The Niche Marketing Blog

Tools for understanding and reaching your market

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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5 Major Benefits of Content Marketing

Content Strategy

[Editor’s note: There has been a lot of buzz in the niche marketing arenas lately about “content marketing“. While this concept isn’t exactly new, it does afford many advantages over other forms of online marketing – especially for niche marketers. Today’s guest article looks at five benefits that you can realize by adding content marketing to your overall marketing strategy. What do you think? Do you use content marketing in your marketing mix? Has it paid off for you? Leave me a comment below  ~Scott.]

ByTJ Philpott

Content marketing is fast becoming more highly recognized as a viable and long term means of marketing on the internet. Publishing content may not be as easy or work as quickly as submitting a PPC ad and does involve an investment of your time. On the flip side however it is one of the most effective advertising methods available online today.

Many look at what is involved in publishing content and often times choose to use another online marketing strategy that is not as labor intensive. No doubt there are many who may not be convinced that using content to promote online is worth the effort.

For anyone still indecisive about using content as an online marketing strategy let’s review 5 compelling benefits this promotional strategy offers.

Economical

Publishing content involves only the investment of your time and effort. Using content to promote yourself or your business online is very easy on your marketing budget. In today’s day and age where are you going to find something that actually works and not have to pay for it?

Longer Lasting

Unlike some other methods of advertising, publications such as newsletters, blog post or articles can continue to drive traffic for you long after they were initially published. Of course this is highly dependent upon the quality of the content that you have published.

Builds Credibility

The more content you publish the more recognized you become on the internet due to the increased exposure. Along these same lines the longer your name is associated with the content you are publishing the more you become recognized as an authority on the subject matter.

What you are looking at here is building a reputation online which is difficult to do within such an ‘impersonal’ medium as the internet. Your content allows readers to get a better feel of who you are and the degree of your expertise.

Attracts Targeted Traffic

Obviously the people who are most interested in your content will be the same ones who visit your sites. When you consider that your content is going to focus on whatever it may be you are promoting this traffic will be highly targeted.

Great SEO Tactic

The more you publish any content linking back to your site the more incoming links your site will have. Also the frequency of your publications is something the search engines love since they are always looking for fresh content they can rank. In both these cases the search engines will display more favoritism to your site(s) with a higher ranking for you. This results in more ‘organic’ traffic for you which is the best type to have since it is so targeted.

Content marketing is one of the most effective advertising methods for marketing on the internet today. The only drawback for some may be how labor intensive this type of online marketing strategy is. In reviewing 5 major benefits this promotional strategy offers it is hard to deny the obvious advantages associated with publishing content online. In the end it would seem the effort is more than worth it as long as you are willing to put forth that effort!

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Niche Marketing Strategy – What’s the Big Deal?

Niche Marketing

Image via Wikipedia

[Editor’s note: The following guest article provides a very good overview of niche marketing, and why this type of marketing strategy can produce more consistent profits for your business. Tell me what you think by leaving a comment below. ~Scott]

By

Just what the heck is a niche market strategy? As you might already know, a niche market is group of consumers that all have a similar need, desire or problem. Niche market strategy is the thought process that we use to find those hot undiscovered niches that we can develop into a profitable business model.

Now, let’s assume you are marketing designer clothes that are extravagant and expensive. You might think that your niche market would consists of people who need clothes, Right? Well, that is true but your market will be narrowed down to people who want designer clothes and can afford to buy your clothing line.

By targeting this micro niche, your targeted audience or search numbers will drop drastically and immediately, you are thinking there is no money to be made by selling to a smaller crowd. The truth of the matter is that there will be more potential to make profits by starting a new website in the designer clothes niche than in the wide open clothing niche.

Let me explain this point a little so that you don’t think that I am some sort of weirdo blowing off steam. While it is a fact that your targeted audience will be less, it is also true that you will only attract searchers that are interested in your specific product. It will be easier for you to market to this crowd because of several reasons. Below are a few of the reasons that your visitors will be more willing to buy from your site than a site that is marketing a wider variety of products.

  • You will promote your site using keyword phrases that are medium to long tail phrases that are very closely related to the contents of your website. These keywords have a fraction of the competing pages on the Internet than the shorter keyword phrases, therefore you will be able to rank higher in the search engines and be found by searchers easier.
  • People searching with longer keyword phrases are looking for a specific type of product line to buy. By providing only those associated product lines, your site will be tailored to their needs. Statistics show that visitors to a website only stay an average of seven seconds. If you only present to your visitors what they are searching for, your chances to keep them on your website improve dramatically.
  • Research has proven also that people who search using long tail keyword phrases are more apt to buy. Their search terms are more specific and they know what they want, they are just looking for a place to buy it.

