Ace Is WILD Blog 

Ramblings, Rants and Raves...

Here is where you will find a lot of things that don't fit into other categories... Opinions, announcements, political chattal, and anything that involves "Chousing Around."

 

23.03.2017
Ace Luciano
No comments
"Maluna coolers bring innovation to a market where everyone thought innovation was over"- Ace Luciano FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Maluna Coolers- Innovating an Industry Bereft of Innovation.  Scott Hoyt, inventor and CEO of Maluna coolers, claims three main components to Maluna's superiority in the existing cooler market. The first is, of course, PERFORMANCE.  A Maluna cooler performs 20% better against the main competitors in the market place (as a matter of fact, there is a great comparison between the Maluna cooler and Yeti coolers on the kickstarter page showing a greater than 20% increased performance.)  The second component is FEATURES. Things like an innovative drain plug with a temperature gauge built-in.  Cooler feet that flip over depending on surface needs. Handles that can tie down while you can still open the lid. And let's not forget- an integrated bottle opener.   The third, and perhaps most important component is VALUE.  Remember this phrase – "VALUE is not PRICE."  Maluna is neither of the highest priced cooler, nor is it the lowest, but it arguably comes in as the best all-around "value" on the marketplace today. The average time for premium coolers to hold ice is approximately five days. If Maluna increases that time by 20%, that's an EXTRA 24 hours of "cool time"... or even MORE.  That could mean an extra day in the field. It could be the difference between food spoiling and keeping in hot conditions.  In the desert and mountains of the southwest United States, it could even mean the difference between survival and death.  That's where Ace Luciano comes in.  A transplanted Midwesterner, Ace currently spends a great deal of his time in the outdoors in the desert, on the lakes, and in the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico. Ace bills himself as "A Hunter, a Fisherman, and Outdoorsman, but also a Husband, Father, Nomad and Adventurer." "The places I go and the things I do necessitate the highest and best quality gear out there. Many of my travels and adventures take me places that are far away from not only the conveniences of modern life, but things like help and medical assistance, should it be needed. Many times My life depends on quality, dependable, and effective products.  If my waterproof apparel does not keep me dry, or my insulating apparel does not keep me warm, death from exposure is a very real possibility.  Failure of a knife, a bow, a crossbow or firearm  can not only cause injuries, but further complicate what may already be a rather dangerous situation. I am very particular as to the products and brands that I endorse – and I am looking forward to putting the Maluna cooler through its paces." Check out the Maluna cooler at their website, www.Maluna.com, and be sure to view their "Kickstarter" page HERE where you can get "pre-launch" pricing and all the information about comparison tests.  For more information about Ace Luciano, the products he endorses and recommends, putting your product in front of thousands of your ideal customers, and connections directly into the right people at the right places in the outdoor world, visit www.aceluciano.com.
20.03.2017
Ace Luciano
No comments
Folks, there has never been a better opportunity for you to do some real good for the gun world. Right now, Gun Digest is having a BLOWOUT SALE on their "Instructional" library- including the Amazon Bestselling book, "Guns the Right Way" by Yours Truly. You can also peruse the rest of the library, pick up a couple of other books, and enter the code "FREESHIP1040G" to get free shipping on any order over $40. If you know people that have kids, know kids that are interested in guns, or know parents of kids that have ever asked about guns, SEND THEM THIS LINK. This week you can get a copy of "The" definitive guide to kids and guns for NOT the cover price of $16.99... Not the SALE price of $13.99 No- not even the e-book price of $8.99... THIS WEEK ONLY you can pick up MULTIPLE copies of, "Guns the Right Way" for just... 5 BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. Just $5.00. That's less than a Venti Mocha Latte from the local anti-gun coffee shop. WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND YOU DO (and not just because I wrote the book- there's no money in giving away books for cost!) Buy 8 or 10 copies. Give one to each of your kid's schools. Bring one to the local library. Take a few to the local sportsman's club and put them out. Use this link http://www.gundigeststore.com/firearms-instruction-for-beginners
16.03.2017
Ace Luciano
No comments
