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Quick and Easy Marketing Methods

Newsletters should be branded if you intend to share company news and not get lost amongst the spam. Temper the marketing tone of your messages by integrating stories about your staff and customers.

Transactional emails are emails that directly promote products, promotions, and include emails sent to confirm an order or new account sign-up. Keep these emails succinct, but write with flair.

Videos are a great way to bring your brand to life. They are the perfect vehicle to introduce your products and services. Be sure to keep them short and snappy, perfect for social media sharing.

Business cards are pocket-sized promotional opportunities. Make sure they include relevant details like your social media handles and links to your website. Loyalty cards are also good for encouraging return visits to your store and should reflect your brand. Postcards are a fun way to raise brand awareness. Whether you choose to mail them, add them to your packaging, or distribute them at local businesses, they must be attractive if you want customers to view and keep them.

Most agencies know how to leverage their own email marketing skills to attract and nurture new business. However, they often overlook email as a communication channel post-sale. Email can be used to entice your customers in a scalable way as it provides the means necessary to continuously deliver added value over the course of your relationship. While many would argue that no one is looking forward to more emails, your emails should be relevant and thoughtfully written to ensure you don’t add to the SPAM issue.

Sell what sells

Give them what they want

As a business, you need to focus your marketing campaigns on what generates sales. The best campaigns are those that influence product purchases. If consumers dislike the campaign, but it sells products better than favored campaigns, then the advertisement would be considered a success.

The goal of any campaign is to generate sales. The ideal campaign should build trust, influence sales, and generate brand awareness. Your business should target and adapt your marketing strategies to focus on what consumers want and will purchase. The consumer is the ultimate power broker within any organization.

Your business should structure its marketing efforts on identifying and meeting the consumers’ individual needs. Those needs must be met within all aspects of the business, including price, customer support, and overall value.

Bottom of the Pyramid Markets

The goal of developing and growing bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets is to create mutual value between businesses and the community. To market within the BOP market, radical innovation is necessary in order to modify products and make them affordable for people of all income levels. The problem with this strategy, however, is that companies often fail to consider the perspective of the poor themselves. Businesses that mainly focus on top of the pyramid (TOP) markets are more likely to fail within the BOP market, as products created for the rich are not suitable to the poor. Consequently, the BOP market requires company’s to create unique business strategies for the BOP market in order to produce effective results.
 
Within the BOP market, companies have to determine new solutions on attracting the consumer and then provide an affordable solution. To get products to the BOP markets, company’s can consider the sachet revolution; a marketing approach used to package items within sachets that make them affordable to the poor. Additionally, companies should partner with local leaders within BOP markets to help with implementing a strategy. Microsoft is a company that generates activities targeted at emerging markets including the BOP market. The company partners with local governments, organizations, educators, and community business leaders to implement software and hardware into employment areas and the education system to help improve lives. Nonetheless, there is no single solution for creating a successful BOP market strategy and achieving success. Technology, global standards, and global scales must all be utilized to help solve the poverty problem. Firms operating in the BOP market have to utilize unique strategies to reach the market and learn how to do more with less.    
 
Income, prices, savings, debt, and credit availability determine economic purchasing power. The economy has strong impacts on consumers and businesses that are geared at particular income-based segments of users. The goal of the marketing firm or marketing consultant is to develop strategies that influence consumer purchases. Consequently, the marketer is responsible for creating strategies that can reach the desired consumer no matter the income level or location. Although the BOP market does create risk and obstacles that may be outside of a marketer’s comfort level, it does not mean that the market should be avoided for an easier, more convenient market. Within a BOP market, firms and marketers need to innovate and create unique strategies and products that reach the market and consumers. Within innovation, markets get ignored and business, and individuals are left at a disadvantage.       
 
Information and communication technology (ICT) can assist with developing bottom of the pyramid (BOP) marketing goals. Company’s can achieve their BOP market goals by creating strong relationships and open communication between local partners within the BOP communities. ICT can contribute to economic development and poverty reduction. ITC assists individuals and companies grow their economy, build opportunity, and increase process efficiency. If people within BOP markets do not have the opportunity to take advantage of new ICT applications, they will be disadvantaged or excluded from participating within global communication. In many parts of the world, ICT contributes to revolutionary changes in businesses and everyday lives of the poor. Providing BOP markets with the opportunity to use technology to communicate with one another and across the globe creates strong social and economical impacts. However, corporations deal with many risks as they attempt to restructure their business strategies, processes, and implementation into BOP markets.   

Locations and facilities

Your Location Matters

Most online only businesses operate in an online space so a physical location may not be needed. However, your location still affects your business’s marketing efforts even as an online company.

For example, if your company is located within the state of Texas, but seeking to do business in New York or another, you need to make certain that your website addresses the concerns of each target customers’ location

Things to consider:

  • Is your location/website convenient (address / online address)
  • Is it consistent with your brand image?
  • Is it what customers want and expect?

