Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mobile Health

Consumers are becoming more and more reliant on their smartphones; just thinking about a day without mine frightens me! This information presents a great opportunity for health care professionals to develop inventive strategies to reach and engage with consumers when they are on the go — from disease management to remote health monitoring, and beyond.

The mobile health movement (also known as ‘mHealth’) has fully emerged. There are a number of mobile health apps out there, but they are low quality. These apps are typically “unsponsored,” meaning there is no professional medical company running them. “Sponsored” apps are what patients want. Sponsored apps are supported by insurance companies, healthcare providers and other medical institutions, which ultimately result in higher patient adoption and engagement of an app.

Are you a healthcare provider and do not know where to start? Happtique is the first mobile application store, think of it as comparable to the ITunes store, developed by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals. Happtique offers healthcare enterprises — like hospitals, continuing care facilities, and physician practices — the ability to create individually branded and secure apps that support patient mobile technology use.

The rising need of healthcare is matched by rising costs; both are only expected to increase. Providentially, mobile technology and innovation are positioned to take healthcare in a more resourceful direction. Surrendering to mHealth is your only option as patients are becoming more proactive. It will guide your on-the-go patients on a path to safer health practices and self-care. With one-fifth of Americans owning smartphones, instant access to healthcare is an important trend in 2013.

The world of healthcare is changing fast. Providers that are in the forefront of change will benefit greatly, as will their patients.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Orange County Trust Company Expands its Offerings

Congratulations to our client, Orange County Trust Company, and their parent company Orange County Bancorp, Inc. for their recent acquisition of Hudson Valley Investment Advisors (HVIA)! The added investment management capacity offered by HVIA will enhance the ability of Orange County Trust to deliver effective wealth management solutions to you, its’ local Hudson Valley clients. 

Orange County Trust has built trust within the community by remaining financially strong and independent here at home. From nine locations in the mid-Hudson Valley region, the bank provides a variety of products and services for both individuals and businesses.  For more information, call Jane Shaw at 845-341-5024. 

Read the entire press release on Newsday here

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Beginnings of BBG&G

I met Deborah Garry at a Chamber Trade Show back in 1995. At the time, we each had our own small businesses that complemented each other. Debbe owned Ideas Design and I owned Rock Bridge Graphic Design. Debbe had already been working with Gene Bove on a large project and pulled me in on another. I had previously been working with a copywriter/illustrator who was intended to be our fourth partner. 

BBG&G was formed in 1997 when the four of us came together. Bisel, BovĂ©, Garry and, well the fourth partner never quite made it through all the corporate paperwork before she realized that being a partner in a corporation wasn’t for her. So, instead of changing the name, we decided to keep the last “G” and let God be our silent partner. We knew he would be anyway.

When we first started the company we were working out of home offices, but it wasn’t long before we found a beautiful office space on 17K in Montgomery. One of our first employees was a seasoned bank professional who we hired for New Business Development. Izzy Lopez was wonderful and brought us our first bank account. It was less than a year that Izzy worked for us when we had a winter storm and he was killed in a car accident just a half mile from the office. It was awful. Izzy was the father of two young children, a good Christian man, and a hard worker. We still think of him often.

The agency really started taking off in 2001 — until September 11th

On September 11th, we were scheduled to sign contracts with a medium-sized, high-profile account in the entertainment industry. The contracts were never signed. As a result of 9/11, many NYC agencies shut their doors or had major layoffs. As a result, many ad executives moved up to the Hudson Valley and this area was bombarded with small start-up agencies. The competition increased tenfold.
By 2004, BBG&G had recovered. Now in business for seven years, the agency was becoming more well-known and respected. In fact, in 2006 we were hired by McDonald’s® to promote the McDonald’s travel plazas along the New York State Thruway. What an honor!

At the end of 2006, our partner Gene retired. The four partners became two (plus our silent partner, of course).

In the spring of 2007, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary with a lovely celebration at the Trotter’s Museum in Goshen. We invited clients, family, close friends, and business associates from the Orange County Chamber, Leadership Orange, our various vendors — heck, even some competitors whom we are friendly with. It was a great night. And although I sprained my ankle while I was down in the paddock feeding the horses that night, it was the best after-party ever, and such a special day for Debbe and I.

It didn’t seem as though we were basking in the glory of being in business for over ten years for very long, when the recession hit. And, what’s the first thing businesses cut back on when money is tight? Marketing.

We are proud that throughout the recession we made no layoffs. Our team is so important to us — and we have painstakingly built this team for 15 years now. We care about them and their families. As partners, we have often done without so our employees would have secure employment. 

With the onset of the recession also came the increase of social media, mobile marketing, and tablet use. Our industry has undergone an incredible amount of change in a short time period. The slower workflow allowed us the time to dig deep into the realm of social media and the digital world of marketing and to be at the forefront of the learning curve in discovering the benefits that abound for our clients.

Two thousand and thirteen is looking very promising for BBG&G (aka “The BGs”). Our long list of successful marketing initiatives, continued involvement in the community, dedication to our team, and reputation for integrity, honesty and hard work are opening new doors for continued success. BBG&G has become a well respected agency in the Hudson Valley by local business leaders, our competitors, and by talented industry professionals seeking employment. We have earned ongoing awards for our work throughout our 15 years and expect to continue to do so. We are currently poised for rapid growth and are looking forward, with enthusiasm, to the next 15 years!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Friend-Sourced Travel

If you are a company in the travel or hospitality industry, you will want to pay attention to this new trend for 2013; ‘Friends’ as travel agents.
People desire more meaningful experiences and a host of new online services enable travelers to go “off the beaten path” and discover the hidden secrets of their destination, offered by trusted, local experts whom consumers see as friends. Some websites are even giving options for people to overnight at the homes of their local tour guides, dine with locals, and take tours with a city resident. 

One site that has really been gaining an extensive following is Vayable. Their mission is to
“... enable entrepreneurship, cultural exchange, community-building and exploration worldwide by empowering people to share experiences with others.” You can discover, book, and offer tours and activities almost anywhere in the world. Vayable hand picks experiences submitted by users. Travelers really appreciate the high quality and ‘realness’ of the site. 

As much as the travel industry relies on travelers, it also relies on destinations. Survival of the tourism industry translates into the survival of the communities that sustain it. Vayable provides these smaller — almost forgotten gems of communities — with a new safe and fun way to accomplish sustainability. Small towns can post getaways and invite friends to come join them. 

With travel being so inherently social, it is important that the tourism industry becomes just as social. If you are in the business of travel or tourism, check out these sites as well: Trippy, Airbnb, and Trip Birds.