It's time for the firearm industry and those of us in it to be "Offensive."  That's right… It's time to be offensive.  No, I don't mean vulgar, crude, or injecting yourself into someone's "safe space" such that they break down.   I mean that it is time for us  in the hunting, firearms, and shooting world  to go on OFFENSE.  I have just returned from the 39th annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, and the mood there was one of almost giddy euphoria- after a collective sigh of relief.   For the better part of  three different president's respective terms, and certainly most of the last decade, we have had to entirely play DEFENSE.  One could argue that for several years under the previous Republican administration we had to constantly play defense with a democratic controlled house and senate.   Every time there was a tragedy, we had to fight. We had to be constantly reactive instead of proactive. The tragedy of Columbine high school caused the flurry of new gun control bills across the country, and I'll cry from many people that had previously been "on the fence" to allow  for what had come to be one of the left's favorite terms – "common sense" gun control.   As with many things in politics, this deliberate misnomer was used to lead the low-information voter and uninformed general public down a clearly defined path of oppression, registration, and confiscation.   The only thing "common sense" about gun control is that it is an entirely ridiculous concept. Ace Believes that gun control is a foolish concept devised by weak people  You do not need to petition the government for a speedy trial. You do not need to petition the government or get a permit before you are allowed to keep silent.   Our founding fathers were very clear when they added the terminology "shall not be infringed" at the end of the second amendment. They were great discussions about the wording of the Second Amendment and what they meant regarding "the people" and what the term "militia" meant.   The entire theory of gun control is predicated upon the fact that criminals, who, by definition, do not obey laws, will all of a sudden decide to obey laws because they are now written regarding guns. Even worse are what I refer to as the "Double-Dog-Laws"  What's this?  It's when some weak politician gets up on a stage using some recent tragedy as a platform for their firearm control agenda and repeats rhetoric such as "Criminals shouldn't be able to have guns," or, "People who are mentally unstable should not be allowed to possess guns." - both of which are ALREADY ILLEGAL- so we, therefore, must now make them "Double-Dog-Illegal" because THAT will change things and we REALLY MEAN ILLEGAL!!  This past November there was a clear rejection of the policies, politics, and ideals of the most recent presidential administration.   For the first time in many years the presidency, house, and senate are all under Republican majority control.   Now is the time to be OFFENSIVE.  We need a clear, decisive and rapid plan for the RESTORATION (no-not EXPANSION- they are OUR RIGHTS that have been taken away)  of our rights.  Here are a few to start:  1. Nationwide Concealed Carry Reciprocity.  We do this already with things like driver's licenses, vehicle registrations, etc. that are privileges rather than rights.My right to protection and self-preservation should certainly not end at state lines.  2. Removal of Short Barreled Rifle and Suppression devices from the registration list, and elimination of the "tax stamp" in general. Only the government could come up with these ones- that guns must be loud enough to damage hearing for all and that a large handgun possessed and fired from the hand or two hands is legal- but to fire that same gun from the shoulder is not.  3. Nationwide transportation standards  This one is a doozy. The standard for safe transportation of weapons should be just that- STANDARD.  We once had a client fly through New York once on an African Safari. He had to grab his luggage and proceed through customs. This client is also a smoker, so, after taking his cased, locked, unloaded firearms case off of the conveyor belt, he stepped outside to have a cigarette.  BIG MISTAKE.  One of New York's "Less-Than-Finest" came over and engaged him in conversation, asked him where he was going, and what was in the case. The short story- He was ARRESTED, his rifles and a shot gun CONFISCATED, jailed and missed his flight. The ensuing legal process was actually rather simple- go to New York and fight or pay a massive fine for an "ordinance violation" and another massive "Processing fee" to get his guns back. The best part- there was NO STANDARD set or way to address this situation.  If my car is legal in Arizona, I don't have to register or do anything different with it when I cross the border into any other state- including CALIFORNIA. This should be the same with guns.  4. Withdrawal of federal funds for cities that infringe on the rights of their citizens to keep and bear arms. See: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York.  Enough said.  Will the incoming administration hold to their promise of "gun rights" and protection of the Second Amendment?  Time will tell, but things look good so far.  So, what do YOU think? Is it time to "be offensive?" Let Ace know in the comments below! "Ace" Luciano is a Hunter, Fisherman, Outdoorsman, Sales Executive, Author, Writer, and, perhaps most importantly, husband and father to 4 great kids. Learn more about Ace through his website, www.AceLuciano.com
