Technology and Its Importance in Marketing Your Business

In the last decades the personal computer has become an essential in almost every house. We have come to depend on it in many aspects of our life from communicating with friends and relatives to perform better in our job or school. It has become part of our lives so much that many of us don’t even imagine how our lives would be without it.

The Internet has also become an integral part of our everyday life. Books, encyclopedias and in some cases even newspapers have been gradually replaced by the Internet. They call it ‘the information highway’ and we rely on it to find the answer to our questions, to find interesting information, to share our knowledge and in turn benefit from someone else’s knowledge, to meet new people (many times far away). The Internet has made the world a smaller place because now it’s easier to talk to people from one end of the earth to the other.

The world is changing. Things are not the same as they were 10 or even 5 years ago. This is something you have to notice and take advantage of in you business just as you do in your day to day life.

Big companies have the benefit of big budgets and they plan their marketing strategies based on that. They build massive campaigns to take their message to as many people as they can. They buy TV spots in prime time, buy half a page or full page newspaper ads, stuff radio airwaves with their commercials, rent billboards just to advertise one of their products. You, on the other hand, do not have that luxury because you don’t have the money it requires. But you aren’t completely helpless, in fact you have a great advantage: the changes the world is experiencing.

As I said, we have come to rely on the internet for many of our activities. Internet usage in North America has gown by 125.6% in the last seven years. It is estimated that out of 301,139,947 in population, 215,088,545 are internet users (2007 estimates). That’s a penetration of 71.4%.

The widespread usage of the internet has made it an inexpensive yet very useful resource for your marketing objectives. Email marketing, special offers, seasonal promotions, multimedia marketing, all these just cost a fraction of what their offline counterparts cost. Most of the time all you have to invest is time.

Tools available on the internet now days enable you to get great graphic designs I just a matter of minutes, today’s high bandwidth services allows you to benefit from the full potential of multimedia marketing. It’s like having a TV spot running not only in prime time but all day long.

The world is changing, and it’s changing to your benefit. You just have to keep a keen eye and seize the opportunities as they present. Don’t be afraid of change, welcome it and profit from it.

Make Money On Ebay With Auction Promotion Strategies

Have you ever used eBay to make money online? If you answered no, then you are missing a huge opportunity no matter if you are running an established web business or just a newbie at making money online.

You should think about eBay as a promotion strategy that puts literally thousands of buyer’s right in your hands providing you leads and sales at the same time. And if you have a good sales funnel once you gain one lead from eBay you can use that lead to up sell higher priced items in the future.

Here is how it works. First plan out your sales funnel. Your sales funnel normally starts with a lower priced item which is used to get a lead. Then the sales funnel will use this lead to up sell higher priced items down the road.

For instance, if you sell barbecue grills, perhaps one of your promotion strategies would be to start selling barbecue accessories on eBay for a cost that you can break even at. Then by capturing the e-mail, and physical address information of the customer, you use this customer database to sell higher priced items such as grills down the road.

In addition, with millions of people using Ebay, it is one of the best website free traffic methods you can use to drive traffic to your website. And best of all one you capture this traffic and gain a customer database out of it you can market to that database of customers for years to come.

eBay is an opportunity sitting right in front of you and you can take advantage of it for fairly little effort. But in order to take advantage of it you must act.

Don’t just sit back and rely on the same promotion strategies you have used in the past. Selling customers as they walk though you door, really limits you. In today’s world to remain competitive you really need to focus on building a lead database and using those leads to market to over and over again.

And if you are already in the internet business, don’t just rely on your website to deliver traffic to your site. Focus on a much more broad promotion strategy that can get traffic from a variety of websites. eBay is one of those great traffic strategies that is often overlooked by many internet businesses.

Why Field of Dreams Marketing Doesn’t Work: Balance Product and Promotional Strategies

Many people like to quote the famous movie Field of Dreams: “If we build it, they will come.” While this concept is appealing in the context of a Hollywood blockbuster movie, it doesn’t work in real life as a new business marketing strategy.

