Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good Marketing Is Simple

What differentiates good marketing from bad?  In my opinion it all comes down to understanding your market and identifying messaging that works.  Add a sweet promotion and you've got good marketing.  Here are some good marketing tips for creating campaigns that are effective.

1.  Good marketing tip #1:  Segmentation.  If you're trying to serve everyone you will undoubtedly fail and fail big.  In today's environment, people are hit with tons of messages competing for their attention.  To get noticed, your message has to be on target and resonate with your audience - much easier to do when you segment.

2.  Good marketing tip #2:  Identify Pain Points.  Take the time to identify the pain points of your audience.  If you know what keeps them up at night, you'll get there attention.  Try to address something that isn't causing pain and they'll pass you by.

3.  Good marketing tip #3:  It's the Message.  How are you communicating?  Does you message resonate with your target audience?  If so, does it move them through the purchase decision process?  Good messaging is at the core of any solid marketing program.

4.  Good marketing tip #4:  Promotion.  The effectiveness of your marketing will be creating promotions that drive trial and purchase.  Don't think discounting, think value.  Package products and solutions, try different opportunities to interact or sample your product and watch your marketing make an impact.

Good marketing is the result of following the before mentioned ideas as well as giving yourself the flexibility to try new things, experiment, and measure the results.  We all know good marketing when we see it - now do it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today's Good Marketing Tip: Get Out Of The House

If you're trying to improve some aspect of your marketing, the best tip I can give you is to get out.  That's right, get out of your house and go to the mall or a local store.  And don't focus on you, focus on consumers.  It's easy to do research when you have a big enough sample size.  By viewing other consumers in action, you'll notice some interesting behaviors.

The other great thing about getting out is that you can learn from promotions that others are running.  From a retail perspective, you'd be amazed at simple marketing tips that go a long way.  Putting the milk in the back of the store, offering a coupon, or a loyalty card.  By visiting retailers you can even learn about integrated marketing promotions as consumers redeem coupons they received through email or online.

To be successful in marketing you need to do more than read case studies of discuss theory.  Behavioral data is what's best for improving your knowledge and learning.  Once you've collected your ideas, keep them in a safe place - write them in a notebook or keep them on you phone/ipod.  It's best to choose which ideas you feel would apply to your business and are relatively easy to implement.  Some of the most powerful marketing ideas I've ever had came from others!

Make it a habit of trying new marketing concepts.  For example, you may have noticed a type of merchandising that might work well for your products or services.  Can you change a display?  Use what you've learned.  The more you do this, the more you'll see results.  Over time, these results can add up significantly.  If you want to improve your marketing, get out, get informed, and get learning!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Build Links With Blog Comments

Give me a break.  I see so many people trying to build links via blogs and the MAJORITY have no clue what they are doing.  If you submit comments that are loaded with links, you wont get approved on moderated blogs.  If you want to use blogs for backlinking, here's what I recommend.

1.  Contribute something of value.  Don't submit garbage with your link included and expect it to get published.  If the blog is any good, the moderator wont accept your post.

2.  Find DoFollow blogs.  Your comment and link are worthless if they aren't included on a "do follow" blog.  Do follows are blogs that Google will crawl and index.  To get a list of do follow blogs, search the Internet or do a search on dofollow.

3.  Consider using the comment name as your link.  Some blogs allow you to personalize your post name and the corresponding link.  Enter the anchor text of the link you wish to add and insert the URL of your choice in the web address URL.

Remember that your comments should enrich the value of the site and show that you are actually interested in more than getting your link on a blog.  Take some time to write a legitimate response and your comments will get accepted more often than not.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Okay, Is Marketing Really All That Complicated?

It seems that every time you look around, you find more complex solutions to the most simple marketing problems.. reaching your audience, effectively communicating, and helping customers advance their business forward.  Quite honestly, I don't see what's so difficult.

Okay, so maybe you need experience across a lot of disciplines to make a real difference with marketing today.  From advertising to direct marketing to PPC, today's marketing professionals need to have a wide knowledgebase and be able to deliver the goods.

From my perspective, the basic principles of "listen to your customer" and "think value" still reign true.  Here are some tips for staying on top of your marketing game:

1.  Always be reading and learning.  Learning can happen in many ways.  Whether you're reading an expert blog post, news, or the latest marketing book to hit the shelves, never assume that you know-it-all.

2.  Listen to your customers.  The have an uncanny ability to tell you how it is.  Are they happy?  What do they like about your products, services, communications, etc.?  Are they unhappy?  Why?  What can you do about it.

3.  It's about message points.  Are you controlling all of the touch points that communicate something about your brand?  When someone calls your office, are they receiving a consistent user experience that embodies your brand and what you stand for?  Think about your key messages and where they are communicated.

4.  Keep it simple.  During my career I've probably thrown out a forest worth of useless collateral.  I'm not someone who has loads of time to read about your product.  Show me how it works, what it does, and how it's going to make my life easier and maybe we'll talk about it:)

5.  Create a dialog.  Whether interacting with your internal marketing team, the salesforce, or your customers remember that communication is a two-way street!

Give consideration to each of these aspects of marketing.  Always be learning, asking yourself questions, and challenging the status quo. Even when things are going great, they can be better!

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