07.03.2017
Ace Luciano
No comments
Ace Luciano is a firm believer in the "Can vs. Can't" Philosophy ...And you're RIGHT. However, YOU CAN.... ...and you are, also, RIGHT. Sometimes, Life Is Hard, and it's Easy to Get Down... Really. The problem is that most people, most of the time use "Can't" when they should really use the term, "W-O-N-'T" It's not that you CAN'T get the money- it's that you WON'T take the extra classes, go BACK to school, PAY for the training, hire the consultant or coach, work the longer hours, the second job, or go for the better job to GET IT. It's not that you CAN'T lose the weight, or that you CAN'T quit smoking, or that you CAN'T get that boat...or go on that dream hunting trip...or live in that dream location... It's that you WON'T do what it takes- whatever that is- to get it done. I know what you're saying to yourself RIGHT NOW. You're making the excuses-and, as my dear friend and mentor Steve Sipress says- "You can make excuses, or you can make money, but you can't make both." How would I know? I've BEEN THERE. You see, I was never supposed to be here... I was supposed to be a DOCTOR. I learned, I studied, and tread the path laid out for me... and FAILED. Over and over. It was rather exhausting- working three part-time jobs, studying all night, taking classes after graduating college... The truth is, I was ALLOWING myself to fail- because it wasn't where I really wanted to be. Once I realized that, my life got a LOT easier. I was BORN to sell, and DESTINED to be in the outdoor world- but it certainly wasn't easy. I worked for FREE for over a year. I spend THOUSANDS of dollars travelling, meeting, and entertaining. I wrote and wrote and wrote article after article... and was rejected. I applied to EVERY JOB I COULD FIND- and was given the most ABSURD excuses. "You've never sold "apparel" before." The foolish, "You're rather "overqualified" for this position... "You have a lot of sales experience, but none "in the industry." and, my personal favorite, the generic, "Though your resume is impressive, we have decided to move forward with another candidate." Then, things began to happen. I made my own waves. I turned down jobs offered to me, and I began to carve my own path.I learned how to POSITION myself. Ironically, I was relating my story to someone that is a huge sports fan that let me know a BUNCH of similarities to a professional athlete that were directly related to my struggles. Check out the NFL history report for this athlete. Second string QB for high school team that went 0-8 Freshman year. Started Sophomore year because no other QB went out. Varsity passing: 219 passes for 3,514 yards and 33 touchdowns Baseball catcher and football quarterback in high school who was drafted for MLB in the 18th round of the June 1995 baseball draft. Opted for football and redshirted in '95 as #7 QB on the depth chart. Saw limited action in '96 and '97 and started '98 and '99. Poor build. Very skinny and narrow. Ended final season weighing 195 pounds and still "looked like a rail" at 211. Looks a little frail and lacks great physical stature and strength. Can get pushed down more easily than we'd like. Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush. Lacks a really strong arm. Can't drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. System-type player who can get exposed if he must ad-lib and do things on his own. Vertical jump- lowest of peers. 40 yard dash time: Lowest ever Seems to have decent field view and decision making ability. Chosen as the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft. Almost didn't make the team. Has thrown 456 Touchdown passes in the NFL- the 4th most ever. Has 61,582 passing yards- the third most EVER. Has thrown the second most TD passes in a single season- 50. Has played in 7 Superbowls and WON 5- the most EVER. In case you haven't figured it out- this athlete is Tom Brady, and he was never supposed to be here, let alone WIN. Remember that the next time you think things are "hard." or that you "can't" Remember - "CAN'T" could easily be spelled "W-O-N-'T" I'm not, nor have I ever been a New England Patriots fan, but I am certainly an admirer of Tom Brady. He wanted it. He wanted it bad enough to work for it- to put HOURS in the gym and the weight room. HOURS running through plays. HOURS visualizing outcomes and wins. Yes, Tom Brady proved beyond a doubt that championships are won not just on the FIELD, but in the extra minutes of practice, the extra hours of lifting weights, and the night after night after night after night studying, learning, and practicing... So... What's your excuse? Too small? Not smart enough? Not strong enough? Everyone else is better? Faster? Stronger? SMARTER? Luckier? Not enough MONEY? Learn the lessons here- that one of the oldest players in the league just set the all time record for championship wins- ...and he was never even supposed to be there. That can be you. What types of obstacles have been in YOUR way? What have you done to overcome them? Do you need help with a challenge? Please use the comments below to let us all know.
