Marketing budgets can feel like a chore without a dedicated marketing team crunching the numbers, but every business needs one to succeed. Why?
Because every dollar spent differentiating your business from your competition can earn you five to ten dollars in revenue.
That’s how valuable having a marketing budget is, yet, most businesses find themselves marketing by the seat of their pants because budgeting is a challenge.
What’s The Challenge?
The time and resources required to develop an effective marketing budget are usually scarce, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. The budgeting process is more than just picking a dollar amount, choosing your marketing channels and then creating marketing pieces. It also has to account for research, personnel and tracking.
Before You Begin
It may be your first instinct, but marketing budgets should not begin with how much you are willing to spend. They begin with establishing who your target audience is and researching who can benefit from your product or service the most. Define what they look like, what they do for fun, where they go for information and what they value.Then ask yourself, “What about my brand will
Posted in Marketing
Tagged HTML, QR, SEM, URL
Creating a banner can be a challenging task, especially if you don’t have a background in design. Here are a few tips to follow to get you on the right track to make sure that your money is well spent and your message is effective.
Emphasize with Scale
The common phrase, “go big or go home”, is not necessarily the best solution in design. It undoubtedly has its place, but it is important to remember that using one large font for everything can actually take away from your overall message. By scaling, you can bring attention to the most important part(s) of your message with larger/bolder fonts, while leaving the filler words or less important parts of it in a smaller/lighter font.
Go Easy on the Font Choices
While there are thousands and thousands of fonts to choose from, odds are that you have a lot of favorites. As far as branding goes though, it is best to choose only a few fonts to represent your brand. A great way to help you with this is to create a brand style guide. Within the style guide you can
As product managers, I think that we all realize that in order for our product to be a success, it has to make money for the company. In order for this to happen, people have to buy the product for more than it costs the company to make and deliver the product. We product manager tend to spend a great deal of our time trying to create a product development definition that allows us to come up with ways to get potential customers to turn into real customers. However, perhaps we should be spending our time trying to come up with ways to lower the cost of creating our product. Over at the Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA this is exactly what they are in the process of doing. Perhaps we can learn from them.
Identifying The Product Packaging Problem
So what’s the problem? In short, there is a very good chance that your product may be costing the company too much to ship to your customers. This isn’t a good thing to have on your product manager resume. Over at IKEA they have realized that
Posted in Marketing
One of the most important aspects of business marketing, especially small business marketing, is knowing who to go after. There’s a wealth of people and groups of people out there vying for your services, but there are many competitors who are looking for the same people. It is important to differentiate yourself and go after a select group of people. There are many articles out there that discuss finding your target market and hopefully this article will provide some fresh insights that do not sound repetitive.
#1: Sit Down And Access Which Group(s) Of People Have A Strong Need For Your Products Or Services
There are many people out there and not all of them need your services. For example, if you are a company that sells weight loss services, those who are slim or in good shape will probably not need your products. You would go after those who are overweight or those who feel that they need to lose weight. This sounds easy enough, but one would be surprised how many businesses miss their target market and decide to cast their net wide open
Do you have a brilliant business idea that’s taking off? Are you at a point where you have a product and your customers love everything about it? Have you considered leveraging the power of referral marketing to help even more people discover your product? There are numerous referral marketing ideas that can help you increase your sales.
Consider this – nowadays, a business has to sell more than just a product. You have to sell a full customer experience; An experience that has inspired your customer to share your products with friends and family.
Marketing conditions are continually changing. Unlike a decade ago, businesses these days do not only sell a product or service to customers, but also an experience. They are given a full experience that will inspire them to share the product or service with friends and family – all of whom are potential customers. Word-of-mouth referrals are the most effective way to grow your business, and this is especially true when you are just getting started as a business.
According to Entrepreneur, an ever increasing number of businesses in 2015 and beyond will try
Do you need extra help from a marketing services organization? Is the technology getting a little overwhelming? Maybe you just can’t keep up with your blogging and social media calendar. If you are the owner of a small business or a franchisee, you work hard every day to provide the best product and service, and for some reason – people are buying from an inferior competitor. What’s the deal? Shouldn’t having a great product be enough?
Here’s the deal. Consumers are overwhelmed with choices and messages about what to buy. Because of this they take shortcuts to decide what to buy and which vendor to trust. But here’s the good news. Once they find a vendor they like, they stick with them.
HOW SERVICES CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS:
Marketing consultants usually make the distinction between traditional and digital marketing. Traditional marketing encompasses corporate identity, branding, telemarketing, PR and similar ‘real-world’ activities. Digital marketing on the other hand includes website creation and landing pages, virtual social networks presence, online press releases, email marketing, blogging, search engine optimization, paid advertising (on services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Facebook)
Sometimes, marketing can be a risky investment, especially true if you find that you try all the famous tools and strategies, but receive no results. Luckily, one of the most effective marketing strategies is practically free – and that’s word of mouth marketing.
Before making a decision to buy a product or service, people typically ask a family member or a friend for suggestions. They don’t rely on commercials. Word of mouth is the fastest way for people to get information. What is even more important, we perceive our friends’ and family’s experiences as the most trustworthy source of information.