A very common fatal mistake that people building websites make is trying to market their product or service to a large general market instead of focusing on a small niche market. They fail to realize that the Internet is like the LA freeway at rush hour. You have a snowballs chance of getting anywhere in that crowd.

The only way that you can compete in highly congested, overcrowded markets is to have a big advertising budget or a large existing mailing list targeted to your product line. What you will find by trying the pay-per-click PPC method is that the big dogs that have the corner on your market will have an unlimited advertising budget also. You will most likely resemble a Salmon swimming upstream.

The second huge mistake that people make when picking a niche market to build a website around is promoting a niche that they are passionate about or that they have a lot of knowledge in. It is great if you can do this, but the chances of this happening are slim.

The problem with choosing a niche that is near and dear to your heart is that there may be a limited audience looking for the information that you possess, the people may only be looking for information (their not buyers) or there are no monetization features in your field of expertise.

You must understand that without interest in your niche, a buying crowd and a way to monetize your niche, you will make no money from your online business.

Now, I know that you are interested in being successful in your online endeavors or you would not be reading this article. I am going to be straight to the point, frank and up front with you. If you really want to succeed in today’s super-competitive, dog eat dog marketplace, you have no choice but to focus your business and marketing on a specialized small niche market that has a decent amount of interest and also can be monetized with useful saleable merchandise. Unless you have a bunch of money you want to spend on an advertising campaign.

If you ignore my advice and go merrily on your way and market to a larger general market before establishing your roots successful in a couple of small niche markets, I will personally guarantee you that you will soon go broke and be out of business. That may sound cold, but those are the facts, like it or not.

The key ingredients to niche marketing strategy are:

  1. Finding a market that has a hungry crowd of people that have a problem in a low competition niche
  2. Finding saleable merchandise that will solve their problem
  3. Making sure that your hungry crowd is a buying crowd.

You need to study the keywords to determine whether or not you feel that your audience will buy or are window shoppers. When you find a niche that possesses all three of the above characteristics, you have got yourself a winner.

I am an affordable small business web designer by trade and I research and uncover profitable micro niches every day. You can get your Free copy of my Niche Market Research. This report includes over 150 of the Hottest Small Niche Markets. These sub-niches have been researched, uncovering highly searched markets with low competition while still providing good profitability features.

If you are in need of a low cost quality web design visit my site at: http://www.affordablewebsitedesignco.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jim_Morecraft

http://EzineArticles.com/?Niche-Marketing-Strategy—Whats-the-Big-Deal?&id=4793069

 

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Review: How to Market to People Not Like You

I have recently read the book, “How to Market to People Not Like You”, by Kelly McDonald. This is not your traditional, ho-hum book on marketing. Rather, it is an eye-opening read that changes the marketing paradigm with an approach that is both fresh and exciting.

McDonald focuses on the importance of identifying the “unlikely” customer – those customers who are not like you – how to tap into those customer segments with confidence and how to avoid mistakes and pitfalls when marketing to new customer groups. She has distilled this process into what she calls the “seven steps for selling to new and unfamiliar customers”.

McDonald asserts that, who you are is not defined by the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or what generation you belong to; it’s about values. It’s about understanding that different groups have differing values. Traditional marketing approaches focus on demographics like gender, race, age, lifestyle and socio-economic groupings. To these, McDonald offers less conventional examples to the mix, including:

  • Rural vs. metro
  • Military vs. civilian
  • Stay-at-home Moms vs. working Moms
  • Home schooled children vs. children who attend public schools
  • Foreign-born residents vs. U.S. born residents
  • Political views and religious beliefs
  • Vegans vs. meat-eaters

Each group has a set of values that is different from their counterparts. As a marketer, if you can recognize and understand these key values, and their differences amongst groups, you can then design effective marketing messages to reach the members of those groups, thus creating the opportunity for expanding both your customer base and market share.

I especially like the discussion about the differing values that each generation (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, etc.) have, and how marketing messages must be tailored to each group in order to be effective.

Using real-world examples from successful business owners and managers, “How to Market to People Not Like You” demonstrates how to create a deep, emotional connection between your products and new customer groups. The book is full of examples of successful – and not so successful – ads and marketing tactics from companies such as Toyota, BMW, Harley Davidson, AT&T, Apple, and many others.

