Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Privacy and Ethical Concerns

Ethical considerations within businesses are largely over-looked within marketing management research (Bell & Bryman, 2007). Business ethics research inherently focuses on sensitive and controversial issues (Miyazaki & Taylor, 2008). Consequently, most business ethics research is susceptible to interaction biases (Miyazaki & Taylor, 2008).

There is a growing concern from consumers that their privacy and personal information is being digitized and sold without their permission (Foxman & Kilcoyne, 1993). The concern is that credit cards, billing details, and other private data is bought and sold across the marketing industry between businesses and organizations to use as soliciting tools. Consumers agree that the lack of organizational ethics when collecting the information is morally wrong (Foxman & Kilcoyne, 1993). The debate amongst consumers and businesses is that both parties feel they own the information submitted. Businesses believe that they have the right to use the information any way they choose to help better their organizational goals and to produce better marketing services (Foxman & Kilcoyne, 1993). Additionally, the organizations that purchase the user information feel they own the data because they purchased it.

If the results show that a company is being unethical by confusing or misinforming consumers on how their private information is used, management should work diligently to resolve the confusion by making privacy details clear. In formulating a research-oriented approach that would benefit the practice in regards to the issue presented, I recommend utilizing a qualitative format similar to the constructivist format. I would begin by outlining the problems being addressed and then focus on presenting existing literature regarding the problem and the significance of the study (Creswell, 2009). Next, I would present procedures including a qualitative research strategy for collecting the necessary data. Finally, I would focus on validating my finding using various forms of interview questions, observational forms, timelines, and proposed budgets (Creswell, 2009).

Recommended Readings

Bell, E., & Bryman, A. (2007). The ethics of management research: An exploratory content analysis. British Journal of Management, 18(1), 63–77. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2006.00487.x

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Foxman, E. R., & Kilcoyne, P. (1993). Information technology, marketing practice, and consumer privacy: Ethical issues. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 12(1), 106-119. doi: 10.1007/s10660-007-9000-y

Miyazaki , A. D., & Taylor, K. A. (2008). Researcher interaction biases and business ethics research: Respondent reactions to researcher characteristics. Journal of Business Ethics, 81(4), 779–795. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9547-5

A marketing strategy to grow your business

Marketing plans are crucial for starting and growing a business. A good marketing plan will help your business identify your target customers, and generate a plan to reach and retain those customers. The marketing plan is the roadmap to gain customers and improve organizational success if done properly.

Additionally, the plan describes the desired customer by targeting their precise needs based on their demographic profiles. This is helpful for identifying targeted customers and creating pinpointed advertisement aimed directly at those prospective customers.

An additional crucial point of the marketing plan is its plan of distribution. The distribution plan details how customers will purchase or buy into the organization. The promotional strategy of the plan is considered one of the most important sections of the plan. The promotional strategy details how new customers are to be reached.

Examples of an effective promotional strategy include distribution and promotional tactics on television, at trade shows, and through online advertising. A marketing plan includes everything from understanding the desired customer, to determining how to outperform and strategize the competition. A marketing plan is paramount to achieving business success and the time taken to develop a marketing plan, is an investment worth making considering it defines who to connect with customers and generate sales.

Building your perceived value

Perceived value is based on how much money the consumer or business believes the product is worth. It is the marketer’s responsibility to generate a positive perceived value of the company’s products. Whether marketing a service or a product, the results are similar in that both rely on the consumers’ perception of the company’s or individual’s expertise, quality, and reputation.

If your business and your competitors are to sell the exact same item, built exactly the same way, and from the same materials, it is likely that the business with the better brand value reputation can sell the item at a higher price because of the perceived value by the consumer.

If your customer perceives the value of your product high, the customer will likely show more interest and loyalty. The customers’ perception of your company’s customer support, trust, loyalty, and product quality determine the products value.

Business Card Template

I recently just created a new business card and because my hard drive was wiped for some reason, I can’t restore my old files. For this business card I had to create a new template for it that I would like to share with everyone. It’s a simple layered Photoshop template that will help you with your sizing and borders. I always found helpful templates like this useful in my beginning days when I didn’t really understand the size or length of the borders of a business card. It’s 300dpi and CMYK format for a normal 3.5 x 2in business card. This is a great simple design to help you out. Feel free to download the attached business card template.