If I asked you to tell me what you thought the BEST restaurant in the world was, you'd most likely name off some well known chefs, exotic locales, and differing ethnic choices.... ...but if you think the BEST restaurant is the MOST SUCCESSFUL restaurant, there is one, clear choice- MC DONALD'S.  McDonald's Restaurant is arguably the most successful in the world.  Yes, the iconic "Golden Arches" that now span the globe took a small hamburger joint in California from 15 cent hamburgers to HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS in annual revenues. There's a new movie in theaters starring Michael Keaton called, "The Founder"- about the building of the McDonalds empire by Ray Croc. It is mistakenly getting what I would consider to be rather mediocre reviews.  I believe the reasoning behind it is that, as in most of life, only a select type of person will understand it.  This movie is a character study of a salesman- One that was relatively successful, in the waning years of his career, and who had recently gone through a patch of difficult times.  It is the study of a man with a drive to succeed – something that seems awfully absent for the majority of today's population.  It's not that people don't want to succeed – it's that most people are perfectly happy working in a "job" that keeps them in one place, doing one thing, for a very, very long time (if they're lucky) and have a "steady" and "average" income which allows them to buy an "average" home   and lead an "average" life. (Note- when you look back to your aspirations as a child, do you ever recall wanting to be "Average?")  There was a point in the movie where Ray Croc  is talking to his wife. It's a difficult discussion.  If you're an entrepreneur or sales person, you've had this conversation.  It's a conversation about how hard you work, how much they do alone, about how many years is it going to be before you slow down, stay home, go to the club, etc. …  It is that same conversation is one that has signaled the beginning of the end of many marriages, and why many successful people are married multiple times. I hope  that you are lucky enough, as I am, to have a special significant other that "knows the drill" and has chosen to partner rather than prevent your success. The attitude of many is to "settle, " but what do you do when you just can't SETTLE? You work HARDER, that's what. This story is one of the "American Dream." The "American Dream" is a concept that has built this country to levels far and above all others in the world. It is a story of a lifetime of struggle, of small failures and large failures, and, finally, what is arguably one of the greatest successes the world has ever known. It's a story of "partners," of teamwork, and of FAMILY. I was fortunate to grow up not far from Ray Croc's first franchise in Des Planes, to know several McDonald's franchisees, and to have visited and known people at McDonalds HQ in Oakbrook, IL. As a matter of fact, one of McDonalds' CEOs was my father's fraternity brother, and their head chef for most of the 90's was a family friend. This movie is a great story, and the observant viewer will note many things (and, no, the insinuation that Ray Croc "stole" McDonald's from the McDonald brothers is not one of them). It was not an easy journey, There were difficult times. There were times when Ray Croc was broke. Times when he had to find a solution to a unique problem. There were many more failures than successes. Yes, there are lots of lessons on business, ambition, success, and perseverance- and several others on human nature, resilience, and heartache. I rank is as one of the best sales movies of all time. Have you seen "The Founder" or any other great business or sales movies? Are there parallels to YOUR "story" and life to that of Ray Croc's? Please, share your thoughts in the comments below. Let Ace know in the comments below!  "Ace" Luciano is a Hunter, Fisherman, Outdoorsman, Sales Executive, Author, Writer, and, perhaps most importantly, husband and father to 4 great kids.  Learn more about Ace through his website, www.AceLuciano.com
