Are you participating in Target Marketing Correctly?

Choosing the right target market is crucial if you want to effectively market your product or service. That’s basic “marketing 101.” Yet many small business owners wonder whether they are participating in target marketing correctly.

Identifying your ideal customer is essential whether you are preparing a direct mail campaign or advertising online. Marketers that use an inbound attraction marketing campaign start by defining their ideal “buyer persona.” As the field of marketing advances, these “target markets” are becoming more and more specific. The goal of modern direct marketing is to speak to your customer directly.

The first step in identifying your target market is to look at some of your best customers. Your product meets their needs, so it would satisfy others with similar needs. As you reflect on this, compile the following information about your existing customers:

  • Gender, age range, and geographic location
  • Education level
  • Income range and profession
  • Needs, challenges, problems they need to solve
  • Dreams and aspirations
  • Fears and worries
  • Hobbies, favorite entertainment, and lifestyle choices
  • How your product fits into their life or business life

For a new business, consider the problem your product solves and who will have this problem. Consider the same list of topics as you develop your “ideal buyer persona.”

The best buyer persona or target market is backed up by research. If possible, commission surveys or a market research study to fine tune your target demographics. The better the information and more specific the better. Be sure to evaluate your target markets as you gain more information and insight about your customer’s needs.

Your target market should inform every aspect of your marketing plan. You want to choose advertising opportunities that reach these people. Every decision from the graphic design to the specific word choice suits your ideal customer. Investing a little from the start will ensure a more successful campaign.

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How to Benefit From Personalized Marketing Campaigns

Personalized marketing allows you to communicate, virtually one-on-one, with leads, clients, customers, and others. This approach to marketing comes with many benefits, especially as you refine the process to make it more efficient. Here’s how you can benefit from personalized marketing campaigns.

Use Personalized Marketing to Know Your Client Base More Intimately

Who buys your product or purchases your service? Odds are there are some very specific types of people that represent your core user-base. This is your ideal target.

Personalized marketing campaigns help you to find and target those individuals. That alone offers you a tremendous amount of benefits that you can use going forward.

Personalized Marketing Allows You to Evolve Your Marketing Message and Methods

As you learn more about your core clients, you can craft marketing messages that speak directly to them. This will help you retain those clients, turn them into repeat business, and attract others like them.

That evolution of your message can flow through every channel, from your website design, to your email campaigns. You will create a consistent experience, which will give your business a more appealing and professional polish. That will help you attract others outside of your targets.

Turn Personalized Marketing into Increased Brand Loyalty and Engagement

You’ve found your ideal target, and they appreciate your efforts to speak to them on a more personal effort. That directly turns into brand loyalty. In turn, your customers will find themselves more willing to provide information that will improve your analytics and targeting. They will continue to stay loyal to your product or service.

In effect, your marketing efforts will create people who will willingly go on to market for you as well. They will talk about your product or service, post links on social media, and generally become your brand ambassadors, free of charge.

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How to Cross-Sell to Your Current Customers

Everyone’s heard pitches like you might hear at McDonald’s:  “Do you want fries with that?”.  This basic method of cross-selling can make a big difference profit-wise if you just stay alert to opportunities to sell to your current customers.

According to the Harvard Business Review¹, the current availability of large amounts of customer data and the technological ability to analyze that data has made it much easier to maximize relationships with current customers.  Paying attention to customer purchases and preferences can give direction about marketing specific products to them as well as pairing one product with another.

Thinking long-term is another important strategy.  Short-term goals such as sales per month may help some, but investing time and talent into growing your business over the long term may eventually be more effective. Cultivating and studying the habits of current customers falls into this category.

Effective selling can be a delicate balance, however.  You don’t want to come on so strong that you turn customers off.  For instance, a resort which offers gambling in addition to other kinds of activities should pay attention to the fact that some customers are not interested in gambling.  If those customers are targeted with ads for slot machines, it may turn them off and give them a negative impression of your business.  Keeping track of customer preferences, by using surveys or existing data, and maintaining respect for who they are is what will keep them coming back in the future.

A great article on cross selling can be found here:  http://www.smarta.com/advice/sales-and-marketing/sales/cross-selling-10-ways-to-sell-more-to-your-customer/ .  A combination of making the most of your (most likely) current computer data capabilities and using common sense will keep your favorite customers coming back for years to come.

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Measuring your Engagement in Direct Marketing

Engagement evaluation is a proactive tool employed to assess the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Marketers are required to focus more on clients who engage more with their brands than those who do not. However, there is a difficulty in evaluating how the trademark influence’s purchasing decision or assessing a client’s level of engagement with a specific brand.

How to Measure Effectiveness of Customers Engagement

A well-structured engagement campaign consists of a checklist that allows marketing initiatives to be assessed on their effectiveness. For instance, if the primary goal of a particular promotion is lead generation or to develop a database, engagement can be evaluated by dispatching auto-responder messages embedded with a track feature to notify a sender when it’s read and if different links integrated inside the message body have been clicked.

