3 Segmenting Techniques Small Business Can Use To Train Customers to Listen and Anticipate

Most marketers actually train their audiences to ignore them.  Think about how many emails you get that you automatically delete without even thinking.  At some point you decide the content you receive from those senders isn’t important anymore.  At that point you start to ignore them.

Are you training your list to ignore . . . or to anticipate?

Good marketers actually build a relationship such that customers want to hear from them.  The secret to developing this kind of relationship lies in understanding how to segment your list so that each recipient gets only the content they’re interested in and they get it at the frequency that they desire.

I’ve found there are three powerful ways to segment your list that allow you to deliver the right content to the right people every time.

First is By Lead Source

Knowing where a lead came from helps a marketer understand their psychographics of their prospects.  If I know a lead responded to an advertisement about lead nurturing, then I’m going to be successful talking to that person about lead nurturing, drip marketing, autoresponders and other related topics.  If I know a lead came from a customer referral, I’ll be much more successful leveraging the relationship of the referrer than anything else.

Knowing and tracking your lead source on every lead is critical to understanding how to market (build a relationship) to them.  An added bonus is that by tracking lead sources from the top of your sales funnel all the way through the bottom of the funnel gives you the intelligence you need to know which marketing activities are making you money and which are costing you money.

The Second Powerful Way to Segment Your List is by Demographics

You should be gathering as much information about your leads and customers as you can so that you can segment by demographics.  It might be that your product or service is tailored for a specific demographic – so it’d be important to know if that’s actually who’s responding to your marketing.  Also, different demographics respond to different messages.

Whether you’re comparing middle-aged prospects with young-adult prospects or east coasters versus west coasters, they’re going to respond differently to different messages.  Understanding the nuances of the different demographic groups in your list is crucial to being able to craft your messages for maximum relationship building which equates to maximum profits.

The Third (and I believe most powerful) Way to Segment Your List is by Behavior

If you track response to every message you send, you’ll be able to measure who responds to what.  If I were selling camping gear I’d track who clicked on ads about sleeping bags, who clicked on links in my emails about tents, who read my articles on fire starting, who attended webinars about great places for snow camping, etc.  By knowing what people are interested in (because they told you with their behavior), you can always ensure that the information you’re putting in front of them is the most relevant to them at the time.

Most businesses aren’t thinking about this at all.  Most people just batch and blast – they send the same email to everyone on their list.  That trains people to ignore.  If you segment your list these three ways, and you carefully think through every communication (always wondering what a particular prospect or customer would want to receive), then you’ll be way ahead of your competition.

Special thanks to Tyler Garns, Director of Marketing for Infusionsoft, has over 10 years of experience in the field and is a recognized expert in Internet marketing. Tyler focuses on building the Infusionsoft brand via marketing, communications and social media. Tyler blogs at the Infusionsoft Blog.

Best regards,

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs


A Letter From a Potential Business Owner

Last week, I received a note from a potential business owner who is thinking of coming to Palm Springs.  I thought I would share that note and my response with you.

“Hi John,

I came across your blog/newsletter online while trying to research the potential of buying an existing business in Palm Springs. I am wondering specifically if the Palm Springs economy is in any stage of recovery? Of course, the chamber and many who are trying to encourage growth to the area are going to be very optimistic. I understand that, but I am looking for reality. I would be just one of the small guys trying to build a small business and make a “decent” living from it. Perhaps the playing field right now is only with the big guys as they can take the risks and afford the wait better? And philosophically speaking, will the recovery look like anything it did before?

So, as a previous member of the Chamber and a marketing guy in the PS area, do you have any insight for me? Also can you refer me to any data/statistics on businesses closed, opened, demographics (residents and tourist seasons), etc, etc.

Anything else you might suggest is welcome, or anyone else to talk to.

Thanks so much.


“Hi Susan,

Thanks for the note. You ask some great questions and I wish I could be optimistic for you. However, in this economy, any new business venture is a wild card. If you are prepared to “weather the storm” there are some great opportunities right now in Palm Springs. Rents/leases are at an all-time low and if you commit to a 5 – 10 year lease, you could be in great shape when the economy breaks.

On a positive note, the city council is close to approving an $80 million deal with a local contractor to demolish our old, closed down, downtown mall and build a great new project with new streets, retail, Movie Theater and green space. They hope to break ground early next year and finish the first phase by 2014. It will revitalize our downtown area and should make being a business owner very attractive.

