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This article was prepared for the December 12, 2001 edition of
U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Back to Marketing Basics
Stock exchanges weren’t the only places popping with
irrational exuberance back at the end of the last century. "There
was irrational exuberance in marketing too," says Larry
founder and president of Newtown, Pennsylvania-based Garfield Group,
a 40-person marketing communications company targeting the technology
community. Dollars — lots and lots of dollars — were thrown
around with little thought to where they would stick.
"People felt they had to send money for mind share, for buzz,"
says Garfield. "They spent irresponsibly. They thought money
buzz, and buzz equals stock price."
Times have changed dramatically, with some saying the dearth of
being spent on advertising has caused a "100-year firestorm"
in the advertising industry. Still, money needs to be spent to drive
sales. Garfield speaks on how to market effectively in 2002 as part
of a panel addressing "The Changing Terrain for Business in
staged by GetContactX on Thursday, December 13, at 8 a.m. at the
Inn, Route 1 South. Also on the panel are Paul Mlynarski,
& Touche; Michael Pollack, Register.com; and others. Cost: $30.
Garfield, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton
(Class of 1982), founded his company in 1990. It caters exclusively
to the software, Internet, and telecommunications industries. Clients
include Platinum Technology, Princeton Softech, BEA Systems, and
Of business prospects for 2002, Garfield says, "I sure would like
to have a crystal ball." But while he can’t clearly see where
the industries he serves are going, he is sure of one thing.
been a real back to basics," he says. "When you invest
dollars, it is about driving to a business result — sales."
Garfield offers the following suggestions for how marketing dollars
can be made to morph into sales:
the Internet heyday, yet it is still important. "Continue to build
brand awareness," says Garfield, "but it’s not about reaching
everyone. It’s about targeting."
It is incredibly expensive to get a message to everyone, as the
companies that spent millions on Super Bowl ads found out. And many
companies, especially business-to-business companies selling to just
a few industries, might need only to reach several thousand decision
makers, or maybe only several hundred. Know who they are, and go after
them, and leave the worldwide consumer audience to others.
One of Garfield’s clients, for instance, sells CAD software to the
construction and engineering industry. For them, "an ad in The
Wall Street Journal just to raise the stock price" would be
— and unnecessary — says Garfield. Their dollars are better
spent on ads in vertical trade magazines.
more time being spent online by decision makers," says Garfield.
"It’s still the most ubiquitous communication tool ever."
The ‘Net can be a good place for advertisers to be, especially if
they think creatively. "It’s not just banner ads," he says.
"It’s content and sponsorship. You have to use the Internet in
The medium has taken a bashing as a sinkhole for ad dollars, and rates
on most sites are way, way down. Bargains abound. Says Garfield:
are definitely looking to deal."
print still carries a big impact. "Being in core vertical
is extremely important," says Garfield. "A regular presence
in print delivers good return, especially for BtoB
emphasis on beefing up company websites, making them sharp,
sales tools. Salespeople’s tools also are getting a good look to
that they have everything they need in the field, whether that be
laptop sales presentations or the ability to videoconference.
so far. Potential customers need to know just how you will boost their
bottom line. "Make sure messaging and pitch is about business
value," says Garfield. "If a business is going to invest what
are limited dollars it needs to know there will be a return on
Now is the time to demonstrate how well you can serve up the meat
This should come as a surprise to no one, but long term
health care is a pretty expensive proposition.
While everyone knows this in general terms, the actual numbers may
come as a bit of a shock. The average nursing home in New Jersey costs
families $5,500 per month, and can easily be twice that amount for
a shared room in the Princeton area, not including medicine, doctors’
visits, transportation to medical appointments — or tissues.
statistics show that approximately 43 percent of the population will
one day require the services of a nursing home.
"Not many people can afford to pay that kind of expense out of
pocket for very long, and sure, it’s best to plan ahead," says
Dana Bookbinder, an attorney who specializes in elder law at
Begley, Begley, and Fendrick P.C. "There are strategies that
can use. Obviously the earlier you plan the more you can save. By
starting three to five years in advance, you can really save a lot
On the other hand, it’s never too late either. "People are often
under the misconception that it’s already too late if you haven’t
started planning until after a family member has gotten sick or is
in a nursing home," say Bookbinder. "But that’s not true.
It’s still possible to save a substantial portion of an estate even
Bookbinder finds that many people are unaware of the opportunities
available to them. "Estates are lost, and liens are placed on
houses in cases where it is simply not necessary," she says. She
speaks on "Financing Long Term Health Care" on Thursday,
13, at 1 p.m. at a free seminar at the New Jersey Law Center in New
Brunswick. Call 856-235-8501.
The goal is to educate people on the variety of ways to finance
home care, such as private pay, long term care insurance, veterans
benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid. "But unless people have the
funds to private pay or someone in the family is a veteran, the only
viable solution in many cases is Medicaid eligibility," says
"We will outline the requirements to qualify for Medicaid, which
pays for over half the nursing home care costs in this country. There
are many legal planning techniques available that clients can
Bookbinder graduated from Cornell University in 1992,
where she majored in English. She went on to law school at George
Washington University, graduating in 1995. Prior to coming to Begley,
Begley, and Fendrick, a Mooresville-based firm with an office at 993
Lenox Drive, she clerked for the New Jersey Superior Court in Mercer
County for the Honorable Thomas P. Kelly in the Civil Division.
Bookbinder now specializes in Medicaid planning, estate planning,
estate administration, and guardianships. She is active in the state
elder law section, currently serving as vice chair and is slated to
chair the section next year.
"Unfortunately, most people don’t plan too far in advance,"
says Bookbinder. "Probably most of our clients come to us after
a spouse has been diagnosed with a progressive illness. Despite the
importance of planning ahead for long term health care, people do
tend to neglect it."
Bookbinder offers these tips to those seeking to actively get a grip
on their future long term health care needs, whether those needs be
in the near or distant future.
from law school. "It’s important to see an attorney who
not only the Medicaid laws, but also the tax laws," says
"A lot of financial advisers and general practitioners try to
give their clients elder law advice and the problem is that they only
understand half of the law."
An elder law attorney will do a comprehensive review of an
financial situation and design an asset protection plan to help save
as much of his estate as possible. "Nursing home costs are so
high that very often if one spouse goes into a care facility the other
healthy spouse’s standard of living is jeopardized," says
"With planning, we can help maintain their standard of
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has lists of elder law
attorneys in every state. (520-881-4005 or www.naela.org.)
get their estate planning documents in order and make sure they have
a good power of attorney and living will. Despite the anxieties many
people feel many pitfalls can be avoided by careful planning.
over the age of 18 should have in place a last will and testament,
a living will, and a general durable power of attorney. "It’s
much less expensive to do this planning in advance than it is for
a family to go to court if something should happen," she says.
"When it comes to planning for long term health care, before
think it’s important, it already is. There’s no reason not to plan
possibility of long term health care needs, individuals can do
and their families an enormous favor by taking care of these issues
in advance. "The way the law is designed now, individuals who
pass away suddenly can leave assets to their children through their
wills," says Bookbinder. "But individuals who suffer from
a long term progressive illness often don’t have that option because
their estates are slowly depleted by the costs of their long term
— Jack Florek
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