In this post, Business Blog
would like to explain why marketing research plays such an important role in any business establishment, growth and audience grabber. Marketing research is an essential practice
that all businesses must do before starting out. A successfully implemented marketing research should establish several major points, such as: establish the appropriate target audience using demographics and other criteria, determine required approach, determine the right message, determine the design of the whole message and your company. There are multiple steps in creating marketing research.
First of all, you have to determine what you need to find out, whether it is finding out if you chose the right place for your store, is there a potential for your product or even who your competition is. Marketing research is one of the most important practices that you should perform as it is going to give you an open field to whether you have to start what you are planning or not. Marketing research encounters multiple practices and tools
, it can range anywhere from doing a simple survey, mass email distribution, conducting forums, group meetings, and any other things that might help you gather information to provide the needed data for your research. Be aware that there are times where your findings will be unfavorable to you as they are not what you were hoping to get, even then you have to go with what you have, if not you are risking with misleading the whole research and even worth putting the business at risk as you won’t know the actual situation. With that said, it is important to mention that there are several main marketing research methods and designs:
Qualitative marketing research – is used for exploratory purposes, usually a small number of respondents (sample) is enough to get an idea. It may not be generalizable to the whole population but should be related to your target audience. Statistical significance and confidence is not necessary, therefore is not taken into calculations. As an example we can use: focus groups, in-depth interviews, and projective techniques.
Quantitative marketing research - is used to draw conclusions and hard data where we need the actual result. For example we need to test a specific hypothesis. Random sampling techniques must be used to achieve the most accurate results. Again, we have to sample from the population of our target audience. In order to receive the most accurate result a large number of respondents should be tested - examples include surveys and questionnaires. Techniques to use: choice modelling, maximum difference preference scaling, and covariance analysis.
Marketing research is important and should be done before any major brand, product or service launch to ensure that you are on the right track and there is an interest and need in it.
You need Marketing
For the past hundred or so years marketing has been an inalienable part of many companies. Marketing is one of the main reasons why so many huge companies do well and so many others can’t climb the leader of business success. Every successful business markets!
Marketing is an essential function of the organization that wants to be different and have a selling point that audience will “buy” in order to attract the to them product or service. Successful companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi, Coke and Nike produce huge amount of products. With the tremendous amount of products being offered they have to make sure that customers know about what’s new, what’s on the regular stock and when hot new arrivals are coming out.
We can vision marketing as a huge umbrella with many and many different items going under its dome. Marketing
has traditional and new “non-traditional” practices, by the way non-traditional will very fast become traditional. Let’s name several items on the list:
· Direct Mailer
· TV and Radio Ads
· Print Ads (bus, subway, street and any other including magazines, newspapers, etc)
· Viral Marketing
· Web Marketing
· Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEM/SEO)
· Pay-per-Click Ads
· Affiliation Marketing
· Banners, flash and pop-ups
· And many others…
As you can see marketing is no single practice at all, it has multiple layers which have to be addressed first before implementing any of the final decisions. There are things like: marketing strategy and tactic, audience targeting and segmentation, marketing plan, research and analysis, goal and objective refining and many more things to make sure that the campaign or whole marketing strategy works out good to benefit the company.
5 Tips on Online Marketing
Every week Business Blog
provides you with 5 Tips for increasing your business productivity. This week we’ve decided to touch up on the internet marketing tips and common assumptions that business owners make about the websites and online stores (e-commerce). Please, read below and make any comments you think are appropriate to this post.
1. Don’t assume that if you’ve done search engine optimization at one time it is still valid. SEO landscape changes very quickly and is very unstable with all new releases of Google algorithm updates. Search Engine Optimization is a constant practice
that has to be done by professionals and through eligible sources. You have to stay on top of all optimization that is done to the website. For example, make sure that you know at least several keywords and their exact positions. This will give you an ability to monitor your positions and overall optimization efforts.
2. Currently, there is a huge trend in users accessing websites and spending time online by using their mobile devices. Therefore, you have to make sure you have a mobile optimized website for your current and potential clients. Google has release a great mobile website builder, check it out here: http://www.howtogomo.com
. It is a very inexpensive and great tool for creating a simple but very useful mobile website.
3. Make sure that your website is user optimized. So, let’s say you’ve spent your time and money on online marketing, you finally got a visitor to your site, but the site is not user friendly – you’ve just wasted your time and money. In addition, most likely you’ve lost future customer because he had an unpleasant experience. Your website is a critical first impression tool! Think about it, people visit your website in order to meet you and review your services.
4. In order to keep up with all your online marketing initiatives, please create a schedule and make sure you follow it. It is vital in making sure you are progressing and increasing your marketing reach.