Also remember that Palm Springs is a tourist location that is very seasonal. Many business close down in August and our tourism takes a pretty big hit during the summer months. I have noticed in the last five years that we are getting more and more travellers joining us on the weekends from LA and San Diego. Palm Springs is a great outlet for those who want to drive less than 2 hours and enjoy our beautiful desert.

The city of Palm Springs website may contain some statistics that should shed some light on our current business climate. Also, the Economic Development Department would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just go to the city website for more information. Google Palm Springs and it will take you there. Feel free to write if you have any further questions.

Good luck!”

Best regards,

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs



Funding for small businesses is always a challenge.  Here are some tips that may help.

  • Research and prepare:  Determine which banks participate in government programs and are familiar with your industry and target market.  Find out what documents are required.  Have a relatively short business plan that will answer lenders’ questions.  Some lenders and small business advocates offer business loan checklists with information about required financial statement projections and copies of cash flow.
  • Get advice on SBA loans:  Government offices can provide SBA loan application checklists.  Consider attending workshops that SCORE and the Small Business Development Center offer and work with their consultants.
  • Be up-front with lenders:  Demonstrate your ability and willingness to repay the loan without making broad, unsubstantiated statements about your finances.  Be conservative about asset lists, collateral statements and financial projections.  Be willing to discuss risks and financial projections.  Be willing to discuss risks and answer questions about how you will manage them.
  • Be persistent:  Consider going to other lenders or banks even if you are denied.  Seek out referrals from successful entrepreneurs, associates, acquaintances and friends.
  • Lower start-up costs:  Lease equipment, start out leaner and take other measures to scale down the business and increase odds of qualifying.  Show how a franchise business model will help.
  • Calculate carefully:  Examine expenses closely to account for non-recurring expenses, account for all revenue with cash businesses, show how you’ve paid past bills, loans, vendors and include personal credit reports.  Get accurate real estate appraisals on property.
  • When credit is blemished:  If it’s because of medical bills or a unique situation, explain it.  Before applying, work diligently to repair your credit.  Show you’re willing to risk your own money with a reasonable down payment.

Thanks to my sources, the US Small Business Administration and The Desert Sun newspaper.

Best regards,

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs



Recently, there has been a wave of “Deals” that consumers can take advantage of for discounts at local restaurants and businesses.  Some are national and some are local but all of the programs are designed to give the consumer a great deal if you purchase the coupon within 24 hours.

In the Desert we have “The Desert Deal of the Day” offered by KPSP, our local CBS affiliate, Groupon.com, a national distributor, Valpak, a weekly mailing with discount coupons, Restaurant.com, an internet presence with great deals on local restaurants and Living Social, another national vendor.

With these and many others coming on line soon, it is a chance for the consumer to reap some great benefits.  One in particular that will take the desert by storm is Uncle Sam’s Daily Deal, an offshoot of American Saver Klub that offers discounts at many desert locales that gives the consumer great deals on everything from restaurants to spas, salons and other services.  As an offshoot of American Saver Klub, Uncle Sam’s Daily Deal is in a unique position to piggyback on merchants who have already signed up for the American Saver Klub card thus giving them two bangs for the buck so to speak.

So in the coming months, get ready for an onslaught of deals that can save you money.  And retailers, sign up to get your products and services put on these sites.  It will bring customers into your businesses and hopefully, have them return again and again.

It is a good “deal” for everyone.

Best regards,

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs



Following are Business New Briefs from the Desert Sun, The Valley’s source of News and Information

Bank’s net income rises in first quarter

COACHELLA VALLEY — FirstBank, which operates five branches in the Coachella Valley, reported that net income for the first quarter increased 15 percent to $40.48 million compared to $35.16 million during the first quarter of 2010.

FirstBank Holding Co., based in Lakewood, Colo., operates 113 locations in Arizona, California and Colorado.

Total deposits for FirstBank California were $258.6 million and total loans reached $133.5 million for the quarter ending March 31. Total loans grew to $4.63 billion from $4.27 billion, an 8 percent increase since the first quarter of 2010.

FirstBank said total deposits for all locations were up 5 percent to $9.84 billion compared to the same period last year.

Post-war paintings on exhibit at gallery

PALM DESERT — Carlson Gallery has opened on El Paseo with an exhibition of vintage post-war paintings and sculpture.

Gallery owners David and Jeanne Carlson have been collectors and dealers for 35 years.

The gallery focuses on abstract expressionism, figurative artists and Los Angeles painters from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Exhibits include paintings from Los Angeles artists Craig Kauffman and Robert Irwin, Bay Area artists John Saccaro, Gordon Onslow Ford, Felix Ruvolo and Joan Brown.

