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What if there were a few simple things you could do right now that could help you to market more successfully in the future? Even if you didnt have your marketing act together over the past year. Well, there are.

Dramatically Improve Your Marketing Results With These 6 Simple Steps

Dramatically Improve Your Marketing Results With These 6 Simple StepsWhat if there were things you could start doing now that could help you to market more successfully in the future? Even if you didnt have your marketing act together over the past year. Well, there are.(1) Review your past marketing activities and resultsTake some time to review all of your marketing activities and try to understand which ones worked best. And when I say worked best I mean, which ones resulted in more clients, more customers, more sales, or more growth for your business?Your goal each year should be to understand which marketing activities bring you more business and which ones do not, so you can concentrate on the activities that work, and delete the ones that do not. Even if you did not have an organized marketing plan, or marketing activities that you implemented consistently during the past year, if you are still in business today, then there must have been some form of marketing going on.(2) Broaden your definition of marketingMarketing isnt only things like running an advertisement, or sending out a direct mail piece. It's anything you do that puts your business, product or service in front of the prospects you are trying to sell to.You may be surprised to realize youve been marketing more than you know!Any time you talk to someone about your business, product or service, in person, at an event, over the phone, or through a brochure or some form of media, you are marketing. Any time you send someone an email or a thank you card from your business, you are marketing.Be aware of any time you are communicating with current customers, or potential customers. Take the opportunity to make them aware of new products or services, special offers or programs, or even milestones or changes in your business.Do you include your business card every time you mail a letter to a client or prospect? Do you have an email signature that includes your business name, your phone number, your email address, your website address and possibly even your tagline? You should. You are reminding people about your products and services and making it easy for them to find out more if they so choose.If you truly believe that your products or services can enhance peoples lives, then it should be easy to share the word at every opportunity. After all, if people dont know about you, they cant benefit. Put this way, it is almost a disservice to NOT market.(3) See if you can track your sales to your marketing, either directly or indirectlyTake a look at the marketing you did do, taking into consideration all of the activities mentioned above. Can you directly or indirectly track any new or increased business to these activities? An example of direct tracking might be: You attended a networking event and someone you gave your business card to, contacted you or made a purchase.An example of indirect tracking might be: You attended a networking event, and someone you gave your business card to, referred you to a friend, and that friend contacted you or made a purchase. For each marketing activity you did over the past year, ask yourself the following questions: (a) Did I get any new clients, customers or increased sales as a direct result, or an indirect result, of this activity? (b) If the answer is yes, quantify the result by asking yourself: How many new clients, customers or sales did it generate?If you can't seem to track your past marketing activities, consider asking your current customers how they found out about you.You could do a survey that includes a number of customer satisfaction questions, but also includes a question to determine how they found out about you.If you have a handful of clients that you work closely with and you really dont know how they found you, pick up the phone and ask them.At the end of this exercise, you will have a list of all of your marketing activities, and the results connected to each one.(4) Separate those activities that resulted in business from those that did notAre there any activities on your list that did not result in new or additional business? If you gave these activities a good opportunity to bring you business, then maybe it's time to consider dropping these activities and trying some new ones. After all, there is no sense continuing to spend money on marketing that has not proven to be effective for your business. Even if it has worked for someone else, it may not be a good marketing activity for you and your business.(5) Use this information to plan your marketing for next yearPlan to spend more time, energy and/or money on those activities that brought you business and sales. These activities have proven themselves to be effective for your business, product or service. So odds are if you commit more to them, they will result in even more sales. And, if you really dont have any way to track your sales or new clients, dont beat yourself up. You are not alone. In fact, one of my biggest challenges as a marketing consultant has been to get my clients to track the effectiveness of their various marketing activities. Just make sure to remedy this now, once and for all. Commit to never implementing a marketing activity again without some way to track how effective it is.(6) Set up a way to track all future marketing activitiesRecognize the importance of tracking and make sure that you have a plan in place to track all of your future marketing activities. The simplest way to track is to simply ask each new customer where or how they found out about you. You may also want to consider including a code on any flyers or brochures that you distribute, and providing a reason for the customer to bring that flyer in when they come to make a purchase. Reasons to return the flyer could be to take advantage of a special offer, or to get a discount or free bonus gift.You can also do this by phone or on the Internet if that is how your customers make purchases. Simply ask them to provide you with the code on the brochure or flyer that they are calling or ordering from. Make sure the code is specific to the location or group of people that you distributed the flyer to. If you are networking or speaking to a group and someone gives you their business card and agrees to receive your free report or e-newsletter, make sure you include a reference in your contact database of the event where you met them. For every marketing activity you do put a plan in place to help you track all them. Effective tracking is by far one of the easiest ways to improve your marketing effectiveness. And when you zero-in on what marketing activities are most effective for your business, you will be able to focus your efforts on only those activities, and will be able to spend less and get more as a result.(C) 2005 Debbie LaChusa

