Marketing Strategies: Increasing Your Business Profits

The main objective of every business is to grow and keep on profiting. Besides, what kind of entrepreneur would want to see their businesses fail? Although business has its risks, you, as an entrepreneur should know that you need to take risks in order for your business to flourish.

However, you also would never want to take too much risk on your business. This is why in all kinds of businesses, you always plan, plan and plan some more before you make a move.

As an entrepreneur you should have a written guideline for you to start your business’s marketing strategy. The guidelines are used by your business to judge your business’s actions accordingly.

A good marketing strategy should have the following goals in order to create a good marketing plan:

– Competitor

– Description of key clients

– Reasons why your product is unique

– Distribution channels

– Price strategy

– Research and development

– Expenses

– Marketing segments the company will compete in

With all of these included in your marketing strategy, you can be sure that you can really pave the road to success for your business.

Think of marketing strategy as a compass where it will guide your business to the right path. Having this kind of “compass” will make it clearer for you on what actions to take if you encounter an obstacle in your business’s path.

Decision-making is also the key in every business. With a marketing strategy, you will find that it will be easier for you to make a decision when it comes to leading your company to success. It will also help you prevent making the wrong decision.

Another advantage that a marketing strategy can provide is that you can set specific goals for your company. Whether it’s a short-term goal or a long-term goal, a marketing strategy will make it easier for you to set goals that can affect the way you run your business.

Depending on the situation, you can try different types of marketing strategies that will tailor your business’s needs. Here are some examples of the different types of marketing strategy:

– Market dominance strategy – This kind of strategy is used by companies to take control of a particular business.

– Innovation strategy – This strategy deals with the company’s rate of new product development and also innovation.

– Growth strategy – This marketing strategy is formulated to make the company grow.

– Warfare based strategies – A business competition is always there. And, sometimes your company needs to be aggressive to attack the competition or defensive to protect your company from losing profit.

These are some of the strategies that you can use in order to maximize business profit and minimize loss. Sometimes, it will be necessary for you to change your marketing strategy to cope up with the changes in the business world, such as new competitions, new technology or falling client numbers and profits.

So, depending on the situation, you should always plan on what kind of marketing strategy you should use for the benefit of the company. Running a business isn’t always smooth. There will be times that your business will be in danger of losing money or have decreased profit. Because of the ever-changing situation in the business world, you need to think of a marketing strategy to minimize risk and maximize profit.

 

Marketing Strategy – What It Is, And Why It Is So Important

Marketing strategy is the primary key to business success. The No. 1 reason businesses fail is that they don’t make enough money. And the No. 1 reason they don’t make enough money is that they don’t adequately understand and practice effective marketing strategy. Marketing strategy offers these powerful benefits:

– Concentrating your resources and efforts on your greatest opportunities for success

– Sharpening your competitive advantage so that your business is superior to your competitors’ in ways that matter to customers

– Increasing the income of the firm more effectively than any other way

– Uniting the leadership team to all pull in the same direction, maximizing positive results

– Giving your brand a clearer focus so that it will be better known in the marketplace

– Stimulating demand for your products and services

– Improving the effectiveness of messages you send to customers and prospects

– Strengthening your ability to understand and meet the needs of customers

– Ensuring that your business will survive and thrive far into the future

“Marketing strategy” is one of the top-10 search terms related to marketing, used by Internet searchers about a half-million times a month. Many people are obviously interested in learning more about marketing strategy. That’s why this article has been written, the first in a series that explain marketing strategy in detail. The author, Buck Lawrimore, has provided marketing strategy to hundreds of business, government and nonprofit organizations of all sizes for more than 27 years.

Definitions of Marketing

“Marketing” comes from the Latin word merx or mercis meaning merchandise. Originally a market was a large open space where merchandise was displayed for sale, like pictures we’ve seen of large open marketplaces in Third World countries, or today’s farmer’s market. Originally “marketing” involved selling products in a marketplace. And that’s still the core meaning. But professional marketing has evolved to such a high degree of sophistication, like computer science and medicine, that it involves much more than just selling in a marketplace.

The American Marketing Association, the largest professional organization of marketers in the U.S., defines marketing as follows:

“Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”

This definition makes no mention of generating sales and income, the primary aims of business marketing, perhaps in deference to the many nonprofit organizations which are members of the AMA and are more focused on “delivering value” and “managing customer relationships.”

Another way to understand marketing is to view it as a mindset or orientation of the business or organization. The so-called marketing orientation means the organization as a whole is oriented to understanding and meeting the needs of customers. A company with this orientation is market-driven. It focuses its strategy and operations on understanding and meeting the needs of customers in a manner which is superior to competitors. Procter & Gamble is one of the largest and most successful companies in America, and it has a strong marketing orientation. SAS Airlines, FedEx and other leading companies around the world have a passion for understanding and meeting the needs of customers. That’s how they became so successful, and that’s how your organization can become more successful than ever before, whether you aim to be a world leader or just the best in your neighborhood at what you do.