For the second time in over a decade, I've been sent to "jail." No- not "actual" jail, but, rather LinkedIn "Jail." You see, LinkedIn has rules regarding contacts, linking, and SPAM related things. When I first started building LinkedIn contacts, this wasn't an issue. Ace Luciano was sent to "LinkedIn Jail" for a brief period... Then, there was an issue that could be solved by purchasing a "premium profile," which I did. That solved it for about 10 years. Next, when I tried to make a connection with a pleasant introduction, I received the following message: "Recently, several of your contacts have indicated that they do not know you." This was not the case when I was previously "jailed"- That time it was I had been marking "friend" too often (This was in my VERY EARLY LinkedIn Days.) Here is what Linkedin can suspend your ability to send contacts requests for: 1. The recipient's email preferences are set to only receive invitations from members who know their email address. 2. You've reached the limit of invitations you can send without email addresses to people you've identified as a "Friend" during the invitation process. 3. A number of recipients have clicked "I don't know this person" after getting your invitations. Can Ace help you out of Jail?  Now, I have a rule that I RARELY block or mark people as "I don't know this person"... The following people are simply "not connected." 1. People that are CLEARLY and ABSOLUTELY not going to help me or be of benefit to my network. These people are usually in a completely unrelated field, have few contacts, no contacts in common or have the title "student at.." or something like, "head cashier at local foodmart" or "Awesome plumber that loves Friday night."(- nothing against those people, but I don't see a benefit in connecting.) 2. I used to block all Realtors, until I realized that a LOT of them KNEW people that I wanted to know. Now, I just block the "lead generation" people. For some reason, these people have popped up all over LinkedIn and want people to pay them $5,000 + per month with a minimum 6 month contract, and no guarantees. 3. Anyone that has no or few contacts. This is a "safety" thing- a lot of spammers out there use more and more "new" and "fake" profiles to gain access to your connections. Unless you are a direct introduction, I block you. That's it. Almost every single other person I connect with. I certainly don't penalize them for trying. Why? Consider some of the following major "successes" that I have received through what initially was not anything to be considered a serious "business" connection. - access to one of the most difficult to access CEOs of a major corporation in the COUNTRY- through his SECRETARY. You see, this secretary happens to be a hunting and gun enthusiast that had asked to connect with me on LinkedIn. She sent me a very respectful request, explained why she wanted to be connected, and said that she had a network she would be happy to open to me. Fast forward 18 months. I was working a contract that was approaching, of all things, very large lending institutions with over $1 billion in assets. When I begin typing the connection into my LinkedIn program, lo and behold, who do you think pops up? The commission on that project was in excess of five figures. The connection came from somebody that, at the time, I had no "legitimate" business reason to connect with. - A referral to a six-figure job opportunity. Back in the days when I actively looked for executive sales positions outside of the gun world, I received a referral to the executive vice President of a multibillion dollar pharmaceutical company. When I saw a position open at that company, I did not apply through the normal channels. I sent a handwritten letter to him explaining our connection, and followed up with a phone call and email to him seven days later. I was able to skip the first three parts of the "normal" hiring process and go right to the final interviews. How valuable was that connection? - someone that made my job a great deal easier. Within the past year, I connected with someone that was not what I would consider an "active outdoor industry" connection. They were someone who was a high-level sales and marketing executive, and they referred me to one of their friends when I sent out a network request looking for a software program with some very specific qualifications. Not only did my referral save me a great deal of money on that software when I did purchase it, that software has made my life in general a great deal easier. The moral of the story is multi fold. In today's electronic world you need not worry about running out of "space" in your rolodex. You never know who people know and how they will be able to benefit you in the future, and by clicking the "I don't know this person" button on LinkedIn, you will never know the possible millions of dollars you will miss out on in opportunity and ACTUAL income from MOST LinkedIn connections, let alone one that has tens of thousands of direct connections to people in your specific industry. Remember, good networking is good business!