Business Marketing Strategy

Business Marketing Strategy

What is it and who needs one?The term business marketing strategy might sound like it is esoteric or stratospheric, so lets take the mystery out of it so you can devise and implement your own business marketing strategy that fits in to your small business plan. Strategy comes from a Greek word stratagein meaning to be a general. Think of a strategy as an overall plan of action needed to win a war. The smaller, detailed actions are called tactics. You can have tactical plans which help you achieve your strategic marketing plan or overall business marketing strategy. Thats simple enough, isnt it? A business marketing strategy or strategic marketing plan is an overall plan of marketing actions you intend to take in order to accomplish a specific goal for your company. Start with a goal: $2 million in sales this year; expand into new premises by a certain date; double the size of the company in 2 years whatever the goal may be. Something realistic but challenging. That's the "war" you want to win. Guess who the general is. Then work out a simple, overall plan of the major marketing steps needed to accomplish that (for example): 1.Publish a newsletter for all existing customers and mail out quarterly. 2.Work out 4 special offers in the year and promote them to all our customers. 3.Set up on-line shopping and expand the web site. 4.Direct mail campaign promoting the web site to all customers. 5.Get mailing lists of (target markets) and do a series of 3 mailings of postcards to them and follow up on and close all leads. 6.Etc. You get the idea. Dont rush this. Do your homework. What worked in the past? Read up on successful marketing campaigns.Your business marketing strategy needs to be laid out in the right sequence and you should have some idea of budget when you write it. Run a series of 30 second TV ads during the Superbowl might sound like a good thing to do but can you afford it? On the other hand, when you build your business marketing strategy you mustnt try and cut corners. If you dont promote heavily, it doesnt matter how good your product or service is, no one will know about it and you will go broke. What really works when it comes to marketing?Many business owners don't have a good enough answer to this important question. I learned by a combination of study and trial and error. From my own hard won experience I have discovered that a real marketing campaign will take into consideration at least the seven points which are outlined below: 1. Target Your Market Your marketing will produce the best results for the lowest cost when you target prospects with the greatest need for what you offer. Identify the best people to send your postcards to. Design your postcards to appeal to their greatest need. If you are able to break down your target market into sub markets you can then write postcards that specifically speak to the needs of those people (an example is breaking down your own customer list into customers who buy most often, customers who spend the most money with you, customers who have been your customers the longest and then making them special offers based on the category they fit into). 2. Create A USP For Your Business USP stands for "Unique Selling Proposition". It is a statement of what is different about your company and its products. Your USP gives the reason people should do business with you. It amplifies the benefit of doing business with you and your company. My USP is POSTCARD MARKETING EXPERTS. Create your own USP and put it on all your promotional materials, invoices, shipping labels etc. Use your USP to communicate the benefit of doing business with you and why you are better than any of your competitors. 3. Always Make an Offer Make sure you ask your prospects and customers to do something when they receive your postcard. By offering them something you know they are likely to want and giving them a smooth path to respond on, you are making it easy and desirable for them to respond. 4. Create and Maintain a Database of The Customer Information You Collect From The Responses To Your Mailings Most people who receive a postcard from you won't contact you the first time they receive one. But once they contact you, you must create and maintain a database which allows you to repeatedly contact them with offers to respond to. Fifty percent or more of many businesses' sales come as a result of following up with people who were previously contacted, but didn't buy right away. No kidding, repeat contact does drive sales. One-time mailings can get response, but are bound to leave sales on the table. Those sales can be picked up with repeated mailings. 5. Take Away the Fear of Loss People don't want to be fooled, plain and simple. Unfortunately trust does not run high today between customers and businesses in general. People have been disappointed too many times by being sold one thing and getting another. A guarantee or warranty is a good way to reduce or eliminate the customers risk of getting something other than what they bargained for. Guarantees and warranties increase response and sales by reducing customer risk. 6. Expand Your Product Line Getting new customers is more expensive than selling to existing ones. By regularly developing new products and services to sell to your customers and offering these new products and services to them, you can expand your business efficiently and easily. 7. Test Your Postcard Promotions Track the effectiveness of your postcard mailings. How many people responded to your mailing? What dollar amount of sales resulted from those responses? Is the money you are spending to attract new business giving you a good return? What can you do to make your marketing more effective? Change your offer, headline, price, the timing of your offer. When you do track the results and improve your response. These are the points to follow when designing your own marketing strategy. When you are done, you will have laid out the steps needed to accomplish your goal using existing resources to achieve a great marketing ROI (return on investment). After that, you simply have to get those steps executed and that might require further planning but it is all in the context of your main business marketing strategy.