Definitions of Strategy

“Strategy” comes from the Greek word strategos meaning general. Strategy defined by Webster’s as “1 The science of planning and conducting military campaigns on a broad scale.” More recently strategy has come to mean “skill in management” or “an ingenious plan or method.”

There are two aspects or connotations to this idea of strategy. The first is, it’s big picture. It involves consideration of all your available resources – people, money, time, physical resources etc. “on a broad scale.” The second is, strategy involves winning some form of competition. Your opponent may be an enemy who is trying to defeat you, or a business competitor who is trying to get your customers to buy from them instead of from you, or an opposing athletic team in a sports event. In all these situations as well as your own real world, there is one key to all effective strategy. This is one of the most important things for you to learn from this book:

The key to all effective strategy is
concentrating your resources on your greatest opportunities,
where your competition is weak.

Definition of Marketing Strategy

So then, effective marketing strategy could be summed up this way:

“Concentrating the organization’s resources on its greatest opportunities
to better meet customer needs, outperform competitors, increase income,
and achieve enduring success.”

Implied in this practical definition is the key idea that you have or will develop a niche or position in the marketplace which you can dominate or at least be a top player in, by building on strengths which distinguish you from your competition. Also implied is that you will be most successful if you concentrate on better meeting customer needs (via the marketing orientation) as a path to increasing sales, rather than just focusing on outbound communications or a sales force to persuade potential customers to buy.

 

Choosing the Perfect Online Marketing Strategy for Your Business

If you have an online business or any business that requires marketing through the internet, then it is absolutely essential to have a proper online marketing strategy. For any marketing to be successful, it is important to have a plan that details your aims and goals along with a strategy that lays out the manner in which you plan to achieve it. It is important to note that this is true for any kind of marketing, including online marketing. You should remember that marketing strategies online will definitely differ from that of conventional marketing, which is why proper attention should be given while choosing the perfect strategy.

With the increasing popularity of the internet for business reasons, it is obvious that there are several strategies available today. However, not all marketing strategies are perfect for your business. So, you have to choose the one that fits your requirements and budget. Identifying your business needs along with your goals and aims is the first step towards choosing the perfect online marketing strategy. It is important to specify your needs before you choose the strategy, especially when you are trying to create a niche for yourself in the existing market.

Free and paid online marketing strategies are both available in abundance today. Choice between both these types would essentially depend on the amount of money or time you are willing to invest in your online marketing. In other words, free strategies do not require money but require a lot of time investment on your part, as you will be doing all the work on your own. On the other hand, paid strategies require monetary investment, given that you will be hiring experts to handle all your online marketing needs.

Once you have decided between these two, the next step is to decide on the exact type of online marketing strategy that you require for your business. It is important to remember that internet marketing consists of various factors including social marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing and the like. As a business owner, you can choose any or all of the above, depending on the amount of time and money you want to invest. While choosing strategies and tools, always remember to choose the one that suits your line of business. In other words, choice of marketing strategy will depend on the outreach of the strategy as well as its comfort level with your business. So, if you like to blog, then use blogs. Again, if you prefer to use videos or feel that they help you to connect easily with your targeted clients, make videos and market your business through them.

It is also essential to understand that when you find an online marketing strategy that suits your business needs, stick to it and give it enough time to succeed. Always remember that marketing strategies are not magic wands that deliver results instantaneously. Rather, they require time to get results. Finally, hiring the services of a good strategist is a great way of ensuring that you choose the perfect strategy.

 

Internet Marketing Strategies Affecting Businesses of All Sizes

Internet Marketing Strategies were created to do one thing – Drive paying shoppers to your online company. These marketing strategies are the fuel that feeds the engine of your online commerce. Execute the wrong one and you’re adrift in the water. With saying this, you might consider establishing an internet association between like and same online businesses. This issue cannot be stressed enough. You have to be addressing websites in a similar or related vein as your own, as appropriate links are crucial to your PR (page rank) by way of all the major search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) Internet marketing strategies are one of the typical synergies in digital traffic generation. Effective SEO can be described as demonstrated: A cheap way to generate better traffic over the end of the day but it also requires time to implement. PPC is known for its ability to get superior traffic rapidly, limited only through your prospective advertising finances. One of the most typical combined Internet marketing strategies is to begin with a strong PPC ad campaign, then slowly scale it back as you gain SEO traction with target keywords and phrases. At any time your traffic goals jump, restart the PPC campaign to “prime” the target site for follow up traffic from SEO-improved search outcome. Remember as well that Internet marketing strategies like SEO campaigns and PPC marketing can only be successful when correct keywords and phrases are involved.

