2010 & the Top 10 Marketing Insights for Business (PART 2 OF 2)

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(This is the second part of a two-part article, which I originally published in my ezine, Communiqué for Success. Although a few years have passed since, it is still as relevant today as it was then. If you missed part one, you can access it here.)

 

6. Email Marketing

Despite the increasing problem with spam, email marketing still works. In fact, 2010 will still see to it that no other marketing vehicle will be as powerful, efficient and inexpensive as a regular eZine (email newsletter).

When done well, an eZine keeps your name in front of your customers and prospective clients, is a great showcase of your expertise and works to build relationships and trust with them.

Some eZines are nothing more than blatant advertising, so try to include as much valuable information as you can. It might be as simple as a local massage therapist regularly sending out a one-page update of case studies or offers, or news on the complementary health industry. Make it a New Year’s resolution to start or improve your e-newsletter in 2010.

Further reading: “E-Newsletters: Where to Start” — http://bit.ly/3Q8ZGL

“Newsletters that Build Customer Relations AND Fill Your Inbox with Orders” — http://bit.ly/6NYZGT

Aweber eZine Management — http://www.aweber.com/?212431

7. Web-Blog Synergy

Growth in e-commerce is leaping ahead of other sectors. According to figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, online sales in July 2009 alone grew by 15.7% compared with the month before, and by 16.8% compared with a year ago.

This growth shows no signs of slowing down. So it’s vital that ALL businesses  have an online presence in order to get or remain competitive in today’s fierce marketplace. 
 Even a relatively simple website will do to begin with. Just something to get you online and that allows your potential customers, business partners, investors and employees to find out more about you quickly and easily.

The best websites integrate their website and their blog, the latter designed to keep the web presence ‘fresh’ and to update people on news, thoughts and ideas.

Further reading: “Is A Business Blog Worth It? — http://bit.ly/biz-blog

“Using Online Marketing to Your Advantage” — http://tinyurl.com/ywyucg

“Website Copywriting Secrets that Convert Web Readers into Buyers” — http://bit.ly/5UDTPR

8. Stress Benefits, Not Features

With all the companies and marketing messages out there claiming to have the best of X, Y and Z, you have to go that little bit further than most if you are to help people understand why they should buy YOUR product or service.

That means not turning features into benefits. By doing so you will position your business away from simply offering a commodity that everyone is presenting to delivering something special.

Further reading: “Are Your Benefits Featureless?’ — http://bit.ly/5jp5oj

9. Marketing is NOT Negotiable

We all know that well-managed companies are the survivors in any climate. They know how to pull through any recession or economic dip, and often come out stronger than the rest.

One of the most valuable lessons to be learned in lean times is that we need to be marketing more thoroughly and more smartly than ever before. After all, people will always need advice and services and products — regardless of what the economy might be doing.

As the study “Turning Adversity into Advantage: Does Proactive Marketing During a Recession Pay Off?”, shows organisations that a) value marketing, b) feature a corporate culture that rewards risk-taking, and c) are willing to up the ante on marketing efforts are those who come out on top.

“The firms that had all three characteristics did very well in a recession. But firms that are missing any one of them, they’re in trouble,” says Dr Gary Lilien, one of the report’s authors.

Marketing is something that ALL businesses absolutely must invest in if they wish to remain in business now … and in the future.

Further reading: “Turning Adversity into Advantage: Does Proactive Marketing During a Recession Pay Off?” — http://bit.ly/8REmTN

10. The Unexpected

Under promise and over deliver, that’s become my business motto. And it works. Good hotels leave guests chocolates on their pillow. Exceptional hotels will leave an eye mask or something equally useful and unexpected. These more thoughtful and imaginative hotels will gain by attracting customers that are fiercely loyal because they know the hotel has their desires and best interests at heart.

Over-delivering is quite simply the number one way to stand head and shoulders above your competition, and grow your business, to boot.

As well as providing excellent products and support to my clients and customers, I try to always go the extra mile. For instance, a regular client recently contacted me at 5pm on a Friday to see if I could fit in a small copywriting project over the weekend. It didn’t take me long at all, and the client was more than grateful. Yes, I do work typical business hours and I could have charged overtime and rush fees, but nurturing a strong client relationship — and repeat business — is worth a lot more to me.

I hope that some of my marketing insights will become your marketing practices for 2010 and beyond. Why not implement one or two today? You might find they transform your business for the better.

By Tracey Dooley, Creative Consultant | PR Doctor | Marketing & Alliance Strategist

Psssst . . .  Not sure where to start? As well as offering worksheets and home-study tools, I can give you profit-multiplying advice and pointers on things you can do straight away to attract new business with my Powerfully Effective Marketing sessions. 

(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?) 

(C) 2009-10 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved 

Want to use this article on your website, blog, a message board or in an ezine? Not a problem! But please give credit where it’s due. You MUST include the following:

Tracey Dooley of MediaMinister (www.mediaminister.co.uk) is an experienced copywriter, editor and marketer. She has spent 18 years crafting compelling concepts and copy that successfully sell, inform, educate or entertains. =====> www.mediaminister.co.uk.