5. Be constant! You don’t have to spend all your time on marketing for your business, you can do a bit but in a constant flow. After several months you’ll see it adding up to a wider funnel of opportunities. Marketing is a constant practice of reaching out to your target audience
and capturing leads from all expected places. As mentioned you don’t have to spend much time, rather you have to be constant on message delivering and all your activities.
Marketing Strategy for Business Growth
Marketing plays a significant role in business development and growth. Marketing is a vital player in constructing and delivering the proper message for your prospects and customers. It is very important to understand that one of the main roles that marketing has is to generate the interest in potential customers and to bring them in to the business. There is a major difference in marketing for B2B
and marketing for B2C. While creating a marketing campaign for business-to-business organization can create an interest most often you still need sales people to actually close the deal. The primer reason is that usually you have higher sums to work with and to pay for the service or product. Let’s take a telecommunications dealer as an example; they sell phone systems for businesses. A phone system is not cheap, and there is a process of implementation and maintenance attached to it. Therefore a sales person has to go over all of those details in order to sale. Now in comparison let’s take a headphones by Sony, you as a marketer create several different messages including numerous channels such as: TV ads, radio spots, billboards and internet marketing to generate general interest. Next, customer usually goes online to read review or research features of the headphone piece then travels to the store to play with them and finally finishes up with purchase (if he liked them).
The process is different, however the main idea stays the same as the goal is to create an interest and to influence one’s buying decision. Marketing uses multiple channels to reach the most appropriate target audience. It is always the best to go for a targeted audience approach then to blast out your message to the general audience. The more targeted it is the more results it will bring to you as you’ll be speaking with the audience of interest. To establish the most appropriate target audience marketing professional needs to use marketing research
. Marketing research helps to create a plan supported with the actual data of the research to establish areas where the product or service can be advertised for the most beneficial outcome.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the company is, because marketing is one practice that is needed all the time. It helps to develop and grow the business at any level. Marketing is very broad and rich in its practice, there are many creative solutions to any problem that marketing needs to solve. The most amazing thing is that marketing is endless in its creation and creativity. Marketers can be as creative as they want to be, there is no limit!
Increasing website’s traffic and customer flow
I’d like to start by explaining why you as a website owner should be looking into every opportunity to increase your website’s traffic. Being a business owner you should be relying onto several different sources for gathering leads and creating potential customers. One of a very good ways to pick up new customers is to create a lead funnel from your business/corporate website. Employing your website for customer gathering is a very cost effective and useful way. You have to realize that they’ve spent some time looking for a product or service online and were able to find you as a source. At that stage it is very important to keep your customer at your website and make sure he delivers the needed action of conversion. It is important to understand that every visitor to your website is a potential customer. This is the main reason why you should be increasing the amount of visitors on your website. By increasing your website’s traffic you are increasing your chances to better and higher conversion rates, such as: check-out, newsletter subscription, service subscription and other types of website conversion. There are multiple ways to increase your website’s traffic; the most useful is to perform internet research
on the needed topic before implementing any internet marketing. Internet marketing is very broad and holds many different strategies, techniques and practices. Everyone involved in the internet business or even having a website and wanting to be found must employee if not all, at least some techniques to “advertise” online, in order to attract the needed audience.
Here are the most used online internet tactics to increase traffic to your website:
· Article, PR and online writing
· PPC and SEO (Search engine optimization)
· Link building and Blog posts
· Video making (YouTube)
· Campaigns and landing pages
Employing all of the above techniques should give you a great chance of increasing the customer’s flow to your website. Please keep in mind that in order to convert your customers into buyers you have to have a good website design and user friendly navigation. As mentioned above there are multiple practices to increasing traffic: you can buy YouTube views
, optimize your website in search such as Google and Bing; however in order for those techniques to succeed you have to really optimize your website for user’s benefit. Optimizing your website for user friendly browsing is the key in making customers want to stay on your website. The more time they spend on your pages reading the information the higher chance they will convert to a customer. Different studies have shown that “sticky” content makes reader or visitor willing to come back and interact with you. Even if they don’t buy right now, but they’ve spent some time on your website and theoretically enjoyed it they might come back. Another theory is that when the need for your product/service arises they will be more willing to go back to your website. Optimizing online marketing activities
and optimizing your website are two key components of a successful online business.
Internet for Business
Internet use for Business Operations
Internet provides many different opportunities for business operations. Business can tremendously grow by employing internet means and discovering the full potential of social networking. Every day more and more businesses select internet as their main source for many different practices, such as: contacting customers, offering customer service, generation leads, finding and creating new customer and constantly advertising their services. It is now known that many companies select internet as one of their primer source is for advertising and media relationship building
. Traditional forms of advertising such as television, radio and billboards are very expensive and usually can only be afforded by the large organizations. With that said internet offers a much lower price for “its service”. When compared with how much needs to be spent on producing just one TV or radio ad versus internet spending’s one can clearly outline the price difference and the outcomes.
