept of the “smart grid” into consumers’ homes.  Homeowners can control large appliances digitally and have them set to run at the time of day when energy prices are at their lowest.  HVAC systems, like forced air and zoned heating, will be able to work hand in hand within a home to be energy efficient while maintaining a desired temperature.  Additional opportunities for synchronization of systems are being developed that will help consumers save energy and money.

Plant LinkConvenience

In this fast-paced world we live in, it is now all about effectiveness and efficiency.  You can control home security cameras, blinds, check air quality, see if windows are open, unlock your house from halfway around the world, or use GPS to have your heater turn on…all through the palm of your hand.  A product called Plant Link monitors plants’ moisture levels and sends a text to the owner when they need water.  Philips Hue is a wireless lighting system that allows users to control every light in their house down to its color, saturation, and brightness, right from their smartphone.  Controlled through the Hue App, which comes with 17 pre-loaded “scenes,” users are able to use these scenes or create custom scenes, capturing the color from these images and recreating the desired hues throughout their home.

Here at LVM, we find home automation fascinating and are actively learning about what is now possible and will be possible in the near future.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Summer Solstice Marks the Start of Summer

sun_lgToday we celebrate Summer Solstice, officially the first day of summer.  Starting at approximately 1:04am EDT on June 21st, the Northern Hemisphere of Earth has its greatest tilt toward the sun, making it the longest day of the year.

To get an idea of what happens (astronomically) on this special day, we looked to Wikipedia for a brief explanation.  We found that June 20-21 is one of two solstices: June 21 is called the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.  Around December 21, the solstices are reversed and winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere.  During the solstice, the rays of the sun directly strike one of the two tropical latitude lines and the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.  When summer occurs in a hemisphere, it is due to that hemisphere receiving more direct rays of the sun than the opposite hemisphere where it is winter.  In winter, the sun’s energy hits the earth at oblique angles and is thus less concentrated.  For several months of the year, one half of the earth receives more direct rays of the sun than the other half, hence creating the four seasons we are fortunate enough to experience.

Worldwide interpretation of the event varies among cultures, but most recognize it with festivals, holidays, and rituals during this time.  To join in on this celebration, we found a few Summer Solstice events in the Southern California area:

The Financial Benefits of Citizenship for Hispanic Americans

CA_Latino_Financial_Access_ReportWeb.pdf - Mozilla Firefox 6132013 21951 PMThe National Council of La Raza (NCLR) recently released a new report titled ‘Latino Financial Access and Inclusion‘, which examines the financial benefits of citizenship for Hispanic Americans.  Included within the report are ways in which citizenship provides new opportunities for individuals to build their financial capacity.

Between January and April 2012, NCLR worked with eight NCLR Affiliates and four Progreso Financiero stores to survey more than 1,000 low-income Hispanic individuals across California.  The objective of this survey was to understand how Latino households were interacting with the financial services industry, the qualities and experiences that shaped their attitudes and decision-making, and the ways in which technology was either fostering or inhibiting access to financial services.  Below are a few key factors we pulled from the report:

Account Ownership and Use:

  • The majority of survey participants were saving. However, those without a bank account were less likely to save than participants with an account.
  • Survey respondents were tapping into a wide range of financial tools beyond those associated with accounts, such as checks or debit cards. Moreover, personal networks were an important financial tool.

Age, Citizenship Status, and Employment:

  • Account ownership fluctuated among age groups. Immigrant account ownership varied based on time in the country.
  • Foreign-born citizens had higher engagement levels than similarly situated immigrants who have yet to naturalize.
  • Participants pointed to the lack of bilingual capacity among financial institutions and burdensome identification requirements as major obstacles to building a meaningful relationship with a financial institution.
  • The unemployed were less likely to have an account than the employed.

Continue Reading →

Runners Unite on Fifth Annual ‘National Running Day’

This week marked the fifth annual National Running Day, which was created to shine a light on the many ways in which running improves lives and society.  In its brief history, National Running Day has become a mostly informal celebration, as running has become increasingly popular.  According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, more than 50 million Americans lace up their sneakers and run each year, with a little over half of which who run 50 days or more throughout the year.

I Run logoCreated in 2009, National Running Day is held the first Wednesday in June and is organized by the New York Road Runners, Boston Athletic Association, Running USA, and USA Track & Field.  Geared specifically towards this day, organized group runs are held in more than 130 cities.  This year the organizers of National Running Day are encouraging runners to donate to the One Fund Boston, which was created to help the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

“It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun,” reads the description on the National Running Day site. “It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment.”

At LVM, running is an important part of our office culture.  With a handful of marathons under our belts, spreading from Orange County to Malibu and Catalina, we’ve put in quite a few miles and know what it takes to be considered an ‘avid runner’.

Continue Reading →