Category Archives: marketing

Marketing Trends To Follow In 2017

A business without marketing is like driving with your eyes closed. It’s because if you can’t tell anything about your products and services so you are not able to make a sell and therefore marketing is important in all aspects. It allowed you to know and understand the actual demand of the customer so you can sell the right products and services in a right manner that fits their need. So, what’s your strategy to stand out in the market in the year of 2017? Don’t get surprised, 2017 is around the corner and you have to tighten your belts and make a plan from now so you can win the cut-throat competition of the market and achieve all such goals which you are not able to attain this year.

Content Remarketing: It simply stands for users who visited your website, but didn’t become a lead to bring them back to it. It bounced visitors into leads, increase brand recalls and effectiveness of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and content marketing. Therefore, you must follow the content Remarketing trend in the year 2017 to achieve your target like a pro.

Mobile Website Ruling The World: Another thing you need to include in your 2017 marketing strategy is a mobile-friendly website. If you really want to rule the market and be in the each and every home so you have to switch to a mobile-friendly website. If you are not using mobile marketing to search new audience so you are actually losing all such opportunities which your competitors gain instead.

Video Marketing Is The Rising Star: Without any doubt, one good video can lead a massive social following because of people likely to watch a video instead of reading a page of text. It is an effective way of communication that allowed you to target a wider audience and therefore, you should include it in your marketing plan to win the ever-changing market competition.

Storm The World By The Power Of Social Media: Social Media Marketing is about communicating with a wider audience. It allowed you to win the market and boost your position over the World Wide Web and increase your reputation.

Marketing Main Street – Small Town Business Solutions

As more and more businesses go online to market to their niche, an entire industry has generated an industrious six or seven-figure profit margin, maximizing their ability to contract out marketing, internet marketing, and production development as well as hiring entire sales teams. Is your business capable of such exponential growth?

Some key factors necessary to put your hometown business on the map include willingness to go beyond the typical ‘online brochure’ that is so popular in today’s online web development industry. If you’re willing… Let’s see if you’re capable.

1 – Are you willing to color outside the lines?

In most industries, new business owners inherited the business from a parent, or parents, and continue to run the business much the same way their parents ran the business. If this is your game plan, good for you. If you’re not willing to consider any other method of doing business, stop reading now. You’ll be wasting your time. But, if you’re willing to think beyond the traditional family business, and consider some new marketing concepts, let’s get started.

2 – Are you willing to find affordable solutions?

Affordable websites, the kind that you have help building and support to maintain, along with some help developing content are completely affordable. Quality content is easy to write, or you can purchase content (often from your web designer) to increase your presence online. Developing an affordable website with designer who caters to small main street business owners can be a huge benefit, because you’ll learn how important marketing can be to growing your profit margins.

3 – Do you have access to generational information?

If your parents ran the business before you, they might be an excellent resource for solution-based content on your website. If you’re part of the sandwich generation, with a huge desire to bring your children into the business, here’s a perfect opportunity. Invite your middle or high school student to interview your parents and write articles for your website. Small town entrepreneurs, home-grown business owners, and generations of knowledge and information go together like socks and shoes. Using your obvious access to applicable knowledge to build your online business is absolute genius!

4 – Did you know solutions presented on your website determine profits?

Whatever your business is, there are people looking for solutions. And you sell the products, services, and if you’re online – information – to make life easier for those who find you. Consider for a moment that you run a party-line business, and sell products used in planning and having a party. Three or four local home based workers have come together to create ‘themed events’ and you’ve agreed to pass around their business cards at the store. But you have customers who come into the store all the time, asking for party ideas… How about posting those party ideas on your website, so they can pick a party, select their party supplies, and gather ideas for making their party successful, before they come to the store? You’ve saved them time, and given them a means of support that doesn’t cost you ‘by the hour’. Do you think more customers might come to your party store?

5 – Don’t be a know-it-all!

Invite your customers to leave comments on your articles, and offer ideas of their own! The best way to grow a network of buying customers is to invite your customers to become participants in your marketing efforts. Perhaps a customer has a great solution, and they want to share it? Do you leave open space for discussion, comments, and ideas shared by customers? Open your website up to comments, and invite readers to leave comments.