The latest Census numbers are going to show that the U.S. population is the most diverse that is has ever been. As such, thinking about diversity will be more important than ever. Whether you are a niche marketer, a mass marketer, or somewhere in between, this book will provide you with insights into reaching new customer pools by tapping into the values of these consumer groups. By doing so, you’ll reach their hearts and minds and, ultimately, their wallets and purses.

This 209-page book is an easy to read, step by step guide, loaded with tactics that can be implemented just as easily by the owner of a local retail shop or the V.P. of Marketing of a Fortune 500 business.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is responsible for expanding their sales base and attracting customers unlike the ones they already have.

 

(Please note that the above link is an “affiliate link”. If you purchase the book using the above link, I will receive a commission on that purchase. If that bothers you, do not purchase through the above link. Rather, go straight to your favorite on-line book seller and purchase the book directly).

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Six Location Based Service Predictions for 2011

Location Based Marketing Services

Image by aJ GAZMEN ツ GucciBeaR via Flickr

[Editor’s note: OK, so maybe you’ve heard that location based marketing services (LBS) are gaining traction in terms of driving traffic to brick and mortar businesses. Maybe you’ve also heard that traditional marketing methods (e.g. yellow pages advertising, fliers, etc.) are losing ground to mobile applications (e.g. Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc.). So, where is all of this heading and, more important for the retailer or niche marketer, how do you get in front of the trend and convert all of this new technology into customers and increased sales? The following guest article focuses on six predictions for LBS in 2011 and beyond. What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below. ~Scott]

By

Here are six predictions for big changes in the location based services (“LBS”) space in 2011.

1. Location based services gain substantial ground – Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places will all see substantial user growth and more mainstream adoption as consumers start to see that these offer real value. Just like services such as Groupon that use social media to bring value to consumers, these services offer the same benefits. Soon we will see consumers start checking in with greater frequency.

2. Foursquare remains the clear leader – despite Facebook Places, Foursquare stays at the forefront of the LBS market. Privacy concerns are the main barrier for Facebook Places. Consumers identify Foursquare more with location and may not want their check-ins linked with their Facebook account. If someone checks in with Foursquare they don’t have to worry about that being broadcast all over their Facebook wall. This will play out being to Foursquare’s advantage.

3. Gowalla, SCVNGR, or another smaller LBS platform is acquired by a major technology company – one of these smaller platforms, combined with the larger infrastructure or user base of a firm like Google or Groupon, could pose a big threat in the LBS space. Smaller platforms are a better target as the acquiring firm doesn’t have to pay a premium for users (as they would with foursquare).

4. Location based marketing becomes a mainstream form of customer engagement – there is a very compelling value for businesses in using LBM through a platform like foursquare as a permission marketing asset. Once either the user base starts growing or businesses realize the potential of location based services, location based marketing will see a big boom.

5. There will be a growth in Third-Party location software – we are already seeing it with Flicksqr, Geotoko, Place Punch, and Placcess – but if Twitter is any indicator, location platforms will start to see a big proliferation of startups focused on using location platforms to engage customers and refining the location space from a business user’s perspective.

6. Digital wallets merge with location services – We will see a big boost in digital wallet technology and some form of that merging with LBS. Shopkick is already taking things in that direction and several cutting edge start-ups are working toward this goal as well.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit his blog http://www.LBMGuru.com to learn more about location based marketing and get the latest updates. Matt also offers tips and strategies for using location based marketing to grow your business with a free how-to guide you can download right now at: http://www.locationbasedmarketing.biz

(C) Copyright – Matt Bodnar. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Bodnar

http://EzineArticles.com/?Six-Location-Based-Service-Predictions-for-2011&id=5741368

 

Related Videos

Location Based Services meet Social Media

Presentation at “Locations and Beyond” Summit San Francisco, October 2010 music: “Where You Belong” by Faded Paper Figures & composed by Kael Alden images: Tokyo by OHASHI_Takashi San Francisco by Simon ChristenCopyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 …

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The Top 4 Internet Marketing Fundamentals

[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article takes us back to the fundamentals of niche marketing. Mastering the fundamentals is the pathway to success. Whether your niche market is on-line, or off-line, it is always a good idea to review the basics from time to time. ~Scott]

By Marketing Knowledge Hub

The world of Internet Marketing is constantly changing. We all have to find out what is working for us to attract visitors to our websites (drive traffic) and keep them coming back for more. What worked for you last year may not necessarily be the best strategy for you to use this year.