Within the last few years, marketers have focused mostly on boosting the number of social media fans instead of connecting with them. Having a few hundred satisfied fans who love your products is far more effective than thousands who’ve only “liked” your website to win something.
WHY A WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING STRATEGY IS SO POWERFUL
Word of mouth marketing is the oldest and the most original social media platform. It is the most valuable form of marketing proven to drive the highest sales for companies. For this
Posted in Marketing
A lot of small businesses and especially franchises struggle with marketing. This is especially true when the time comes to decide where and how to invest a limited budget. With the wide variety of marketing tools and techniques out there, it can be tough to be a marketer. One needs to be adept at choosing effective and easy digital marketing for franchises.
Sure, you can go out and research all the different digital marketing ideas for franchises. You can spend a few years trying to implement all the conflicting advice and eventually get results. Alternatively, you can hire a small business marketing consultant to save you years of trial & error.
Whatever option you choose, you still need to understand the commonalities behind any successful marketing strategy. Getting your basics in order will help you choose effective and easy digital marketing for franchises.
The crucial point in marketing is to take some time to research trends in your industry, and discover your customer needs and behaviors. Based on the information you gather you will be able to make a plan and develop a strategy for effective and
Posted in Marketing
If you like sports, then you like ESPN. ESPN is the dominant force in the world of broadcasting sports. In fact, they are so much a part of sports today that it’s almost hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist. However, there was a time that sports fans had to hunt in order to watch their favorite game. Somehow this all changed and now we instinctively go to ESPN in order to find out what is going on in the world of sports. How did the ESPN product managers create a product development definition that allowed this to happen?
What Makes ESPN Work?
That ESPN is a success is no big secret. However, how the ESPN product managers turned it into such a success is not quite so clear. As product managers, this is the story that all of us would like to hear. As you may have guessed, there is no one thing that they did that made them successful, but rather a number of different things.
One of the most important secrets to ESPN’s success is the simple fact that it turns out
You’ve spent years developing and refining your content. You’ve tweaked it and tweaked it and when you deliver it on stage you know you’ll knock it out of the ballpark every single time. It’s taken you years of hard work, of being thoughtful, of mastering your craft, and perfecting your message.
You wind up turning it into a house boat.
In my mind a house boat is sort of the love child of a horrific house and a clunky boat. It has the worst attributes of both and loses the grace and beauty that a house or a boat poses independently. It doesn’t navigate the waters particularly well (in fact many look like they can barely float). It lacks the comforts and conveniences most of us desire in a home. It can neither weather a solid storm nor provide shelter from the elements. House boats are basically a combination of a crappy house and a crappier boat.
Are you turning your content into a house boat?
So how does this relate to your content and your work?
Well, you may have written a fabulous book or developed a
In the past twenty years, the internet has evolved from a set of online directories to a world where anyone can find any business simply by typing in a few terms on a search engine. All one has to do is put in the business type and the area and in a matter of seconds, one can find a variety of results. This is a major departure from thirty years ago where one had to look through the yellow pages or read the newspaper in order to find businesses in the area. This article will discuss why not having a website would be harmful for your small business from an advertising standpoint.
If You Choose Not To Have A Website, You Will Have To Spend A Lot Of Money To Advertise And Hope That You Will Get Customers
Yes, having a website designed for you is expensive. You have to pay for the design and maintenance of the website as well as the search engine optimization so that your website will be noticed by the public. However, you will also have to pay a lot of
Instead of sounding like a broken record where this article talks about why one should get a website for their business, this article will focus more on why not getting a website would present long-term harm to one’s business. We live in a world where change moves at a very fast pace. We have come a long way in terms of technological innovations and changes in the way businesses serve the people. There are many good reasons why every business should have a website, but there are even more good reasons why every business cannot afford to skimp out on having a website.
Technological Innovations And Trends Make It Necessary To Have A Website
Thirty years ago, businesses did their advertising via the yellow pages and newspapers. Even with this form of advertising, there were never any guarantees that one would find their business among a mass listing of several other businesses in the area. Twenty years ago, the internet made its debut to the public and businesses began to advertise their business to online directories, which was significantly cheaper and easier for the public to
If you pick up a free marketing guide, you will find some tried and tested methods. But most of the ideas are inspired by big brands with large marketing budgets. A start-up may love to adopt a proven method and get to their first customers quickly. But that may sink their marketing budget and the idea may not find synergy with the start up’s DNA. The effort may eventually tank. If you really want to see results shun the age-old marketing tactics and get innovative.
Here are 3 things you can definitely do to get to your first few customers:
1. Think local: Don’t start thinking about Google and getting to the world yet. Do the people in your vicinity know you? Narrow down your geography and then make maximum imprints there. Be everywhere and let everyone know you. Yes, don’t think about your target audience yet. Even if somebody is not your customer, he/she can be an influencer or an advocate. Paint the walls, give out newspaper inserts, get referrals and sponsor a local event. And even if it looks silly, wear your branded t-shirt
Posted in Marketing
One way you can make sure your current marketing and promotions campaign is effective for your business is to measure its success. Even if you think your current plan or strategy is working greatly for your business, without any hard numbers or proof to support this, you can’t afford to be complacent and close-minded. You need to be open to trying new strategies or techniques to ensure that your marketing and promotions campaign is really helpful for your business.