Target Markets – Food

Food is inextricably tied to who we are as a particular group of people. Just think of the different “types” of restaurants out there: Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, South American, etc. Those are all based on the “nationality” of the cuisine offered. You might also select a restaurant because it serves vegetarian food, or steaks, or chicken. You might go to a breakfast joint at night, or a places that serves barbecued foods. You can also go to tea shops, coffee shops, and donut shops.

For most of the population of the United States, the food we prefer to consume says quite a great deal about us. It binds us within communities. Our dining situations are also telling – the Pennsylvania Dutch serve food in “family dining” situations, everyone seated around a common table and passing large bowls and plates from person to person. Some people listen to music, others to educational programs, and others prefer just conversation. Some people prefer a quiet and reflective mealtime.

Before the food industry’s massive output of prepared food in the later part of the 20th century, the evening meal was a major focus of family time. Housewives spent all day shopping for and preparing the food they served to their family each day. Prepared foods, and often complete meals, freed up an enormous amount of time for the harried housekeeper.

Households went from single earner to dual earner. Since there was no one home to prepare meals, restaurants became busier and busier as people opted to have others prepare, serve and clean up. As a child in the late ’60’s and ’70’s, I remember the few times I was treated to a meal in a restaurant. It was an occasion, usually celebrating some type of event. Now my wife and I go to restaurants 3 or 4 nights each week. She loves to cook, but she also enjoys being served a good meal.

Gathering for a meal can be an act of community. Generally, people choose the groups with whom they eat. Sometimes we go out to be alone with our significant other, and sometimes we’re crammed in the back banquet room with other members of our group or association.

The groups in which we eat can tell a lot about our personalities, as can the types of food we eat, and where we consume it. It can be extremely important to get this type of information from our current and prospective clients, because interpreting the data can tell us so much about where and how to find members of our target market.

What Is A Target Market?

Many people starting a business, when asked about who is going to buy their products or services, say something like:

“Well, people are going to buy my stuff.”

It’s not just people beginning a business either. Some business people get lucky, and start making sales, without actually trying to get a specific type of customer to buy from them.

In his book Contemporary Marketing, Dave Kurtz says that a target market “a group of customers a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise towards.” While it’s not a bad definition, it’s not really an explanation.

A better explanation, I think, is this: a target market is a group of people who share similar needs and wants that would be satisfied by purchasing your products or services. As a very broad example, if I were selling any type of automobile, I would be much better off focussing my attention of people who needed an automobile (either they don’t have one, or the one they have needs to be replaced), rather than on “anyone who has a driver’s license.”

To refine things a bit, let’s suppose I sell an expensive 2-seat sports car as my only product. Let’s talk about who is NOT part of my target market: people who want a truck, families who have children, people who can’t afford a sports car, people who are driven around by other people every day, and so forth. So of all the people who need or want a new automobile, only a small section of that larger group are even interested in buying the sports cars that I sell.

We can eliminate people who don’t want, or can’t afford, our sports cars from our marketing efforts. Rather than trying to hit “anyone with a license,” we can concentrate our efforts on being seen by only the people who want and can afford our car. This allows us to focus our attention and marketing efforts. Laser focus.

The term “laser” originated as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. Succinctly, a laser beam is a tightly (or highly) focussed “bunch” of light (photons). Because it’s tightly focussed, it can stay bundled together for extremely long distances. We know how far away the moon is, for instance, because we can bounce a laser beam off it’s surface and measure the time it takes to get back to us. Lasers can also be made of just one color of light. (All colors together make “white” light.) So substances that only react to certain colors of light (red, as an example) might react to one laser, and not any other.

The fact that some things only react to certain colors of lasers is important. This concept extends to marketing, and the messages we send out. The “color” of our particular message, say the fact that our sports car can go almost 500 miles on a tank of gas, will only resonate with people who are 1) in the market for a sports car, 2) can afford our sports car, and 3) want a car they don’t have to fill up very often. I haven’t said why it can go 500 miles on a tank. Perhaps it has an extremely large tank, or perhaps it gets superior gas mileage. By getting even more focussed in our message – telling people exactly why it can go so far – will also narrow the group who is interested in our message.