Trade shows. Love them? Hate them? Either way, you might benefit from some quick lessons on how to improve your results. The SHOOTING, HUNTING, and OUTDOOR TRADE ShowIs held annually in Las Vegas Nevada In January We are a little over a week away from the biggest event of the year for people in the shooting hunting and outdoor world – the annual SHOT Show.  For me, it is the biggest show of the year. One of my business partners has already attended the Dallas Safari club convention, shortly after shot is SCI, and then, in February is the Great American outdoor show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Archery Trade Association is sandwiched in-between DSC and SHOT Show- so there’s a good chance many of you will not be home except for a few days from January through the end of March! …Of course, in the meantime you still need to run your business, service your sales accounts, etc… During my 20+ year career in executive sales, I set record after record for trade show lead generation – often developing and bringing back double the amount of leads as entire teams attending other shows.  How was I able to do that?  As with most things, having a specific plan and a system will always outperform just "showing up and seeing what happens." You can START with the following advice: 1. Have an absolutely COMPELLING REASON for someone to meet with you or stop by your booth. Often this is in the form of an “Irresistible Offer.” This should be tied to a deadline- at the show or, even MORE SPECIFICALLY at EXACT TIMES during the show. (Hint: See all those RSR carts wheeling around the SHOT show? I’ve often wondered why they are the only ones to do that…) 2. Say what you do in one clear sentence.  One of my favorite things to do is to walk around the floor and see so many companies with  what I call "marketing mistakes.". If you’re not Coke, Pepsi or Nike then you probably should tell people what you do upfront. If your company makes machinery that reads your mind, don’t spend money on a sign that says “technology for you”  – State CLEARLY: WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU DO? As uncool as it might be, you’re better off saying something like “Our Machines read your mind”. 3. Set up as many meetings as you can ahead of time. Is your business (as mine is) with the vendors at the show? Set your meetings "geographically." Try to spend your day on each area whenever you can. Are you a vendor? You should have your pipeline full before you even get there. Many times My entire schedule was booked from the moment I landed until I fly back home. Many times I eat on the run between appointments.  If you have a break, you’re doing it wrong. If you haven’t set up meetings ahead of time, go do it now. Jump on LinkedIn, email, go walk the floor. Don’t wait for these people to find you, go hunt them down 4. Go to events. After the floor closes don’t go back to your hotel room, get out there, go to the after party, ask around as to who is where. Get with industry "insiders" for drinks at the bar and pick up a round. Mostly, get out there and shake some more hands. It's always worked well for me. 5. Throw a party. This one is great, and can really bring results. Invite all of your IDEAL prospects to a “hospitality suite” for an hour. It’ll cost you a few hundred dollars, but if your  average customer is worth several hundred to several thousand dollars, ONE customer makes you money and has opened the doors to potentially hundreds of others. 6. Focus your efforts. Is your biggest push to get into retailers? Negotiate contracts or orders with distributors? Interview manufacturers about their newest and greatest product? Sell to factories? Find potential partners? Pick your focus and stick to it. The time in Vegas flies and SHOT Show is huge. You’re better off spending all of your energy on that one focus, making sure it happens than spreading your resources thin and not having an impact anywhere. 7. Have a post-SHOT plan. Don’t just take your fistful of business cards and go back to your office in Wherever Town. Make sure you have a clear plan of action for after the show is over. How are you following up with your leads? Did you discover a product and is there a bigger story to tell? Make sure it aligns with your focus and get it done asap. The longer you wait to follow up, the less likely it will be to ever turn into a deal. 8. HAVE FUN. This one should be obvious, as everyone likes to have fun, right? There’s more to it, though. People like to be around people that are fun. They like to do business with people that they like. I’m amazed at how “serious” some people are at the show- and that includes the people trying to sell tickets, raffles, etc. Any trade show can be a massive opportunity for those who do it right- and a massive expense to the rest of them. It’s really not all that complicated – sticking to the basics really works. SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range has grown popular with a large number of vendors- allowing influencers and buyers to "test out" products and then attend SHOT Show the next 4 days. It is also a great example of "Hosting a Party for your Prospects!  Want more tips on how to get the most from your tradeshow dollars?  Visit AceLuciano.com and sign up for our newsletter.
