This is a winning combination in today’s marketplace, yet many corporate bodies and professionals discount them. The more complex your marketing, the more forceful, so they think. Not anymore. If you must lead the pack in your business, then keep your product packaging and marketing simple. You must stoop to the level of your consumers and communicate with force. These days, as you communicate and sell, you have to motivate your workforce and your customers. Why? Motivation and simplicity, they are the power, the market forces that will rule business this year. Without them, there is no force in your marketing. Some ideas.
Create your own medium
Your marketing costs should not be too heavy. You can keep it low by creating your own medium that is simple and cost effective. Here is what an American company does. It plants corporate messages right on the back of complimentary …
Attend organization meetings
Where do people in your target market hang out? Research this, and then plan to attend a meeting or two to mix and mingle. What better way to meet and get to know these individuals while learning more about the market?
Offer to speak at a meeting or conference
What do you have to offer that you feel could be of value to those you are trying to reach out to? Present a short talk or slide show on a helpful topic. Be sure you present something of value to the group. What helpful tips or other material would hold ther attention, and entice them to learn more about you and what you do? Just give them a small taste of your skills and knowledge. Chances are, they will want to talk to you after the presentation.
Advertise in publications your target market reads
The Internet is …
Beware of the quick fix… Most organizations have been using band-aid approaches such as integrating data sharing or changing incentive compensation systems without looking at the whole picture. Stop the knee jerk reaction to solve it NOW. Take a breath and create a long-range plan to address a complex set of barriers.
Promote people who are cooperative team members… Some might say that sales and marketing “personalities” are two very different animals. They think differently and act differently and approach the same customers with very different points of view. Added to that is the unspoken habit they each have of “looking down” on one another.
When integrating these divergent cultures, have marketing and sales both report to the same department head. The simple proximity of people, with joint department meetings and problem solving teams, helps to break down barriers that no new technological fix could achieve. And then promote those …
Create a blog or frequently updated web site.
A blog is simply a web site that can be easily updated, without you having to rely heavily on a webmaster. Each time you have a new item to write about, just login and fill-in-the-blanks (title, body of your article or post), and your web site gets updated.
The more frequently your web site is updated, the more search engine robots will visit your site. When that happens, your web pages will rank higher in the search engines.
Try visiting Google.com, for example, and do a search for your company name. Does your web site appear in the first page of the search engine results?
Package your franchise information as a downloadable PDF file.
Do your potential franchise applicants surf the web a lot? I don’t know exactly how much, but it’s probably a lot less compared to their children or their …
Word of mouth for a brand is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do extraordinary things well. People notice that over time. While there are no shortcuts to generate word of mouth, you can use specific techniques to accelerate the process. Here are a few of them:
Look at the customer as a friend or a family member and not as part of some vague demographic group.
Develop entertaining and informative ads that can be easily forwarded.
Work actively with social networks.
Host discussions and message boards about your brand.
Identify people who are able to influence your target customers.
Inform these influencers about what your brand is all about and motivate them to spread the word.
Recruit new evangelists, teach them about the benefits of your brand and encourage them to create a buzz.
Set up online clubs for passionate users.
Track online …
Identify and name the broad market
You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.
The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.
Identify and make an inventory of potential customers’ needs
This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.
What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.
Got yourself stuck in …
Look around you. You can probably count on two hands the number of items in your office or home that are etched, engraved or printed with someone’s name- magnets, key chains, coffee mugs, calendars, rulers and note cubes. Oh, and how could we forget the pen or stress ball? These items were most likely given to you at no cost at a business you frequent, or perhaps were even sent to you. These are often given out at trade shows, seminars and other events open to the public. Even the businesses that have booths at the county fair have these types of giveaways. And, some businesses just have them out in their reception area. Others, like schools, may hand out pens, folders and lanyards at orientations and open houses. This marketing tool not only builds recognition but also is a way to gain your repeat business.
Now, understand that these programs do not have the same “order- taking” ease that call-in campaigns do, but you need to stay above the break- even line at all times, or else you are taking profits out of your own pocket! Seasonal business owners, like heating-cooling contractors, can fill in “off-seasons” by offering comfort, economy or indoor air quality products, services or inspections – not only to strangers, but to their established customer base, as well. Not only is “after-market” (i.e. additional sales income from the existing customer base) an easy money-maker, it is the best (cheapest) way to create fill-in business. Be it mailers, generated referrals, telemarketing, point of sale super-offers or network marketing, you should test two or three of these direct approach efforts to see which ones will work for you in the “slow times.”
Measure which kind of promotion resulted in every sale, or else you …
Submit articles online
If you enjoy writing, a great way to drive more traffic to your web site is by submitting articles online. Find publications that your target market reads, and submit your articles there. Some sites offer directories of articles that others can use in e-zines or blogs. Submit to as many sites as possible, and don’t forget to include a short bio at the end. Reference your contact information, including a link back to your web site.
E-zines help you keep in touch with clients, customers and colleagues. This is also another opportunity to send more traffic to your site.
Blogging is becoming much more popular these days. Blogs are less formal than e-zines, allowing you to become more up close and personal, while still promoting your business.
Although this also falls under the category of online networking, posting to message boards is a …
Mail order is over saturated with plans, directories, sales materials and products that have been around for ten, fifteen, twenty years and longer. Many of these materials were not that good in the beginning, and yet they’re still being sold as quick secrets to wealth and fame. This is part of the reason for the junk mail reputation of mail order.
Just a little investigation on your part will show that the most successful people doing business by mail are always on the alert for new products and they quickly add these products to their own sales inventories as they become available. This is a must for success rule, regardless of whether you do or don’t produce your own products.
It’s almost impossible to gain much success with a single product report, booklet, book or manual. The best way is to search around for a number of related products, then, …
The Pitchers: Sales
Let’s say you have a new baseball team in town and it’s almost time for the first game of the season. Your sales force is ready to sell a variety of package deals for the season. However, there’s a major stumbling block as they prepare to approach potential buyers. No one knows about the package deals or even the date of the first game.
No one tipped the local sports writer or the local TV news of the upcoming grand opening game. What happened to the marketing department? There’s no marketing research, no publicity, and no idea where to begin targeting sales. Sales will flop and will make the sales department look bad, but it’s marketing’s fault since they didn’t do their job.
The Batters: Marketing
Let’s switch and see things from the marketing team’s view. They do a grand job of posting banners of the first …