Mobile Marketers Guide to Mobile Commerce

I read an interesting article recently in the Mobile Marketers trade association newsletter regarding the use of Mobile Commerce as an advertising channel. The article provided examples of firms that had used Mobile advertising quite effectively, made reference to the fact that consumers took awhile to warm up to eCommerce as an advertising/purchasing channel and that the same was likely with Mobile Commerce, and it also contained links to excellent Mobile Commerce educational tools. Among the tools available via this article is a PDF copy of the Mobile Marketer’s Classic Guide to Mobile Commerce, an excellent overview of this emerging industry. The link below will take you to the article on the trade association’s website.

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/2173.html

While you’re there, I also encourage you to review the website for additional industry white papers and educational materials, as well as a section where you can sign up for a free educational newsletter. I have found this site to be quite full of very useful information and refer to it often.

Now is the time to learn everything you can about Mobile Marketing and Mobile Commerce as it’s becoming obvious that this is likely the next big advertising/purchasing channel. Though this channel is still in its infancy, due to the high penetration of cell phone users in the U.S. (approximately 85% market penetration) and higher-still penetration in Europe (140% market penetration – meaning that users have multiple devices), it is highly likely that Mobile Marketing/Mobile Commerce is not going away but rather will become an integral part of our everyday lives.

Let me know if you find this article link of value; if so, I will continue to seek out similar educational tools and opportunities to make available to you.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts with over twenty years’ experience in working with small businesses. Linda can be contacted by email at strategicgrowthconcepts@earthlink.net. The company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com

The Art of Selling at Full Price

 

Below is an article written by Lawrence Dawood, the Director of Training for Wireless Toyz, a franchised cellular retail chain. The original audience for this article was the Operations Field Staff for the chain who were experiencing significant hardship in weaning the franchisees away from “bargaining” for customers.

As I read this article again recently, it occurred to me that the issue is not limited to the cellular industry, and that Lawrence’s thoughts could provide assistance to many business owners in many industries. Throughout my career I’ve worked with companies and clients in a wide variety of industries and have found this issue to exist in most of them – sales people are afraid of the difficulty of selling “value” so they resort to selling “bargain” to achieve a closed sale, which ultimately harms the business financially. In previous training that I’ve conducted on consultative selling, this “value” proposition has typically been enthusiastically received, but rarely implemented once they’re back in their home environment. I’ve come to believe over time that the reason is because we haven’t started the change in the thinking process where we need to – at the top, with the business owners.

So my thought in making this article available to you is to bring the dilemma to the forefront if it exists in your organization, and to provide you with some “tools” to help eliminate the issue. Therefore, when you read the article below, substitute your industry and product into it wherever it references the cellular industry and products, and I believe you will find benefit in it as well.

 

Selling Value Not Price

 

  “Our products have become commoditized and our customers only care about price.”

This was the opening volley at a recent sales training session when I introduced the idea of Selling Value Over Price. The salespeople’s resistance to the idea was strong and quite predictable given what’s gone on in our marketplace over the last 5 years. Far too often in the cellular market, we have degraded our value proposition to the point of offering our products for “FREE!” The wireless industry has taken one of the true “miracles” of communication – the cell phone – and systematically stripped the value from it to the point where customers “expect” to get a new “FREE” phone almost every year.

Cellular Agents are looking at their bottom lines wondering where it will end and how they can slow the degradation of their business.

While we can’t sell every customer and prospect at list price, there is still a large percentage open to a well-defined value proposition that begins with the following 3 Steps.

1. First, you’ve got to BELIEVE!

I asked the sales team a question. “Do you believe that YOU and what you offer are worth more than the other guys?”  They all chimed “YES!”, except one guy who probably should change the title on his business card to “Giveaway Expert”. We then set out to answer the following questions.

  • “Why should a customer pay us more than the other guy who offers a similar (or the same) product?” and,
  • “How do we convey this to the customer?”