05.01.2017
Ace Luciano
No comments
 It's already starting…   What, you ask?  The panic and worry about the coming year and what will happen in the outdoor and firearms industry.  With a Trump win, many manufacturers, accessory makers, and ammunition manufacturers and suppliers are concerned that the market for those products will not be as robust as it has been in years past.   To an extent, they are right.   It is doubtful that the industry will "contract"  due to a "lack of demand" for their products     True, the "panic buying" of the past decade is likely over – at least for the short term.   However, the normal  market for products and services will probably be about the same, if not a little bigger.   Being in the marketing and sales world, I'm starting to hear one of the most concerning things that I can regarding a company's future... "We are cutting back our marketing budget because we are anticipating a smaller market and less sales compared to last year."  Oops.   This is a "hard" conversation that I've had with many clients, prospects, and customers over the years. The absolutely, positively LAST thing you should do when you anticipate a contracting of the market is to DECREASE your marketing or advertising.  Are you DECREASING your sales quotas for your sales people?  Are you DECREASING in the salaries of all of your employees?   Quite frankly, many in and out of the outdoor space just don't "get it" when it comes to actual sales, revenues, and how to generate them.  I say this with the utmost respect.  We, as an industry, fall about a decade behind what the normal open "Market" does and uses.  Just think about this:  -Many in the outdoor industry world still think that television and television advertising is the "future."  -Popular outdoor publications continue to hang on, albeit precipitously while they attempt to throw in everything and the kitchen  sink online to try and catch up to where they should've been five or six years ago…  - Google, the biggest company in the WORLD is now only 14 Years Old. (still think your business can depend entirely on your "years in business?")  I don't care how good, how innovative, how fantastic your product is-- the money just isn't there.  The money, no matter what your product, is not in the "product."  The money is in the MARKETING.  Don't believe me? Consider these two examples.   1. ProActiv  I happen to know quite a bit about this product as one of my "mentors" in the marketing world was part of the genius behind it.   He affectionately referred to the process of selling Proactiv as "selling goop."   You can easily make your own "goop."  There is nothing special, unique, or innovative about the product itself. There are only four FDA approved medications that you can use to topically treat facial acne.   You can buy all of them at your local pharmacy. You can also buy the cleansers and creams at the same pharmacy – usually for around one third the price.   Proactive has sold over $1 billion of product.   Their "innovations?"  Their MARKETING.   They pay highly popular celebrities massive amounts of money to endorse their products. Additionally, they sign clients up to a "self renewing" plan that automatically charges their credit card in nominal amount every 30 days and their new product is automatically shipped to their door.  2. ShamWow.   You've all seen this infomercial on TV. There's even a story about the rise and fall of the infomercials star – which should be titled how to turn a $20,000 commercial into $100 million of sales – because that's what they did.  $100 Million Dollars in sales on a $20,000 marketing expense.   I would call that quite the "success," wouldn't you?  Did you buy a sham wow?  Would you have ever bought one?  What you should realize is your answer does not matter – millions of people can  and did, and they did so because of MARKETING.  By some companies' logic, all of these signs are unnecessary, as people "Already know them." 
22.12.2016
Ace Luciano
1 Comments