Internet Marketing strategies include the techniques involved for marketing your individual or another person’s product, service, business, or brand online. Internet Marketers use their wisdom and talent to promote and market their internet establishment, company, and services.

As a result, Internet marketing strategies are significant to the success of any ecommerce or corporate web site. Every now and then an online marketing specialist is employed to oversee everything from building a web site to SEO strategies with the intention to yield valuable customer traffic. Other times, in-house experts or ecommerce business owners themselves can prepare marketing strategies that will propel their businesses into victory. Information, education, and knowledge are important elements in mapping out a marketing plan for web-based corporations that must associate with clients to be able to turn a profit.

Other Internet marketing strategies incorporate exclusivity. You’ve got to know that most people log on with the objective of searching for solutions for their problems rather than just making a purchase. As a result, instead of trying to find a hot product to promote on-line, you should instead be sourcing for a market with a common problem that folks are currently trying to resolve.

People like to have access to things that other people can’t obtain. It makes them feel distinctive, and it is an Internet marketing strategy that really works. Granting access to undisclosed pages works well on the Internet and it really works best when it is limited. For example, one can grant access to only a fortunate few, or else you might have a time limit for accessing the webpages. Also, you may grant access to secret web pages on your internet site with an autoresponder.

Another Internet marketing strategy that is de facto hot for the time being is Social Media. Joining a number of social networking web pages like Twitter, Facebook and others is definitely an emerging marketing trend that is suitable for a few small businesses. More than just a business advertising idea, making use of social media profiles is usually a great way to get customer feedback.

Affiliate marketing strategies is another Internet marketing strategy that deals with the mechanisms a publisher uses to advertise a product owner’s merchandise. The publisher is also known as an affiliate. Affiliate marketing stands out as the hottest way of earning online. Any person can gain affiliate commissions, regardless of their experience in web marketing

Article marketing is really a very simple technique to apply as well and is considered to be one of the more effective Internet marketing strategies there is. All you need to do is to create as many articles as you can and position links in the body of the articles pointing to the merchandise that you are promoting or selling. You, then, need to post your articles on the top article directories on the web.

In summary, Internet marketing strategies are focused on driving cash paying people to your on line company. It consists of SEO, PPC, affiliate marketing, and article marketing and advertising just to name a few. While it may take some effort on your part to have your site wherever it needs to be, the most effective internet marketing strategies available works in your favor when you have put in the time and ideas collectively. Having everything arranged agreeably will let you catch up with the development in business. Keep yourself well-versed and efficient as well as your site to ensure that your customers will stay with you and, eventually, your hard work can pay off.

 

Mobile Marketing Strategy Tips

As you consider various forms of marketing for your business, use the following tips to consider whether a mobile marketing strategy should be a part of your business marketing toolkit. The field of marketing is constantly expanding as businesses continue to develop ways to get the word out to their customers so it is important that you and your organization keep up to date.

Your mobile marketing strategy can include anything from advertisements on the sides of trucks to cars that carry the logos for various businesses to marketing material that reaches people on their cell phones or other portable devices.

As with all marketing, you’ll want to achieve results with your mobile marketing strategy.

Increasing traffic to your website, increasing the number of people who opt-in to your emails and ultimately increasing your paying customers still remain your objectives when using mobile marketing.

By clearly defining your goals, you can use traditional means of calculating your progress. With the wide availability of methods and subscriptions to help individuals number crunch their results, the choice is yours as to how many you use. Most significantly you will want to at least have a general idea of whether the marketing efforts you use is producing results that justify its continuation. This means that you’ll have to consider your expenditure of time as well as expenditure of dollars in hiring individuals to help you out with your marketing strategy against your increased sales.

As with any marketing strategy, be prepared to shift gears if you are not satisfied with results. This means that at the beginning of your mobile marketing efforts you will want to define clear time-sensitive and realistic goals for what will indicate success of your mobile marketing strategy for you. This can be expressed as a dollar amount or as new leads or simply as getting your name better known in a certain region.

The world of marketing is so dynamic that there are frequent changes and new ways of getting the word out about your business or service that occur with great frequency. Having a trusted associate, employee or friend who discusses these new trends with you can be a valuable resource in staying abreast of different opportunities. Your own research can be useful as well but as with all marketing strategies, you’ll want to make sure you are not taking away time better spent in the actual business of servicing your customers in order to pursue your marketing strategy.

Keeping up to date in all of the areas of mobile marketing strategy is important for your business success.

As any business person knows, staying abreast of relevant information is crucial in order to best continue and grow business. Mobile marketing in newer areas, such as providing access to your business on mobile devices, can afford you an opportunity to assess your options. Different laws that protect consumers from unwanted communications will apply to mobile marketing as well, so you will want to check with business attorneys or governmental resources to make sure that what you want to do is legal.