Measuring the success of your marketing and promotions campaign doesn’t have to be an arduous and complicated task. Here are some useful tips you can follow when measuring the effectiveness or success of your business’ marketing and promotions campaign:
Identify the appropriate, measurable goals you have set for your business.
Businesses have various goals they want to achieve. However, you need to identify the ones that are in line with or are the focus of your marketing and promotions campaign. Examples of these measurable objectives are the increase on your website traffic and if your brand reached the specific audience or group you were targeting. Keep in mind
People are talking about the new forms of marketing today. It is no doubt that traditional marketing has been around for quite a very long time already. In fact, some are still being used by business owners today. However, with the Internet becoming popular and having a big role on how successful a business is, more and more entrepreneurs are now looking for ways on how they can market their offerings efficiently.
Indeed, there are already many different ways for promoting something.
Types Of Marketing
Internet – This refers to any strategy taking place online. It has a variety of forms such as search engine, video advertisements, and e-mail. It certainly needs a great approach in areas of design, development, and promotion.
Offline – This includes all the marketing efforts that are not done on the online world. Local advertising in newspapers and on radio or television are some of its forms. Today, more and more companies are searching for ways on how they can leverage their offline marketing campaigns with the online one so they can complement each other.
Outbound – This is also known as traditional. This
Before I start, I just want to let you know that this article is my own personal view about this particular question.
It’s a common sight: marketing materials that tell you how much better one company is than another.
Is it right to do that?
In my mind, your marketing should always be about your customers.
That means no grand statements about how great you are, how big your premises are or how you’re the ‘best in your field’ (unless you have some concrete evidence to back up such a claim).
Everything you write must be about your customers, how you can benefit them and how their lives will be so much better if they buy from you.
I’m better than you
It’s very tempting to write something that tells your customers how crap your competition are in comparison to you.
You could shout from the rooftops about how you’re cheaper (although they could lower their prices and blow that argument out of the water), that you give better customer service than they do etc., etc.
But is that really the right way to be going?
Is that the best way to sell yourself
Posted in Marketing
Tagged EE, OK
As a freelance marketer you’re constantly learning, reading, and hearing more about the industry and ever changing landscape. With so much information out there and so many different perspectives it can be hard to keep up. Podcasts are perfect for busy freelancers because you can listen and learn while you do pretty much anything else like driving or making dinner.
Whether you’re looking for something to help broaden your marketing knowledge, learn a new skill, build your brand or business, tap into other creative outlets, or let your brain switch gears for a few here’s a list of great podcasts straight from our community.
CALL TO ACTION
From the team at Unbounce, Call to Action breaks down everything from strategy and planning to execution, measurement and optimization.
Hosted by Paul Jarvis, founder of the Creative Class, Freelancer gives straightforward advice and is probably the most authentic and genuine podcast about the industry. It’s perfect for creative freelancers in everything from design to writing.
THE FIZZLE SHOW
The Fizzle Show is described as “conversation about entrepreneurship in general, building a thriving audience, and the battle of supporting yourself doing something you actually care about.” Community Manager Cory Moyta says “it’s one to not miss.”
A TINY SENSE
Worldwide business owners are facing extreme challenges to pump up their brands to make them globally recognized. Even, marketing evangelists and strategists find it highly difficult to spread their brand to the community in an effective way. Because of the increased competition, they are facing hard challenges in communicating with the consumers. As traditional marketing techniques are not enough at this point of time, it is important for the companies to think in a bigger and more aggressive manner. However, marketing arena is constantly showing better and innovative ways to fluently and impressively communicate with consumers. More and more companies are choosing event marketing for that bigger and better impact.
Fastest growing marketing technique
Event marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing techniques that have impressed marketers worldwide. It has the ability to build a stronger medium of communication with the customers. It also helps businesses to understand customer’s needs and their intention. In fact, it also helps business owners to know about their customer’s emotions and thinking patterns, which is highly valuable for them to build better products or services.
Innovative way of spreading the
Content marketing isn’t just publishing a few blog posts a week. It’s about more than just being a company-it’s about being a brand that believes in something.
Without a content marketing strategy that embodies the vision of your company and brand, your business will lose loyal customers and advocates. If your retail business is failing to build a stickiness with your customer base, here’s why and how to fix it.
INSPIRE CUSTOMERS, DON’T TREAT THEM LIKE TRANSACTIONS
The ideal customer is one that connects with your brand, and unless you have a steady stream of messaging that speaks to your customers to reinforce why you’re the go-to for the products you sell, they’ll forget. Instead of focusing solely on sales and discounts, inspire your customers with a message that resonates with them.
Fashion retailers, for example, can put together lookbooks for what style fits “you” best. Nordstrom advertises its lookbooks to several customers based on their web behavior and purchase history:
DON’T BE JUST A VENDOR
Not adding value beyond the products you sell doesn’t differentiate you from competition. Customer loyalty is built beyond being a vendor. Show your customers