Archive for August, 2014

How to Target the Mobile Audience

Many marketers still incorrectly assume that the Internet usage habits of the general population have gone unchanged in recent years. In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, the Internet was traditionally something that was enjoyed in a set space in a home. After a hard day at work or school, a user would come home, grab the laptop computer (or sit in front of the desktop computer), open a Web browser and catch up on the day’s events. With the advent of the smartphone and similar types of mobile devices that can be carried with a person while on the go, however, those habits have changed significantly. People are experiencing Internet content all day long on a mobile device. In order to have the most successful marketing campaign possible, you need to make sure that you’re going after the mobile audience or you could be leaving a huge amount of potential customers behind.

 

One of the most effective ways to target the mobile audience is by adopting responsive web design practices. When designing your website, for example, responsive web design will help make sure that the user sees the best possible version of the page regardless of what type of device they happen to be using. A site designed for a traditional web browser will be difficult to read and hard to navigate on a smartphone. However, a site created with responsive web design will adapt to the user’s device, allowing them to easily read and use the site from that mobile environment.

 

Another way to target the mobile audience is with location-based options. Most smartphones and tablets have built-in GPS capabilities that always keep track of the user’s location. By targeting your marketing efforts towards users in your area with location-based options, you’re immediately going after those potential customers who are the most relevant: those who are using mobile devices in the area that your business is operating in.

 

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How to Incorporate Current Events Into Your Strategy and Avoid Controversy

Often, topical current events used in a marketing campaign can be a great way to entice a targeted demographic. Not only does the audience immediately associate with the current event being highlighted, they also subconsciously associate the marketing strategy with something new; new ideas, new products and services, etc.

One of the main questions when using current events in a marketing strategy is: where do you draw the line when it comes to subject matter, and how can you avoid backlash and controversy from the intended audience?

There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to avoiding potentially sensitive topics.

  • Avoid religion- regardless of the light in which religion is portrayed in a marketing strategy, it can polarize the target market and turn customers away. Just ask the people at Federici Ice Cream.
  • Don’t mention politic unless the campaign is political in nature- This one might be harder to navigate than religion. Not only should you avoid favoring a political party or candidate in your strategy, but you should avoid directly aligning with any political platforms as well. People are often very passionate about their political affiliations, and the best way to turn a potential client away is to offend their sense of right and wrong.
  • Try not to make light of death- People are sensitive about death, and taking it less than seriously is an easy way to turn off the target audience. For example, try to recall the Priceline commercial with William Shatner where he scales a hotel to find his daughter and a young man in a room. After a sly insinuation by the young man, Shatner tosses him out of the hotel to seemingly plummet to his death. The creators of that commercial knew they couldn’t leave the scene on that note, and ended the ad with a shot of the young man landing, alive and intact, in the hotel’s swimming pool. Without that shot, the ad might have been taken as gruesome and violent, but the shortest of clip of the young man landing in the water makes all the difference to the audience.

There are certainly more areas that should be considered off-limits when creating a marketing strategy and campaign, but they are more common sense than these. Avoid religion, politics, and death, and your marketing strategy will run much smoother and intrigue a larger target audience.

 

 

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How to Move Up on Search Lists

Search lists are the proverbial bread and butter for businesses of all types in today’s modern landscape. Thanks to how easy it is to develop a high quality website for your business, the online marketplace as become more crowded than ever. One of the fastest and most efficient ways to stand out from your competition is to make sure that your site is ranking highly for relevant keywords in your area. If you sell small electronics in Toledo, for example, you need to make sure that your company’s site is ranking as close to the top of the list as possible when people search for “small electronics” and “Toledo” in your area. To move up on search lists, you need to keep a few key things in mind.

Search engine giant Google uses a very specific algorithm to determine the order in which sites appear in search lists. That algorithm is largely confidential, which helps prevent certain businesses from taking advantage of the system. There are, however, a few proven methods that you can use. One of those methods involves making sure that you’re updating your site with not only high quality content but with new content on a regular basis. Doing so will attract more visitors, which will reflect highly on your site and increase your ranking as a result.

Another way to move up on search lists is to make sure that relevant keywords are actually in the copy on your site. When Google’s digital spiders crawl your site looking for keywords, they use that information when search rankings are determined. If you were a small electronics dealer, you would want to make sure that “small electronics” and similar keywords are present in the text on your site in the most natural way possible.

 

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Results of Personalizing Your Direct Mail Pieces

You can make your company’s direct mail advertisements far more effective by personalizing them. It will make a difference if you just use the customer’s name in the mailing address and greeting. For a greater impact, it’s possible to customize your sales letters to suit each reader’s age, gender or location. Such enhancements can significantly improve your results.

Response Rates

Several studies have confirmed that people are much more likely to respond to a personalized mail advertisement. Hewlett-Packard reports that response rates often reach 20 percent or higher. These ads yield even better results if you use a color printing service. This compares well with non-personalized ads; only about one out of 50 readers respond to them.

When businesses use personalization, customers make additional purchases. They’re also more likely to come back to the same company for other products and services. This technique boosts the number of repeat customers by almost half and increases purchase amounts by nearly a quarter, according to HP. The combination of color printing and personalization may almost double your sales.

Preferences

Even if a person doesn’t respond to a customized ad, he or she is more likely to open and thoroughly read it. Direct Mail News reports that most participants in a survey said that they preferred personalized advertisements to email ads and conventional mailings. When a reader pays attention to your message, the person becomes more likely to make a purchase in the future.

Competition

Your firm can also gain a competitive edge by using personalized promotional messages. Although this technique has existed for decades, many companies still send advertisements addressed to “current resident” or “local postal customer.” Less than one-third of businesses add meaningful personalization to direct mail pieces, according to DMNews.