Long-term goals in the field of marketing can be as short as a single year because of the constant changes occurring in the field. As consumers and businesses become more accustomed to and familiar with using their mobile devices to reach out to each other, your goals for mobile marketing strategies should maintain the flexibility to adjust. For instance, early mobile marketers did not adjust the information on the Web pages to accommodate the smaller screens on mobile devices and in many cases this ended up causing consumer frustration.

There is a lot of information available for businesses to read about marketing in today’s business environment. There are also many professionals who specialize in specific forms of marketing, including mobile marketing strategy. Calling professionals and arranging weekly meetings with one or more specialists who will make their pitches to you is a great way to incorporate a strategy for making the best-informed choice you can about marketing alternatives.

Some of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to a marketing strategy, especially newer forms of marketing is that they end up spending more time and money on being current than is justified for the marketing strategy. Some of the best small businesses in certain regions have the lowest marketing presence. Do not ever neglect your business or your current customers for any expansion effort.

Mobile marketing offers businesses new ways to reach out to customers. Your mobile marketing strategy is just another tool that business owners should consider and when used according to the above tips can enhance business traffic and profits.

 

Why You Should Master At Least One Free Marketing Strategy

There are various reasons why I feel people should master one free marketing strategy when first starting out in their MLM business. What I have learned is that a lot of the free marketing strategies are the best ones to implement because they are usually centered around creating content like writing articles, blog posts and creating videos. Its sort of like set it and forget it marketing. Once you have an article, blog post or video out on the internet its like your own piece of real estate that can potentially create traffic and leads for you for years to come. Once you master one of of the these strategies you will have the knowledge to teach others. Most people don’t even have the money for a paid marketing strategy anyways. Didn’t they get into industry to make money and not spend it? A well planned free marketing strategy will usually generate you just as many leads as paid advertising and the quality of your leads will be better as well. In this article I will go over some of the reasons why a free marketing strategy might be better.

Think about most network marketers getting started out. They probably don’t have the money for paid advertising. If you can master a free marketing strategy you now have value to offer others and you will have positioned yourself as some one people will want to follow. You become a valuable asset to someone’s business. If you decided to go with a paid marketing strategy like Pay-Per-Click for example, you would probably start out with a monthly budget of $1000. That would be just to get started. A way get your feet wet, you probably wouldn’t see a return on that type of strategy right away. Most people don’t have that type of money when first getting started.

Do they have any prior training in sales and marketing?

The simple fact is that the majority of network marketers have no formal training in sales and marketing. People join people who have value to bring to the table. If you want people to join your business but you can’t teach them to market online they’ll probably go join someone who can. The more knowledge you have about a lot of these marketing strategies the more value you have in the eyes of your prospects. You want to brand yourself as that “go to” guy.

Free marketing will generate you a better quality lead because how you attracted these type of prospects was by providing value. It wasn’t just ad ad of yours that they clicked on. The leads that you generate from your free marketing strategy will help fund any paid advertising you might have in the future. Can you imagine not having to reach into your pocket for any paid marketing strategies? All from strategies that won’t cost you a dime!

These are just some of the reasons why a free marketing strategy is better to start out with than a paid one. Most network marketers starting out don’t have a budget to put towards a paid strategy, which is okay. A free strategy is better in the long run and might just take a little longer to see immediate results.

So if you’re serious about marketing your business on the internet, check out My Lead System Pro, we have over 3 years of marketing training from 6 and even 7 figure producers in the industry,with plenty of free marketing strategies you can dig into right away if you decide to become a member.

 

Internet Marketing Strategies – Where Do I Start?

Finding Your Path Through the Internet Marketing Jungle

Trying to decide how to strategically market your product or service (or yourself) on the internet can be overwhelming. There are a myriad of marketing possibilities to choose from, and more great strategies are being offered almost daily. How can an internet marketer decide on the best strategic marketing plan that works for their business?

There seems to be as many answers for which strategies to use in what situation than there are internet marketing strategies themselves! There are definitely too many strategies for any one marketer to utilize them all. If you have a very large team with access to multiple internet marketing specialists, your marketing strategies can incorporate most available methods. However, most of us do not have access to that kind of resource.

How Do You Choose Your Internet Marketing Strategies?

There are too many internet marketing options to discuss them all in a short article, but there are three general principles that can make a huge difference to your marketing efforts. Following these principles will not just improve the success of your current internet marketing plan, but can help you figure out where to start focusing your efforts in the first place.

Three Principles for Making Appropriate Strategic Marketing Choices

1) Be Capable in your Strategic Marketing

Not all marketers are created equal. We all have a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately we tend to focus more on how to fix our weaknesses rather than how to harness our strengths. It is true we should all strive to improve ourselves, but sometimes the time and effort placed on learning the internet marketing strategies we are struggling with would be better placed finding and perfecting strategies that we already have an aptitude for.

