Thursday, December 23, 2010

What types of water do you see in your home causing damage?

Let's go through the various types of water seen in your home: 
1: Clean water

Clean water, although still damaging, is the least polluting and pure water that will enter your home. All water colors will do damage such as warping wood, high humidity causing flooring to warp, damage to furniture and belongings and will destroy drywall. Clean water however, is the least damaging, so at least you've got that if this is the case. You can enter the water (watch for electrical outlets and avoid getting shocked!) and is is usually safe to work in being clear of most bacteria and chemicals. 

2: Gray water
Gray water generally has impurities and needs more treatment once the area is cleared of water and dried out. Gray water tends to originate from sump pump pits (sump pump isn't working), water coming through foundation cracks, etc.

3: Black water
Black water is the worst water damage to see in your basement. This is a very serious issue. the first thing you need to do in this event is to call your local sewer and drain expert, as this problem is mostly due to a sewer back up. Once the issue is taken care of and the water drained, you need a very experienced water damage expert. Do not hire some "waterproofing" guy, they will not have the right experience or equipment. Black water has bacteria and other pollutants and is not safe to enter - period. Black water, again, usually a sewer backup, can enter from floor drain, a bad ejector pump in your basement (overhead sewer systems), or sometimes even from a sump pump if your sewer line is connected to your drain tile (old homes). If you see "sewer flies" - tiny flies with jagged wings, you've definitely had a sewer back up. Debris of various sorts will be visible including feces, paper products and female products (which is disturbing if you have no females living in your home).  This will usually means that your city main sewer has backed up into your home and is very dangerous. Call only a water damage restoration expert! 

When seeing the starting point of any types of water in your home, you should take action and have it inspected before it gets serious. Sings of pending problems include water spots on the walls and ceilings, water evidence around floor drains in basements, slow drains in your basement and water seepage from foundation cracks.

how can you prevent any of this? 

-      Home inspections done regularly are a good start. They're cheap (relatively to water damage) and can save you a lot of headaches.
-      At any sign of  water evidence, call a water damage specialist to inspect and address.   
-      Ensure your home insurance policy covers rain and sewer backups, this is usual for most good insurance policies. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thinking and Marketing

Thinking and Marketing

We grew up hearing “think before you act”, “think about it”, “think about what you say before you say it.”. Some people tend to “look before you leap”, “dive right in”, which I've personally had more success with, but I’ve found that in marketing the "thinker" marketing type isn't too successful. :  

Too many marketing consultants “think” they know what a consumer wants or they “think” they have a good marketing campaign to launch - with your money that is. I’d rather “know” I have something good before any company spends money on it. One recent example was a company I know of – a printing company who sells to individual printing sales houses. One agency came up with the brilliant sales slogan of, “Say I Do To Our Service” showing a picture of a bride and groom at a wedding. Hmmmm.....really? Maybe it's good?  It’s just plain gimmicky to me though. If I were a printer looking for a materials distributor would that get me? - Nope. I’d bet some bottom dollars that no research was done on this one whatsoever. No phone calls, surveys, just "bright ideas". So it comes down to a shot-in-the-dark creative process on the part of the marketing consultant.

What should have happened? First, they should have asked lots of questions. They should’ve asked about past clients, highest volumes of clients, where they were from, what industries, why they used them, why do they get referrals, what industries are using them more frequently over the years? Then maybe you can now get your “ah-ha” moment as a creative. 

Next, they should have done the market research. And as a side note, be careful with online and email surveys as you generally get one word answers. those are hard to work with. You've got to talk to people, ask the deeper questions, pull strings, get emotions, find out the things that one word answers won’t tell you. Now things will start to at least get interesting. 

When you start your creative process this way, your ROI is higher because your responses will be higher to your promo as you’re really saying something to them now. The creative process can now become very imaginative as actually realistic - not pie in the sky anymore.

So with the whole "thinking" thing, there’s not much thinking going on when you do what you should do in marketing. It is a lot of research, comparisons, data and investigating. 

So obviously thinking is what puts us higher on the food chain here on earth, but this is my insight into where in the creative process thinking should go.   

Dan York