They listed about 2 dozen reasons why the customers should pay more for their services than their competitors.

The next key was to transfer these “added values” into a tangible part of what they offer to their customers. If your sales team (from the Owner on down) doesn’t believe that you’re “worth more” than the competition, then you’re not. Game over. Play the discount game and good luck.

However, if that isn’t where you want to be, then try the above questioning exercise with your sales team and then read on.

2. Define your Value Proposition

Building a Quantifiable Value Proposition for your customers begins with the understanding that “value” often comes in the elements that we wrap around the product, and not in the product itself. Products have become so similar, that the focus must shift from the product to “the relationship.” Here are some of the elements of value (beyond the product) that can add tremendous value over the life of a customer Relationship:

  • The “expertise” of your personnel at uncovering problems and helping the customer to solve them.
  • The resources and special services of your company on the sales and service sides of the business.
  • Knowledge of Applications-how other customers creatively utilize your products and accessories to improve their efficiency and profitability.
  • Your ability to demonstrate ROI (Return-on-Investment) in terms of how our products, expertise and company resources can help to increase our customer’s revenues, decrease their costs, and/or impact their bottom line.
  • Your ability to quantify all of the above in dollars and cents for the customer.


3. Improve Sales Competencies

As an industry, the wireless business (at least on the cellular side) has transformed itself from being “problem solvers” to being “promo-pushers.” The average cellular salesperson would go into withdrawal symptoms if you took away his/her promo’s for the next quarter. Hiring people after they’ve been in this business for any length of time is almost a guarantee of lower margins. Therefore, upgrade your sales team by hiring reps who are “Problem Solvers” vs. “promo pushers.” Hire people who understand Step 2 – how to define and sell “value” beyond the product and a potentially lower cost.

For existing reps, it is critical to increase their competency at uncovering what customers will pay extra for and conveying this during their presentations. This takes training and on-going role play on a weekly basis. Look at the deals you sell for the largest margins and dissect the reasons why customers purchased from you vs. going to a cheaper alternative. Selling “Value” is not an easy transition for most salespeople, but an essential one if they want to boost their income… and if you want to boost the profits at your company.

So the bottom line is to focus on creating a value proposition for your customers and training your team to package and present along with the product. You’ll find this to be the most profitable sales decision you can make… and it’ll show up on the last line of your Profit and Loss at the end of each month. 

Event for Great Lakes Entrepreneurs

For those of you who reside in the Great Lakes area of the country, I have recently been made aware of an entrepreneurial event taking place in January in Ann Arbor, MI.  Though I’ve not previously attended this event, the materials describe an event which appears to have significant value to existing and potential entrepreneurs.  Check out the link below.

http://ace-event.org/index.html

If any of you attend this annual event, I would be very interested in receiving feedback about it that I can share with our readers; you can post it in the comments section or you can email it to me at strategicmktgconcepts@earthlink.net .

FREE Marketing Tele-conference Registration Deadline is Almost Here!

Just a reminder – the registration deadline of December 30th is rapidly approaching for participation in the FREE Marketing Consulting tele-conferences. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain insight from other small business owners, as well as a professional marketing consultant, on marketing challenges your business is currently facing. Start the New Year with a plan!!  Check the “Events” page for registration details.

The Ultimate Sales Strategy

No matter what business you’re in, whether as a business owner or an employee, it is highly likely that a good part of your job involves Sales.  You may call this task many different things such as:  marketing, business development, customer service, lead generation, customer development, or any one of a dozen different terms – but in the end – it’s sales.  While for some people, the sales process is as natural as breathing, for the majority of us, it’s intimidating and something we try to find every way possible to avoid.  But in the end, if you want to grow your business, then Sales is a skill you must develop and it must be an integral part of your Marketing and Business Plans. 

With that thought in mind I would like to share with you the article below that was shared with me a few months ago, in the hope that it will help you be less intimidated by the sales process and will provide you with a tool that will enable you to be successful in growing your business.

