Tag: organisation

DIY homework caddies

Professional organiser Harmony Seiter has provided a step-by-step guide to creating an at-home homework station.

A homework caddy is great for small spaces, multi-purpose spaces, and for kids who love to do their homework on the floor or away from a desk or table.

• Find a caddy or a tray you like.
o You can find caddies of all shapes and sizes in many sections of a retailer (such as baby, bathroom, kitchen)
o You may need to add other containers to separate supplies

Watch the video here.

• Your needs will vary depending on the age of your kids.
o Primary grades may need crayons, scissors, glue sticks, pencils, pencil sharpener, erasers, colored pencils, a ruler, tape, paper, and possibly subject folders.
o Middle schoolers and high schoolers may need a calculator, pens, pencils, highlighters, pencil sharpener, erasers, stapler or paper clips, paper, glue sticks, loose leaf paper, sticky notes, tape, and subject folders.

• Place your homework caddy in an easy to reach spot for your student. It’s easily mobile, but make sure it`s brought to the same spot at the end of the day so homework time is always easy to manage.

Whether you keep it in your dedicated office or your kitchen pantry, a homework station will give your student all the tools she needs to successfully finish the day’s assignments.

Source: www.fox13now.com

 

Americans start their back-to-school searches in July, despite the fact that schools won’t open for two more months.

Here’s why: it’s the second-biggest shopping holiday of the year.

The second biggest — who’d have thought that, right? Back-to-school spending is second only to the December holiday season.

Research shows that families with K-12 kids spend an average of $674 on the hottest sneakers, fashion trends, electronics, calculators and binders — and even more money for college-bound students.
In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, in 2016 back-to-school spending hit $75.8 billion. (Can I hear a collective “ouch” from all the parents out there?)

Which means for digital marketers, planning needs to start now. Below you’ll find two assignments (plus helpful insights) designed to help you move to the head of the class this back-to-school season.

Assignment #1: Find out who’s buying and plan your bid modifiers
Increased traffic means you need an increased budget. And to maximise those budget dollars, you first need to know exactly who you’re targeting and then build meaningful campaigns.

According to research done by my colleagues at Bing, 32 percent of back-to-school shoppers are aged 35 to 49, and 31 percent are 50 to 64, with the primary customer being female and a mom.

But don’t forget — although mom may be footing the bill, her K-12 kids are dropping not-so-subtle hints about what they want.

On the other hand, college freshmen outfitting their dorms are relying on Mom and Dad to guide their decisions. It’s critical that you segment your audiences with demographic targeting, keeping in mind key influencers.

This means that you’ll need to create a separate set of ads to attract each of these different segments. Thankfully, with demo-based bid modifiers offered by search engines, you can make your ads feel more personalized.

In addition, make sure you’re segmenting by geography as well, so you can optimize not just based on season and local trends but also based on peak periods for each location.

As always, don’t forget to look at last year’s performance data, to help you optimize this year’s campaigns.

Extra credit: Be there for teachers

Teachers are unsung heroes who invest heavily in the next generation — often with their own hard-earned money. Thanks to increasingly tight school budgets, most teachers spend an average of $500 on their classroom, and some teachers report spending $1,000 or more.

Consider donating classroom items or a percentage of your sales to local schools or even offering a buy-one-give-one promotion. Calling out these promotions in your ad campaigns will encourage customers to shop with you, trust your brand, and feel good about their purchases.

And you can feel good about helping teachers.

Assignment #2: Determine what they’re searching for

Of course, for campaign success, you need to know what your shoppers are looking for. And the answers are all in the data.

Take time to examine trends related to your products and uncover the top-searched terms, as well as the days and times folks are looking.

For example, thanks to Bing data, we know that the most popular back-to-school search category is apparel (shoes and clothing), at 58.5 percent, and click-through rates are high in July and August.

So, for these months, consider optimizing your shopping campaigns with enhancements such as merchant promotions, sale pricing and review extensions, as well as highlighting local inventory.

Oh, and by the way…

Sometimes back-to-school shoppers are searching for what we don’t really expect, such as bed and bath products. Searchers on Bing (as compared to Google searchers) are 16 percent more likely to have spent between $200 to $499 on bed and bath products in the last six months. Optimizing for these products could yield some sweet-smelling profits.

Technology is also a big back-to-school category, and we know that these shoppers do plenty of online research before committing.

