Archive for the ‘Online Marketing’ Category

Importance of Knowing Your Marketing Segment

Being a business owner in today’s extremely diverse consumer-driven world can be daunting. How does one advertise successfully? The first step is identifying your individual market segments. How can a seemingly homogenous market be separated and categorized? Don’t worry, there are numerous, easily recognizable groups of consumers that tend to respond to certain marketing or promotions in predictable ways. First, you must learn to recognize and try to connect with each type of group, or segment. Let’s start with a few of the basics.

Demographics, Geographic Location & Financial Information

These three are the first and foremost important variables in market segmentation. From here, you can begin to break it down even further into highly specific groups.

Let’s say you want to promote your business to an area in Northeast America. Is it an urban area? Suburban? Rural? There’s your geographic location. Now, what is the average age of New Englanders? Most common race or ethnicity? Gender? Political orientation? Just a little research about basic demographics using a simple Internet search engine and you’re well on your way.

Now for financial information. This can be determined through some demographic digging as well. For example, what is the proportion of college graduates in your target research zone? This is just one way to find out what the typical employment and salary level of a specific research area.

Exactly how much more involved in this research process one gets is up to the individual business owner. A lot of time and money can be invested at this stage, and not all businesses have the resources and funds available. This is where your own intuition and judgment can become vital.

Why Is This Important?

Because once you’ve analyzed who it is you’re marketing towards, you can choose a marketing strategy that will prove the most financially efficient.

Everyone knows that old adage “Time is money.” If you take your time and study up on your potential market segments accurately and thoroughly the first time, your business will see the profitable results quickly. In plain English, if you know to whom you’re trying to sell, you’ll be rolling in the dough before you know it!

On the other hand, if you do your marketing research and narrow down your field of customers or clientele to a group you think is the most advantageous, but you don’t see encouraging results right away, don’t give up! There are countless, low cost ways you can adjust your marketing strategies or your intended clientele. This is where networking can come in handy.

Brainstorm your ideas with other businessmen and entrepreneurs. Ask questions. No one has all the answers. Owning your own business and conducting marketing and advertising is, just like life, a learn-as-you-go process.

What online tools do you use to analyze market segments?

 

About the Author
ereleasesMickie Kennedy is the founder and president of eReleases, the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998.
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Online + Offline tools to promote your business

This article talks about how you can manage real-world promotion for a business all from your computer. It also talks about augmented reality and about how some advertising can be a combination of ‘real’ and digital elements.

How to Promote Your Business Combining Offline, Online
Using the web to promote your business is a great way to quickly and effectively reach thousands of people. It lets you connect to people around the entire planet cheaply and easily from the comfort of your home, and generally creates promotional opportunities where they just wouldn’t have existed before.

But even today when technology is so ubiquitous and the web is such a crucial part of our lives, people still tend to take more notice of promotions that are offline. Think about it – if you see an advert online versus one on the television, which are you likely to pay more attention to? And if you see an advert in a magazine, how much more closely are you likely to inspect it than you would if you saw that same advert on a website?

Advertising in ‘the real world’ is generally more expensive and more difficult, but it also tends to have a more profound impact as a result. But what if you could advertise your products offline just as easily as you promote them online? What if you could go online and use internet tools in order to market your work offline without leaving your seat?

Well the good news is that this is actually perfectly possible. Read on to discover how you can take your marketing into the real world from where you’re sitting using the wonders of the web.

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Promotional Products
Promotional products are one ‘real world’ form of marketing that you can create on a computer. Using a number of different sites on the web, it’s easy to select a number of products and have your branding printed across them and it’s then possible to sell these items directly from this website. You don’t need to worry about delivery or about designing the products yourself: all you need to do is to choose the one you want to customize and then direct your customers there. As a result, you’ll not only be able to sell some products for a profit, but you’ll also be able to get your logo out into the real world to be seen by potentially thousands of people.

Fliers and Leaflets
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You can also promote your business through printed materials in a similar way. Thanks to sites like Vista Print which print business cards and leaflets, and LuLu that allow you to self-publish entire booklets, you can create professional-quality materials without having to invest in your own printing press or learn publishing.

At the same time you will find that there are many companies out there willing to handle even more of this process for you and that will design you your own logo and fonts, print out leaflets and then post them through doors or hand them out in specific areas. All you need to do is explain what it is that you want done, and the rest is handled for you.