 

How a Funeral Turned Joe Girard Into the World’s Greatest Salesperson

By John Wood

Joe Girard knows how to sell cars.

In fact, he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records: as “the world’s greatest salesman.”

To become the world’s greatest salesperson, he used what is perhaps the most underused lead-generation technique in the world. Yet it’s probably the most effective way of getting new business that there is. It gives a salesperson instant credibility with a prospective customer – making the prospect more likely to buy.

The idea came to Girard while he was attending a funeral.

Before I tell you what it is, let’s take a look at some of the most notable selling statistics from Girard’s 14-year (1963 to 1977) car-selling career (courtesy of Tom Sant’s book The Giants of Sales, in which Girard is profiled)…

  • In total, he sold more than 13,000 vehicles. That’s an average of six cars per day.
  • On his best day, he sold 18 vehicles.
  • His best month, he sold 174.
  • In his best year, he sold 1,425.
  • By himself, Joe Girard has sold more cars than 95 percent of all dealers in North America.
  • To make his feat even more incredible, he sold them at retail – one vehicle at a time.

Amazing. Especially when you consider that when he first applied for a job as a car salesman, no one would hire him. At the time, he was in debt and struggling to keep his family fed.

The sales manager who finally hired him at first said “No,” explaining that if he hired Girard his other salespeople wouldn’t like it because their share of walk-in traffic would be reduced. It was only when Girard said he wasn’t interested in the walk-in traffic – he would generate his own leads – that he was hired.

He quickly found that selling without access to the dealership’s walk-in traffic was more difficult than he had hoped it would be.

The first thing he did was grab a phonebook and started calling people randomly. He made some headway, but it was tough slogging.

The Funeral That Changed His Approach to Sales

It was around this time that he attended that funeral. It was a Catholic funeral. Mass cards were given out to all those in attendance.

Girard asked the funeral director how he knew how many mass cards to have printed up for each funeral.

The funeral director told Girard that the number of people attending a funeral always seems to average out to 250. So that’s how many he prints up each time.

Soon after that, Girard sold a car to a Protestant funeral director. When he asked how many people typically attend a Protestant funeral, he got the same reply: “About 250.”

When he attended a wedding, he asked the minister the same question. The answer was about 250 on the bride’s side and 250 on the groom’s side.

Joe Girard’s “Law of 250″

It was then that Girard came up with what he called the “Law of 250.”

The basic principle is that most people have about 250 people in their lives who would show up at their funeral or wedding. There are exceptions, of course. Some have more, some have less. But the average seems to be 250.

So how did he use this information?

First off, he realized that if he did a crummy job of selling a car to somebody, he could potentially lose 250 more customers.

But, more important – if he did a great job, he could gain 250 more customers.

So Girard reasoned that if he consistently built strong relationships with his customers and treated them fairly, it would make his job a lot easier in the long run.

So he set his sights on getting referrals. How did he go about it?

Here are the three main ways…

  • First, within a few weeks of selling a car to someone, he would call them up and ask how the car was running. If things were going well, he’d ask for a referral. If they weren’t, he’d fix the problem – then ask for a referral.
  • He kept a file listing personal information about each customer – such as the names of their children, what they did for a living, their birthdays, their kids’ birthdays, etc. He’d use that information to personalize his conversations with them. He sincerely cared about people, and made them feel so special they couldn’t wait to recommend him to a friend or relative.
  • Every month, year after year, Girard would send a greeting card to every customer on his list. Inside would be a simple message. He knew they’d need a new car one day, and he wanted to keep himself top of mind. He was careful not to include anything that might sound like a sales pitch. Just an anecdote, a new idea, a news story, a book review, a birthday greeting, or a tip he knew they’d be interested in. (Eventually this task became so big, he had to hire someone to do it for him.)

Girard’s dedication to keeping in touch with his customers instilled in them a psychological obligation to do business with him. His customers would never even dream of buying a car from someone else.