The industry is changing. Right now. The question is, will you be AHEAD of the CURVE or BEHIND it? Gone are the days of “panic buying,” of backordered AR-15s, Handguns with magazines greater than ten rounds, and .223 and 9mm ammo. Ammunition prices are going DOWN almost weekly. Yes, a Trump victory was good for the industry in the LONG RUN, but in the short term you’re going to see a lot of brutal wake-up calls. You’ll see people change companies, you’ll see some layoffs, and, yes, some decreases in business. Can this be avoided? The short answer is “yes,” provided the right steps are taken and taken QUICKLY. Companies that have advertising budgets had better be increasing them and increasing the methods they use to push their brands. Those companies that have no or limited budgets had better decide whether they want to be in business very much longer. You see, there are always companies ready to take YOUR customers. They don’t care anout YOU. They care about THEM- and if they start running the marketing race before you do, you will have a lot of catching up to do, if you catch them at all. Think it can’t happen to you? Ask Harris Publications what they think. That is, if you can track down anyone that used to work there. Harris is no more. Since 1977 Harris published a wide variety of special interest magazines over the years, including newsstand mainstays SLAM, Guitar World, XXL, King, Revolver, and Woman. At the time of its closure, the company's portfolio included Naturally, Danny Seo; Great Backyards; Celebrity Hairstyles; Juicy; Rides; Who's Who in Baseball; and Guns & Weapons, among several others. At the end of April 2016, Harris released this statement: “It is with great sadness that we are announcing the closing of Harris Publications.  For nearly 40 years, Harris Publications has been a mainstay in enthusiast publishing.  We are extremely grateful for the tremendous contributions of our employees, past and present.  The hard work and dedication of our creative, sales, circulation and operations teams and the talents of our freelance editors, writers, photographers and designers are what allowed us to continue delivering thoughtful and beautiful magazines to our readers. The magazine publishing industry has been through turmoil in the face of the rapid ascendance of digital media, changing consumer content preferences, magazine wholesaler struggles and consolidation in the supply chain.  We have tried mightily to persevere against these forces, but have been unable to overcome these challenges.” This was a diversified, 40 year old, DOMINATING company for many, many years. Can you remember the last time you bought a magazine at a newsstand? Based on this knowledge, I can’t help but ask- Do you believe that Harris Publications is the only publishing company to experience these challenges? Where have you invested YOUR marketing dollars? I hope you have limited your exposure in print. I have subscriptions to, at last count, 16 outdoor-related print publications. Most of them are in a pile they were placed in when they arrived in the mail- still unopened, many “special editions” still wrapped in plastic. The subscription price for what most consider the “big four” outdoor publications is less than 50% of what it was 25 years ago- yet their advertising prices still fetch quite a premium. When was the last time you bought a magazine from a “newsstand?” A book store? …and that’s exactly the point. Television isn’t that great a solution, either. One of the largest providers of outdoor television has begun running “old West” reruns on Friday nights. I and many others know exactly why this is. Their “market” has gone digital! I “cut the cord” on cable over a year ago. We watch local news occasionally free via an antenna and “stream” everything else.” Sometimes I stream hunting and fishing, but I am SHOCKED that many of the “big brands” out there don’t make their shows available on the web. Some very smart entrepreneurs are taking their place. So, what is a company in the outdoor/firearm/hunting/archery/fishing space to do? The short answer is, you need to go digital… …and you had better DIVERSIFY. Think “Craigslist” and newspaper advertising. Yellow Pages and Adwords. This is not something that’s “coming.” It’s ALREADY HERE. The good news is, we can help. BGA has access to several of the LARGEST digital platforms, email lists, and places wher your IDEAL customers are located, and we can get you ENGAGED and SELLING in as little as a few days. Everyone asks the same question….HOW MUCH??? The answer? For the cost of a month or two in dying print media, we can DOMINATE you to millions of BUYERS for over a YEAR. Space is limited.  Let Ace know in the comments below!  "Ace" Luciano is a Hunter, Fisherman, Outdoorsman, Sales Executive, Author, Writer, and, perhaps most importantly, husband and father to 4 great kids.  Learn more about Ace through his website, www.AceLuciano.com

ACE IS WILD - Firearms, Hunting and Outdoor Blog

Ace Luciano Added to the Johnson Outdoors Adventure on the Water Pro Team

Feb 3, 2017
Add comment

Why The Hunting Industry and Hunters Should Worry...

Feb 3, 2017
Ace Luciano thinks hunters should stand together
Add comment

The Outdoor Industry is CHANGING.

Dec 22, 2016
best hunting outdoor advertising
Add comment

My first post on the NEW Website!

Nov 4, 2016
Find out just what Ace Luciano thinks HERE
Add comment

Contact Us Today!

Click HERE to send Ace an email

Special Facebook Promotion

Like us on Facebook to get a FREE 30 Minute Consult with Ace