The bottom line is that you can greatly increase the impact of your marketing campaigns by personalizing the ads. This is a very cost-effective promotional method. Although it requires you or your marketing firm to collect and store more data on potential customers, this strategy normally doesn’t increase the cost of printing supplies or postage.

 

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Increase Consumer Demand To Get Results

You have a great product but meager sales growth as the situation makes you want to pull out your hair in frustration. Why isn’t the product flying off the shelves? How can you bring more people through the store’s doors?

Increasing consumer demand allows you get your products to the right customers. Develop the right marketing strategies so that customers come rushing to your product.

Figure Out The True Purpose of Your Product

Lots of businesses are under the assumption that their product is a great fit for everybody. Unfortunately, this opinion is simply not true. There will always be some demographic that the product will appeal to the most, as you have to figure out who those people are. The best way to increase consumer demand is to know the ends and outs of your product. What are the benefits of your product? Who will gain the most from those benefits? Where are those people located and what is the best way to reach them with your advertising?

Once you answer these questions, you can further hone your marketing strategies to entice those people who will want to purchase your product. Change your advertising to market to your best buyers.

Figure Out Why Your Target Demographic Isn’t Buying Your Product

If you know who your target market is but can’t figure out why your advertising is falling flat, figure out why they are not interested. Using surveys, asking for product feedback, and analyzing past sales can help you understand why your product isn’t getting the demand it deserves.

You might figure out that your price is too high for the product, or a competitor has a snazzier marketing campaign that is catching their attention more than your own advertising campaign. Once you understand the opinions that the public has about your product, you can make improvements that will increase consumer demand.

 

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How to Create an Extreme Competitive Advantage with Multi-Channel Marketing

The digital era has resulted in a shift in the way companies do marketing. Instead of focusing solely on a sole marketing channel to reach customers, you have an almost overwhelming amount of options to explore. Whether you want to link your direct mailing campaigns with a QR code landing page designed around that offer, or make your social media profiles work together to promote your content, using multiple marketing channels helps you get a competitive advantage over businesses who focus all of their efforts entirely on single channels. Multi-channel marketing benefits your business in several ways.

  • You reach a larger portion of your target demographic. Your audience doesn’t spend all of their time in one place online, and neither should you.
  • You get venues for repurposing existing content. Instead of writing up Facebook posts or tweets from scratch, look at your existing content and make it work on other channels. This helps you get the best mileage out of your content, as well as driving traffic within your corner of the web.
  • Increased brand awareness. The average customer has to see your name quite a few times before they feel comfortable purchasing from you. You increase the rate that they see your brand mentioned, helping you to get in their trust zone.
  • Customer engagement. Social media is the new word of mouth, so it’s important to have a presence on as many channels as you can reasonably support. You get direct access to what your customers are thinking and feeling about you and your products, giving you useful insights and a way to make a direct impression on them.

 

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The Healthy Mix of Print and Online

For years, the major format for advertising centered around print marketing. From billboards to newspapers and magazines, this proved to be the main method of reaching individuals throughout the country. However, as media has evolved and moved more and more towards online, it is now essential for any successful marketing campaign to originate and have a strong footprint on the Internet. For some industries though, it is still a good idea to have a healthy mix of both print and online content, just to make sure all bases are covered.

The younger demographic is going to focus primarily on the Internet. These individuals obtain their news through online publications, access social media several times a day and have their smart phone within their grasp at all times, even when they sleep. Due to this, Internet marketing for these individuals is best. It also helps companies reach the demographic easily, as they can focus on a specific target audience, based on the potential client’s likes, dislikes, income, past concerts they have gone to and just about every other piece of information available. However, for companies that focus on a wider range of clients, it is valuable to utilize print marketing as well.

Print marketing still plays an important role in advertising. Older generations are more likely to still obtain their news from daily papers, read print magazines and look through local leaflets. Due to this, any business that focuses on either an aging demographic or has split age groups as their target audience, it is always a good idea to encorporate print into the marketing budget. This way, the company can make sure they go after every possible customer and client, without leaving some individuals out simply because they do not regularly check a social media account or use the Internet every day.

 

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Optimizing Your Print and Digital Communications

In the modern marketing world, companies are looking to effectively leverage both digital and print forms of advertising and optimize them to adequately reach new customers and help the business grow. To accomplish these goals, optimizing the communications can go a long way to improving ROI and making sure that each marketing campaign accomplishes what it set out to do. Here are three things that all companies should keep in mind when they set out to optimize their campaigns.

The audience

The campaign will only be as effective as the people it is able to reach. It is important to know who the ideal customer is and where they can be found. New movers, for example, will probably be best found through direct mail. On the other hand, customers who are planning a wedding might best be found online. Conduct surveys and do research to make sure that there is little mystery about who the customers are and how they can be reached.

Do not neglect the data

Data is critical when running a successful campaign. It is important to monitor each step of the campaign and know exactly how effective it is. If those newspaper advertisements did not bring in any new customers, for example, it would be a waste of resources to run the same campaign. If the direct mail, on the other hand, was enormously successful, then it should be expanded next time around.

Integrate mobile devices

Mobile is critical no matter what type of campaign is being run. Make it easy for customers to find the site and make a purchase by using personalized URLs, QR codes, hashtags, and direct links. The harder it is for customers to find the site, the more likely they will be to abandon the entire endeavor.

Optimizing print and digital communications can help to improve ROI and generate more leads per dollar than before. Keep these three tips in mind and get started planning a marketing campaign for success.

 

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