How To Use The Testimonial Wizard Software

How To Use The Testimonial Wizard Software

Do you need an easy way to collect testimonials from customers who have agreed to provide one? The Testimonial Wizard software is the easiest to set up and use. It's a good choice for the marketer or small business person who wants an automated way to manage small surveys.What can I do with it? 1) Collect testimonials from customers who have agreed to it; 2) conduct small products surveys effectively and cheaply; 3) conduct opinion polls with prospects and customers.This software comes with easy installation instructions, but doesn't offer much on how to use it. So here are the steps and some tips.Steps:1. Login. Enter the admin username and password created during installation.2. Click Add Survey.3. Fill in the text boxes. The Help section on the right of the screen is a very good guide. In Survey Name, I type in the product name plus "Success Stories", i.e., "Widget Success Stories".4. Click Submit. Now you're back at the Main screen.5. Click the name of the survey you want to add questions to.6. Click Add Question.7. Type your question into the first text box.8. Select the type of form gadget you want to use to collect the answer. The choices are text, textarea (allows multiple lines of text), Option List (creates a drop down menu), Check box, Radio button, and Hidden.9. Enter values for Width, Height and Caption. The Help section on the right of the screen should be consulted for the roll these values play. The explanation it provides is quite clear.10. Enter a value for Default, or leave blank. This is an optional field. You use it if you want for example, "http://" in a question that asks for a URL.Tips:Be specific with the question's that you ask. For example:* What do you feel is Widget's best feature?* How has that feature benefited you?* Have you tried other competing products?* Is there anything we could do to improve Widget?

Affiliate Marketing means take action now

Affiliate Marketing means take action now

Internet marketing is really possible for anyone to do. The cost of having your own website is about $10 a month, after you buy a domain name for about $15. So, the first month is about $25, then $10 each month thereafter. The only output that is required of you is your time. And that is where most first time affiliate marketers make their biggest mistakes. They do not really appreciate that old, time is money, adage. Most new marketers are hell bent on being able to say that they spend only $10/month and they want to insert $10,000/month as profit. That would be great, of course, and it can happen, but it's going to take a lot longer to do if you don't invest a little bit to get started in the right direction. There are $100 guides and tutorials that can get you started in the right direction much faster than if you floundered around forums for months trying a little bit of this and that. This is not an article that attempts to sell you anyone of these things. This article is selling the concept of time is money. Would you rather spend $100 on a set of video tutorials that taught you how to how to make $100/day in a month, or spend $0, and search and search forums for a year before you were able to make $100/day? The answer is pretty clear to me, I would spend the $100 immediately so I could become profitable in a much smaller time frame. However, many people say that they know they can find the information for free on the Internet, and there is no need to spend money on information that can be found for free. And they are told that this mindset is correct by forum owners. Forum owners who stand to profit more when beginners stay searching their threads hopelessly for hours on end. The information is probably in these forums somewhere, but it will take you months to piece together everything to become profitable. And the harsh reality is that the most successful marketers don't sit in forums giving away all their best secrets. The only way you get one on one advice and coaching is by paying for it. This is not necessarily a bad thing at all. It saves you tons of time with minimal financial outlay. Time is money, so the sooner you learn the right information, the sooner you will start to profit. Of course, you are going to want to ask around or do your homework about programs that are worth the money. But do this research and just buy something good. Forums will waste your time all day long. No one is going to answer all of the 5,000 questions that must be answered to get started for free. You need to pay for that, but the cost is in the hundreds of dollars, not 10s of thousands or 100s of thousands like a college education. Take action. Just don't sit in forums, it's death.