The Customer Trigger Point

While working on my bachelor degree, I was employed as a student recruiter for a local college in Dallas, Texas. During sales training, I learned lessons that remain current in all my customer relationships: Never ruin a hot lead and know the customer’s trigger point. Finding the trigger point is as simple as asking “Why are you calling or meeting with me today?” Every customer has a reason for the decision to do business with you, at your particular location, with your price, and on that singular day. In education, reasons adult students chose to go back to school included that they wanted to do it for their family or kids, they wanted to change the world, or they wanted to go to school to prove to someone who said or believed they couldn’t achieve a higher education.

In relationships, you wouldn’t marry someone you just met. You date for a short while and get to know their likes, dislikes, and interests. It’s the same with customers. When you have found the customer’s decision-making trigger, you can easily put together a strategy that helps you get to the next stage of satisfying them. The goal of sales is to find and finesse your customers’ trigger point. If a customer wants to purchase your product or service because it would make them more productive, it is your responsibility to continually integrate that productivity trigger in conversations by noting how your product or service could help with their productivity. Once the trigger point is outlined, the sale becomes much easier. Your customer has a reason for doing business with you, and it is your responsibility to figure out what that reason is and make that trigger point your key to developing a successful selling strategy.

Trends and Innovation

For innovation to be advantageous within your business, you must have a strategy for informing customers on the specific benefits of the trend or innovation in relation to your product or service. Trends affected by customer choices, the internet, social media, and technology have a greater influence on customer behavior than conventional advertising. As a leader, you should develop strategies incorporating a knowledge of trends and areas identifying with technology, internet, innovation, and social media.

Technology Trends. Technology influences customers regarding business sustainability and corporate responsibility. Emerging innovative technology can propel your business to growth by providing a medium for evaluating choice patterns of your customers. The advancement of technology can additionally influence the value of your products and services. Moreover, by using technology, you could develop strategies that decidedly enhance your perceived product value. You can additionally utilize innovative technology to improve marketing research knowledge. For technology to remain beneficial within your markets, your business must have a system for effectively using technology to train and educate customers on the benefits of your product or service.

Technology in Marketing. Marketing is not shaped by what technology can do but instead centers on what the customer will accept, understand, and want. There are three changes that you must consider when creating successful marketing strategies using technology. The first is to move away from market research and instead look toward being able to interpret information extracted from your customers through databases of information. The second change is to move away from traditional advertising and placing more attention on social media for communication. The final stage is to stop looking at marketing as a means of mass markets and move toward building a personal relationship with customers through media outlets.

Market Research Methods

Marketing research knowledge has significantly increased in response to growth in disruptive innovations including the internet and technology development. In my experience, I have found that market research has been essential when repositioning my business to support product advancement, and in helping discover marketing opportunities and expanding market shares through various conveyance channels. Additionally, marketing research has helped influence the performance and effectiveness of my marketing strategies by helping to find my ideal customer with little error and without wasting time and resources on customers that were never going to purchase.

To help with analyzing markets, there are two useful forms of marketing research; primary and secondary.

Primary Research. This is a research methodology where you interact with your customers and gather as much information as you can directly from them. The information is generally collected through surveys, questionnaires, feedback forms, and interviews.

Secondary Research. This research relies on information which has been collected by others (blogs, previous researchers, data channels). You should conduct this type of research by collecting and analyzing articles, web pages, and books as references for the collected research data.

Phenomenology. A phenomenology research method uses analysis to capture individual customer experiences. This method is used for unfolding customer experiences by examining the uniqueness and commonalities of events and circumstances. The data collection techniques used in phenomenology research include in-depth analysis, documentary, and observation.

Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods

When conducting research, you should first decide the method of research you intend to use. Research study methodologies are characterized as either qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of both, which is referred to as mixed methods. Of these methods, none can be considered the best method without factoring in the goals and objectives of your research.

I know it may seem a bit overwhelming, but understanding research methods are critical if you desire a certain outcome for your marketing efforts. For example, when I’m putting together an AdWords campaign, I would rather put together my campaign based on data collected from a quantitative method versus a qualitative method. Otherwise, I would waste time and money guessing what to do based on trial and error. A quantitative research method is better for helping to pinpoint your customer and develop a more effective marketing campaign.

Quantitative. A quantitative research method is beneficial for collecting data in the form of tests, reliance, probability theory, and surveys for analyzing statistical hypotheses that relate to your business, marketing goal, or research questions. A quantitative research method is best used when you want to analyze numbers. For example, you could use a quantitative approach when sending out a survey where you expect to get the survey results in numerical format, or if the survey has multiple choice questions.

Qualitative. Qualitative research consists of using real-world experiences and interpreting the phenomena. Unlike quantitative research, a qualitative examination is non-measurable. This research method can be used to help you understand and discover experiences, perspectives, and insight of your customers. An advantage of a qualitative approach is that the study participants are not constrained to a predetermined set of responses such as those in multiple choice or numerical questions. Meaning, through qualitative research, the participants would give their broad perception versus clicking a checkbox or radio button like in surveys.