When a strategy works well for the majority of marketers it does not necessarily mean it will work well for you. If a particular strategy does not come easily to you, it will take more time and will likely not generate the top quality you need to stand out against your competitors. If you are not adept at something, use a different strategy that you can implement effectively with the unique capabilities you do have, or make the investment to outsource if you have the means to do so.

This does not mean we should not learn new strategies! If you are not constantly learning, you will also not succeed. Make sure you are not perpetually spending more time learning something that is difficult for you than you are taking to actually market your product or service. Some great internet marketing strategies are better left for others who have a better aptitude for them. Their expertise will allow them to do it better than you anyway.

2) Care About your Strategic Marketing

Let’s face it; everything we do in marketing is not fun. It is work, and most definitions of work do not include the word ‘fun’. However…take a second and think about sitting in front of your computer to work on your latest marketing project. If you would rather be sitting in the dentist’s chair getting a couple of teeth pulled, you are spending your time with the wrong strategies. Work can actually be enjoyable. At the very least, you should be able to find a few good strategies that beat getting teeth pulled. There are many strategic marketing choices on the internet. Pick the ones you enjoy and care about.

“But my current marketing strategies are supposed to be the best for my product!” “My upline says this strategy has been working for everyone on the team!” If you hate what you are doing, it will show in your work, just as your passion will shine through when you are doing something you love. It will be difficult to put in extra hours when necessary, you will be more apt to give up prematurely, and you will be unable to do exceptional stand-out work if you hate every minute of it.

Start by learning the marketing strategies you are most interested in, see which ones you like, and master those first. Eventually learn them all so you can find which methodologies you most enjoy and are best at. These will be the marketing strategies that perform the best for you and are more sustainable in the long run.

3) Be Consistent with your Strategic Marketing

For many marketers, the strategy seems to be: ‘Chase the latest and greatest marketing options as soon as they appear.’ They work on something, get mediocre results, then three weeks later when a great new idea comes along, abandon their current efforts and ‘try’ something else. This is not a recipe for sustainable success.

Sometimes the latest hot new marketing trend can work wonders and inject a lot of cash into your business. New ideas should be taken advantage of when appropriate. However, if it’s new it is unproven and may fail. Has it been tested in your niche market? Will it still be working a week from now? If you change your marketing plan more often than you change your socks, you will never get really good at anything. You will be spending as much time learning new things as you do actually marketing your product or service.

Consistency is the key. If your strategic marketing plan is based on solid and proven strategies and you do not give up and start something new every couple weeks, you will become an expert in those strategies. They will get easier, less time consuming, and start running like clockwork to bring you a consistent stream of clients. It is easier and less risky to learn and test new methods when you have a proven and profitable system already in place to fall back on.

Points for Choosing the Right Internet Marketing Strategy

– Develop a good strategic base of internet marketing methods that you enjoy and are capable of implementing effectively.

– Be consistent with these marketing strategies so you become an expert and are profiting from them with minimal effort.

– Try almost everything, including the ‘hot’ new methods that look like they have potential, but don’t abandon the tried and true methods that have already been proven to work.

– If you find new marketing methods that you enjoy and can utilize effectively, add them to your long tern internet marketing strategy and use them consistently until you master them.

Follow these steps, be patient and consistent, and you will succeed in finding your own strategic path through the internet marketing jungle. Happy Marketing!

 

Marketing With a Blended Marketing Strategy For Maximum Visibility

Marketing in general is a vast and complex beast which requires knowledge and effort to truly master and leverage it to its full potential to grow your brand, let alone your business. Any good internet marketing strategy can effectively help you build your business online. However, as many internet entrepreneurs look to expand their online presence and grow their businesses further, I find that many of them fail to create a complete marketing and business development strategy, focusing the majority of their efforts online. Sadly, this is a HUGE mistake on their part.

Over the course of my career as an entrepreneur, business owner and web designer, I’ve conducted business with many individuals and businesses all wanting to increase their reach, develop a stronger brand awareness and build a strong internet presence. Yet through all their questions, two common fears continually rang through during my discussions with many of them. They either feared the idea of taking on a major internet campaign or they felt that internet marketing would replace their tried and true traditional marketing methods. Both these fears have their roots in the fact that the vast majority of them simply lacked the proper knowledge necessary to see that both an internet marketing and traditional marketing strategy should compliment each other providing reciprocal support of their various strengths. I like to refer to this more complete picture of a marketing strategy as “blended marketing”.

Why Do I Need to Do Marketing

If you plan to generate any kind of income online you need to gain an understanding that your blog or website is simply and extension of your true business. You must develop your business model first before you can properly identify how to apply your blog/website as a useful tool in your overall marketing and business development strategy. Any successful business has a marketing strategy to grow their business. You can’t simply set up a blog or website and expect the business to come rushing in. You must have a strategy in place to help bring in the interested buyers you desire.

