Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Marketing Tip: Social Media

We all know the importance of social media and what it can do for your brand or retail establishment. We also know that Social Media is a monster. Where do you being? What's your strategy? How are you going to be successful? These and other questions are the topic of regular conversation among marketing professionals.

I for one wondered a great deal as to how effective social media would be for me and my business. I think the answer can be found in what you consider social media to be. From my perspective it's more than just Twitter and Facebook. It's about being part of social discussion.

The purpose of most social media is conversational. "What are you doing now?", product reviews, sharing experiences. When you think about social media in this way, you are getting closer to the true meaning of social media - being part of the conversation. To be part of the conversation you need to know where it is and what's being discussed.

Start your social media marketing strategy by focusing on where the conversation(s) about your brand or your business are taking place. For example, if you're in education, focus on educational social media sites, blogs, etc. If you're in auto, focus on car review sites, blogs, networks, etc. Keep it targeted and relevant.

Finally, participate in the conversation. You want to be involved and transparent. If there's a thread about your company or product, identify yourself as such and engage in the conversation. Being genuine goes a very long way when it comes to social media.

We all know social media is important... it's time you got engaged!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Today's Good Marketing Tip: Premium Pricing

Pricing can have a significant impact on your sales.  But today we're not talking about discounting.  Rather, we're talking about raising prices.  I know, you're probably saying, "There's so much price competition that I have no option but to discount my product!"  This is pretty common but I'm here to tell you that many companies have been using premium pricing strategies and continually outshine others in their industry.

Take a look at a Bently or Rolex watches and you'll see what I mean.  Are these cars and watches really that much better than similar products in their niche?  They may have some advantages but hardly enough to justify the outrageous prices that accompany them.  This is because they are using a premium pricing strategy that works.

A great example is when you buy a bottle of wine.  Unless you've gotten a recommendation or stick with the same wine on a regular basis, premium pricing can play a major role in your buying decision.  Trust me, I've purchased expensive bottles of wine and they rarely justify the price.  I'm no wine expert but I know what drives buying behavior.  Two similar bottle, one costs $30 bucks and the other $7.99 and your gut says that the more expensive wine tastes better.

If you're struggling with moving products off your shelves or web site, consider a premium pricing strategy. Try testing the strategy with an aspect of your product line and tell potential consumers that it's very limited (scarce).  This should help you test the premium pricing strategy and see if it increases sales.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today's Good Marketing Tip

Get better results with personalization. How often do you receive a message from a seller that is generic? Whether the message comes from an email or direct mail piece, I still get messages that say "Dear Customer"? I mean come on!

Not only do your marketing messages needs to be personalized, but the content and tone of the message needs to reflect the previous purchase behavior of your customer. Alternatively, if you're searching for prospects, make sure your message speaks their needs.

Good messaging is essential for improving the effectiveness of your marketing. Focus on needs and test multiple messages. Be sure to track results for each message you deliver. Start by focusing on testing your headline first followed by body copy. Changing just one factor can have a significant impact on results.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Good Marketing Tip 224: Effective Communication

Today's good marketing tip is all about communication.  Not only does your message need to be on target but your message needs to be targeted to the right audience.  The success of any direct marketing campaign comes down to the list (target audience) and message (promotion).  Are your messages on target?

Test. Test. Test.  As I've said time and again, effective messaging is really all about understanding your market and testing.  What you may think is a good message may not have the desired result among your target market.  Come up with multiple messages and let your audience decide which is most effective.
Alter your timing to make sure that your message is being heard.  Sometimes your message may be right on but your timing is off.  This can have a negative effect on your results.  So make sure that you're testing your message at different times to see if you get a different results.

Effective communication takes the right audience, the right message and the right timing.  Keep working until you get it right!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Good Marketing Tip #223

Each week I provide you with good marketing tips that can improve the overall effectiveness of your online and offline campaigns.  This week,my tip is designed for the new year.  Instead of focusing on discounting, focus on value.

Each year we say we wont do it.  We say that we are going to avoid discounting but inevitably we give in.  I think this year can be different.  My challenge to you is to focus on value.  This is what good marketing is all about.  Are you offering your products at a fair price in a way that makes sense for both you and your customers?

I know that at certain times during the year you need to discount.  Once could argue that discounting also makes tracking a lot easier.  So if you can't eliminate discounting all together, consider selective discounting and limit it as much as you can.  Instead, replace your discount with something of value.

When I work with customers I find that many of them must work hard at defining something of true value to offer customers.  But creating value is relatively easy if you know your customers well.  For example, if you are a shoe store, perhaps you can offer a customer fitting.  Or maybe you offer some time of "exclusive showing" when new styles arrive for your best customers.  Whatever the value happens to be, make sure to promote it in place of a discount.

For 2010, think value. Try to break your habit of discounting this year and everyone will benefit.

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