However, there exist different approaches that marketers can use to track and measure the effectiveness of their customer engagement campaigns:

– Data Centralization: Often, clients interact with an organization at different levels using a myriad of communication channels like social media, television, and magazines. The more the traceable channels, the more comprehensive the engagement process will be. For example, it would be wrong to focus simply  on measuring email response and click through rates, while customers are previewing the company’s product via other networks such as social media, telephone, or newspaper adverts. Marketers must come up with prudent approaches to harness information on how particular customers engaged with their brand. Such progress can be achieved through online surveys or phone interviews.

– Assign Values: Each action by a customer must be recorded to assign a unique value for computing engagement score. For instance, if a client visits a web page and spends ten minutes, the engagement score must be higher compared to a customer who only spends three minutes on the same page. The marketer may further on proceed and apply analytical techniques to cluster customers regionally, to understand how customers from specific areas engage with the brand. Such clustering provides a broad understanding on why particular customers pulled out.

– Track Everything: All customer interactions must be tracked and metrics developed to measure the effectiveness of different communication channels. Techniques including evaluating content download, page hit rates, sign-ups, social media share, and click-through rates have proven to be effective towards delivering a comprehensive picture of brand effectiveness.

The Takeaway

The different engagement forms depend on a brand product mix and niche market. At the end though, identifying the right engagement approach enables marketers to understand why clients prefer their products and where to concentrate their efforts.

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Direct Marketing Bring in Revenue

It is no secret that a businesses would not succeed without adequate marketing. There are many forms of marketing that any business can incorporate in their overall marketing strategy, among them is direct marketing. Direct marketing is a form of advertising by which company advertises their products by using physical marketing materials such as newsletters to communicate directly to their customers.

To get the most out of a direct marketing campaign, it must be well planned. With the multiple channels of marketing in this day and era why would one choose direct marketing? Here is why;

The target is the ideal customer
By making use of direct marketing, you are in a position to target specific groups of customers with messages tailored just for them. Identifying your customers and what their needs are requires research which takes time. By investing your time you will focus your efforts where they are likely to yield most results. Using direct marketing gives you a deeper understanding of how your customers respond to your products.

Improved customer loyalty
Building a relationship with your customers is as important as making a sale. Direct marketing gives you an avenue to create this relationship. To increase the personal connection with your customers you can personalize promotions, letters and even offers. You can also choose to take a more personal approach by sending birthday cards, invite to an upcoming sale or discount offers.

New business
Direct marketing gives the business a chance to directly communicate with their chosen target market rather than the mass market. This increases your chances of sales success since you only communicate to those that are already interested in your product. By making use of direct marketing you can adapt to the needs of the market enabling you to achieve fast results.

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4 Tips for Sales-Leads Follow Ups

When it comes to the worlds of sales and marketing, there are always items that we can look at to improve our effectiveness.

In marketing, it may be that we want to increase brand awareness and acquire more leads. Or, it could be that we want to do a better job of attracting leads that are more qualified before they are handed off to the sales team.

But when it comes to Sales, one of our goals, that should always be high on our priority list, has to do with our follow-up process.

Here are four tips to help increase the effectiveness of your lead follow-up process:

  • Do your research: If we want a sales call to go smoothly and turn into a success, we must take the time to learn what we can about each lead before we call them. We don’t need to go overboard — but in today’s world, we can quickly find out key details about most of the people that we may be interacting with. We should look at the data on social networks and in our contact history records. That data can help us to deliver a relevant and compelling message to each lead.
  • Be ready to get to the point: Are people busier than ever before? While I don’t know the answer to that, I do know that this is true: people have more communication and technology options at their fingertips than ever before! Thus, we must ensure that we can deliver our key message to people in a short period of time. Sales reps should have a catchy “elevator pitch” ready so they can quickly start the follow-up conversation and get it moving down the right path.
  • Recognize the difference between pushing and being too pushy: While sales does rely on doing what it takes to close deals, it is important not to come off as too aggressive or rude. Nowadays, people are quite apt to air their grievances or complaints about a company on their social networking profiles. If you are outsourcing your sales follow-up needs, or perhaps using someone with limited experience, help them to understand the consequences of their actions during the follow-up process. However, we must strike a balance. We need revenue to survive — and that doesn’t happen simply because we’re nice.  We need to find ways to ensure that our prospects understand the importance of looking at our products and/or services.
  • Be happy and passionate: People like interacting with someone that enjoys what they do. They also will be more willing to listen if they think you truly believe in the product or service that you are selling. The tone and content in our follow-up efforts can certainly leave a big impression on other people when they think about our brand.

These are just a few tips to help improve the sales lead follow-up process.

I hope that you find them helpful!

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Digital Marketing for 2017: Avoid These 3 Marketing Traps

According to Social Times, nearly 90 percent of companies rely on social media for all or part of their marketing. If you plan to use digital marketing in 2017 to promote your products or services, you should know that the internet is a powerful tool. If you use it well, you will receive great rewards. If you fall into one of the following traps, however, your results might not be what you expect.

