The Niche Marketing Blog

Tools for understanding and reaching your market

The Challenge 2013

The ChallengeThe wait is over! The Challenge (formerly known as “The 30-day Challenge) begins tomorrow, September 1, 2013.

Today is the second of a two-day pre-season, with the complete roll-out starting up tomorrow. Ed Dale and his group have completely revamped the training this year and they have added some new training modules to help you make your first dollar online by the end of the 30-day training.

I have put together a short video blog about The Challenge, and you can view the video here: The Challenge 2013.

For those that haven’t heard of The Challenge before, it is a free 30-day, 30-minute per day, training course that is designed to help you take your business idea and get it on-line and making some money – all within 30 days.

If you are serious about developing your niche business, and want to become a better niche marketer, then you should stop what you are doing right now and sign-up for this year’s Challenge. You’ll be glad you did.

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Strategic Marketing Planning Made Simple – The 4P Business Thinking System

Business

Business (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

[Editor’s note: Niche marketers – especially those who own or mange smaller businesses – tend to overlook the value of strategic and market planning. Part of the reason is lack of resources (e.g. time, personnel, etc.) and part of the reason is that the process can become overly complex.

The following article describes a simplified methodology for developing a strategic plan for the smaller niche business. Let me know what you think. Have you ever developed a strategic or marketing  plan for your business? If so, how did the process work out for you?  ~Scott]

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By Gogo Erekosima

An effective strategic marketing planning framework is a must-have element for any small business that wants to become a big business “when it grows up”. Unfortunately, many small business owners have as much interest in strategic marketing planning as a turkey has for thanksgiving. They avoid it.

Part of the reason why they avoid this very important process is because consultants and MBAs have conspired to make it a topic that only egg heads could love.

In working with my consulting clients, I have developed a simple framework for helping the every day business owner articulate a plan for strategic engagement with the marketplace. I call it the 4P Business Thinking framework.

The 4P Business Thinking Framework is a robust system for matching your solution to the needs of a marketplace, and then communicating that match in a way that results in sales and profits. Here is a brief overview of the 4Ps of the 4P framework.

1. People (or Profile)

For you or your business to exploit a market opportunity or overcome an industry challenge, you must have a very clear definition of the target customer. In the B2B (business-to-business) space that customer may be an organization, but the approach must still be crafted with individual decision makers in mind. In a B2C (business-to-consumer) context, you may have to define the demographic, psychographic or geographic profiles of your target prospects.

2. Problem

You must clearly define the problem your marketplace is desperate to solve for which you have an answer. In business, many ships have crashed on the rocks of market indifference because a company manufactured a solution for which the market had no problem. The time proven approach to value innovation in business is to deeply examine the clearly identified challenges of the customer.

3. Process (or Product)

What is your particular way of solving the market’s challenge that differentiates you from every other competitor?

This 3rd P in the framework is where you have a chance to stand out from the crowd of competitors for solving the problem of your chosen target market. Your process or product must be meaningfully different.

4. Passion (or Personality) and Proof

This last element is often flubbed badly by small businesses who blindly emulate the sanitized and often colorless communications of much larger firms. One of the embedded advantages a small business has is the ability to be “personal” and to communicate passion to the marketplace.

One large company that successfully communicates passion and personality in marketing is Southwest airlines. As a result of their commitment to personality in business, they continue to be rewarded with some of the highest customer approval ratings in the domestic airline industry.

If you manage a manufacturer of colorless widgets, or a buttoned-down professional service firm, you cannot afford to pass up the power of personality, passion and social proof in your marketing.

Some simple things you can do include digging through early stories of your company for narratives that may resonate, or capturing the experiences of your staff, clients and managers for your marketing campaigns.

Conclusion

Whether you’re planning for a new product or service, approaching a new target market or writing a direct mail sales letter, the 4P framework can be used to create tremendous value in your marketing planning process.

Gogo Erekosima, The Small Business Digital Coach is the CEO and Lead strategist at Idea Age Consulting – a Denver Business Consulting firm that promises to grow your small business by 24% or more in 24 weeks or less using their customized Business Growth Action MAPS.

Sign up today for a Marketing SWOT Analysis. This consulting module uncovers strategic marketing and business growth opportunities. This Consulting Package is valued at over $1500 dollars.

Article Source: Strategic Marketing Planning Made Simple – The 4P Business Thinking System

 

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How to Attract Customers Through Social Media Search Engines

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Image via Wikipedia

By David Hale

Today, people who frequent Twitter and LinkedIn expect to locate market leaders in their markets. Your customers expect to see top-level content on all of your profile pages when clicking on links within the social networking search engine tools. By providing them with valuable content you will attract more and more customers who eventually purchase your products and services.

As an Internet marketer you need to incorporate all of the social networking sites you have optimized profiles on, into your marketing channels. You can do this by first placing social media icons on your website and blog. What this will do is encourage readers and visitors to your site to click on the icons which will link them to your social pages.

Here is where relationship building comes into play, or relationship marketing as it is called in the business world. This will allow people to get to know you and pick your brain. Give your viewers, customers, and subscribers a reason to check out your pages by offering them some freebie such as an e-book, manual, or special report. By giving them free valuable content, when the need arises that they need a product or service within your niche market, you will be the first one that comes to mind.

You need to make sure that your LinkedIn profile page is optimized by including all of your relevant market keywords and phrases into your content. This will enable your profile to be ranked within your industry focused environment. Also, make sure that you have your blog URL listed on your LinkedIn page so it will be frequently updated. This will also have your name and link to your page listed on the update reports your contacts receive.

Twitter now has a very powerful and useful search tool which is present on every profile page you look at. This search tool is a very strategic device to incorporate into your information gathering strategies. By consistently using your keywords and phrases in your tweets your information will be more likely to be listed higher on twitter search results along with Google Social Search listings.

By incorporating the above techniques into your social networking strategies you’ll start to attract more customers by treating your social media sites and search engines as marketing magnets.

If you are out to attract prospective customers and develop your online presence and exposure, you owe it to yourself and the financial future of your business to learn everything you can about social networking.

Want to discover more valuable Internet marketing and social networking strategies?

For more information on Internet marketing and free training, go to http://www.drdavehaleonline.com

Dr. Dave Hale, The Internet Marketing Professor, is one of the country’s leading developers of Internet marketing and social media curriculum for businesses and universities and specializes in online marketing communications.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Hale
http://EzineArticles.com/?Social-Networking-Strategies—How-to-Attract-Customers-Through-Social-Media-Search-Engines&id=4616677

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Social Media Benefits Niche Marketing

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Image via CrunchBase

Social media sites are quickly becoming powerful tools for the niche marketer. Facebook has recently announced reaching 500 million users. YouTube is now streaming two billion videos a day. Twitter is expanding at a faster and faster clip.

These, and dozens of other social media sites, have turned the social media experience into a boon for the savvy niche marketer. How? Each of these social media sites have “search function” capability. This allows marketers to focus and follow conversations within their niches.

Keeping current on the latest trends, releases, and topics is powerful in itself. But, the real power lies n the niche marketer’s ability to interact, to comment, and to respond to the stream of information in which they are competing. This gives the astute niche marketer the edge by creating opportunities to be seen and heard by prospects.

If managed correctly, the niche marketer can be viewed as an authority, or expert, in their chose field, and this positioning can drive traffic back to a home page.

What does all of this mean for you? Quite simply, if you are not engaging in social media to help sell your products and services, you are leaving lots of money on the table.

Today’s tip: figure out who your target market is and use social media to connect with them.


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