Gain a Little Perspective

As a successful internet entrepreneur and internet marketing expert myself, I’ve been using a blended marketing strategy for well over a decade to maximize my reach, increase my exposure and better market to my target audience to grow my online business. I’d like to share with you how a blended marketing strategy can benefit you and provide you with some techniques I use when constructing your blended marketing plan.

To help you gain a better perspective on the concept of blended marketing I suggest you have a quick read of Rena Bernstein’s post over at Social Media Today entitled “Integrating Social Media with Traditional Advertising to Gain Higher Returns”. It is a great read and provides valuable insight into the benefits as well as examples on how effective it can be if done correctly.

What is Blended Marketing

Blended marketing is essentially a mix of both internet marketing and traditional offline marketing methods to create a more complete, overall marketing and business development strategy. Many businesses fail to integrate both internet marketing and traditional marketing strategies together. By taking advantage of the strengths of both an internet marketing and traditional marketing strategy, you will better position yourself and/or your business for greater success.

The idea of a blended marketing strategy is to create a complete marketing strategy which takes advantage of the various strengths of both an internet marketing strategy and a traditional marketing strategy where you work to increase your search engine rankings and internet exposure, while at the same time increasing your reach and exposure offline as well.

Different aspects of a blended marketing strategy can be for example, utilizing an email marketing campaign in conjunction with a direct mail campaign to provide a specific promotion to a select group of recipients. Some email marketing systems provide a service where they will also send a direct mail piece to your email list provided you have addresses for each recipient in your list. This is just a high level example of how a blended marketing strategy can work to ensure broader reach from multiple fronts.

Benefits of a Blended Marketing

The benefits of a blended marketing strategy are vast allowing you truly grow your business at a much more rapid pace than if you didn’t have one. A blended marketing strategy allows you to:

  1. Gain Greater Exposure
  2. Market to the Same Audience Through Multiple Online and Offline Marketing Efforts
  3. Track the Effectiveness of Various Campaign Efforts
  4. Identify the Strengths of both Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
  5. Create Multiple Promotions for Various Marketing Strategies
  6. Generate Multiple Sources to Feed Your Sales Funnel
  7. Create Brand Awareness Online and Offline
  8. Market Products/Services Both Online and Offline
  9. Present Yourself as a Strong, Stable Business
  10. Increase Sales

These are just a few of the many benefits in which a blended marketing strategy can provide.

Creating a Blended Marketing Strategy

Creating a blended marketing strategy isn’t all that difficult if you know your target audience and have identified how to reach them. From that point, you can craft a marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your target audience through multiple fronts to ensure your message is heard.

The first step is to conduct market research (yes you have to do this and you cannot skip this step). When conducting market research you need to identify:

  1. Who Your Target Audience Is
  2. Where They Hang Out
  3. How to Reach Them
  4. What are Their Needs
  5. How You Can Fill Their Need
  6. Will They Buy

Identifying a market for whatever you are offering is essential to the success of any business whether online or off.

The second step is to begin crafting your blended marketing strategy to incorporate the various resources available to reach your market. This is where the fun begins! Be creative with this and make sure you explore all possible options to get your message out to market. For example, you may want to include the various resources to syndicate your content not just for online purposes but also for offline purposes, such as industry magazines and journals. If you are creating an email marketing campaign, how will you mirror this effort offline through direct mail pieces? If you are going to utilize the Third Tribe concept for your online marketing, what real-world business networking and industry convention events are you going to attend to create brand awareness? Consider how you are going to integrate social media into your blended marketing and how can you drive people to follow you from your offline efforts?

 

Stock Market Strategies – 3 Great Ways to Get the Edge on the Market

When it comes to share market investing, many traders are only familiar with the old “Buy and Hold”‘ strategy. Little do they know that there are many Stock Market Strategies that can be easily learnt, that can increase their probability of success in the share market.

Whether you are an investor or a speculator of the share market, below are some handy stock market strategies that can improve your overall performance.

Market Timing Strategies

Timing the share market is a strategy that’s purpose is to identify ideal times to invest money in the share market, to buy stock and when to sell. It is true that if the overall share market is strongly trending, that your probability of successfully investing your capital in a stock which is also strongly trend is much greater.

By investing your money in the share market during conducive market conditions and preserving your capital when the market conditions are not, it stands to reason that you can side step some costly trading losses and greatly increase your overall profits.

Stock Option Strategies

One way that a stock trader can either increase or decrease the leverage and risk in his/her trading investments, is to use Stock Option Strategies. One misconception of options is that they are a risky investment because of the leverage they can provide. But the truth is stock options were originally created to remove some of the risk involve in holding stock, and if used correct, they certainly do provide that.