Don’t try to do everything

One of the biggest business mistakes I have ever made was trying to do everything myself. I wore the hats of the marketing department, sales, customer service, collections, technical support, developer, graphic artist, etc.

I understand that you may want to save money or may simply not have the financial support to hire someone else to complete additional task. However, do what you need until you can get help and then get the help. If you have to cut your pay temporarily to hire a project manager while you handle sales, you will be grateful in the end. Else, you’ll drain yourself empty and never have the time to do what you love.

Do yourself a favor and focus on what made you love the idea of being a business owner in the first place.

Website with Photoshop

I often get asked how to build websites from customers who are graphic designers. Though it is a good question, its sometimes odd when I have the graphic artist send me the layout that they want, but just want me to build it into a functional website. What I find interesting about this is that I believe graphic artist and web designers are one in the same. Web designers are just graphic designers who know a little something about html.

Within this video, I have outlined how to build a website using Adobe Photoshop. I believe it will be an interesting discovery for many Photoshop experts who felt they knew nothing about building a website. Check out the video for further details.

 

Your online brand is your resume

Internet Marketing

The reason that you as a business owner needs to market is because while you may have a great website or graphic design piece, without placing this work within your potential customers’ reach, you are losing business.

Here is how it works. Think of your website or art work as a resume. With this resume, you spend hours or days writing it up to perfection and years building it through experience and education. After you’ve gotten your resume to perfection, what next? What’s the next step to making sure that you land that dream job? The answer is marketing. You have to market yourself to gain the employer.

A bad resume with good marketing has a better chance of landing the employer, than a good resume with no marketing. Without marketing, you’ve just wasted years on creating a great resume for no reason at all.

Developing your personal brand

Your brand matters most

Your brand is often your business’s most valuable asset. A strong brand can generate loyal customers and positive sales. It is the responsibility of the marketer to create a brand that customers view as positive and valuable. For the brand to be valuable to the customers, it needs to simplify the decision-making process and reduce the risk for the customers. Positive branding can influence customer behavior. Having a strong brand will result in better earnings and profit performance, which will generate greater shareholder value for your business.

A personal brand is a presentation of your unique skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise that help make you memorable. These unique assets influence employers to hire and professionals to want to work with you. For you to expand your social brand and generate brand awareness, you can start by creating or cleaning up your social media pages. On social media pages, you should not post anything that you don’t want employers or customers to see. This includes both text and images. In addition to social media pages, you should create digital portfolios and personal websites. The benefits of these are that customers can easily find websites, and it allows you to present yourself in favorable conditions.

Who should help develop your marketing plan?

Successful Marketing

Marketing plans are the starting points for successful companies, and the plan often includes dozens to hundreds of pages worth of data analysis. The difference between a marketing plan and a business plan is that a business plan focuses mainly on defining the company, its history, mission, and goals. A business plan includes more than just a marketing plan or strategy. It also includes discussion regarding staffing, locations, finances, and strategic alliances. A marketing plan focuses on creating keys to success. Additionally, the marketing plan tells the story of how to achieve goals and generate success.

Each of the company’s leaders and managers should see the plan and give insight into whether the plan is achievable. Marketing plans are best when there are many people involved in its creation. Gaining feedback is important considering most all ideas will affect each department within the company. Leaders and managers can provide realistic data, experiences, and share insight into market opportunities.

Finding a graphic artist

There are plenty of graphic artist within the crowded market. If you have not found one yet, then ask a friend, family member, or stranger on the street. Chances are one of them will claim to be or know a graphic designer.

The right artist should not only be creative, but they should also understand how to create artwork that is marketable. Designing is the easy part, but knowing what to design, who to design for, and how to direct, entertain, persuade, and attract attention with your artwork is the difference between having good artwork and effective artwork.

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READY TO GROW YOUR SMALL BUSINESS ONLINE?