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Showing posts from August, 2014

Is It Possible to Succeed in an Over-Saturated Industry?

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The Internet makes it easy to see just how many businesses are vying to compete in an increasingly competitive atmosphere. At times, it seems there's a business or product for just about any want or need. So how do some people manage to successfully establish new companies and find their way to positions of leadership in this hyper-competitive marketplace? How is it possible to break in when it seems as though your industry is already saturated?

Determine what unique qualities you have to offer

Think back to why you got involved in your industry. Chances are there was something about this particular business that piqued your interest -- some aspect about it that made you know you could succeed. Perhaps you saw some unique ability or talent in yourself that you knew others couldn't match. Uncovering that ability and finding ways to market it are the first steps to building your niche.

As consumers, we're increasingly aware of all the options available to us to buy product…

Performing Regular 'Checkups' on Your Marketing Campaigns

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Well-baby checkups are one of the most important health precautions new parents can take to ensure their child is growing properly and remains in good health. At these appointments, vaccines are administered, growth charts are established, and the overall health of the child is monitored. Within the baby's first year, new parents will bring their child in several times, with fewer appointments after that as the child ages.

Even as a child grows older, however, regular checkups remain important. Schools will require them for sports teams. Camps and similar activities want records that show the child is up-to-date on their shots. And parents don't want to wait for something to go wrong before bringing their child to the doctor.

As a business owner, you should think of your marketing campaigns like a child. Just as a child needs regular checkups, your company's marketing will benefit from regular 'checkups,' too, even if nothing is actually wrong.

Why are checkups …

Learning the Unique Language of Marketing Can Be Similar to Learning a Foreign Tongue

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Imagine walking into a room. You hear the buzz of people talking, laughing, and calling to one another. Yet, somehow, you can't seem to understand anything they're saying. You might catch a word here and there, but in general the subject the people are speaking about is lost to you.

Did you just walk into a conference room on a business trip to a foreign country, or did you walk into a marketing conference center?

For those who are new to the world of marketing, especially online marketing, either scenario might seem realistic.

How is being thrown into the marketing world similar to landing in a new country?

When a person first moves to the United States without knowing English, the language gap can feel insurmountable. Basic tasks, including banking, buying groceries, or even returning other people's greetings while walking down the street, can become extremely difficult (if not impossible). Many of those who don't know English when they first arrive spend a consi…

What the Cola Wars Can Teach About Marketing

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Imagine you are walking down the street and see a group of people trying to get volunteers for a taste testing. In the cups before them they have two identical-looking colas. They ask you to try both cups and pick which one you prefer. You will then need to try and identify which is Coke and which is Pepsi.

Do you think you would be able to tell the difference? Do you think you would actually pick the flavor you usually drink (in other words, if you usually drink Coke, would you actually select that one as your favorite)?

Shockingly, many people don't. A number of different experiments have shown that many people are unable to correctly identify which cola is which. Even more surprisingly, in double blind taste tests, Pepsi often wins. It was this phenomenon that led to Pepsi steadily encroaching upon Coca-Cola's lead in the market in the 1970s and 1980s. In an effort to win back customers, Coca-Cola introduced the debacle that was New Coke. The new formula was quickly reje…

Nurturing Leads from Every Angle

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When it comes to successfully nurturing leads from your marketing efforts, you already know you need to stay on top of email with potential clients. Email is a great way to stay in touch with customers, reach out to them periodically to see if they're ready to buy, and even just remind them about your company. While email is undoubtedly a useful tool in the world of marketing, it isn't the only way to successfully turn a lead into a sale. Here are a few other tools you should keep handy as you work to nurture new leads.

Understand who your customers are and where they are in their purchase journey. Then use that information appropriately.

A buyer's journey includes all the research and decision-making steps they take as they prepare to buy a product. Some customers are just starting out. They're looking for general information about their options and what factors they should be considering. Other buyers have narrowed down their search to just a few options and are look…

Hitting a Home Run in Business Starts with Your Reputation

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Baseball has been an important part of our cultural fabric for more than a century. It makes sense, therefore, that baseball has many lessons it can teach us about managing a business. One of those lessons has to do with managing reputations.

Over the years, baseball has survived scandals and strikes that could have easily crippled it: the 1919 Chicago White Sox throwing the World Series; the strike-shortened 1994 season, when there was no World Series at all; the steroid scandals of more recent times. While the sport hasn't escaped completely unscathed, it does remain a popular pastime for many who enjoy playing and watching it throughout the summer and fall.

Fortunately, most of us will never have to deal with issues as powerful as those that have hit baseball throughout its history. Even so, managing a company reputation in the digital area can be a very tough responsibility.

Customers can spread information, positive and negative, about your company instantaneously. While …

Watch What You Say, Especially in Advertising.

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The language you use in your marketing materials has more of an effect than you may realize. In fact, something as simple as your choice of pronouns can end up having an influence on your potential customers and the likelihood of them purchasing your products.

The value of the first person

In general, customers respond better to marketing materials, especially websites, that use the first person. This might include buttons that say "create my account" instead of "open an account," or "start my free trial" instead of "start your free trial." Making this simple transition can provide a noticeable jump in conversion rates and higher click-throughs. Potential customers will spend more time on your website, learning about your company and what you have to offer. Even if they don't buy during their initial visit, they'll begin to feel familiar and connected with your brand, and therefore more likely to return to you when they are ready to buy.…

What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Marketing

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Shakespeare was a master playwright who continues to entertain audiences centuries after his death. His mastery of the written word has been admired by people throughout the generations and around the world. While he may have never imagined anything like the Internet or modern marketing, there are still a number of lessons Shakespeare can teach us as we set out to master our own marketing techniques.

Becoming a master of words

Words are a major part of any marketing campaign. We all use words to reach our customers, to develop content that will interest them, and to explain why our products and services are superior. Shakespeare teaches us about the power words can have when they're carefully thought out and used appropriately. People still enjoy reading and watching his plays hundreds of years after they were first performed. That's because Shakespeare was a master at putting words together so they communicated the point to the audience and engaged them in the content.

Creati…

Making Your Company Stand Out From the Crowd

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Most industries today are teeming with competitors, each offering a slightly different take on their products and services. In this environment, it can be difficult to imagine how you'll ever make your products, services, and company stand out against the chaos. It is, however, possible.

Construct your advertising wisely

Customers see thousands of ads every day in just about every aspect of their lives. Whether browsing online, commuting, watching TV, or listening to the radio, customers find companies vying for their attention all the time. In this environment, it's easy to see how customers get in the habit of just tuning out all the noise. To be successful, you must find ways to overcome that tendency. So how do you do it?

Design ads that look nothing like those of your competitors. If your ads bear too much resemblance to other ads on the market, they're much more likely to get overlooked.

Make sure you integrate your ads across all campaigns. Once customers see so many …