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Add my RSS feed to your reader now so you never have to miss a post.
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Want to use this in your ezine, blog or website? No problem! Just let me know. I’ll send you a short resource box/bio to include.

2010 & the Top 10 Marketing Insights for Business (PART 1 OF 2)

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The following article is one that I first wrote in 2010 for my ezine subscribers, but is as relevant now as it was then.  So I thought I’d post it here. I hope you enjoy it!

.    .    .

Picture by ‘raichinger’ via stock.xchng

As the decade draws to an end, every publisher and producer is turning their head towards the “top ten of ” … well, everything, it seems — films, books, TV shows, gadgets, it all makes for a good top ten list. Everything, it seems, but the top ten marketing insights for business.

So here are my top ten for 2010. They come from some of the insights I’ve had or come across about marketing to date that I believe will still be just as influential for your business in 2010.

1. Social Media

Hoping to become firm favourites with their target audiences, a lot of brands jumped on the LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter bandwagon that rolled in and has since dominated cyberspace over the past few years. The problem is, despite their keenness and swiftness, they really didn’t invest enough time or resources to leverage either one. Worse, some businesses chose to ignore social media altogether. Big mistakes…

For these Web 2.0 tools are here to stay — at least until they’re replaced by Web 3.0 or something even more sophisticated. With that in mind, savvy marketers will make the most of them by building direct relationships and developing conversations with the very people they want to reach. Not only that, they will make sure they are being as authentic and credible as possible by being prepared to listen, share information or valuable resources and respond fairly quickly.

Further reading: “Reach a Wider Audience With Less Effort” —http://bit.ly/4BLXkA

2. Joint Ventures

One of the best ways to market a business — especially if you’re just starting out — is to set up joint ventures (JVs). This is where you partner with other businesses to sell your services or products to their customers or prospects.

There are two main ways of doing JVs: a) let your JV partners introduce what you’re selling to their customers for a set price, or, b) let them join your affiliate programme and earn commission for each service or product sold through them.

(PS Tried-and-tested JV Programme coming in 2010)


3. Honesty

Over recent years, there have been more and more ‘tell-all’ consumer-created TV shows and websites, thus signalling a new era of honesty and transparency.

By being authentic in everything you do or say, always delivering what you promise, being upfront about the small print and being as genuine and good to your word as you can, your customers are more likely to sing your praises, rather than badmouth you. Therefore, your reputation will grow and so will your market share. And, as Comcast found out, honesty can even transform a PR nightmare into an industry-leading customer service.

Further reading: http://comcastmustdie.com

http://twitter.com/comcastcares

4. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

A lot of freelancers, entrepreneurs and businesses don’t have a system for determining which prospects would turn out to be good clients and which ones would not.  Others simply cast their net too wide. Rather than focusing on a niche or core client base, they are trying to be everything to everyone. This kind of marketing hardly ever works in your favour.

If clients are less than ideal, chances are they will end up draining your energy, productivity and overall enjoyment. So set up a system for recognising the warning signs of ‘toxic clients’ — it will save you time, energy and resources in the long run.

Further reading: “Engage the ‘Right’ Clients & Watch Your Business Grow” —http://bit.ly/8sGPDb

“Stop Working With Deadbeats! Attract IDEAL Clients & Knock Out The Competition Instead” toolkit — http://mediaminister.co.uk/products.htm

 

5. It’s Not What You Sell it’s the Way that You Sell It

How a business sells to consumers is just as important as what is being sold — indeed, it is more significant than ever before.

With today’s consumer more firmly in the purchasing driving seat, advertisers and marketers alike are having to change the way they communicate their message.

What sets apart a business in today’s shifting landscape boils down to one thing: Does the marketing message identify and appeal to customer ‘hot buttons’? That is, is what you are saying likely to trigger your prospect’s hidden psychological buying triggers?

You have to truly understand your target market. You need to know what makes them tick … what makes them buy. And then you use proven methods to ethically turn casual browsers into qualified leads and buyers.

Further reading: “From Cold to Hot – How ‘Buttons’ Can Drive Up Sales Like Nothing Else” —http://bit.ly/75mVvf

TO BE CONTINUED … Catch Part 2 here

By Tracey Dooley, Creative Consultant | PR Doctor | Marketing & Alliance Strategist

 

Psssst . . .  Not sure where to start? As well as offering worksheets and home-study tools, I can give you profit-multiplying advice and pointers on things you can do straight away to attract new business with my Powerfully Effective Marketing sessions. 

(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?) 

 

(C) 2009 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved 

 

 

Want to use this article on your website, blog, a message board or in an ezine? Not a problem! But please give credit where it’s due. You MUST include the following:

Tracey Dooley of MediaMinister (www.mediaminister.co.uk) is an experienced copywriter, editor and marketer. She has spent 18 years crafting compelling concepts and copy that successfully sell, inform, educate or entertains. =====> To receive your F.R.E.E. Audio CD  and sign up for her freebie business-building tips, marketing and publicity pointers, visit www.mediaminister.co.uk.

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Add my RSS feed to your reader now so you never have to miss a post.
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Want to use this in your ezine, blog or website? No problem! Just let me know. I’ll send you a short resource box/bio to include.