The gallery is collecting Asian-American abstract expressionism featuring artists Masatoyo Kishi and Walasse Ting.

The gallery is at 73-111 El Paseo, Suite 107, Palm Desert.

Workshop to focus on small businesses

PALM DESERT — SCORE, the nonprofit group that counsels small business owners and entrepreneurs, will hold the workshop “Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Protecting Your Intellectual Property” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday as SCORE’s Palm Desert office, 43-100 Cook St., Suite 104, Palm Desert.

Patent attorney William G. “Greg” Lane, “NickKraushaar, an attorney-mediator-litigator, and AndrewAndyLorenz, an inventor and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, will present the workshop and answer questions.

The cost is $15, and seating is limited.

Info: (760) 773-6507 or www.scorecv.org.

Government topic of business forum

PALM DESERT — Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center will present the workshop “Make the Federal Government Your Customer: Procurement and Government Contracting” from 6 to 8 p.m. May 11 at the CVWBC office, 77-806 Flora Road, Suite C, Palm Desert.

Joy White, CEO of Info Team Inc., will discuss the $340 billion in federal contracting available to small businesses. She will answer questions about whether government contracting is right for certain companies, what the requirements are and how to locate opportunities.

The cost is $15 with online registration.

Info: www.cvwbc.org or (760) 345-9200.

El Mirasol owner opens second eatery

PALM SPRINGS — The popular El Mirasol restaurant is expanding.

Restaurant owner Felipe Castaneda last week opened El Mirasol at Los Arboles in Indian Manor, 784 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.

Castenda said the restaurant in the city’s uptown design district will employ 12 people.

“We’ve kept the colonial style,” he said. “It’s gorgeous. It will seat 50 people in the courtyard and 39 people inside.”

The original El Mirasol is at 140 E. Palm Canyon Drive.

“We will be offering the same menu, at the same prices,” Castaneda said.

Center receives grant to expand programs

PALM SPRINGS — Mizell Senior Center has received a $10,000 grant to expand its exercise and fall prevention programs from the Community Foundation, which serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The grant will help the Mizell Center meet the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and recommendations for such programs, development director Jack Newby said in a news release.

TV stations win awards for videos

PALM DESERT — KMIR6 and KESQ television station have won regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

KESQ won in the video news series category for “Confessions of a Child Molester: It Happens to Boys” and “Confessions of a Child Molester: Who Watches Offenders Near You?”

KMIR6 won in the video sports reporting category for “The Desert Storm.”

Register for free surgery seminar

PALM SPRINGS — Bodyworks Physiotherapy Clinic will host a free seminar for patients who are scheduled to undergo or who are considering total knee and hip replacement surgeries.

The event is from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on May 24 at the clinic, 333 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 114, Palm Springs.

Reservations are required. Space is limited.

David Wilson, founder and clinical director of Bodyworks, and his staff will demonstrate proper pre- and post-op exercises and show rehabilitative equipment that patients might need or use.

Info: (760) 327-4244 or www.bodyworksphysio.com

Planned giving topic of webinar conference

PALM SPRINGS — The Desert Communities Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals will host the webinar/audio conference “Developing a Planned Giving Marketing Plan” from 9:30 a.m. to noon May 19 at the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert.

Timothy Logan, vice president and senior consultant of planned giving services and nonprofit health care services for RuffaloCODY, will offer insight into leveraging marketing efforts.

The event is aimed at staff and board members of local nonprofit organizations.

Info: (760) 485-5986 or email afpcadesert@gmail.com to make reservations.

For more information on these and other business related issues in the Coachella Valley, please contact me at 760-641-8709 or email me at info@visionpsp.com.  Advertising space is available on this blog, contact me for more information.

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs


When you own a business in Palm Springs or anywhere in the Valley, there are always opportunities to showcase your products or services to both locals and visitors.  From weekend fairs to business expos to unique yearly events, the Coachella Valley offers a blend of opportunities that brings your business to the attention of consumers.

For instance, Sunday, March 27th, Palm Springs will hold Opera in the Park.  This wonderful venue of food, drink and music brings over 5,000 people to Sunrise Park in Palm Springs and many local businesses will have booths there to show their products and services.Opera In The Park at Sunrise Park in Palm Springs, CA on Sunday, March 27, 2011 from noon until 5pm.