Before passing on the secrets, let me just say that it is imperative that you have a good understanding of online and Internet terminology before proceeding. With that said, here are four fundamentals of Internet Marketing.

  1. Content: We all need to understand that the best tool in our arsenals is our content. If you are providing your visitors with high quality, original content, you will start to create a buzz. People start talking about you and tell other people about your site, other websites start linking to your site and you will start to see higher search engine rankings. So your content is KEY when you are marketing online and this is especially true if you do not have the resources to engage in massive advertising to build a branding campaign.
  2. Stay Consistent In Your Actions: There is no magic bullet. Internet Marketing is something that we have to do on a consistent basis using different methods to see what is working better for us. There are more and more people starting to market online so the competition gets stronger and stronger every day so it’s going to depend on the effort that YOU put in whether or not you are going to see the results that you are looking for.
  3. Don’t Be A One Trick Pony: Use different strategies, techniques and split testing to see what is working best for you and how you are generating traffic more effectively than other methods. Even if you are brand new to Internet Marketing, you should still pick 2-3 marketing techniques and stick with them until you start to see some nice results. Track and measure your results and prioritize your Internet Marketing activities. Plus, the more places that people see you on the internet, the more real you become to them.
  4. Become A Student: We have all grown up hearing the phrase “Knowledge Is Power” and it’s the truth. Internet Marketing is continually evolving and rapidly changing so we have to continually educate ourselves. What may have worked a couple years ago may no longer work or could be frowned upon now. Google and YouTube are shutting people down every day and their content disappears in the blink of an eye. So read up and pay attention to what techniques others are using to successfully market online and implement them into your business. A true professionals education never stops.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
Marketing Knowledge Hub is a network for marketing professionals and decision makers. Check out our library of free marketing research to learn more about online marketing and social media. You can also review additional research and information at the free white papers database.

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Niche Marketing Strategy – Find a Niche Market

Hitting the bullseye with niche marketing

Image by viZZZual.com via Flickr

[Editor’s note: As we near the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be good review some of the basics of niche marketing. Today’s guest article takes a look at niche marketing – what niche marketing is and how you can use niche marketing to drive traffic back to your web site or blog. ~Scott]

By

In today’s internet world, the number of your competitors is increasing day by day. Especially if you are dealing with services, products or internet marketing, it is relatively simple for anyone to set up a website and the barriers to entry are very low. But in order to continue to succeed if you are an established business, or even if you are just starting out as an Internet Marketing newbie, you need to have a new way of thinking. You need to have a stealthy niche marketing strategy – a way to zoom in on untapped niches.

A niche market is one that primarily focuses on a specific product or service aimed at satisfying specific market needs. So, what niche should you look for? Unlike traditional marketing which is getting more and more obsolete by the day, a niche marketing strategy requires special tools and criteria to reveal highly-profitable undiscovered niche markets that have been overlooked by the masses. These strategies mostly boil down to using user-friendly niche market research tools, and up-to-date internet marketing techniques to help you find the most profitable niche market, improve customer loyalty with the least competition.

It is an art to capture and draw profit from a small market segment. Those who have exposure and have spent many years of their lives in mainstream marketing fields cannot really understand how to proceed in these new online niche markets. And, they will fail without the proper niche marketing strategy. Therefore, you need precision niche market research that can show you how to find a niche. Whether they realize it or not, every profit-seeking website on the internet uses this fundamental marketing strategy. The key to finding your niche is basically twofold: Divert and Convert:

Step 1 – Divert traffic from one location (Point A) to another (Point B).

Step 2 – Convert the Diverted traffic from Step 1 into profit.

There are many different ways of diverting traffic, including:

  • Pay Per Click
  • Ezine Article Marketing
  • Press Releases
  • Links From Other Websites
  • Affiliate Promotions
  • Email Lists
  • Blogging

… just to name a few.

  • Likewise, there are many ways to convert this diverted traffic into profit, including:
  • Promoting Affiliate Products
  • Hosting Content Network Ads (like Adsense)
  • Building an Email List (which you can then use to promote products)
  • Selling Your Own Product
  • Pay Per Action
  • Pay Per Lead

… plus many more.

There are almost an unlimited number of combinations of diverting and converting techniques that you can use to find a niche market that will make a profit. You just need to figure out a winning combination, and then it is guaranteed that you will make money. And, there is a powerful niche marketing strategy tool that will easily show you how to find a niche market under-the-radar, without much competition.

