Saturday, July 17, 2010

4 Basic Marketing Strategies to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Every successful business has a marketing plan that consists of many different strands of marketing strategies. Those might consist of advertising, channel marketing, internet marketing, promotion, public relations, etc. For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus on internet marketing, and the sheer power that it offers your business. To be more particular, I would like to focus on 4 basic marketing strategies that can take your business to the next level.

1. Article Marketing:
Article marketing offers you a tremendous opportunity to drive traffic to your website. You just simply write a short article that pertains to your business, and publish it on any article directory on the web. You want to ensure that you only publish good quality articles. You want to appear to your readers that you are a subject matter expert. Quality over Quantity will win every time.

2. Video Marketing:
If you are doing a search on the internet, and you have a choice between reading something or watching something; you will most likely watch something first before clicking on any other results. It is human nature. That is why it is very important to include videos in your marketing efforts. Produce a short video no longer than two to three minutes in length, and post it on the web. Again, include quality footage.

3. Blogging:
Blogs are the most favored kind of websites by the search engines. They have more authority in the search engines than any other type of website. Posting good quality information that pertains to your business in a blog, and using good keyword research will be very beneficial to you and your business. Good quality information paired with keyword research will very easily help your material to rank high in the search engines. The higher ranked you are in the search engines, the higher your chances of success.

4. Social Media:
Social media is another marketing tool that is becoming more and more popular for business promotion. In fact, if Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world. That is incredible! Using social media like Facebook to promote your business can be highly beneficial to you. You do need to walk a fine line between using your social media accounts for personal and business use. You do not want to come across as a spammer and push people away. Only use social media sites to create curiosity, so that people are coming to you with questions.

It is important to remember that these 4 basic marketing strategies take repetition and hard work. Post as many articles and videos as humanly possible. Blog several times a week. Be active in your social media accounts. If you are persistent in these 4 basic marketing strategies, you will truly be amazed at your results.

Dave Fennell is an Internet Marketing Coach and Corporate Mentor for one of the Internet's largest marketing schools. Specializing in Article Marketing, Social Network Marketing, and a multitude of other Marketing Strategies, he trains both total beginners and seasoned professionals from all over the globe to achieve financial freedom through proven business techniques and continuing education to keep ahead of trends and remain on top of the competition.

Article By Dave Fennell

3 Easy Ways to Get More Out of Your Website

Most people know they should have a website nowadays, and many people do. The question then becomes; how do you get the most out of your website?

Here are three easy ways to help you do that:

1) Keep Your Website Updated

This may seem like an easy one, but the more frequently you update your website, the more reason people have to come visit. It's similar to when you make changes to your home. You don't necessarily have to go through a whole remodeling process to have a desire to show something off. Every new project, new photos, new staff members, etc. are great opportunities to keep your community involved and updated on what's going on with you. A blog linked to your website is a great way to do this.

2) Claim Your Online Listings

This is the one of the best ways to get more exposure online, and it is very easy. All you have to do is know where to look and claim your listing in various popular directories throughout the internet like the online yellow pages, Merchant Circle, the Super Pages and more. For a list of great resources online to claim their business listings at click here.

It does not take very long, and could easily be some of the best time you have invested in your company in a while. Simply fill in some basic information like your business address, phone number and website and you're done. People won't always find you through ordinary searches online for your keywords, so by claiming your listings you are diversifying your online presence and giving yourself more of a chance to be found.

3) Utilize Social Media

Many small business owners would be amazed at the amount of traffic they could drive to their website if they utilized social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. A few minutes is usually all it takes to add some basic information about your company and create a profile. About five minutes or so for every new post and you have the potential to increase your exposure exponentially. A couple simple sentences with a link to your website or blog can go a very long way towards expanding your business and developing relationships with your clients.

When you get involved like this, you are going where the conversation is, instead of relying on the people to come to you. You don't really have to spend a lot of time here, at least once a week would be ideal, but even if it's once a month, just having a presence helps your company immensely.

If you feel like spending some extra time, list yourself in some twitter directories like and You can also do twitter searches at, which are similar to Google searches and will provide results with the keywords you are searching for. For example, if you are a landscaper, you may do a search for "landscaping services" and find some potential clients who are in the market for what you offer and made a posting with your keywords in it.

I would also highly recommend creating posts on Craigslist to your appropriate categories with a link to your website. Again, very easy to do and you will be placing yourself in front of many eyeballs who are already there and open to looking at what you have to offer.