I’ve been talking about the marketing messages we send out. What about our original question – what is a target audience? The two are joined at the root.

The focus of the marketing messages that you send out can define the target. That’s putting the cart before the horse. But when you define the people you want to reach, you can then customize the messages that have the best chance of getting through to them despite all the “noise” in which we’re each immersed on a daily basis.

This book is all about defining your target market, and then being able to craft a message that cuts through the daily clutter to reach them. I tell my direct customers that you want to put yourself where prospects will trip over your message and you. I say this because most people who want or need your products and services will not be looking for you. How can they? They don’t know you exist!

I recently spent quite a bit of time in San Franciso’s China Town. The main street there is Grant. Most tourists don’t really wander off Grant – perhaps 20%. And of all tourists, most don’t go up Grant more than about 6 blocks. On the corner of the 5th block (Washington), there was a woman standing passing out colorful menus from a restaurant down the side of Washington. Her target market could be loosely defined as: hungry tourists at the corner of Grant and Washington who wanted to see food and prices from a Chinese restaurant. She was there from 11 AM to at least 10 PM every time I walked up Grant Ave, always trying to hand me a menu.

It’s basic, but this is one way of defining your target market, and trying to interact with them. Not everyone took a menu, but I saw people who did. Sometimes it was reflexive – that it, they took it because it was thrust at them. But other people actually looked at the menu. Of those that looked, some turned right and visited the restaurant. She was literally delivering her message by putting herself where her target audience would unknowingly find her. These were people who, a few moments before, didn’t know that particular restaurant existed. By being there with a menu, she got customers for the restaurant.

The more you know about your target market (or target audience), the more tightly you can focus your messages (Yes, messages. Plural.) so you can be tripped over, or found by those people.

Given all this, let’s describe a target market this way: A Target Market or Audience is a very narrow group of people who want or need your products/services. Because you understand them, you can enter the conversation already going on in their heads and introduce them to your products/services through laser focussed messages in such a way as to get them to self-select as your customer or not.

I’ll be explaining the other points in my description that I haven’t touched on here. I wanted you to understand that defining your target market, and customizing your messages so that they’re seen and registered by those people, is essential to business success.

Building Trust and Relationships With Your Marketing Efforts

Have you ever met a client that said, “I feel like I already knew you”? That’s the kind of rapport you want to build before your potential clients ever pick up the phone or reach the front door of your office.

How do you do it? You tell your story. In your words.

Getting your message out in an easily digestible format for consumers is the best way to get them to know and understand you and the products and services you offer. Try these ideas:

  • Use video. Posted on your website and hosted on your YouTube channel, the easiest way for customers to get to know you is to see videos of you introducing your business and explaining some of the frequently asked questions that you get from customers. 80% of online users will watch a video, while only 20% will fully read your website.
  • Write a good “our story” page. Everyone appreciates understanding that there are real human beings behind the products and services they buy. They actually do want to know who you are and what you stand for. Make sure your about us page conveys who you are even if you keep it short and simple.
  • Give personalized tokens of appreciation. At your first point of contact, make sure you have a small token to give customers to take away. It can be a small, inexpensive item, but make it memorable and brand it with your custom messaging.

If you take the time to reflect on your own journey, on what exactly has made your business unique, you will be able to properly communicate your value to people who are first getting introduced to who you are and what you do. Something that helps is to think about the human elements of your company successes. What were the struggles involved in setting up your infrastructure? What were the real lessons you learned, that you couldn’t unlearn if you tried?

Once you are able to pin down your own epic story of company success, you will be able to mimic those values within the marketing and outreach efforts you are using to get clients. Bottom line, people absolutely love to hear genuine stories of how people failed, succeeded, failed, ad infinitum. Your story, once thought out and chronicled within great content, will capture the imagination and admiration of potential clients visiting your site or receiving a handout.