I am somewhat new to internet marketing. But, I have purchased many internet marketing products and services over the past few months. I have been looking for a way to start my own business from home. Like a lot of people, I have done the rounds, bought products here, e-books there, but in the long run only ended up going in circles. You see, finding “the right information”, training that you can trust can be the most challenging part of it. So many people are selling information that is worthless these days.

Now you can use powerful, top-of-the-line niche market research to create multiple streams of income online. If you want to get the jump on the competition, then watch these 5 newly filmed videos explaining 5 different niche marketing strategies at: http://website-marketing-strategy.org

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Valerie_Lombard

http://EzineArticles.com/?Niche-Marketing-Strategy—Find-a-Niche-Market&id=4143858

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Location-Based Marketing Comes Of Age

Coca-Cola uses location-based marketing and promotion-based marketing

Image via Wikipedia

By Scott Spooner

The trend over the last year is for location-based marketing beginning to merge with promotion-based marketing. Witness the announcement this week of Coca-Cola teaming up with local malls to create a scavenger hunt of sorts that pays off with real promotions in the form of gift cards and Coke-branded merchandise.

Over the last couple of years, several authors (including myself) have predicted that the first wave of location-based marketing efforts – where consumers “check-in” for virtual badges or “mayorships” – would play out as consumers begin to lose interest.

These predictions seem to have been borne out based on the continuing low percentage of consumers who chase after these virtual payoffs.

Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and similar companies are about to change all that; and maybe in the process, change the rules of promotion marketing as well. These companies, and more like them every day, are realizing that location-based marketing can be a real driver in terms of getting consumers into a store, but it will take the coupling of a strategic promotions campaign to persuade those consumers into making a purchase.

Technology has put the consumer in the driver seat when it comes to selecting (or ignoring) competitors; and in this current economic climate, many are willing to wait on the sidelines and see what incentives show up.

Now it is up to the marketers to use that same technology to not only woo those consumers back into their stores, but also to combine the power of location-based marketing with promotion-based marketing in order to successfully compete in this rapidly changing marketplace.

What do you think? How can your company strategically use a combination of location-based, and promotion-based, marketing to increase both traffic and sales?

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Marketing Strategy – 3 Key Questions to Dramatically Increase the Number of Prospects You Attract

Marketing Strategy

Image via Wikipedia

[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article drills into your marketing strategy. Here we will focus on your target market, and the goods and services you sell. This article should get you thinking about how to plan your marketing efforts in order to maximize your marketing dollars. ~Scott]

By

If you have just started a business, you are probably eager to get the word out and start marketing. This is where many small-business owners get stuck. What are the best ways to market your business? How do you get the most bang-for-your-buck?

Before you can answer these questions, you must look internally at your core business strategy. Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of trying to be “everything to everyone” and the thought of turning away business can seem foolish when you are strapped for cash. Yet the quickest way to burn through your marketing budget is to try to target everyone.

The best marketing plans start with a quick assessment of your core business strategy.

1) What is your business identity? How do you differentiate your business from others like you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why should customers and clients do business with you instead of your competitors?

2) Who is your target market? To market cost-effectively, you must know and understand the main problems and frustrations of your market. What are their demographics? What do they want? What do they need – and is that different from what they want? What is their decision-making process for purchasing the types of products and services you offer?

3) What products and services do you offer? You can’t be and do everything for all people, so what do you sell? If you try to sell a laundry list of products and services to everyone who contacts you, you will end up confusing your prospects – and confused prospects don’t buy. The best types of products and services to sell involve aligning your core strengths with what your target market desperately wants. How can you use your strengths to solve a major frustration or pain that your market has?

These three questions are interdependent. You must be able to adequately answer all three before you start any marketing campaign.

Conducting Market Research
Once you have a clear idea of what you do best, what your market wants, and the types of solutions you will offer, the next step is to clearly explain your core products and services in a way that communicates why you are the premiere choice for solving your market’s problems over all other options available to them.

The best way to do this is to conduct basic market research. Go out and talk to people in your target market. Ask them if they have ever had the problem your products and services solve. Ask them how they solved their problem. Ask them how they made their purchasing decision and what attracted them to this particular solution.

Don’t assume you know the answers to these questions. Get hard data. Otherwise, you are just guessing.