Girard has often said he doesn’t believe in hard work. That what he does believe in is working smart. And no one approached selling cars any smarter than Joe Girard did.

No matter what product or service you sell, if you don’t have a referral and repeat-business strategy in place, you’re working too hard.

Here are a few referral-related tactics you can start using tomorrow:

1. Go the extra mile for your customers and prospects.

Do things that will make you stand out from the pack. If you see an article that you feel may interest one of them, mail it (or e-mail it, but sending something in the mail tends to have a greater impact). A good way to find appropriate articles is to set up a Google News Alert for topics you feel would interest your customers. If you think a story is relevant, send them the link.

2. Make sure your customers know about every service you provide.

If you sell Product A to someone, make sure they also know you carry Products B, C, and D. The more solutions your customers know you provide, the more likely it is that they’ll know someone who will benefit from getting a call from you.

3. Establish relationships with people who sell complementary products or services.

For example, if you sell boats, contact the local marina and introduce yourself. Tell them you’ll be referring your customers to them, and make them aware that you’d be open to any referrals from them.

4. Ask for a referral.

If you don’t ask, chances are you’ll never get a referral. Customers usually don’t volunteer them on their own. When the time seems right, say something like “Do you know anyone else I might be able to help out?”

5. Always thank your customers for their referrals.

Obviously, say “Thank you.” But then take it one step further. Send a thank you note or a small gift. It could lead to another referral.

6. Keep your customers informed.

Let your customers know what happened when you called the person they referred you to. Offer to keep them in the loop as things progress.

Develop and follow through on a referral and repeat-business strategy and, like Joe Girard, you’ll make more sales… and have an easier time doing it.

Funding Your Company in Today’s Tight Economy

 

We’ve all heard the stories and read the articles in the media – well-established businesses with solid track records can no longer get funding to keep their businesses going thru tight spots or to expand, or stories about people with almost perfect credit scores who can’t even get a bank to talk to them about funding their new business – even with collateral. If you read enough or hear enough, it might make you think that now is definitely not a good time to be in business for yourself.

That being the case, I am always on the look-out for information that tells a different story – that it IS possible to obtain funding for your business – and it is possible to be successful in business for yourself, even today. So I was very happy when I came across this article on LinkedIN written by Internet technology blogger, Kevin Flood. Kevin offers a wealth of information about sources of potential funding for early-stage businesses that may be of value to you, so I am happy to make that information available via this posting. I encourage you to follow the link below and read Kevin’s article. Happy hunting!

http://kevinflood.blogspot.com/2008/12/raising-seed-capital-in-great-recession

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts with over twenty years’ experience in working with small businesses. Linda can be contacted by email at strategicgrowthconcepts@earthlink.net. The company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS

     

     

Are you ready to own your own business?  Have you thought about it for years but don’t know if you have what it takes to be successful?  The list below is a compilation from a wide variety of sources and experts on entrepreneurship; review the list to see if you have what it takes to be successful at owning your own business.

  • An exceedingly strong need to achieve, as opposed to a need to be liked, or to exercise power.
  • The trait of following through on a commitment, not quitting half-way through when the going gets tough. In short, perseverance.
  • Positive mental attitude, or the ability to remain optimistic in difficult situations, which is the result of being self-confident about one’s abilities.
  • Objectivity. The ability to accurately weigh and assess risks associated with a particular course of action, as well as being realistic about one’s own abilities and limitations.
  • A respectful attitude toward money, but a tendency to look upon it as a means for accomplishing things, or a way of keeping score in the game of business, rather than as a thing to be sought as the end in itself.
  • The tendency to anticipate developments and to make things happen, rather than waiting to react to problems as they arise.
  • Resourcefulness. The ability to solve problems in unique ways, to be able to handle things that come even without having previous experience to rely on as a guide.
  • Personal relations. The successful entrepreneur usually has an emotionally stable personality, is cheerful, cooperative, and usually gets along well with (without necessarily being close to) employees and associates.
  • Communication skills are well developed, both in oral and written presentations.
  • Technical knowledge is usually well-rounded, and the successful entrepreneur generally is knowledgeable about the specifics of providing their goods and services.   