How to Choose the Best Promotional Items

When it comes to choosing the best promotional item and promotional product for your business, there are many factors that come into play. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some of the ways to choose the best promotional items for your business or company.

1. Figure Out Your Goals

Depending on your goals, that will determine much of how to approach promotional items and promotional giveaways. Are you interested in reaching a very high number of people quickly, or a more selected group?

If it’s a high number of people, a more cost-effective universal item would be more appropriate than a higher priced item. On the other hand, if it’s a select group of clients, it would be more appropriate to order something with a higher price, but also offers much more value, such as electronic items.

2. Make Sure It’s Relevant to Your Target Audience and Customer’s.

This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s amazing how many business owners lose sight of this when it comes to promotional items and promotional giveaways for their business.

If you own a cleaning business, it would make sense to give away items related to cleaning. This way, they not only remember your brands name, but have an automatic association with the name and service

If you own an accounting business, you could give away notepads, calculators, or other items that are somewhat related to accounting.

3. Choose a Promotional Item in Season

Avoid giving away sunglasses in the winter when it’s rare they’ll be worn. Likewise, stainless steel tumbler’s would be great for the winter, as they can keep a hot drink warm. Other great promotional items for the winter would be mugs, beanies, and blankets. For the summertime, sunglasses, coolers, and beach items make excellent giveaways.

4. Make Sure the Items are of Quality

People will associate the quality of the items with the quality of your business. If the items are cheap, people will think your business is cheap. If the items are of high quality, people will associate your business with high quality.

I recall ordering custom pens from a major online manufacturer, and while the price was great, they ran out of ink within a few weeks. The next time around, I purchased from another company for a slightly higher price, but the pens had a significantly longer life span.

While it can be very tempting to choose whatever items have the lowest price, price isn’t always everything. While you shouldn’t pay a much higher number than the average cost, don’t pick an item just because it’s the best price. It’s best to have a balance between price and quality.

Marketing Strategies That Work

When setting up a business, it is every owner’s wish that it grows and prospers bringing good and happy returns. However, failure to do research on how to go about your business in order to make it successful and keeping losses at bay can be very costly. There are of course elements of business that determine how successful it is some of which are beyond human control.

For the success of a business, it is important for every owner to come up with a marketing strategy to make sure that people are aware that it indeed does exist. By people getting aware that there is a business dealing with certain products and services, it will be easier for them to get to you and bring you business.

It is helpful to remember that there are competitors who would do anything to get more customers and therefore the strategy of choice should have the ability to attract and maintain customers without incurring losses. The aim of any marketing strategy is to bring profits, fulfill customer needs and achieve enough success to make it grow however the market looks. The strategy one comes up with should involve a product portfolio taking into account the competitive market around.

For this reason, a marketing research is essential whereby you are able to analyze the available opportunities, consumer opportunities and the distribution. By understanding and analyzing the market you will manage to come up with a marketing strategy that is unique and which will work to your advantage. By ensuring that you know consumer behaviors, you will be able to come up with a strategy that will make them come. You should however make sure that the path you finally take does not lead you to lose.

One factor that can spoil your marketing strategy is your business location. It is important to ensure that you are setting up your business in a place where people can easily access. If not, ensure that the kind of products and services you are offering are good enough to make customers come all the way to where you are. You can choose to do marketing by using sales people, posters and even the media.

If you are not too sure about what marketing strategy you should use, have someone plan it for you. Your business success will largely depend on your strategic marketing skills so give it your best.

Simple Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Marketing is essential for every business if it is to gain and have a strong clientele, make sales and bring about profits which in turn help in the growth of the business. Mostly, small business owners find that it is hard for them to implement marketing strategies because of their tight budgets.

However, there are some simple but very effective ideas that small businesses can use to market their products and services, increasing their sales and creating a name in the market. Marketing your business and ensuring that you offer what you have promised is one of the best ways to maintain customers who will never leave you for your competitor across the street.