That same week, The Food and Wine Festival will be held in Palm Desert along El Paseo Drive.  This three day celebration brings thousands through the area and local shops reap the benefits as well as the amazing restaurants that showcase their cuisine.

Another event that has been gaining popularity is the Frank Bogart Memorial Rodeo.  This wild west extravaganza will also be held the last week in March in Palm Springs and will feature food, shopping and some great Rodeo events.

The taste of La Quinta offers locals and visitors the opportunity to sample food from the Old Town area of La Quinta.  This will be held Saturday, March 19 and will feature over 20 restaurants.

Finally, the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce is featuring a “Shop Local Expo” on March 19th at the Westfield Mall.  Over 80 businesses will be showcasing their products and services.Check out our Offers & Events here

As you can see, the Valley offers many events for our local businesses to take advantage of.

Best regards and Happy Shopping!

John Pivinski

Vision Marketing of Palm Springs


Opening a new business in the Valley has never been better.  Recently, nearly 100 business owners attended a meeting to get a firsthand glimpse at developer John Wessman’s vision for the Desert Fashion Plaza.  If you don’t know the history, the Desert Fashion Plaza is an empty enclosed mall that has been sitting unoccupied for the last 10 years in the heart of Palm Springs.

See clip on Fashion Plaza History

Main Street Palm Springs, the downtown merchants association, hosted the event at the Hyatt Regency Suites Palm Springs and allowed merchants to ask questions of Wessman on what his plans were for the empty property.

Wessman, who has created some great shopping centers in the Valley, said that his concept for “the Museum Market Plaza” would bring a vibe to Palm Springs that has been lacking in recent years.

As reported in the local newspaper, The Desert Sun, Wessman is in negotiations with LA Fitness, Lucky Strike Bowling, Buffalo Wild Wings Sports Bar and Las Casuelas Mexican Restaurant.   Also, it has been reported that he is in talks with Nordstrom Rack and Krikorian Premiere Theatres.

“They want to come as soon as we can get it built for them,” Wessman said of the multiplex movie theater.

But Wessman added that he can’t move forward with the project ahead on his own and hopes the city will partner with him to open the mall by 2014.

Main Street Palm Springs would like to host a public forum with Wessman and the City Council in the future, Meredith said.

If you are considering moving to Palm Springs and opening that “Dream Business”, now may be the time.

John Pivinski

Vision Marketing of Palm Springs

Advertising is now available on this Blog page.  With over 1,000 hits per day, we are pleased to offer our advertisers a unique opportunity.  Contact me at 760-641-8709 for more information.


With the way the economy has been over the last two years, it seems like the message has always been bleak.  However, there have been some real boons because of the economy.

If you have every considered opening a business in the Coachella Valley, the time could not be better.  Affordable leasing arrangements are at an all time high and the selection is outstanding.

Spots that were going for $2 – $3 dollars a foot last year are being offered for less than $1 per foot today as owners are willing to work with potential lease holders.  It is virtually a win for anyone with a business plan and some operating capital.

There are many great real estate firms here who will do anything they can to work within your budget.

Just recently, Pierro’s Agua Pazza, a renowned restaurant in Rancho Mirage, announced plans to open up Lulu’s restaurant in Palm Springs.  They will be occupying the former KopyKats Lounge in March/April.  Additionally, the Mayor and City Council of Palm Springs are working with the local owner of the closed Desert Fashion Plaza to help refurbish it and bring new business to downtown Palm Springs.

El Paseo, the Rodeo Drive of the desert, has new construction underway and will be opening new shops in the near future.

And further east, Indio has a shopping center that is at 100% occupancy.

All in all, I would say your chances for a great spot to open that new business is waiting for you in the valley.  Check us out and you won’t be sorry you did.

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs

Advertising is now available on this Blog page.  With over 1,000 hits per day, we are pleased to offer our advertisers a unique opportunity.  Contact me at 760-641-8709 for more information.


The City of Palm Springs offers a great OPPORTUNITY to Save money, defer duties and improve cash flow. Unique among Foreign-Trade Zones, Palm Springs is on the cutting edge in today’s global marketplace. Strategically located in the center of Southern California, it is the ideal location for same day access to nearby Mexican trade gateways and West Coast ports. Importers who rely on Asian/Pacific markets will find affordable distribution to North and South American markets.

The City of Palm Springs established a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) to encourage and facilitate international trade. World renowned for quality of life and recreation, Palm Springs is an ideal location for 21st century business operations. Spirited public/private partnerships, an outstanding
workforce, affordable housing, global connectivity and world class meeting and recreational facilities make this FTZ unique among others.