AR Codes
4AR stands for ‘Augmented Reality’ and is a way that you can link your online promotional efforts with your ‘real world’ materials. This works by allowing users to ‘scan’ your codes with an app in their phone in order to be linked directly to your website/video/checkout. For instance then, say you have posters hanging at a train station, including an AR code will then allow passers-by to scan in those posters in order to automatically open your website on their phone.

This is a fantastic way to get more from your advertising as it allows you to convey much more detailed information than you possibly could with just a single poster, and you’ll add an interactive element to your advertising that makes it more engaging for people who might otherwise have just walked past. At the same time though, because it’s out there in the ‘real world’ it will be easier for your images to grab attention and you’ll find that your message gets seen by a much wider audience. This way you get to benefit from the best of both worlds – the visibility and authority of a real world advert but with the flexibility and interactivity of online advertising.

It’s time to stop thinking about marketing as either online or offline. The very best marketing should be both

About the Author:
Nancy Baker who is a freelance blogger, has authored this post. She writes for Concept Plus, a company dealing in promotional products. She enjoys her job and often indulges in photography and gardening during her leisure time. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.

Where do your sales leads come from?

Attribution is a research term in the marketing world, but if you are a business owner, it is one you need to know about. This excellent infographic from DPFOC helps you understand how to follow the trail from lead to close. With this knowledge you have an insight into where your marketing dollars are working and where they are being frittered away.

attribution_4
Courtesy of: www.dpfoc.com

Effective, Important, Professional Tips for Composing Emails

Although many of us are already savvy when it comes to writing, many more people want and need to learn how to write effective emails. This is imperative nowadays due to the ubiquity of the internet in work, school and everything in between.

1. The Basics

Make sure to use proper grammar and sentence structure when writing to anyone, whether it’s your mother or boss. You can always use the practice. Remember that the rules of paper formatting count in email too. Also, be specific. Unstructured phrases that use too many pronouns leave the reader guessing about the subject that you are trying to talk about.

2. Brevity

Don’t overload your co-workers or clients in the number or length of emails you send.  Use concise details for specific operations that you are trying to address. If you need very specific info, it might be better to draft a report or have a meeting with a note-taker. If you are emailing to a group of people, then minimize sharing details with everyone. Instead, write multiple emails and simply copy and paste the main points from one person to another, adding in details as you go.

3. Format

Use proper email format for letter when writing. That way, your recipient can then better understand and utilize the information you’ve provided. So, don’t just write an email like it’s to your spouse. Is it in response to a question? Make this obvious. Are you sending a questionnaire? Make it organized. Lastly, always include information about the addressee (at the beginning) and yourself (at the end).

4.  Decorum

Be appropriate. For some reason, many people think that email is more casual or less formal than other forms of communication. This may have been true 20 years ago, but now, it’s the primary form of communication for many companies. Never be rude, offensive, sexual or otherwise inappropriate. On the one hand, this makes sense because you don’t want to jeopardize any relationships, but you also should look out for your own interests – usually, email is monitored.

5. Organization

Getting the most out of email has to do with more than just the writing part. Be sure to keep track of all your valuable and important communications by incorporating a BCC line back to yourself, your boss or perhaps just generic inbox, so that you can always have a record, and you can also see what it looks like on the receiving end. Also, be organized. Have more folders than just your one inbox (but not too many that it stops being efficient). Also, be sure to always have all of your contacts and their information in one place – don’t hop back and forth between accounts or address books. This way, your emails are working for you!

About the author: Carla Boddecker likes to write about business, finance & saving money at www.healthinsurancequotes.org.

Is Pinterest the Next Social Media Game Changer?

Is Pinterest the Next Social Commerce Game Changer?

Social and search continue to be essential inbound marketing channels. And while Google’s generating a lot of discussion around its new social network, Google+, another website is actually driving more inbound traffic: Pinterest.

With its U.S. traffic skyrocketing to more than 10 million visits, the virtual pinboard is now one of the top 10 social networking and forum websites. Our latest infographic introduces you to Pinterest and provides ideas on how you can use the social photo sharing website to promote products, build community, and drive website traffic and conversions.

Oh, and Pinterest raised $37 million in funding last year and has an unconfirmed valuation of up to $200 million. So, if you haven’t paid much attention to it yet, you might want to start.