Unlike a quantitative method, a qualitative examination technique can help to assess why customers behave a certain way. The method also helps in discovering boundaries that influence thought by breaking down points of interest and gathering information from in-depth sources. A quantitative method often makes the assumption that there is a singular truth that exists, which does not include human perception. A drawback of using a quantitative approach to collect data is that it is expensive considering the amount of time needed to collect and analyze the data.

Mixed Methods. Mixed methods are useful when you want to combine qualitative and quantitative methods by linking their differences. The key principle of mixed methods is that various forms of data can be collected by using multiple strategies and methods. Mixed methods can assist in reflecting complementary strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative methods, and produce opportunities for approaches with weaknesses by correcting method biases.

Determining whether to use a qualitative or quantitative method is dependent upon the importance of how you desire to collect your data. Simply stated, qualitative techniques define and describe while quantitative techniques estimate and quantify. When creating a new marketing strategy, neither qualitative nor quantitative measures are more important than the other when determining value and sales. If you are confused on which method to use, testing both measures will help you find the best outcomes.

The Internet and Marketing

With the internet changing and advancing to web 2.0 technologies, your business has the opportunity to be marketed on broad online networks including social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. To create success within the web 2.0 market, you need to join online social environments and create brand awareness in a positive way. With thousands of social networking sites, blogs, and forums across the internet, you have a great opportunity to build your brand. With the development of new website techniques and the growth of online networking, the internet has become the largest marketing tool to build and grow businesses. You can create success with the internet through a combination of online marketing, customer referrals, and through satisfied customers promoting your brand online through social media.

Internet marketing gives your business the advantage of appealing to customers in a medium that has the power to deliver results instantly. Internet marketing is the key to having your website found by customers. Without marketing, your website may randomly be found once everyone couple of days or months, but it will not generate high revenue. You need to create as much exposure as possible to gain more customers. Just like a great job resume, it’s no good if you don’t send it out to employers. The same goes for creating a great website and not marketing it. If you can’t be found, you will not gain new customers. Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive, and your business can reach a wide audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising budgets.

Social Media

The development of the internet has created challenges for businesses who fail to grow with the technology or properly manage social media. Social media has opened a door for customers to express their concerns to or about companies and this method of communication gives customers the power of opinion and change. Customers are a significant factor in generating brand awareness for businesses. This is due to users promoting the brand as well as creating content and exposure through social comments, questions, and answers on forum boards and social media profiles.

Because of technology and social media, the customer has the power to help improve and enrich business activities as well as add value to brands. Considering customers are paramount to the success of your business, your marketing strategies must move away from traditional transactional marketing to facilitator marketing. Facilitator marketing focuses on sharing knowledge with your customers and being open to the opinions of your customers. This method will assist in promoting positive sales and satisfied customers.

Email Marketing

When done correctly, email marketing serves as a tried-and-true way to get readers to download content, convert prospects with special offers, and upsell existing customers. It’s important to focus your time and attention on email marketing in addition to social media, paid advertising, and search engine optimization. It’s one form of marketing that’s not going anywhere any time soon, and rightfully so.

With emails, you can foster a deeper, one-on-one relationship with your customers. Your emails have the opportunity to appear more personal and authentic than any other marketing effort. This builds trust with your customers considering the message creates (or appears to create) a one-on-one dialogue. Email subscribers are 3.9 times more likely to share content via the social web. Plus, your target audience wants to hear from you via email. It was discovered in a survey conducted by MarketingSherpa that 72% of people actually prefer to receive promotional content through email from businesses they like, as compared to the 17% who prefer social media.[1]

When sending email campaigns, make sure your strategy, and your business, answers questions such as:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with the email?
  • What actions do you want customers to take?
  • How will you prompt customers to take this action (i.e., using buttons, CTAs, or by clearly spelling it out in the content of the email)?

Whether optimizing your email or just writing the content, you should always do so as if you were speaking directly to one person in your target audience. Use the same language in your email as you would if your ideal customer were standing in front of you. Speak (or in this case, write) to your one reader as if you already know them. This can be tricky at first, but it will get easier over time as you come to understand more about who your ideal customer is. One easy way to sound more conversational is to use second person pronouns — “you” and “your.” This is a simple adjustment that makes the email about the reader, not your company.

Personalize the Content. In the same way that you personalized your subject line, you should also personalize the content within your email. According to research conducted by Aberdeen Group, personalized emails showed an increase in click-through rates of 14% and an increase in conversions by 10%. To get started with personalization, the simplest thing to do is address your recipients by their first name in your email greeting. Your customers will also appreciate your efforts since 74% of online customers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, and promotions) appear to have nothing to do with their interests. [2]

 

[1] http://content.marketingsherpa.com/data/public/reports/benchmark-reports/EXCERPT-BMR-2013-Email-Marketing.pdf

[2] http://www.aberdeen.com/research/4904/ra-email-marketing/content.aspx

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