Marketing

3 Reasons Why Businesses Fail at Marketing

Some good, solid information about why businesses fail when it comes to marketing, and how you can do it better.

When it comes to marketing a business the frequent complaint from small biz owners is that marketing rarely works or just isn’t worth the expense. For those business owners I offer the reasons below as to why that may seem to be true.

via 3 Reasons Why Businesses Fail at Marketing.

Some easy to implement tips about marketing your business effectively.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs focus on marketing with good cause. Small businesses need marketing to promote their new products and services and to build a strong, loyal customer base. So what are you doing about marketing your business?

via Marketing Proves Greatest Small Business Challenge.

Marketing 101: What is conversion?

Always good to refresh yourself on the basics.

“I recently attended an event on social media for film and video professionals. There were four panelists: two social media experts and two video pros who are very active in using social media to market their work. The crowd ranged from very green on the topic to a few power users.

What stood out to me was that when the questions got started, one of the social media experts went off on a marketing riff and threw out the term “conversion.” A hand immediately shot up and asked, “What is conversion?”

Flat out the best question of the evening.”

via Marketing 101: What is conversion? | Marketingsherpa Blog.

Every year, companies around the world spend more than $6 billion conducting market research. Upon receiving the results of these studies, marketers retreat to conference rooms where they pore over the data and attempt to derive value from what is usually a very significant investment.

One of the most common outcomes of this process is a fantastic “new” way to segment customers. Staffers congratulate themselves on the brilliant insights the new pie charts yield, and their managers trumpet their innovative approach to conference rooms full of irritated executives, skeptical sales staff and befuddled engineers. What went wrong? Here are some of the usual suspects:

Food for thought!

If you have a new product launch coming up, then you need to check out this article from Socialnomics

“Salespeople crave for new product launches. They believe new product boosts, otherwise laggard, sales. The reason behind the believe is new product draws more attention and raise people’s expectations. But do all new products succeed?  The answer is no. Industries like, automobile, FMCG, consumer durable, real estate and many others regularly come out with new products. In fact, real estate agents love to sell same inventory as new again and again from time to time. But hardly few of those products sustain post-launch life. Whose fault is this?”

Read full article

How to Effectively Brand Your Small Business

Branding a small business is a must if you want to succeed in a competitive world. The importance of branding a business disregarding its size is based on not only real benefits, products and services that your business possesses, but also an image concept that all businesses should keep in mind.

From color business cards to global business identity, depending on how effectively you brand your business, the more or the less opportunities of success will knock at your door. The reason why large companies brand their businesses is because they know this is the best way to differentiate their products and services from their competitors while creating a corporate image.

Many small business owners believe it is not necessary to development a corporate image, particularly those whose business integrate just a few individuals as staff, or even when they own a one-man business, using the internet for selling or promoting their professional services. However, even a small business should utilize the same principles as the large enterprises to brand their business.

Furthermore, if your business has business cards, stationary and other branded elements along with a matching website, you will not only create a corporate image, but also loyal relationships with your customers and prospective customers, who will find more reliability with a small business with these characteristics, than others without a professional look and feel.

Because you only have the opportunity to impress new customers once, you should make sure that this impression is a positive and lasting introduction and handshake, only possible if you brand your business conveniently and professionally. There is no need to spend thousand of dollar to achieve it, but do not go to the other extreme using uneven elements.

Small businesses should be aware of the elements that will make their brand unique and recognizable, including consistency between online and printed elements, such as your logo, signage, business cards and even a slogan that helps people understand at a glance your business’s mission statement.

Effective branding must achieve these goals; be consistent and never differing, carrying the same logo, colors, slogans and statements through to every element of your business, all of them always visible and unique, hence the need to avoid elements that anyone can find anywhere such as free or cheap clipart.

Creating your brand, whatever your budget requires a business plan to have a solid appreciation on whom your customers will be and what can you do to serve them. This is not only a matter of elegant stationary or catchy business cards; it is the most important deployment of a small business for an eventual growth in future terms.

When the experts tell you you’re going to need a press kit for your small business I’ll bet you’re wondering why on earth you’d need one. At least, I think you’d wonder why if you think a press kit is just for the press. But the term ‘press kit’ is misleading if you ask me because press kits aren’t just what their name implies.

I prefer to call them small business information kits or information packages instead because that’s what they really are. They are meant to inform everyone, not just the press about you and your business.

Once you have a small business information kit, you’ll find you’re often giving them when someone asks for information about your company–who you are, what you do, how you can benefit them. In fact, you’ll probably find you’ll give out almost as many of your information kits as your business cards.

Sometimes it’s more appropriate to simply hand out just your card, but other times, you might like to give someone more information than what’s on your business card.

Say you’re at a party and someone asks what you do. You’d probably just give them your business card. But your business card gives this business contact only the briefest information about your company.

So, you might also ask for their name and address, and send them an information kit the next day. Sending your information kit the next day also works as an important reminder of the evening’s discussion.

On the other hand, if you’re a plumbing company, you might want to contact construction companies in your area to see if they’re interested in subcontracting your company from time to time, or better yet all the time!

Sending them just a business card probably won’t get you very far. Even sending a well-written letter introducing your company together with your business card probably wouldn’t be as effective as a complete information kit.

You could think of your business card as the “who and the where, and a little bit of the what” of the 6 interview questions—who, what, where, when, why and how. Your card probably has your business name, contact information and possibly a slogan, motto or some saying suggesting what you do.

Your information kit on the other hand, answers all the questions. It tells people who and where you are, just like your business card does. But instead of one little line suggesting what you do, your information kit tells people exactly what you do. How well it tells them what you do depends on how good your copywriting is.

The real secret is convincing people they can’t do without your product or service, remembering that along with a great description of your product or service, to consider your information kit from your clients’ perspective. Everyone wants to know how what you do can benefit them. How you can save them time or how you can save them money, or how you can make their life just a little bit easier.

One last word on presentation of your small business identity package. It’s almost as important as what you say. A professional image can go a long way in assuring potential clients your small business is the one they want to do business with.

You cannot compete with big companies without one, and you’ll be miles ahead of the small businesses that don’t have one. And while we’re talking about professional image, imagine how your small business will be perceived when you have the ultimate in professional image– a matching corporate identity package, information kit and small business web site.

The Future of Shopping?

eBay weren’t the first to thing of doing this, but when you see such a big name getting involved, it’s time to take notice.
Is this the future of retail? Who can say. But anyone who owns a real world retail store is probably very familiar with customers who come in to check out their merchandise, then use their Smart Phone to check prices online and buy it cheaper elsewhere.
What do you think? An exciting trend? Or a scary development?
Watch the Video – eBay opens London Store

Recently I sat down to discuss the state of green marketing with Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries. Along with her father and business partner, Al Ries, they are two of the world’s best-known marketing consultants and authors of such classics as Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind and most recently, War in the Boardroom.

There’s no doubt that “green” has become a popular selling point. So it’s interesting to see someone point out some of the difficulties involved in using green as a big part of your selling and marketing strategy.

Internet marketing news roundup

Research on social networks is becoming part of the mainstream online shopping experience.

This week’s internet marketing news headlines might remind marketers that content is king when it comes to SEO. From Google News updates to content marketing spend reports, it’s becoming increasingly clear that businesses are turning to content (distributed across search and social channels) to become visible on the web.

It’s always good to keep on top of what’s happening in the online world when it comes to marketing – things change so fast.