Running ads for searches higher in the purchase funnel can be very effective in these cases. For example, an ad for a tablet early in the shopping season may use unbranded search terms and include more detailed ad copy as well as review extensions. But an ad for that same tablet later in the season may have less detail but would also include branded search terms.

Speaking of brand, how does brand vs. non-brand factor in?

Below I’ve highlighted a few search stats and tips from Bing that indicate clear trends in some key back-to-school categories.

Clothes

72 percent of searches were for unbranded terms.
Top unbranded searched terms: t-shirts, shirts for teen girls, and cute plus-size outfits
Tip: Including an ad showing the product in use or multiple colors of the item can help the image grab attention.

Laptops & tablets

76 percent of searches were for unbranded terms.
Top unbranded searched terms: best deals tablets, tablets and best tablet deal
Tip: Influence shoppers with customer reviews using a review extension, and if your product is on sale, be sure to use the sales price column in your product feed.

School supplies

81 percent of searches were for unbranded terms.
Top unbranded searched terms: calculator, scientific calculator, portfolio
Tip: Consider offering a coupon and try a broad match modifier for unbranded terms.

Furniture, décor, and bed & bath

88 percent of searches were for unbranded terms.
Top unbranded searched terms: furniture, furniture stores, mattress stores, memory foam mattress
Tip: Personalize what shows in your ad with dynamic text parameters. Showing the product in use, e.g., a rug shown on the floor of a room, can be especially helpful for this category as it provides context to the shopper.

Boost your popularity: Discover where your audience is hanging out
Did you know that back-to-school shoppers plan to purchase from only an average of three websites? Finding out where your customers are spending time online (and where they’ll make their purchases) is critical to getting your campaigns in front of them.

You can also maximize your marketing ROI by syncing your ad investments with other campaigns. Now that you have your assignments, it’s time to kick campaign planning into high gear, so you can edge out your back-to-school competitors.

By Purna Virji for www.searchengineland.com

Highly-engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts, according to research conducted by Officevibe, a Canadian based organisation which provides methods to measure employee satisfaction and tips.

The research also found that companies with engaged employees typically experience 2.5 times more revenue than competitors with low engagement levels. These statistics show that creating a workforce that engages with its employees to ensure they are in sync with the organisational culture is becoming increasingly important, to not only retain staff but to ensure a healthy work environment.

This is according to Marieta Groeneveld, consulting psychometrist at Work Dynamics – a leading HR consultancy in the country, who says that the first and most important step is to establish an identifiable organisational culture. “It is crucial for businesses to have an organisational culture in place that supports the company’s objectives and enables its employees to deliver on the organisational goals. In addition to this, organisational culture can be a key source of competitive advantage and must be maintained and managed effectively.”

She adds that a good tool to use when determining the culture of an organisation is the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), based on the Competing Values Framework of Cameron and Quinn. “This assessment is used to indicate the current and preferred culture along four culture types, namely Clan (people focused), Adhocracy (entrepreneurial), Market (competitive) and the Hierarchy (process driven). Then through workshops the underlying values are identified.”

There are various ways in which an organisation can measure whether employees and prospective employees fit their culture, says Groeneveld. “One of the most widely used methods involves workshops and culture surveys to determine a broad and efficient examination of prospective employees.”

The next step involves recruiters and interviewers, as they need to understand how the culture fit, or rather culture misfit, translates into the screening questions, explains Groeneveld. “These screening questions help to screen out, for example, individuals who are too aggressive, rude and individualistic when the dominant culture is a clan culture and requires collaboration, respect and teamwork, regardless of their expertise. The culture fit of a person is then determined by calculating the correlation between the profiles of the organisations values with the profile of the individual’s preferences.”

Groeneveld warns that the situation needs to be approached with some caution because culture fit procedures should not instantly restrict entry for people with oppositional values. “This could result in insufficient diversity in an attempt to maintain the current culture. Carefully examining the current versus desired culture as measured by the OCAI provides invaluable insights.”

“It is therefore advisable for organisations to partner with an independent service provider who can objectively judge the suitability of a potential candidate and who can identify the need for organisational culture to be re-evaluated,” concludes Groeneveld. In order to build a resilient organisational culture, businesses must not only hire employees based on stability, but must focus specifically on adaptability. Additionally, it is important to hire a diverse group of people. If everyone in the organisation thinks the same, there is little room for innovation. On the other hand, if the organisation only hires innovators, who would bring stability and act as the voice of reason?”

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