Here are several ways of how the internet can be used to achieve your business goals, strategies and lead generations:
· Internet marketing
· Search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Pay-per-Click (PPC)
· Article and PR writing and distribution
· Social networking and social media
· Use of forums, blogs and communities
One of a great ways that internet might help you is by giving you an ability to find out what the client want or need, and the best part is that the internet gives you an option to use it almost for free. You will not be paying money for your online marketing research and target development
as internet is not as expensive as traditional forms of marketing research.
Internet offers great ability to find new customer and directly contact them by constantly delivering a unique message that can appeal to the needed market. An ability to develop a good communications message
is a MUST, as you have to make sure that you target audience is interested in what you are planning to deliver to them. Internet offers a wide variety of sources to provide business with support they need and bring cost effective solutions.
Identifying new leads and opportunities
Every business is determined to live upon finding new leads and opportunities
and converting them into customers. Without customers and sales there is not business. Business can only be successful if all sales cycles are met and the customer is willing to buy service or product. Depending on the business you might have different challenges with one remaining constant throughout all organizations striving to get more sales through acquiring new lead and generating new customers. Generating new customers
is somewhat challenging especially at the beginning stage of business. When you are in the early stages of business it is hard for you to get a constant customer flow and big numbers of sales, but don’t worry it’s almost the same for everybody. At the early stages when you don’t know many tricks and pitfalls you are destined to make business mistakes. It is better to do them now with lower amount and lower risks then when you have big sums and big deals.
Now, let’s come closer to identifying how to get new leads and where to find new opportunities.
First of all, let’s not forget about the oldest way of unintentional marketing that is transferred by your customers – word-of-mouth. It is the oldest and probably one of the most influential forms of “marketing” that the world knows. Each customer’s reference is a powerful tool and has a very high chance of converting into a sale. People trust each other and share information. Therefore, if your product is good and reliable be ready for some customer references. However, to be successful in word-of-mouth you have to be sure that you have a good solid product or service; otherwise people will be sharing their negative experience with their friends!
Second, there are many and many business/professional directories where you can find business names including contact information such as phone and emails, or at least you can get the name of the person or persons you want to reach. Having a name of the person your contact is critical. You can always find out extra information such as email or phone number from contacting the firm directly and talking to the reception and telling them that you’d like to send something to Mr. or Ms. so and so but don’t have their email. One of good business directories is Jigsaw
. Certain information is free such as: name, position and title; however the information that you need the most such as email and telephone number is paid.
Third, traditional forms of marketing. For a very long time marketing played a very important role in any business, its primer role is to create awareness, attract customers and communicate with them through the means of marketing messages. If this is applicable to your business you should be trying traditional newspaper and magazine advertising, billboards, direct mail, radio ads (if the budget allows you) and other forms of traditional marketing.
Fourth, online forms of marketing. With the internet expansions there are many different forms of marketing that you can engage yourself into, they range from email marketing, banner advertising, paid targeted websites ads, Pay-per-click by Google
, SEO (search engine optimization), affiliate programs with other websites and other types that would suite your business.
All those sources should work cohesively to create a good funnel and a fresh flow of leads and opportunities for your prospect to customer conversion.
Online Business and E-commerce
5 Tips for Powerful Online Business and Online Selling Business Blog
is keen to providing you with the best reading and learning experience. We do our best to provide you with the most useful and filtered information for you to spend less time on going through the material and more time on actually extracting all the needed information. We do understand that in the busy business life you don’t get much time to spend on information that does not bring any benefit. Therefore, every week we update of 5 Tips section to help you learn and develop your skills.
This week we’ve decided to spend some time on sharing some tips on online business and sales. Let’s start with 5 Tips for Powerful Online Business and Online Selling: 1.
Introduce your business to the prospect or buyer. In order for someone to buy from you or do business with you they need some history. Provide them with several important tips about your achievements in the industry, years in business, products, your overall mission and vision. Many businesses suffer from not realizing that people need to know you before doing business with you. If the prospect does not know how long you’ve been selling online or doesn’t see obvious signs that you can be trusted most likely he won’t convert into a buyer. 2. Use social media! Social media becoming more important in the customer service and customer interaction than any other source; customers can contact you and have conversations with you at the time and location convenient for them. It is a very important channel of picking up new customers as well. A well deployed social media channel is very likely to bring you new customers and keep connected with old. The more friends and likes you have the more you can appear on the pages of your customers which in its turn will bring you more exposure. One thing to keep in mind is that all social channels have to be updated on a regular bases, you might not have time to update it every day but it has to show a sign that someone is taking care of the account and it’s posts not dated one month old. 3. Check on competition.
