Why Use Direct Marketing for Your Marketing Campaign?

Well, the good news is, you now have the opportunity to plan a really great marketing campaign. The bad news is, your boss actually expects to see results!

Let’s take a look at your budget. You have $20,000 to spend? That’s a big budget! Really cool! Now… let’s see what kind of campaign we can come up with. To start, we need a really great Creative Concept. What self respecting marketing campaign goes without a creative concept? Then of course, we just have to have that huge full page advertisement in the most prominent daily. Maybe a short burst on the radio or television would be good.

With $20,000? You could not even get out of the door with that campaign. Let us put things into perspective. You have a marketing campaign to run, and you need to see results. So, you need to have a solid marketing concept, then you need to have a great marketing plan to execute that marketing concept. So, besides the creative concept (it ain’t free!), the marketing plan and the execution, then you have to create the visuals and get down to the actual print work, online stuff and so on. Now, if you want to know the RESULTS, you will also need to budget some kind of market survey. This is needed to see a before/after scenario. Otherwise, your marketing campaign is over, how do you know what the results are?

As a small marketer, you need to be aware that you are constrained by budgets. You do not have the hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on an elaborate marketing campaign. Just to raise consumer awareness using a traditional advertising campaign will require a frequency of exposure that will likely make it beyond the reach of most small to medium sized companies.

But all is not lost. Direct Marketing is a very powerful and often over-looked tool in the marketer’s arsenal. Your marketing campaign can be made so much more targeted and results more grounded by employing direct marketing in the campaign.

A quick definition, direct marketing as we are talking about here, refers to any kind of direct response marketing that is targeted to an individual (as much as it is possible to do so). Examples of direct marketing would be

– Flyers mailed to a customer

– Email campaign

– Coupons

Of course, there are other direct marketing methods, and the above is just a sampling. Why would you want to add direct marketing to your marketing campaign? On the surface, it always looks like direct marketing is much more expensive than a general advertising above-the-line program. Your $20,000 above can easily translate to a few advertisements in several local print media and reach hundreds of thousands of people.

But consider this:

– direct marketing is highly targeted, noise (wastage) is extremely low

– direct marketing allows a direct response

– direct marketing is easily tracked (from a returned coupon, a phone call, a form…)

Your $20,000 can be well spent if you set aside a portion of it to create a flyer with a simple discount coupon and mail it to your customer base. This simple action, would have increased the power of your marketing campaign at many levels. While your print advertisements will reach its hundreds of thousands, the flyer will reach your existing customers. They will USE the coupons, get a discount and actually buy something from you. Therein lies the “results” that your boss is so hungry for!

Better yet, the side effect is that for everyone who has seen the advertisement, but is not a customer, they have no discount coupon! Now THAT will surely spur them to try to get on your mailing list. Suddenly, it becomes important.

Word of mouth now comes into play. OK, before we get too carried away by how exciting a simple direct marketing campaign can become, let’s get back on track.

Your simple print advertising campaign, supplemented with a small direct marketing campaign can yield results for your marketing campaign that would be significant. Don’t get me wrong, it is doubtful that a $20,000 marketing campaign can beat a $2 million advertising blitz, but working within your means, the addition of direct marketing will add a measure of impact that is more than worth its cut of your budget.

Think on it. Happy marketing!

Strategic Marketing Using Digital Channels The Right Way

If you are looking to implement marketing from a strategic perspective in your company or business endeavour by making use of digital channels then it may well serve you to seek out some advice first. That’s some of what we set out to do here as we look to highlight some of the ins and outs of executing marketing in the digital age. There is more to digital marketing that ordinarily meets the eye as found in our consulting, devising and executing search engine and social media marketing campaigns.

When a company is looking to [via its marketing personnel or use of third party agencies] market its products and services use the available digital marketing channels such as…

  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Micro Blogging

… all of the activities will need to be carried out via specific digital marketing channels with a view to getting engagement from chosen target market sector clients.

As an example of the statement made above; the decision could be made to use the social media marketing and to connect with clients using an associated advertising platform through which to serve up ads. Going through the process of crafting and executing specific ads necessitates that one understands who the target audience is that the business is concerned with so that time is not wasted running ads that will be ultimately shown up to people that are not interested in the related products or services that the company has to offer. Going through the targeting process will determine where one’s audience ‘hangs out’ so that when the message is seen it is relatively easier to consume [or be interacted with].

When running ads within the social media marketing channel alongside that of publishing engaging and compelling content, connect, following and republishing others content. It is important to make sure that the ads are in fact related to target clients likes, interests and aspirations as this will affect click through rate, engagement and other factors that lead to the actual cost of running the ad itself.

The content aspect of digital marketing is indeed a critical and foundational one as one piece of content can effectively be repurposed for use in various formats and on differing platforms and digital marketing channels. E.g. a well written article can be used as a blog post, then used as the basis for a podcast, this same piece of content can be developed into a video and then used to create multiple micro blogging content pieces. Each piece of content should be used within planned digital marketing channels in order to deliver the marketing message through to the intended market segments.

With the world in which we live in becoming increasingly technology enabled; this is continuing to open up opportunities for marketers and business owners to present their message to clients found the world over. However it is important to execute correctly and to start with the right messages, next the most appropriate digital marketing channel [some of which are listed above] are used in order to put the marketing message in front of the right audience. In other words a targeted approach should used as opposed to a shotgun spray and hope approach.

At the end of the day digital marketing is still a subset of marketing and it itself has its own set of sub digital marketing channels. The strategic digital marketing approach is strongly recommended as when adhered to and the results start coming in, one will understand why it’s important to continue to adopt this approach to business promotion.