Sincerity and enthusiasm
This is one of the best ideas for marketing your small business. You should always be confident about your services or products and believe in your business. The passionate attitude you have both in print marketing and face to face marketing will pick your prospects fetching you people ready to do business with you. If you are taking with a potential customer, be sure to maintain good tone of voice, facial expressions and even your volume. Your overall presentation can largely determine how convincing you are.

In case of print marketing using things like brochures or flyers, choose your words well to make sure they will have a positive impact on your customers.

Dispelling distrust
In order to gain your customers confidence, you should come up with some kind of a written guarantee of pure satisfaction on purchasing your goods or services. By giving this kind of guarantee, the customers will trust your business since they can clearly see that you are confident about what you are offering them. You can also offer references, testimonials or even join your business with professional organizations.
The more trustworthy you appear, the more customers you will acquire.

Imposing a deadline
Another small business marketing idea is to deal with the normal human tendency of postponing purchases or delaying coming for your services. The best way you can deal with such tendencies is to create an urgency sense when doing your ads or marketing messages. For instance, if you are running a promotion or a discount on your products, don’t let this run for a long period of time. The short offer will motivate a great number of people to come and get the products before it is over.

Tips for Small Business Marketing

Most small business owners undermine their power when it comes to marketing since they believe that it takes a big amount of money to get more customers growing the business. However, there are simple ideas and tips which, when taken seriously and done in the right way with the right attitude can make a lot of difference. There is always something you can do to make a name for your business and maintain a large clientele.

Printing postcards
One of the simplest and cheapest tips of marketing your small business is the use of postcards. You can print a good precise message on a postcard after which you can mail it to your prospects. A postcard attracts attention and most people love small enticing messages so this idea will fetch great sales without spending too much.

Changing approaches
Since using one approach over and over can be boring to you and to your customers, it helps to change your approach every once in a while to keep it fun and effective. However, always ensure that you analyze each one of the approaches you intend to use to make sure that they will be advantageous to your business.

Buddy marketing
It does not help to be too selfish since one business can help another grow. In buddy marketing you can include another business’s leaflet together with your brochures or flyers based on a mutual agreement. The other business will also do the same for you meaning that you will manage to reach a large number of potential customers who can help you increase sales.

Phone marketing
Another way to market what you have to offer is by using your phone to put whatever message you have across. For instance, you can incorporate a special offer you could be running when answering the phone. By mentioning it briefly, you will compel the caller to ask more on the offer. This way, you will manage to spread the word to many people triggering interest hence the desire to check out your business and see what you have for them.

Other tips of great marketing include sending your customers a second offer soon after they have purchased from your business. This will make them come back and probably become loyal to you. You can also use newsletters and take advantage of seminars, but each one of these approaches should be analyzed beforehand to come up with the best strategy.

Importance of Perseverance In Advertising And Marketing

Have you ever spent time trying to market and advertise only to not see results? You probably feel like giving up or trying a different approach to business success. Before you decide to quit altogether, it’s important to understand why perseverance will serve you well in your business efforts. This article will highlight a few reasons why you should continue in your efforts no matter how tough things get.

#1: You May Not Realize It, But You Are Getting Results

You must always realize as long as one new person is viewing or paying attention to your advertisement or marketing efforts, you are making some kind of progress. Everyone has different expectations as to what progress is. Some want a high volume of sales over a quick period of time and others would like to see it over a longer period of time. But it’s important to step back and keep things in perspective. Remember that any step, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. As wonderful as it is to see significant results over a short period of time, it may take a lot longer to see those results, but that’s no reason to give up on your marketing and advertising efforts. Keep at it and always keep a positive attitude in the process.

#2: Others Began To Realize Your Perseverance And Start To Buy Into Your Product

A good example of this is using Twitter to promote your business. When you start out, you may only have a few followers after doing your first few posts. After weeks and weeks of posting and staying active on Twitter, your number of followers increases. This is the result of perseverance as your hard-working efforts start to get noticed by others. What is important to remember is that this is a process that place over a long period of time. It’s not a quick fix. As you get more followers, you get more people who are interested in you, and eventually, your product.