  •  

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    The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts with over twenty years’ experience in working with small businesses. Linda can be contacted by email at strategicgrowthconcepts@earthlink.net. The company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com

FREE MARKETING CONSULTING – SOLVE YOUR MARKETING CHALLENGES

Results of the recent Marketing Services Survey on LinkedIN are in:

  • 70% of participants are interested in FREE monthly conference calls where you can bring your marketing challenges to the table and obtain input from your peers AND a marketing expert.
  • 50% would like these calls to be exclusive to those in a similar type of business (i.e.: retail with retail, consulting with consulting, etc.) and 50% would like a broad mix of businesses on the calls.

I would like to be able to help fill this need within the LinkedIN community so I am scheduling a series of FREE conference calls during January as follows:

  • (B2B-S) Providers of B2B services                     1/8/09        2:00 p.m. EST
  • (B2B-C) B2B consultants                                        1/15/09      2:00 p.m. EST
  • (Open) Open group; any type of business       1/22/09     2:00 p.m. EST
  • (B2C-R) Business-2-Consumer retail                1/29/09      1:00 p.m. EST
  • (B2C-S) Business-2-Consumer services           1/29/09     4:00 p.m. EST

Each call will last up to 1 hour, will require registration in advance on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be limited to 15 participants.

The conditions for participation are as follows:

  • You must be willing to share your name, company, position, and email address with other participants in the call (I will send a complete list to all participants after each call so that further exchanges may continue).
  • You must provide the following information with your registration-by-email:
    • Name, Title
    • Company
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Website address & blog address if you have them
    • Topic you want to discuss / challenge you are trying to solve
    • ID Code for the call you want to participate in (ID codes are in parentheses in front of details for each call above)
    • LinkedIN group where you learned about these conference calls
  • Registration for January calls must be completed by the deadline date of 12/30/08 by emailing me at strategicmktgconcepts@earthlink.net; participation is limited to one conference call.
  • You must be willing to complete a Post-Call Evaluation of the conference call so I can determine what, if any, changes need to be made to the program going forward. Those who participate in the call and fail to complete the Post-Call Evaluation will be excluded from participation in future calls.
  • You must be willing to receive occasional marketing materials from my firm Strategic Growth Concepts and its affiliate companies via email.

Within a few days of registration closing on 12/30/08, you will receive the necessary call-in information via confirmation email.

If this first round of calls is evaluated as productive by the participants, I will schedule additional calls in future months, and will potentially add additional groupings as may be necessary to accommodate the needs of all those interested in participating.

4 Business Growth Basics for Small Business

In the hundreds of marketing training workshops I’ve conducted, one factor that has been consistent – and surprising to me – is that a majority of small business owners have not clearly identified the basic methods to increase revenue – no matter the product or service. Today’s article gives clear direction on the basics that must be addressed and become a stated part of your marketing plan.

To start at the most basic level, the goal of any business owner is to grow their business; this is accomplished by increasing sales. The goal of marketing is to understand your customers’ needs, and to develop/implement a plan to supply products or services that meet those needs in order to achieve the company’s goal of increasing sales.

You can increase sales in only limited ways. They include:

  • Acquiring increased numbers of customers
  • Persuading each customer to buy an increased volume of products during each visit
  • Obtaining increased numbers of visits from existing customers which results in increased purchases overall, and
  • Persuading customers to purchase more expensive/higher-profit products.

Each of these methods will increase a business’ sales and should be addressed as part of your marketing plan. Future postings to this blog will focus on each of these revenue generation methodologies individually and will provide specific thoughts and ideas to help you develop your company’s specific strategies to accomplish your revenue goals.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Consultants with over twenty years’ experience in working with small businesses. Linda can be contacted by email at strategicgrowthconcepts@earthlink.net. The company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com

Top 6 Reasons Businesses Lose Customers

 

68% – lost due to a perceived lack of interest from the product/service provider

14% – lost due to dissatisfaction with the product or service

9%  – lost to competition due to the superiority of their product or service

5%  – customers developed relationships with competitors by various means; product quality and service have no impact on the decision

3%  – customer relocates

1%  – customer becomes deceased

White House Study; Office of Consumer Affairs

Remember, your customers need to know that they are your top priority.  Ask for their business and make sure you earn it every time they do business with you.

Small Business Marketing Services Survey

Below please find a link for a survey regarding services that we at Strategic Marketing Concepts / Strategic Growth Concepts are considering making available for small businesses.  The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  We would appreciate your input by clicking on the link.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=U3IrYch0EBGMOUYlz2_2b52g_3d_3d

Basic Marketing Plan Outline

Attached is a basic outline of a Marketing Plan that can be utilized in the development of your working Marketing Plan. This basic outline can be customized as needed for your specific product or service; you can re-organize it as might be more informational for your business, you can add or delete sub-categories as needed. As long as these basic elements are included, your plan should cover all necessary information to help you in effectively marketing your product.

http://www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com/marketing/Marketing-Information-Resources_I12.html

Please note that if it is your intention to utilize your Marketing Plan to help you obtain outside financing, it will need to include a 1-2 page Executive Summary at the beginning of the plan, as well as a Table of Contents (which you probably should include anyway just to keep things organized). You would also want to insure that you go into substantial detail on all elements of the plan and that it is very effectively researched if your financing will be dependent upon it.

If there are questions on the development of the Marketing Plan or the use of this outline, please put them in your replies to this blog and I will insure that your questions are addressed in future postings. In the near future we will have additional forms of communication available to insure all your questions are answered.

Linda Daichendt

Strategic Marketing Advisor

The Key to Marketing Your Small Business

    One of the most critical tasks of any business – new or established – is getting the message out to prospective customers about your product or service. As anyone who has ever owned a business can tell you, or as you know yourself if you’ve been in business for some time, unless you can cost-effectively attract customers you won’t be in business long. Therefore, this article will give you some of the basics to help you Market your business in a manner to increase effectiveness while controlling costs.

    Product or service message distribution is achieved through a wide variety of methods that fall under the umbrella of Marketing, including: Advertising, Public Relations, Sales, and Promotion. The method(s) you select to distribute your message is dependent upon several factors, such as: targeted customers, budget, time available for implementation, the type of business you have and how it is best showcased, and the goal of the message.

    The most critical part of successful Marketing for any business is an item that most businesses – both new and established – overlook, and is a primary reason for small business failure – the development of a written Marketing Plan and its revision at least annually. The plan can be 5 pages or 100 pages, as long as it has been researched and well thought out. It’s never too late to write a Marketing Plan – even if you’ve been in business 10 years or more. If properly prepared, it will be your road map to gaining substantial numbers of new customers, selling your product or service, growing your business successfully, and profitability. While you may still be able to grow your business without one, your growth will be slower, more sporadic, and may come at times when your company is unprepared to handle the growth.

  • Step One to preparing the Marketing Plan is research – the foundation of the Plan. Research provides the needed information to understand the current situation of the market, your company, the customer, and the competition, as well as the costs, pros, and cons of the methodologies that can be used to market the business such as: various types of advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales. While you may believe that you already have this information, especially if you’ve been in business for awhile, I challenge you to do the research and find out what surprises await you.
  • Step Two in Plan preparation is the development of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis of your business. In this step you must be extremely objective; it’s helpful to have employees who are not afraid to speak out participate in this process.
  • Step Three is the development of a list of goals/objectives for your business to achieve. These goals must be measurable/quantifiable and clearly defined.
  • Step Four is the development of strategies designed to reach the stated goals/objectives. Each strategy must answer the following three questions: Who is the target? What do you want to say to the target? and How are you going to reach that target?
  • Step Five is the development of tactics designed to achieve the strategies. Tactics are the what, when, where, how, and how much of the plan – the details for implementing the Marketing Plan. This is where you select the methodologies you will use to get out your message.

    Let’s look at the methodology options previously mentioned. The first is Advertising, which is the main form of mass selling. Forms of Advertising would include: radio, television, newspaper, magazine, mass mailings, billboard, signs, flyers, seminars, trade show participation, and any other sort of mass selling you can think of. Public Relations is the attraction of attention for the firm and its products/services without having to pay the cost of advertising. Public Relations ideas include: online message distribution (blogs, email newsletters, search engine optimization, websites, etc); press releases of newsworthy information about your company such as new products, large contracts, awards, etc.; other ideas are photo’s; news conferences for major announcements; newsletters to vendors/customers; PSA’s (public service announcements which are free announcements typically on TV or radio – like a listing in a community calendar); charitable partnerships; and free distribution of products/services. Sales is the individual / personalized selling of products/services to customers on a one-on-one basis by telephone, in-person, or via a website. Promotion is activities that supplement personal selling and advertising, coordinate the two, and help make them more effective, such as: sampling, displays, coupons, discounts, etc.

    Obviously, the methodologies of Marketing provide you with a vast array of options to choose from when deciding how best to market your products. Now the question is how to select from among the methodologies and bring it all together into a comprehensive plan. This is where your research, if done properly, will be extremely effective. Your research will:

  • help you to identify exactly who your customers are – or should be,
  • help you evaluate the most cost-effective ways to reach your potential customers in a timely manner, and
  • help you to differentiate your product/service from your competition, thereby helping your business grow and reach your goals.

    Every business, even those with the smallest of budgets available, can use Marketing to obtain customers and achieve growth. The less money available, the more creative the business owner needs to be in finding ways to reach customers. These business owners should consider partnerships, joint ventures, and more of a grass-roots approach to Marketing. This type of Marketing Plan should definitely include a very pro-active Public Relations plan; making sure that everything you do that is newsworthy receives media awareness through news releases or other PR tactics and every free or low-cost method of promoting your business is explored. Business owners with larger budgets should take advantage of more formalized Marketing methodologies such as print or electronic Advertising, but should still make certain that each dollar is being utilized in the most cost-effective manner possible. For example, if you sell a service that is only useful to a limited number of corporations, then television advertising is likely to be a very costly mistake for you; however, print advertising in targeted industry publications may be just the way to promote your service. Additionally, a Marketing Plan will allow you to consider negotiating bulk media purchases for the whole year (they don’t have to be paid for until the service is actually used), thereby achieving less cost on a per-unit basis.

    As you can see, these decisions are best achieved by research, research, and more research. Should you elect to take a pro-active, planned approach to Marketing your business through the development of a Marketing Plan – rather than a reactive approach, you are certain to achieve success and growth while maintaining a high level of cost-effectiveness.

Linda Daichendt

Strategic Marketing Advisor

     Future postings will provide information for those of you who would like more detailed information on the use of a Marketing Plan to grow your business and ways you can receive FREE tools including: a Marketing Plan Checklist and a detailed outline of the Elements of the Marketing Plan.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Marketing!

Welcome to the Strategic Marketing Concepts blog. The goal of this blog is to provide a wide variety of tools, information, examples, and resources for small business owners (SBO’s) who are experts at what you do (the product or service you provide), but not necessarily experts at how to Market your business – or in other words – how to find potential customers and get them to utilize your product or service. We hope to make this part of your business a lot easier for you to achieve.

As this blog develops my goal will be to continually make you aware of new information and resources, as well as adding a variety of services in which we can interact to share helpful information and you can interact with each other for the same purpose.

Thanks again for reading our blog; we hope you’ll come back often.

 

Linda Daichendt

Strategic Marketing Advisor

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