Ideally you would like to sync all of your online marketing together. For example; make a new blog post that is linked to your website. Then post a link on your twitter and Facebook accounts, and you will be getting maximum exposure for the time you spent on your new blog post.

The best thing about all of these resources is that they are free. Every business owner has access to them, all it takes is a little time. These are great tasks for office managers or assistants to handle if you are fortunate enough to have their services available to you.

Article By Steve Seager

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Basic Definitions: Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales

By Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

It's easy to become confused about these terms: advertising, marketing, promotion, public relations and publicity, and sales. The terms are often used interchangeably. However, they refer to different -- but similar activities. Some basic definitions are provided below. A short example is also provided hopefully to help make the terms more clear to the reader.
One Definition of Advertising
Advertising is bringing a product (or service) to the attention of potential and current customers. Advertising is focused on one particular product or service. Thus, an advertising plan for one product might be very different than that for another product. Advertising is typically done with signs, brochures, commercials, direct mailings or e-mail messages, personal contact, etc.
One Definition of Promotion
Promotion keeps the product in the minds of the customer and helps stimulate demand for the product. Promotion involves ongoing advertising and publicity (mention in the press). The ongoing activities of advertising, sales and public relations are often considered aspects of promotions.
One Definition of Marketing
Marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you're continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return. Marketing is usually focused on one product or service. Thus, a marketing plan for one product might be very different than that for another product. Marketing activities include "inbound marketing," such as market research to find out, for example, what groups of potential customers exist, what their needs are, which of those needs you can meet, how you should meet them, etc. Inbound marketing also includes analyzing the competition, positioning your new product or service (finding your market niche), and pricing your products and services. "Outbound marketing" includes promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.
One Definition of Public relations
Public relations includes ongoing activities to ensure the overall company has a strong public image. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the company and its products. Often, public relations are conducted through the media, that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc. As noted above, public relations is often considered as one of the primary activities included in promotions.
One Definition of Publicity
Publicity is mention in the media. Organizations usually have little control over the message in the media, at least, not as they do in advertising. Regarding publicity, reporters and writers decide what will be said.
One Definition of Sales
Sales involves most or many of the following activities, including cultivating prospective buyers (or leads) in a market segment; conveying the features, advantages and benefits of a product or service to the lead; and closing the sale (or coming to agreement on pricing and services). A sales plan for one product might be very different than that for another product.
An Example of the Definitions
The following example may help to make the above five concepts more clear. I recently read that the story comes from the Reader's Digest, a quote found in "Promoting Issues and Ideas" by M. Booth and Associates, Inc. (Thanks to Jennifer M. Seher, participant in the CONSULTANTS@CHARITYCHANNEL.COM online discussion group.)

"... if the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying 'Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday', that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations." If the town's citizens go the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they'll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that's sales.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Mobile Advertising Industry Is Worth At Least $1 Billion Now

Following Google’s purchase of AdMob and news that Apple is buying Quattro Wireless, the mobile advertising industry has passed the $1 billion in value—which is quite the accomplishment given that the total U.S. mobile advertising market was only worth $416 million in 2009.

Google sees mobile ad rates passing PC rates

Google Inc said that it expects the rates that companies pay for search ads on mobile phones could surpass the rates of its existing PC-based ad business thanks to the growing popularity of powerful smartphones.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How SMS is building business

The following case studies are real. They are excellent for generating SMS marketing ideas for your business. We can help your business in a similar fashion.

Case Study 1. Dunkin Donuts

A two month mobile interactive ad campaign in Italy has resulted in a 9% increase in sales for Dunkin Donuts, according to the two companies that created it.

As a result of an SMS-based marketing campaign, customers were able to get coupons for Dunkin Donuts goods by using their mobile handsets to respond to advertisements displayed on store notice boards, billboards and on the radio.

By sending a short message to the published numbers, users receive an immediate reply featuring a free gift coupon or special offer exchangeable at local outlets.

Sales were reportedly up 9% within the first three weeks of the campaign. By enticing consumers to request special offers, Dunkin Donuts ensures that they achieve a great consumer push without running the risk of breaking down the client relationship by contributing to the wealth of 'spam'. SMS is the perfect way to tap into a vast market of mobile phone users in an environment plagued by a lack of standardization and interconnections.