A trader can choose from a range of option combinations, or stock and option combinations, for a range of desired effects. Depending on which option strategy chosen, a trader has the ability profit when the asset rises in value, remains the same or declines in value. There are also stock option strategies to protected the value of your stock assets.

Stock Market Investment Strategies

There are many stock market investment strategies that a trader can use to both take advantage of conducive market conditions, and also to preserve investment capital. Some of the more common strategies are:

  • Portfolio Management Strategies > Capital Allocation, Portfolio Diversification.
  • Position Entry Strategies > Progressive Position Entry, Re-test Entry.
  • Position Management Strategies > Profit Taking Strategies, Free Trade Strategies
  • Position Exit Strategies > Stop Loss, Systems Exit.

Choosing the Right Strategies

As you can see, there are many stock market strategies out there that can greatly increase the chances of success in the share market. Strategies that minimize risk are always a wise place to start.

It’s worthwhile checking out some of these strategies, and working out which suit your trading style, and incorporate a few at a time. With a bit of stock market knowledge, you can use stock market strategies to your advantage again and again, grow your trading account, and far exceed overall market performance.

 

7 Ways a Marketing Strategy Will Grow Your Business

“What is the best money I can spend in marketing to grow my business?” Without a doubt, this is the question I’m most frequently asked by small business owners. It may seem like a question that is promptly followed by an “it depends” type of answer, however, it’s actually quite easy to pinpoint one tool that is relatively inexpensive, delivers a high ROI and, sadly, is not commonly found in a small businesses’ toolbox. It’s a marketing strategy.

Why is a marketing strategy the most powerful tool for growing business? The straight-forward answer is that a solid marketing strategy will address current challenges and map out paths by which a business can grow in the future. It will audit a business’s brand and message, but isn’t limited to branding alone. Rather, a marketing strategy is a combination of big picture and detail analysis that incorporates a wide range of marketing channels tailored for that business’s industry, market, and budget. The majority of marketing strategies I write for small businesses include a high number of items that can be performed for free by current in-house staff, resulting in a plan that won’t lead to a fortune spent. In fact, a good marketing strategy is an investment in saving money because it targets a business’s efforts and helps avoid waste.

At this point I need to qualify my earlier statement; the best money spent in marketing is a smart marketing strategy written by an experienced marketer on behalf of a specific business, not something sketched out by a rep at a service shop (think printer or web firm) or from a generic, ‘small business strategy’ check list. For a marketing strategy to be truly effective, it needs to be a customized effort involving research, analysis and a careful matching of opportunities with the business’s resources and budget. This can never be a quick or off the shelf effort – a smart marketing strategy takes some time to develop properly. My own typically take less than a month and are generally under $2,000.

It’s important to keep in mind that while a smart marketing strategy won’t force a business beyond its means, it will present a mix of opportunities that meet immediate goals and show paths for growth. A marketing strategy’s advantage is that it paints a picture of a business, highlights who that business is targeting, focuses its marketing budget, and develops a schedule for reaching out to buyers. It accomplishes this in 7 key ways:

1. Develops Brand & Message

A brand is simply a business’s public look and message. Businesses all have the beginning of a brand – an official name – and some have taken steps to identify a logo, tagline, and possibly a general color scheme or style guide. In small businesses, these are often a reflection of the owner’s personal taste rather than an evaluation of the market and targeted buyers (years ago I had a client who chose her corporation’s color scheme from her kitchen wall’s paint chip). They may be a result of a family brainstorming effort or an owner’s flash of inspiration. Sometimes they are geographically influenced or an attempt at gimmickry. The point is that while it’s rare to find a small business that developed its name, logo, and message as the result of true market research, it’s a universal rule that, for good or bad, small businesses will refer to these items as their business’s brand.

And this is where a marketing strategy steps in. A smart marketing strategy will thoroughly evaluate a business’s brand through experienced and unbiased eyes. The marketer is not (hopefully) a member of the family and most likely hasn’t seen the kitchen’s walls. Instead, an experienced marketer will audit the brand as both a buyer and a marketer, and evaluate its ability to quickly convey the business’s story, whether or not it targets the appropriate buyer, and if it is unique enough within the marketplace to set the business apart from the competition. The marketing strategy will highlight any brand challenges, inconsistencies, or weaknesses before suggesting modifications and improvements.