Many people skip this step because it isn’t as sexy as putting up a website, being #1 in Google or creating a beautiful brochure, but if you try to skip the market research step, you end up with a very hit-or-miss marketing campaign. You try lots of tactics – and some may work – while most result in a lot of money wasted for few results.

Marketing that works is based on psychology. If you understand what your target market wants most, where they go to research potential solutions, and how they decide to purchase a solution, you will know where you should be advertising, what types of marketing tactics will be most effective in attracting new clients, and what your marketing materials should say.

Need help writing your marketing plan? Download your free 45-page strategic marketing plan guide today at http://www.getclientstoday.com. This hands-on workbook covers the 6 steps for creating your marketing strategy and includes a fill-in-the-blank marketing plan template you can use to craft your monthly marketing plan.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Krista_Baker

http://EzineArticles.com/?Marketing-Strategy—3-Key-Questions-to-Dramatically-Increase-the-Number-of-Prospects-You-Attract&id=3758636

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How to Employ Your Facebook Marketing Strategy With Other Social Media to Attract Social Consumers

Marketing Strategy using Facebook

Image via CrunchBase

[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article focuses on using Facebook in concert with other social media to drive traffic to your home site. As its dominance increases, Facebook is a social media site that shouldn’t be overlooked. ~Scott]

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In this article I am continuing to focus on Facebook as a powerful and dynamic marketing tool. Buzz all over the World Wide Web reflects that Google traffic is drying up. It is not the cash-cow that it was five-years-ago or even a year-ago. Where will it be in another year? Of course no one knows that for sure, but wisdom dictates that if Google traffic has been your bread and butter in business, then it might be a good idea to search out other ways to generate traffic for your business.

Buzz on the World Wide Web also reveals Facebook as the rising star in arena of marketing and lead generation. That makes an awful lot of sense when you consider that all consumers are people. The fact is more people are hanging out on Facebook for longer time periods than any other social media site today. People are also setting marketing and buying trends on Facebook. Consider these statistics:

  • People spend over 700 billion moments on Facebook every month
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content ( such as articles, photos, links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) are shared on Facebook every month
  • The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups, or events
  • 150 million people access Facebook through external websites every month
  • More than 150 million are accessing Facebook through their mobile devices every month and are considered to be twice as active on Facebook as the average user.

With statistics like that and with the economy in the condition that it is currently in, it is not surprising that major corporations such as Starbucks, iTunes, Soft Drink Companies, and more, all have a presence on and a strategy for marketing on Facebook. My question to you the marketer is, do you have a strategy to create and employ a Social Marketing Plan to attract the social consumer?

Whether you do or do not have one yet, you must consider employing Facebook in concert with other social media sites such as Twitter, Linked-In, Word Press Blog, and YouTube. I say this because for the social consumer, everything begins with a search. When they type in their search, it should be your goal to show up everywhere they go on the web. After the social consumer types in a search, they read articles, reviews, and public announcements. They search blogs to find someone who is talking about the product that they intend to buy. They review videos and demonstrations of the product that they are searching for and they do comparisons of different brands and different companies that promote them.

How well you do in the social consumer’s search and review process will produce social currency for you on Facebook and other Social Media. According to Brian Solis, social currency is equal to a favorable comment or someone hitting the Like Button on your Facebook, YouTube site or your Blog. Reputation, trust, and relationships are earned when people are attracted to your promotion, product, or price. Your ability to excel in this process will earn you the reputation and status that you deserve. When you attract a following on Facebook you will develop exponential success. This true because the people you attract who want to hear what you are going to say next, have attracted people themselves who are waiting to hear what they say, what they think, and what they recommend. It is a marketer’s dream, it is free, and it is powerful.

The bottom-line of this article is that the current marketing trend is moving more and more towards Social Media in general and Facebook in particular. If you want a piece of the action, now is the time to start developing and employing your marketing strategies for Facebook and other Social Media. No one knows what the power of Facebook will be a year from now. We do know that today it is huge and it shows no sign of slowing down. Let the reader understand!

Are you struggling with creating, developing, or employing a social media? If so check out my resource block below. I am here to help you move forward with your marketing plan.

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Lindy Diffenbaugh is a Mental Health Therapist and Life Coach by Profession. She has followed the trend of Internet Marketing and the Home Base Business in order to help others move forward and get beyond the perils of the current economic threat in our nation, to a place of personal and economic strength. For more information on how Lindy can help you prosper, even in a down economy, visit, http://www.LindyzBiz.com.

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