By ensuring that the power of the SMS medium is put to good use in an ethical way and one which doesn't encroach upon users' privacy is something which was key to the success of campaigns such as this one with Dunkin Donuts.

And Dunkin Donuts' Italian franchisee GianLuigi Contin says that the SMS marketing solution has been a positive brand-building experience: "We are directly reaching our targets with a message they can understand. Cellular coupons are not cute promotions, rather they are serious marketing tools that not only extend the brand but are also directed towards the people we want to reach."

Case Study 2. MacDonalds boosts sales using SMS

When McDonald’s Australia ran its first SMS voucher campaign in Bundaberg, Queensland, in September, it saw very healthy SMS voucher redemption rates.

This redemption rate was aided by the design of the voucher campaign, which was integrated with a competition run through a local radio station. Listeners entered the radio competition by SMSing in their name. In reply, they received a confirmation of their entry with an SMS voucher attached. They could take this voucher to either of the two Bundaberg McDonald’s restaurants and receive one of three offers. Additionally, the customer was asked to reply to the SMS voucher with a “Y” to receive more McDonald’s offers, which most recipients did.

McDonald’s was able to send out further vouchers just before lunch time.

Because every phone number is unique. McDonald’s collected names in their campaign, next time they may choose to ask for age, allowing better targeting and response rates.

Because of the infiltration of mobile phones in society, it is a perfect promotional entry tool and voucher/coupon delivery and redemption mechanism.

Case Study 3. SMS marketing helps McDonalds

Marketing products to mobile phones using SMS messages has been proven to increase sales, according to a test study carried out in Sweden.

Named e-street, the project signed up 2,500 mobile phone-users in the town of Lulea to receive SMS messages of special offers from 150 local organization.

After the volunteers were sent an SMS for a McDonalds burger offer, 25 per cent of the targeted users took up the offer.

The McDonalds in question broke its turnover records during the test period and it jumped to the top of the McDonalds league table in Sweden.

Case Study 4. Hilton uses SMS with success

The Hilton Hotel group has successfully used SMS messaging to increase guest numbers to its hotels and build customer loyalty.

The hotel sent out important marketing messages such as specials and promotions directly to its members’ mobile handsets.

SMS allowed the hotel to get the messages out instantly and at the most appropriate time of day.
The use of SMS as a direct marketing tool resulted in a 10-25% uptake of offers sent out by the hotel and proved to be an integral part its direct marketing and loyalty strategy.

The Psychology of Sales & Marketing

Did you know that when people make a purchase, they generally buy "with their emotions and then justify their decision with logic later on'?

What? You didn't know that? If you truly want to succeed in business, you need to learn and understand how using psychology can "set you apart from the rest of your competition and take your business to the next level.

Psychology can be applied to all aspects of your sales and marketing efforts and will give you that all important "edge" over your competitors.

People desperately want to feel cared for and understood more than anything else, and the businesses that understand this vital pyschological factor will gain a major advantage over their competitors.

How you can read the minds of your customers?

Yes, you are right. You can read through your customers and guide them to where you want to get them. Today, recent advances in behavioural sciences have made it possible to read between the lines and understand the human behaviour with more clarity.

Every customer is different and needs a different approach to sales. Gone are the days where amateurs thought that the only way to sell is to give a canned sales pitch. You have the benefit of choosing the solutions sales methods that help you understand the actual needs of the customers.

Techniques like the Self-expressive method, Personality Style Flexing, personal style at work and off work, Communication pattern audit, Behaviour analysis, Objective analysis, emotional literacy, learning styles and stages and so on help you to be more productive on the field with your customers. These are scientific methods and hence you are sure of reaching your targets and probably surpass it.

The role of a professional salesperson is much like that of a doctor. It is necessary to diagnose the situation and prescribe a suitable treatment. It is necessary to understand the customer’s mind to determine the right prescription.
Many sales professionals are master communicators and have the ability to talk their way through just about any situation but lack the skills to use their natural demeanor to their advantage in a presentation. Other sales professionals have the skills to build powerful presentations but lack the communication skills to reinforce their message.
The Effective Sales professional is able to look for and identify levels of client acceptance. And he realizes that it is only through tracking and responding to these levels that the sales may precede to the close.
The ability to understand one’s selling style, the pattern of one’s behaviours, as perceived by clients will determine how much influence you have on them. If a Sales professional is seen as being more concerned about the client (client focus) rather than product (product focus), will in the long run be more successful than others.