For those of you who are unaware, a Foreign-Trade Zone is a secured area outside the U.S. Customs territory. In other words, as far as U.S. Customs is concerned, items entering the zone have not officially entered the U.S. and are not subject to any import taxes, duty, etc. The advantage of foreign-trade zones to importers and exports is the ability to defer, reduce or eliminate the payment of U.S. Customs duties. Customs duties are deferred in FTZ’s when merchandise is admitted to the zone without a formal customs entry or payment of customs duty. When merchandise is removed from a foreign-trade zone, Customs duties are eliminated if the goods are then exported from the United States. If the merchandise is formally entered into
U.S. commerce, Customs duties and excise taxes are due at the time of transfer from the foreign-trade zone. For merchandise that is manufactured in a foreign-trade zone, the importer may elect to pay Customs duty at the rate of either the finished product or its foreign components, whichever is lower. In this manner, use of a foreign-trade zone can result in the reduction of Customs duty owed by companies that manufacture products in a FTZ.

Foreign Trade Zones benefits include:

  • Duty deferral, elimination or reduction
  • Maintenance of quota control
  • Eligibility for certain tax exemptions
  • Elimination of duty drawback procedures

Merchandise entering a zone may be: Assembled, Displayed, Stored,
Tested, Repaired, Manufactured, Sampled, Manipulated, Salvaged, Re-labeled, Mixed, Destroyed, Repackaged, Cleaned, Processed and Re-exported.

Other advantages include:

  • Imported materials processed in a zone and exported incur no duty
  • Domestic materials are only taxed when they leave the zone
  • Certain tangible personal property may be exempt from state and local ad valorem taxes
  • Custom security requirements provide protection against theft
  • Merchandise may remain in a zone, duty-free indefinitely
  • The zone user may choose whether to pay the duty rate on materials imported into the zone or on the finished product leaving the zone
  • Zone to Zone transfers
  • Increase inventory control systems efficiency and competitiveness

If you need more information, let me know and I will get you to the proper city personnel.  My thanks to the City of Palm Springs for the above content.

Best regards,

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs

Advertising is now available on this Blog page.  With over 1,000 hits per day, we are pleased to offer our advertisers a unique opportunity.  Contact me at 760-641-8709 for more information.

Opening a Business in Palm Springs: Getting Started

Opening a business in a new city can be very daunting.  In order to assure a smooth opening, the following steps are recommended by the City of Palm Springs:

  1. Make Contact with a Planning Department Professional. Provide the address of the site you are considering and get a zoning clearance. Different zones allow different business. You don’t want to sign a lease in a zone that doesn’t allow your type of business. 
  2. Pay your Business License Tax. You’ll do this after receiving a zoning clearance. Print an application from the City’s Business License Department.   You should budget anywhere between $300 to over $900, depending on the number of your employees. Contractors and Professional Businesses are charged on a separate fee scale. Please contact a Business License Department Professional for a list of fees. 
  3. Zoning Sign-off. Once you pay your Business License you need to take it back to a Planning Department Professional and have it signed off. 
  4. Need a Sign? A Planning Department Professional will be happy to assist you in determining your signage needs.   Sign permit fees can range from $315 to $958 for multi-tenant complexes. A Planning Department Professional can provide more information if you are located in a multi-tenant complex.   Temporary Signs & Banners will run $34 and may be used ONLY ONCE AND ONLY FOR 30 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. 
  5. Restaurants -Grease trap – If you need a grease trap, a Building Department Professional will be happy to guide you.   Outdoor seating requires a “Land Use Permit” (LUP) which costs $696 unless the restaurant you are leasing has an existing LUP that you may transfer for $122.   Restaurants must also contact the Riverside County Health Department (RCHD) to obtain a list of their requirements and fees. RCHD approval is required for the building department to issue a permit.   The ABC (Alcohol & Beverage Control) must be contacted if you wish to provide liquor in your restaurant. 
  6. Building Alterations & Expansions – Any time the exterior of a commercial building is altered on the outside or whenever a building is enlarged, the City requires Architectural Review. For more information on alterations and/or expansions, please contact a Planning Department Professional. A Minor Architectural approval is required for exterior alterations that do not add square footage to the building. An application is available on the City’s website.

I hope you find this information helpful in opening your business in the City of Palm Springs. City staff really wants to create a positive experience in opening a business in this amazing city. For more information go to their website at City of Palm Springs Information.

Best regards,

John Pivinski
Vision Marketing of Palm Springs