Ignoring or Misusing Digital Data

When you market your business online, you will receive a ton of data that you can use to better align your marketing strategy with your audience. However, the sheer amount of information that you receive daily can be daunting, which may cause you to ignore important information or pay too much attention to data that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The best strategy is to have one person handling all of your data and making informed decisions based on that data.

Too Many Irons in The Fire

If you have too many marketing strategies, you may stretch your marketing department thin. If you want to focus on digital marketing, make sure your resources are allocated properly. You may have to cut back on traditional marketing methods in order to free up the resources to launch an effective digital campaign.

Not Creating Enough Content

In digital marketing, content is vital. Blog posts, social media posts, press releases, web pages, and articles are all necessary to drive traffic to your website and promote your products. Don’t overlook the power of unique, fresh, and relevant content. It’s what drives a successful digital marketing strategy.

To make a marketing campaign successful, you must first identify what works and do it. However, you must also watch out for potential pitfalls and traps that can undermine your efforts.

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New Year, New Marketing Plan – Let’s Get Started

Do you set a personal resolution for the new year? About 41 percent of people do, and it pays off. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t make resolutions. If you own a business, you should be making resolutions or goals for that business at the beginning of each new year as well, especially when it comes to marketing. So let’s get started.

Review

Before you can establish a marketing plan, you must review your performance for the previous year. Review your most successful strategies as well as those that didn’t do well. Did you achieve your goals? Could you have done anything differently? Also, look over your budget for the year. Did your budget play a role in your success or failure? If you had a tight budget and an unsuccessful marketing strategy, you may want to look for ways to increase your budget this year.

Plan

Once you have a good idea of what worked and what didn’t, it’s time to make a marketing plan for the new year. A basic plan will outline all of the strategies you plan to use, including strategies for print advertising, branding, events, public relations, social media, and web presence. Include a brief synopsis of the goals and budget of each plan as well as a breakdown of how you want to execute it.

Implement

All the planning in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t implement your marketing strategy effectively. Part of effective implementation is the ability to see when changes need to be made. If a strategy isn’t getting the response you hoped, don’t be afraid to make changes. Additionally, if you have money left over in your budget as you progress throughout the year, don’t hesitate to beef up a strategy or two.

It’s a new year, and it’s up to you to make it a great one with a new marketing plan for your business.

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Mobile Marketing and Direct Mail – A Match Made in Heaven

Marketing is more personal than ever. You can’t send a salesperson to talk with every potential customer. With mobile technology and direct mail, you speak to them directly. This is why mobile marketing and direct mail are a match made in heaven.

 

Customers spend more time on their smartphones than ever before. Around 40% of all internet activity originates from a smartphone according to Nielsen. Mobile use is so prevalent that Google announced plans to roll out mobile-first search listings. Consumers report that they search for businesses when they feel a need for a product or service.

 

The growing power of mobile is well known. Yet many overlook direct mail. In the digital age, a well-designed direct mailing may win your customer’s attention. It slips past all the distractions online and reaches your customers where they live and work.

 

On the surface, direct mail may seem old-fashioned compared to modern mobile marketing. Direct mail and mobile marketing have much in common:

  • Both are individual and personalized. Savvy marketers send targeted messages to prospects.
  • They both reach customers at home. Your material is at your customer’s fingertips at the moment they make a purchasing decision.
  • Both are cost-effective compared to mass media promotion like advertising and media campaigns.

Direct mail is most effective when paired with your mobile marketing plan. Your mailing may include special offers and QR codes to inspire customers to connect with you. They may be more likely to use your code to send a text or follow a link than to make a telephone call. If your offer is attractive, customers may even visit your business to claim the offer. Best of all, your direct mail may slip right past all the competing marketing noise online. This combination is a marketing match made in heaven!

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How to Handle Complaints Through Social Media

If your business currently has a social media presence, you may have gone through the dreaded issue of having a customer post a complaint on the wall of your business page. This can be incredibly disheartening and make you wonder if it will cause you to develop a “bad reputation”, but the truth is that you can (and will) get through it with great success. In fact, it is how you handle this roadblock that will give you serious points in the eyes of prior and future customers.

 

The Basis of Truth

 

Your response to a complaint on your social media platform will depend on the validity of the person’s claim. Was it true that your company made a mistake, or was negligent in some way? Determining this first will allow you to form a quick plan and be as graceful and humble as possible.

 

If the claim is true, you should write a response within no more than a couple of hours. It only will look worse on your part if you do not have a ready answer, as it will appear that you are avoiding the individual and the topic. Discuss it in a public forum, such as right on the same post. Keep your statements brief, and ask for clarification. Then, offer a solution that will be in the best interest of the customer. Even if he or she chooses not to take you up on your offer, you will have the advantage of looking like a professional and compassionate representative of your company.

 

Rise Above and Beyond the Expectations

 

Many individuals who write about their negative experiences with a company on social media do not expect to hear back from said company within a short period of time, if at all. If you give him or her the benefit of the doubt, be as clear as possible, and stick to how you can help to resolve the issue, you are certain to make it right with the customer. Also, you will serve to maintain your company’s solid reputation.

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