9 Steps For Creating A Successful Marketing Plan For Your Online Business

Creating a marketing plan is a prerequisite for any person conducting business. Whatever business you are involved in, you need to base your marketing campaigns on a well laid out plan so that you do not lose track and run your business blindly. Have you ever created one?

Surprisingly, not many online marketers think about creating a marketing plan. They just begin their online businesses and end up jumping from one failed marketing method to another. But if you are a success-conscious marketer, you need to have a WRITTEN MARKETING PLAN to avoid doing things wrongly. In this article, I would like to share with you 9 steps for creating a successful marketing plan.

1. To create a successful marketing plan, you need to read to understand the different online marketing and advertising methods. If you are a newbie, you need most importantly to equip yourself with some knowledge on online marketing before you create your marketing plan.

2. Understand your market and competition. Find out first what the marketplace is, what happens in it and what its trends are.

Additionally, get information on your competitors by finding out who they are, what they sell, how they sell it, what their marketing methods are, what makes them stand out, how their websites are, what their weaknesses are and what they don’t offer that you could offer. You can easily get this information by searching on the internet.

3. Get to know properly your targeted customers. You should know who they are, how and when they buy, what their problems are, which solutions they are looking for, how they respond and find what they buy, what they say and what needs to fill the gap.

4. Discover the position of your business. Find out more about the product you intend to sell or promote and how you will position your business. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, your field of business and expertise, lives and challenges of your customers and the different niche groups in your line of business.

5. Develop your marketing messages. Your plan should entail in-depth information on what your brand is, what your unique selling point, strap-line and marketing slogans will be. Remember that your messages have to cause action to be taken. It’s a reason why you need to develop them carefully and strategically.

6. Set your marketing goals. A successful marketing plan clearly spells out the vision for your business, what you want to achieve, your specific achievable goals and your priorities. Your goals have to be stated clearly in that they are not only SMART but they are also SMARTER (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound, extended and rewarding).

7. Determine your marketing methods. Get to know the marketing methods competitors use and what works for you best basing on your strengths, knowledge, skills and ability. Focus on how you will get new customers and maintain old ones as well.

8. Develop your budget. When developing your budget, base on the marketing methods you have selected to determine the total cost of your marketing campaigns, the resources you need to invest in your marketing and what your return on investment will be. Having a marketing budget is a key to creating a successful marketing plan.

9. Map your marketing strategy. Creating a successful marketing plan requires you to focus on how you will progress in each and every aspect of your plan. You should focus on what is needed to set up your business and the steps and practical actions to be taken. Project your anticipated obstacles and deadlines and how you will track, evaluate and review your strategy.

Finally, having a marketing plan is a necessity for any success-conscious online marketer. Always have it written down and make it as simple as you can. Your marketing plan serves as your guide. It’s your commitment that helps you to walk your road to success in a systematic manner. If you have been doing things haphazardly, it’s high time you created a marketing plan for your online business.

The Multi Level Marketing Product – Is Yours the Right One?

The Right Multi Level Marketing Product – What to Look for And What to Avoid

Choosing the best MLM opportunity for you involves many factors. Whatever the network marketing company sells is just one element that you really need to examine . . .but it is an extremely important one. . .

According to Darren Falter, author of “How to Select a Network Marketing Company” and the top network marketers that he interviewed. . .there are 7 qualities that are absolutely essential for a multi level marketing product to bring you success.

You might already know in the back of your mind what these qualities are but it’s always better to put them down in black and white.

1. Is the product consumable? This could very well be the most important point in the whole list. It may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many network marketing products are NOT consumable. Ask yourself. .will the product you are selling be used (and used up) on a regular basis? Or is it something that you buy once and it lasts forever? You want to pick something that you can sell again and again to the same customers. Some products are more consumable than others and that’s fine. Just make sure that your multi level marketing product is used on a regular basis.

2) Is the product or service emotional? Does it stir up feelings of excitement and enthusiasm? Many network marketing goods represent people’s needs. But, although they may not realize it, most people are more likely to buy what they really want than what they really need. Vacuum cleaners are necessary. . .but are they exciting?

3) Is the multi level marketing product suitable for the direct sales model? Or do consumers usually go to retail establishments for this type of good? If your product isn’t traditionally sold in the direct sales model, it might create some difficulties for you in your business. If people are not used to purchasing the product through direct sales, you’ll more than likely have a hard time getting them to change their minds now.

4) Does the multi level marketing product stand out in any way? Does it have a unique angle? A good item should be unique. . .but it has to be unique in a believable way. If something seems too good to be true, it’s probably worth it to do a little extra research. What makes a product unique? Things that contribute to a product’s uniqueness include whether it is the first on the market, if it has a patented ingredient or trademark, a celebrity endorsement or even a out-of-the-ordinary type of packaging.

Is the multi level marketing product hugely popular right now? Timing is everything. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s better to start selling a product before it’s really popular or to keep selling a product that has lost its luster or appeal in today’s economy.

6) How stable is the multi level marketing product? How long has it been around and how long will it last? An MLM that’s been in business for at least 5 years is a pretty safe bet. Don’t be fooled by promises of more potential with a start-up company. They are also the most likely to have problems and fold.

7) Do people perceive the multi level marketing product to be worth what they pay for it. . .or even worth more than they pay for it? Would they buy it in a retail store at the same price? The product must have value.

The multi level marketing product is just one factor that should contributes to your decision about joining a network marketing company or sticking with the one you are with currently.

You’ll find lots of network marketing companies whose products pass the test above. Put a quality multi level marketing product together with the other important elements for success in network marketing and you’ve got the basic layout for a profitable business.