Unfortunately, ‘brand’ seems to be a point at which many small businesses abandon their strategic efforts. A business’s brand is essential and well worth a hefty effort, but ‘branding’ isn’t enough of an action item to grow a business and isn’t where a smart strategy ends…

2. Audits Current Program

Which segues nicely into the next stage of a strategy: auditing the current marketing program. This stage goes beyond branding to review all of the business’s marketing efforts and is an essential component to any smart strategy. It’s at this stage that wasted money or effort is discovered, missed opportunities highlighted, or where I find that a client had started down a positive path in the past but either abandoned it too early or was off in its message. Has the business’s marketing program been well thought out or has it been a shotgun approach through a series of one-off efforts spread over time? This is where we find out.
My audits look for strengths as well as holes and weaknesses in a business’s marketing program by dissecting the marketing channel mix, promotional locations (both online and traditional), frequency, and more, then matching the entire program to the targeted buyer profile. I spend quite a bit of time looking through the business’s marketing tools such as its web site, brochures, newsletters, and social media and evaluate the business’s staff resources, factoring any strengths into the final evaluation.

3. Profiles Buyers & Marketplace

It may be hard to fathom but there are small businesses that face each year without knowing much about their own marketplace and the very buyers upon which their livelihoods depend. As a marketer, it baffles me how any business can hang its shingle without taking the time to first evaluate who it will sell to and from whom it will grab market share. Questions such as, “how many buyers are out there?”, “how do they like to be reached?” and, “who am I competing against?” are all fundamental to business success because it’s only through this knowledge that a company can adapt and grow. The only way to create this profile is through research!

I start by pulling information directly from my clients through a combination of interviews and surveys filled with carefully crafted questions. I’ll ask then re-ask until I’ve developed a complete profile from my client’s perspective. My work then turns to generating a buyer profile from a marketing perspective that stems from my client’s high level buyer description. I’ll dig and research until my profile is complete, then compare my profile with that of my client’s. Hopefully we’re in synch, but if not, I’ll point out where we differ and evaluate where my client can hone his or her efforts.

At this point I’ll also want to look at the marketplace from my buyer profile’s point of view, and will “shop” the competition. I’ll look at the business’s geographic reach and investigate both demographic data and local economic growth plans. All of this data will play into the final evaluation of whether my client should continue in its current market or branch out into an area that’s buyer-rich.

4. Evaluates Competition

“Who is my competition and how do we differ?” That’s a question every business owner should be able to answer at any given time! Business owners should be aware of who is snagging market share from them and how each competitor compares in services, quality, customer service, messaging, and overall marketing efforts. It’s wonderful to be the best service provider available, but that won’t mean anything if the competition is signing more buyers!

For this stage of a marketing strategy, I like to shop the competition from a buyer’s perspective before comparing my findings to my own “client shop”. Since I’m an outside consultant, it’s fairly easy for me to assume an unbiased buyer’s approach to most shopping efforts, be it B to B or B to C, and I look for easy shopping situations, who could satisfy my buyer needs, would entice me to make a purchase or conversely would turn me off as a buyer. I use these results to suggest ways my client could improve his or own business’s message and to…

5. Determine Marketing Mix

This stage of a marketing strategy is a game of, ‘find the buyers’. After all, what is marketing if it isn’t an effort to communicate with buyers and lure them to a business? To me, this is the truly strategic stage of a strategy, but one that could not exist without all the previous steps. It is at this point that the strategy should answer questions such as, “should a business adopt the latest trends or stick to more traditional methods?” or, “what will provide the biggest bang for a limited budget?”

It’s also the stage where experience really pays off as there are many, many ways to spend money in marketing and only so many options that will reach the right buyers. I enjoy this stage the most and spend time looking under rocks to discover new options and find cost effective solutions. No two strategies should be ever be the same at this stage, making this the most custom portion of the entire process. A good strategy will look beyond paid search and Facebook ads and find new ways to present the business – within budget.

This is also the most flexible portion of a smart marketing strategy. I like to include a variety of options that range from ‘incorporate immediately’ to more longer term efforts that make sense once the business has grown or has put other marketing tools in place. A good mix will pull in multiple marketing channels and allow a business to reach buyers on many levels.

6. Finds Internal & Low Cost Options

Many businesses have low cost and free marketing options already at their disposal and may not realize it. A good marketing strategy reviews a business’s internal options, evaluates the business as a whole, and discover resources that can be used in the marketing plan. I like to empower my clients and give them the chance to save their budget for bigger ticket items down the road.

7. Designs 1 – 5 Years Marketing Plan

I wrap up every marketing strategy with a 1 year, month by month, marketing plan. This marketing plan lists carefully selected marketing efforts determined in the strategy and provide a schedule for when they should be launched and evaluated. For smaller businesses, I try to stick to the low cost options that can be maintained internally with optional efforts that may cost more money or should happen after an early goal has been achieved. More expensive or involved opportunities are generally reserved for a 2-5 year plan and are contingent upon achieving goals.

By incorporating the above 7 stages into a thoroughly researched and carefully crafted strategy, a small business will have a map by which it can achieve its goals and grow its business. It’s money well spent and something a business really shouldn’t exist without!