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We are the first ones to admit that no matter how fantastic our websites are, each one is only as effective as the traffic it generates. Our partners help us achieve this by adding the power of broadcast to create a more "qualified" web visitor who knows how to find your business and why they want to buy from you.
Your website is the front door to your business, open to the public 24 hours a day - 7 days a week. Are you helping your visitors find what they need? First, consider how they might find you. We offer Search Engine Submission and Web Optimization tools to help you get started.
Successful marketing requires a plan. A marketing plan is a design for successful and cost effective advertising and sales. The following is a list of techniques to consider in creating a successful marketing plan.
Identify Your Target Market
- Each business has a proportion of the population that is most likely to purchase the goods or services that they offer. Identify that market segment for each of your products and design your marketing plan to reach the market segment that buys your most profitable and your most popular products. Many firms have different targets for their array of products and services. Focus on the most profitable products first, but do not ignore the most popular offerings. Even if the most popular products have lower margins, the customer you attract is a new customer to your business, and a target for “up selling” later.
- Track your marketing results. Ask each customer how they heard about you. Make different offers in different media. Track the source of the traffic on your website, especially if your web traffic is increasing. Remember that the most important tracking is the increase in sales of the product you are marketing to each market segment.
Address The Needs of the Customer:
- Each product or service you sell addresses a need or answers a question. Make sure that all of your advertising is clear on what problem your product or service addresses and how it can be cost-effectively solved.
- Keep pricing competitive. Survey your competition for their pricing. Being the least expensive is not always the best strategy. Go through the same comparison of pricing and value that your customers will use to evaluate your products and services. Be sure to know the strengths, and weaknesses of your strategy versus that of your competition.
- Do not be satisfied to just meet the expectations of each customer, but strive to exceed them. Customer satisfaction has become a rare commodity in today’s business environment. When expectations are exceeded, each and every customer becomes a salesperson for your business through word of mouth.
- Be sure that your firm’s website goes beyond sales content and offers value to your customers. Examples are downloads of instruction manuals or trouble-shooting tips for your products, or perhaps a list of questions a potential customer should ask before they buy the product or service that you offer.
Cost-Effective Marketing Tips:
- Make sure that you contact all of your vendors and associates and request that they work with you and contribute to the cost of Co-Op advertising.
- Work to get free media coverage. Not just press releases, but also offer your opinion to radio, TV and newspaper reporters if an issue that is in the news is affected by or relates to your business expertise.
- Volunteer to sell tickets to charity events, concerts, plays, etc. to increase foot traffic to your business.
- Focus not only on acquiring more customers, but stay in touch with your existing customer base. Actively seek repeat business, induce customers to buy more products or more profitable products, and make sure that you have customer loyalty programs in place.
- Create website content that is dynamic. Write an explanation of what your product does that is complete and easy to understand. Make it easy for someone who finds your website content valuable and informative to send this content to another customer.
- Develop strategic alliances. Seek marketing partners who serve the same market segment as you do, and share the work and cost required to reach that audience. One example would be a roofing company and a painter interested in reaching those wishing to upgrade their homes. Be sure to do the proper due diligence on any partners you may seek.
Make a Commitment to Marketing and Advertising:
- Some Marketing plans produce quick returns, but most do not. If your plan is to promote a good product at a fair price, you will succeed. Don’t be too quick to change your approach if you do not see immediate returns on your marketing plans or advertising investment. A good rule of thumb is to commit to a campaign for at least 6 months before making a final determination if the program will reap long-term results or not. If you start many campaigns, but never finish them, you are unlikely to maximize the return on your marketing investment.
- At least quarterly, evaluate your sales techniques and advertising methods to identify trends. Do not be afraid to consult your media partners and any member(s) of your team who come into contact with the public. Be careful to modify your plan to keep up with market trends, new product offerings, and consumer buying patterns.
Remember to list your website address in the following places:
||All printed materials (Brochure, flyers etc.)
||Yellow Pages & other Directories
||All Advertising (Radio, TV, Billboard etc.)
Links of Interest:
Lacking a well thought out marketing plan for your business is like “winging” the construction of a new home without a set of plans. You probably will get it done eventually, but you should expect a lot of wasted time, energy and money along the way. You also run the risk of having a completed product that does not match the design you originally had in mind.
You can obtain more information on marketing for your business by going to the following links: