3 Signs That Your Business Marketing Strategy Needs An Update

Businesses today face fierce competition locally and abroad. The need to stay ahead of the competition has never been so crucial. Often times the difference between success and failure is who reached the customer first. Penetrating into new markets is no easy task and takes years of dedicated resources. Marketing consultants who are experience and pride themselves on helping their clients succeed, often have the expertise and resources to guide floundering businesses into more competent marketing strategies. How can you tell if your business marketing strategy needs an update? Here are 3 signs to look for:1. You are no longer in control of your branding imageBranding yourself accurately and intentionally is one of the crucial components needed for a successful business to reach its intended markets. Being in control of a brand takes dedicated attention and a strategy that keeps the fundamental mission of the company locked together with the brand in a way that keeps both revitalizing the other. However, sometimes due to competition or changes in the demographics of a market, a brand can begin to lose its impact. It is at these times that the impression of a brand is no longer being controlled by the business that owns it, but by the perceptions or misperceptions of others. If your business loses control of the branding image, it is important to find a successful marketing strategy that can advance and revitalize it.

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2. You are unable to determine your marketing and advertising needsIf you are experience the break down of your branding image and previous strategies are not righting the ship, it is time to seek some consulting help to figure out the problem. Being unable to pinpoint the correct strategies to fix the issue, points at an inability to determine your marketing and advertising needs. Outsourcing the job of managing and revitalizing the brand can be beneficial in many ways. First, it provides an opportunity for the problem to be looked at with a fresh set of minds who are objective and have a healthy degree of separation fro previous marketing strategies. Second, it can put the problem in the hands of those with more expertise and access to a “bigger picture.”3. You have an abundance of data but don’t know what to do with itYears of marketing strategies and business analytics can lead to on overabundance of data in some instances. Having this data is generally helpful, unless you don’t know what to do with it all and how to utilize it so it becomes a real asset. Successful business strategies are a combination of good ideas backed up with verifiable proof in the form of data. Marketing consultants have the tools and resources available to turn data into trends and forecasts that can be useful for decision making purposes. Once you can identify the trends that are acting on the market, you can successful execute marketing strategies to work with them or combat them in the benefit of your overall marketing campaign.

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If you are showing any of these 3 crucial signs in your business, you should consider hiring a qualified and reputable agency to assist with your marketing decisions. By staying ahead of any issues with your brand, you can avoid climbing out of the pit of irrelevance.

5 Free Home Business Marketing Tools to Help You Work From Home Online

Having success marketing your business online can be a lot easier than you might think. Here are five of my favorite home business marketing tools that will help you grow your business faster. With the number of people who are looking to work from home online these days the internet is the best place to market your home based business hands down. There are a lot more than 5 tools, but these are some of the easiest and more effective.Free Home Business Marketing Tool #1 – Home Business BlogsEvery single home based business owner on the planet needs to have a blog of their own. However, what I’m going to talk about in this article is using other people’s blogs to your advantage. There are about a million and one home based business blogs online.Go to several home business blogs every day, read the most recent post, and write a comment about it. Make sure your comment is actually about their blog and not just an ad for your business. Leave your blog or website in the comment as well because that’s how you’ll end up getting more traffic.
Commenting on other home business blogs is simple, easy and you will not believe the traffic you can generate using this simple concept.

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Free Home Business Marketing Tool #2 – Home Business ForumsHome based business forums are everywhere. Some of them have a lot of traffic and some of them don’t, but a great way to get the word out about your website, articles, videos and blogs is to post on at least one forum regularly. Again, don’t be a spammer. Contribute something in every post you make and it’s another simple and easy way to get more highly targeted traffic to your website.

Free Home Business Marketing Tool #3 – Free Classified Ad SitesWhile a classified ad in the local paper can get really expensive there are some online classified ad sites that are free to use and extremely popular. The biggest free classified ad site is Craigslist but it’s not the only game in town. It doesn’t take long to post an ad on a website like Craigslist and when you use these sites consistently they can be really effective.Free Home Business Marketing Tool #4 – Social Bookmarking SitesSocial bookmarking sites like Digg and many others are really beneficial for getting more attention to articles, blogs, videos, and websites that you’ve already posted. It’s just a good way to get more bang for your buck. Or in this case, since it’s free, more bang for your time.

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You’ve already done the work to write your articles or post to your blog so doesn’t it make sense to get more traffic to the marketing tools you’re already using?Free Home Business Marketing Tool #5 – Social Networking SitesWant to be successful in a home based business? You have to talk to a lot of people right? Sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace already have MILLIONS of people. These sites are a great way to talk to a lot of people in a short period of time. Marketing your business on social networking sites isn’t a one time thing, to be effective you’ll need to use them almost every day.If you want to work from home online and have more success in your home based business use all five of these free home business marketing tools. They’ve worked for me and countless others and I know they’ll work for you.

Why to Use Video As Part of Your Business Marketing

Video is a wonderful tool for any company. Video allows potential clients to see firsthand the true value of your product or service. It allows you to show customers all angles of your company, without leaving it to their imagination. By investing in video, a company can walk a potential customer through the practical uses for their products. It is also a great way to give clients tangible evidence that an untested or unproven product actually works. It enables them to remove doubt or question from their mind and focus on the information that they are being presented.

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It is always a good idea to make sure that your video is created by a professional. Having a low quality video is just as bad as not utilizing a video at all. You will want to make sure that you use someone who has the ability to select favorable lighting and scenery for your video. Make sure that they understand your company and the message that you are attempting to convey. Their appreciation of your product or lack thereof will shine through in their presentation.It is equally important that you determine the message you want to convey about your company and your product. Make sure that while you are explaining your business, you connect with the potential client. Give them a reason to want to do business with you. The wonderful thing about a video is that you can convey your personality. You can write a scenario that shows you and your product or service in a light-hearted, funny manner. You can also show a more serious and businesslike nature if that is what your marketing strategy calls for. The most important thing is to make sure that you convey a sense of wanting to give your clients the highest and best level of service that you are capable of providing.

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A video is your chance to showcase yourself to your city, your region and even the country. The video can ultimately be shared in a number of different ways. This includes social media marketing. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will be great platforms to present and spread the word about your business. Each of these social networking sites can be another tool to help you make your product a household name.Video, when used correctly, is a fantastic tool that can truly help elevate your business marketing to the next level.

Using Skype As Part Of Your Affiliate Marketing Tools

There are many affiliate marketing tools that are essential to your success online, these include blogs, capture pages and affiliate training. However I have noticed that one tool seems to be overlooked by so many people and it is costing them their financial security.One of the most important aspects of network marketing and affiliate marketing is the ability to easily communicate with leads, prospects and team members. The best tool that I have found for doing this is Skype.I am still amazed by how many people I talk to on a daily basis that doesn’t have Skype. In fact I would say that it is more than half. As far as affiliate marketing tools go I would say that Skype is second only to your blog, it really is that important.

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By the end of this article you will have an understanding as to why Skype is important and if you are not a user what you have been missing out on.It’s free to use with other Skype member and free to download, no monthly subscription and very low cost calls to non Skype users.
You can do conference calls using video for up to 20 people at a time, again all free as long as they are Skype members.
You can files and documents and much faster than through email.
You can setup chat rooms within Skype for different groups you have, these stay online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can call another Skype user anywhere in the world and stay online talking to them forever and it will never cost a penny.
You can send instant message to other users, this is very powerful.
You can access Facebook through Skype and keep people updated with what you are doing just from your Skype window.
Need to share your desk top with somebody? No problem you do that as well.
There are also 100s of apps you can download and use to suit your individual needs.

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This has to part a part of your affiliate marketing tools as much as your blog. Anyone involved with internet marketing, network marketing or affiliate marketing should make themselves available at all times, plus it should be easy for people to find you.Skype offers you so much in the way of communications and when it’s free you can’t dismiss it as a fad. Today the world is shrinking and thanks to the advent of social media we can build a global business from the comfort of our own homes.This tool makes it so much easier for you to connect with people and help them achieve their goals.

The Single Most Powerful Small Business Marketing Tool On The Planet

Let me get right to the point. The single most powerful small business marketing tool on the planet is a marketing plan. Now before you roll your eyes and run for the hills let me clear a few things up.When I talk about a marketing plan I am not referring to those academic exercises found in college marketing books, or the templated mumbo jumbo found in business planning software. I will not be asking you to determine your share of the market today. Give me a break, share of the market, most small business owners just need to figure out to get ten more customers.A marketing plan is a simple (in many cases one page) document that specifically answers who you are, what you do, who needs it, how you plan to grab them by the throat, when you plan to do it and how you plan to pay for it…in a way that everyone in your organization, network, and client base can clearly understand.Now that was a mouthful so let me back up a moment. Small business owners are doers, not planners. While doing is better than, say, mildewing, without direction, it leads to “marketing idea of the week” syndrome and stunts any chance a small business has for real growth.

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Take one day, follow these 7 simple steps to creating the most powerful small business marketing tool on the planet, and your life will become a much simpler affair. Flowers will grow where weeds had previously resided, your children will say thank you at the top of their lungs, and your favorite baseball team will finally make that run for the pennant.Well, maybe none of that will happen but you won’t be as irritated when it doesn’t.Step 1: Narrow your market focusLook at whom you are currently doing most of your business with. Figure out why they do business with you and what it is about them that is unique. Write one paragraph that describes what they look like and what they want out of life. Take a good hard look at the rest of your clients and customers and decide if they fit that description of your best client. Start saying no when the phone rings and it’s not your target market calling.Step 2: Position your businessFigure out what it is that you do best, figure out what your target market longs for and tell the world that you do that like no one else ever thought of. Maybe it’s serving a niche, maybe it’s a form of service, maybe it’s a way you package your products. Here’s a hint: you probably don’t know what it is. Call up 3 or 4 of your clients and ask them why they buy from you.Step 3: Core messagesCreate several very compelling benefits of doing business with your firm and find ways to work them into everything you say and do. Just remember it’s not a benefit unless your clients think it is. Your clients don’t buy what you sell…they buy what they get from what you sell.Step 4: Marketing materialsRecreate all of your marketing materials, including your website, so that they speak only of your core messages and your target market.Step 5: Never cold callMake sure that all of your advertising, including yellow pages, is geared to creating prospects and not customers. You must find ways to educate before you sell. Your target market needs to learn how you provide value in a way the will make them want to pay a premium for your services or products. You simply can’t do this in a 3 x 4 ad. Your ad needs to get them ask for more information…then you can proceed to selling.

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Step 6: Expect referralsYou must create a referral marketing engine that systematically turns clients and referral networks into 24 hour marketing powerhouse. The first step in the system is to make providing referrals a condition of doing business with your firm.Step 7: Live by a calendarAfter you complete steps 1-6, determine what you need to do to put them into action and then schedule them on a calendar. Whatever it is that you need to pick a month and pledge to get it done that month. The mistake most small business owners make is to get overwhelmed when they realize how much they really need to.If you can begin to schedule one or two activities each month you will look up at the end of six months and find that you have a fully developed referral system, new website, and a lead generation system. Slow and steady wins the race tortoise.So what will have completed when by the time you read the next issue of this publication?Copyright 2004 John Jantsch

Business Marketing Tools – Three Tools That Are Essential to Your Online Marketing Success

Using the internet as a vehicle to market and build your business is very new to most people that make that decision to expand into cyber space. The internet is a powerful instrument to use and like most things in life there is a learning curve that is associated with the implementation of new things. In this article what I want to speak about is the many business marketing tools that most people starting an online business need to familiarize themselves with so that they can succeed in business.

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The first and I think the most important tool that needs to be learned about is an Auto Responder. This tool is the cornerstone of most online businesses, an auto responder is a tool that is used to communicate, build relationships and follow up with all prospective leads and customers. An auto responder is an online tool that you subscribe to from a company that provides the ability for you to keep the name, email address and other contact information in one place. This information is kept and personally stored by you so that you can use at will to build a list of clients and use to keep in contact with them when needed.Another business marketing tool that is important to your business is a Lead Capture Page. This tool is a text document that is used to capture the name and email information from people that is interested in the products or services that you are selling. This tool is used in conjunction with an auto responder to send these prospects prewritten email messages to keep in touch and build relationships with.

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The last business marketing tool that I want to speak about in this article is a Sales Page. This tool is used to introduce your product or service to the prospect that opted into your lead capture page, wound up in your auto responder and now you are showing them the exact offer that you have for them. They are able to read your information and if they like it they are able to make the purchase on this page if your offer is something that they want.

Are You Using Business Marketing Tools? You Should Be – Here’s Why

Without the use of online business marketing tools your business will not be able to flourish. You need to know about all of the tools that are available in helping you to market your online business, even if some of these tools might not work for you. It is still good to know your options and know how to use them so that things will be made easier for you once you start to build your business. It’s for you to do some research to see what tools are readily available for you to take advantage of. The best part about some of these tools is that many of them are either free or they come at a very low cost per month.Tool #1: Article MarketingOne of the first tools that you absolutely need for marketing your online business is articles. Yes-you need content for your website so that people can read about all that you have to offer and also so that they can read the description and know more about the product. Perhaps you are not selling the product but rather just giving more information about it so that people can understand it; this is what many blog websites are all about; sharing info. By sharing info people make money online with blogs all of the time, all day long. Some people use their blogs to refer people to their original online business page. Anyhow, you will need article content to explain what are trying to get your audience to buy from you.

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Tool #2: EmailAnother tool for business marketing online is collecting emails. You have seen it before if you have visited various websites in the past; they have a box for you to enter your name and email address so that they can keep in contact with you and you send you updates on new products or sales events that they have going on with their business. You should definitely use this business tool because it encourages customers to shop on your site or revisit it. It’s also a great method for reminding customers about your business. With this tool you receive 10 times more visits than what you would without it.Tool #3: BannersHere’s another reason that you should be using internet marketing tools: you can attract customers your website from other online websites such as forums, and websites that are related to the product of interest. Banners are a very popular tool used for attracting customers to your online business. Banners are the rectangular labels that you will find at the top of the homepage of a website or at the very bottom of the homepage of a website. A lot of times they will be animated with flashing lights, words or pictures on them that change that get the buyer’s attention. If interested, the buyer will click on the banner which will take them directly to your website. Some bog sites of forums will allow you to advertise with banners for free, but most you will have to pay some sort of fee; which usually isn’t much.

Business Cards – 5 Tips How to Make It Successful Marketing Tool

Finally after many hour designing and ordering business cards you got it. You feel fantastically and want to share with those incredibly lovely business cards. I understand you and think many people who own business understand you. We all wanted to show them to whole world. But I want to stop you from big mistake and avoid wasting money and expensive time. Below I give 5 useful advices how to use business card correctly.1. Make them your best friendIt means always take with you, never leave at home. Put them to your pocket, wallet, and briefcase that you can have them all the time. Using this technique you will be able you introduce yourself to new people who you met. Also I recommend putting few in your car. I had some experience when I forgot my wallet and unawares met huge office interior company manager. Few business cards in car saved my life. After few days that manager contacted me and now we work together. I will repeat again – Make them your best friend.

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2. Respect themBuy elegant made from quality materials business cards case. Properly chosen case can make better presentation of you and your business. The best choice of case is neutral, silver color cases. Case helps to avoid of crumpling it. Image that you met well know supplier or other business person and you take from your pocket crumpled business card. How do you think, does he contact you? I almost can guarantee that answer would be negative.3. Use them wiselyThere are different opinions about where and how they should be given. One side says that you should place it at local restaurants, supermarkets, libraries, and even children’s schools. In my opinion this action can be called – waste of money. Also it looks less professional when company which offers cars parts put their business cards in children clothes shop. In my opinion everything has to be in the right place. But also don’t grudge when person ask to take few cards. Even if your neighbor asks one or two don’t hesitate and give.

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4. Update itDon’t use cards with wrong information. For example you have changed email or phone number, and then don’t forget to change your cards. Nobody likes wrong information. When you change it isn’t necessary to change design but if you want you can change it.5. Make it more importantWhen you give it to someone write something on it to make it more important and increase chances that your card wouldn’t be thrown away. Also don’t forget to give one or few clean.Use these 5 tips and make your business successful. Even small marketing elements can help you to expand your service area, increase clients amounts.

Branding is a Very Poor Small Business Marketing Tool!

One of the most misunderstood small business marketing tools is branding. I flinch when I hear media sales representatives and agency sales representatives tell a small business owner that they need to build a brand and get their name out there so that when a prospect is ready to buy their product, they will think of that company’s name. This scheme is nearly always a failure and even if it works, there is rarely a method in place to track the results so it is unmanageable, if not impossible to determine the profitability of your investment.Try this example: When a rep tells you that you should have a brand-building effort, tell them that’s fine as long as long as you can pay for the ad with the sales from it. They’ll allege something to the effect of “Well, there are too many things beyond our control. You really need to do this over several weeks or months to get results.”If there are too many things beyond their control and you have to wait weeks or months, how can you track it? How can you afford to wait? You still have fixed costs and expenses. The bottom line is that if you get caught up in this web, you will lose profit on it. Big firms can afford to wait, most of us small business owners don’t have that luxury.