On Demand Printing The Latest Printing Capabilities To Hit The Market

On demand printing is a form of just-in-time program management. The term on demand printing refers to the idea of printing documents only when they are needed, as opposite to printing large quantities of documents and storing them on a shelf until they are needed. However, many people think that "on demand printing" is the same as with digital printing, but there are some important differences. On demand printing or basically known as print on demand (POD) it is a process that supports the creation of printed matter. Print on demand (POD) provides:What the customer wants (content in the appropriate form)When the customer wants it (as needed)Where the customer wants it (at or near the point of use)In some other way, print on demand involves processing information in digital form with the primary objective of producing printed documents, in optimal quantities, at the end point of use, within the shortest possible timeframe, with content that is selectively targeted or customized for the recipient.It is good to think that on demand printing is a process not a certain types of devices. The reason is that customers are not up to the hardware or software that are being used to make a certain print, but to the value of print outcome of the on demand printing process. Print on demand is now changing the traditional printing process and the delivering process of documents such as when, where, and in the quality and quantity required by the customer. These changes have created new business opportunities for companies that understand the underlying economics, processes, and requirements for key industry segments and printed products.On demand printing is one of the latest printing capabilities to hit the market, for some industries. And when print on demand is combined with capabilities of the Internet, it has a lot to offer companies that need specific types of print jobs done in a very short timeline. Another reason that many companies contract out their printing needs is time. Several companies concept an idea and then need that idea delivered to customers as quickly as possible. Its one way to stay ahead of the competition. Outsourced printing via print on demand services meets those needs. This type of outsourced printing seems to be a combination of do it yourself and professional printing. The company designs the piece they need to be printed, and the dealer does the printing and mailing. Its a synergy that reduces the cost of touching customers with printed materials but still speeds the time from concept to finished product.

Business cards Enduring Commercial Commitment

Business cards are not just tiny pieces of paper. Size does not matter, that is. This is because tiny things may mean a lot.Handing of business cards is common to the business world. You can see businessmen exchange business cards after meeting. You can even see the act when you walk across the streets. Business cards are so tiny that they are pretty accessible. They are not as big and as heavy as other promotional tools. Hence, they are easy to carry and distribute. Aside from this reason why do you think are they trusted by businessmen and the common people alike?The reason is that they have already gauged its effectiveness when it comes to giving vital information. A business card can convey a message of enduring commitment to your business venture. The presentation, information and the totality of the business card can very well give an impression of dedication and passion. This is the reason why business card printing must be trusted only to the reliable printers who are skilled and reputable. Personalization is a key factor that can make business cards a powerful marketing tool. With it, you are given a broader horizon and a wider leeway in connection with your brochure printing needs. You can make use of your own design as well as texts and incorporate it with your company logo and name to make it appear more personal and warm. The more you are perceived personal by your potential customers, the more they will trust you. This is because you create an atmosphere of friendliness and comfort and they, in turn, develop trust and confidence in you. Whether you are a doctor, engineer, lawyer or a business company indulged in products and services, you must put special consideration to your business card printing needs. Big companies all over the globe do that. It is one of the factors why they stay on top. With the latest breakthroughs, business cards these days can now be printed on top quality biodegradable paper with the use of exquisite colors. These two enhances graphics, shadowing, bleeds and the overall quality of the business cards. These cards are the fulcrum that fetches the customers to your commerce, make sure that you take advantage of the fulcrum to create bonds and confidences.

Summary

What if there were a few simple things you could do right now that could help you to market more successfully in the future? Even if you didnt have your marketing act together over the past year. Well, there are.