It is your task to keep up with the competition and to scan through what they do. The suggestion is very simple learn of what they do and do it better! All developments can be enhanced and developed better than what is available now on the market. 4.
Update your technology. Make sure that whatever you use is up to date and in a good condition. For example if you use software for your e-commerce make sure you bought all the necessary upgrades and licences, same goes with computers, servers and any other important tools for your business. 5.
Deliver more! Your customers are important to you, therefore deliver more then you actually can. It is your responsibility to make ever customer happy. Of course there are situations where it is not possible but still try to do your best not to do just a minimum job, do more and you’ll see the benefits.
We hope our tips on online business and online selling (e-commerce) helped you to increase your knowledge. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us or leave a comment.
Brand Building - Building more than just a brand
Brand is a very important aspect of your daily business life. Brand defines everything you want your business to be. Brand can be associated with the feel and vision customers get after being in contact with your company. You can make it almost anything you want. For example, think about Disney
! What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Most likely it is fun, childhood, toys, ice cream and great time! Then think about Nike
, it is sport, action, move, running and anything related to sport activities. Your brand has to have the same kind of message. Although your brand is not as known as those mentioned above, when you’ll be getting more customers and referrals you’ll notice that people do differentiate you by your brands, mission statement and vision
Building brand is one of the most important marketing strategies. Many successful brands are successful because customers can differentiate them by just looking at the logo or colors. In order to make your brand stand out you have to create a unique logo and brand yourself with something memorable and easily recognizable. Usually a good graphic designer will be able to create a unique logo for you. Use catchy colors for the website and brochure design. Make them all look in the loop and close to each other, so that is makes sense for the customer who saw your flyer, brochure or business card and your website to recognize you as the same brand. Small tip: don’t go on too many colors, the more colors you include on the print material the more it’ll cost you to print. Usually anywhere from 2 to 3 is the most optimal color range. However, don’t be afraid to use little bit more colors on your website. For example, you can have a header in blue, menu bar in light blue, main body in white and footer in blue or something that would resonate with the color range. Successful branding has to be spread across all marketing channels
going from the most cost effective and reliable to the next affordable level. One thing to keep in mind is you have to experiment with your marketing push across all different marketing channel platforms. In sometime you’ll find out that some work better than others and others bring more profit. It is always a trial and fail with some marketing strategies. You have to do regular things that bring the constant steady results while experimenting with new techniques and strategies.
As mentioned previously marketing push has to be done through the means of different marketing strategies, here are several examples: internet marketing
, press release, news and other types of press marketing, advertising, lead generation and peer groups, etc.
One of the most cost effective and result driven marketing strategies is the internet marketing. With its ability to be spread out in a short amount of time to a large amount of users, it brings a good return on investment while being relatively at the low cost if compared with traditional forms of marketing. Google and Bing both offer a PPC (pay-per-click) advertising that can be placed in search. In addition, search engine optimization
is a good source of defining a landscape for your website in a competitive web space.
Brand building is one of the most challenging and most rewarding marketing practice’s, it offers many benefits to those who are willing to invest time and resources into it.
Marketing for Customer Retention
Every business needs a marketing strategy. It is a fact that businesses with a well-developed marketing strategy
and initiation succeed and compete on the market much better than those without it. However, business has to identify two main questions in order to initiate the strategy:
1. How much business comes out from your existing customer base and how much business comes out from new leads and new customers?
2. How many marketing resources are spent on marketing and generating new clients and how many resources are allocated to generating repeated business from your existing clients?
The answers for those two questions are essential in developing a good marketing plan, as they should answer many why’s and give you a good analytical overview on things that you need to develop. While it is very important to retain your existing clientele and make sure that they stay with you it is also critical to grow your business by acquiring new “fresh” customers. The reason why it is important to acquire new accounts is because while maintaining your current base there is no growth, basically you’ll be generating your profit from the “maintenance” of the client’s account.
It is important to understand that there should be a specific amount of marketing resources spent on developing and continuing the relationship with your current client base, however the allocation should be approximately:
· 70% of the marketing spend should be focused on acquiring new customer
· 30% of the marketing spend should be focused on keeping current clientele
As you can see the majority of your spending should be going against targeting new clients, it is rational because you have to realize that if you currently have a customer it means that you’ve hit him before with your marketing efforts, therefore there is no need to attract the customer who is already on your account. You should be doing totally opposite; you have to be creating messages that would keep him from going to your competition.
You have to allocate most of your marketing resources against identifying and targeting new customers. The 70% marketing spent has to be equally divided between many marketing initiative, such as: online marketing
, web optimization, direct marketing, advertising, relationship building, tradeshows and other marketing activities.