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Let me ask, do you want to wait until the prospect thinks they need your product before they come into your business? I don’t think so. You want to give them a compelling sales subject matter so they feel a want or a need for your product right now! In my business, should I get my name out there and hope a small business owner will be compelled to think they need my marketing expertise? I’d prefer to get a substance in front of them that so they think, “Hey, if I call this guy today, I can have more profits in weeks.”Okay, so what are effective small business marketing tools for increasing profits?
Get client’s contact information. At least get the the name, address, phone number and record why they bought from you. Failure to collect client data is the number one small business marketing mistake. How can you ask a client to return if you never know who they are in the first place?
Send them a thank you note and send a coupon or a special offer to get them to buy from you again. Put a deadline on the offer and make it compelling.
Get them on your mailing list and send regular cards, a newsletter and “Special Customer” offers.
Package or bundle your products or services and give an incentive for the client to buy more every time they are doing business with you.
Learn the art of selling. Take some courses or read some books. The words you use in a selling situation have a dramatic effect on the results. Many take you closer to the sale and others further away from it. After all, if you have spent the time and resources to get the prospect or client in front of you, doesn’t it make sense to increase the likelihood of them buying from you?

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Any one of these strategies can have a dramatic and immediate impact on your sales. A lot more than getting your name out there ever will. To be blunt, people are wrapped up in their own lives and they really don’t care about you at all. Once again, you need to give people a reason to come to your business. Once they are there, build your brand with outstanding quality and service. They will tell others to visit or call you because of what you did for them, not who you are.Remember, there are many very powerful small business marketing tools available to the entrepreneur trying to increase their sales. Building a brand should be at the bottom of the list. Many will argue with me and confuse branding with advertising. If you are going to advertise, do it in a way that you can get clients to call you or come to you, not to know your name.

Hashtag 101 For Your Business Marketing Efforts

Hashtag 101 For Your Business Marketing EffortsHashtags – you might of heard or seen them. If you are unaware of what its purpose is, don’t fret, that’s why I’m here. This will be a guide on what is and how to use a hashtag for properly marketing your business.What is a Hashtag?Hashtags are those “#” symbols that you see in social media, you might have referred to that symbol as a pound sign on the phone. The hashtag symbol is one of the most effective social media marketing tools available. When the symbol is placed in front of words or phrases, hashtags can generate a significant amount of traffic and produce exposure to whatever subject it is that you are trying to convey.Some example hashtags: #hashtag101 #winning #bestrestaurantThis method of social media exposure first started in Twitter, it was designed to label and categorize groups of tweets to be searched and found. Hashtags have grown into other social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. If someone is looking for the best restaurant in orange county, they might run a search on one of their social media outlets either Twitter or Facebook and type in “#bestrestaurantoc” and the hashtag will return a list of post and tweets on the corresponding topic.

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How would it benefit my business?If you didn’t know, Twitter and Facebook are now being used as search engines – crazy right? Yeah, the milenials are on that bandwagon and as a business marketing effort, you want to make sure you’re a part of it. Twitter and Facebook get more than a billion search queries per day and more and more people prefer using these outlets over other search engine apps as their resource of information. Utilizing hashtags increases your online visibility and make it easier for others to find your message.One of my favorite parts of hashtags is that it is clickable. If someone were to click on one of your hashtags, they’ll be able to see all the post with that same hashtag.Now that your better informed on hashtags, here are some quick tips that can help your business marketing.1. Don’t PunctuateAs weird as it might look, don’t put commas, semi-colons, apostrophes or spaces in hashtags, this BREAKS the hashtag. “#thisis super awesome” would really just be “#thisis”. Oh and please keep it short, this will help get to the point and will be much easier to search for: #bestwebdesignoc vs #bestwebsitedesigninorangecounty – NO ONE will type in that long one, well maybe but its a very slim chance. Use hashtags that people are most likely to type in.

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2. Specify!Try to use specific titles for hashtags, if someone is search for waffle houses in orange county you might want to use “#wafflehouseoc” or “#wafflerestaurant”. If you get too general “#wafflebreakfast”, it might be overused and your message would be harder to find.3. Don’t get carried awayDo your readers a favor – don’t get annoyingly carried away with your hashtags. Avoid #hashtagging #every #single #word #in #the #sentence. Did that hurt your brain? It hurt me while writing it, it’s pointless, annoying, can get marked as spam and that doesn’t do you any good.