Entrepreneurs often fall in love with their own products and business concept. They build a better mousetrap and assume everyone loves the concept of a better mousetrap. They invest their time, talents and treasure into their new mousetrap, build it, and then sit back. A few weeks later, they “Open” sign on their business is turned to “Closed” and they’re poorer, but no wiser, as to the ways of business.

Even famous entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that they’ve used the ‘build it and they will come’ marketing method as a springboard to their success. Paula Dean, the famous chef, restaurateur and television personality remarked recently (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Marketing? I just tried to cook the most delicious food I could for each person, and hoped they would love it so much they would tell 20 people. That was my marketing strategy.”

On the surface, such a marketing strategy is very appealing to entrepreneurs intimidated by marketing and all its nuances. In truth, however, every business needs to balance a solid product strategy with a great promotional strategy, and here’s why.

Great Products Make Marketing Easier, Bad Products Shouldn’t Be Sold

Great products can indeed ‘sell themselves’, and bad products shouldn’t be sold. A great product is by far easier to market and promote than a bad product. But what makes a great product?

  • It fills an unmet consumer need. The key to all good marketing strategies, whether it’s a product development or a promotional strategy, is discovering what your customers truly want and need and then building it. Whether it’s something beautiful to add to their home or collection or some service that makes their lives easier, customers have unmet needs, and it’s your job to find them and fill them if you want a successful business.
  • Great products are well made (or work well). Discovering and creating products to meet unmet needs is only half the battle. If the resulting product doesn’t work, falls apart, or offers only half -hearted service, it’s not worth doing.
  • Great products appeal to emotion. All great products appeal to human emotion. You may immediately think, “That’s not true! How can lumber/aircraft parts/accounting services/toilets appeal to emotion?” Lumber appeals to the human needs for creativity (I can build something), the need for sturdy and reliable products (peace of mind.) Aircraft parts appeals to the human need for safety (Company XYZ offers quality assurance and stress tested parts for safety). Accounting services appeal to people’s needs for security and peace of mind (Our services are backed by expert CPAs with 20 years of experience – no worries about audits or mistakes in your books). And toilets? I don’t know about you, but I want a toilet that works. If mine overflows, it’s taking out the dining room underneath the bathroom and will cause damage. I want peace of mind, comfort, security and perhaps something that uses less water so I can feel good about my impact on the environment.

As you can see, even the most mundane products offer some appeal to emotion. Use that appeal when you create your marketing and communications materials.

Even Great Products Need a Marketing Strategy

You may product the best aircraft carrier parts, the best toilets, the finest lumber or the most accurate accounting services, but if people don’t know you exist… you won’t sell a thing. That’s why great product strategies MUST go hand in hand with great marketing strategies!

The old chestnut that states it takes three ads to make an impact on customers is wrong. Today, it takes at least five, if not SEVEN exposures to product information before people even recognize a brand. This wisdom comes from countless conversations I’ve had with other marketing professionals and from what I’ve observed running two companies, my marketing consulting business and EquinArt Creations, the internet equine art gallery my husband and I founded in 2004. It used to be that I could send out one or two emails and generate sales; now it takes at least five times that effort to gain interest. Part of this is the economy, but it’s also a significant change in how consumers seek, receive and view product information.

Gone are the days when advertisers pumped out catchy messages and consumers passively received them. Today, consumers choose what marketing messages they wish to receive. They seek product information on their own terms, typically through internet marketing. You must think strategically about your marketing. Great products need a strong strategic marketing plan.

Next Steps for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs, Build It, PROMOTE It, and They WILL Come!

Move out of the “Field of Dreams” mindset and into the modern, internet marketing era. Begin by building a great product. Make sure it is faster, cheaper, better or whatever your customers want and need. Then, develop your product marketing strategy based on who your customers are. Where do they seek information about similar products – online, on television, in magazines and trade journals, word of mouth? Find out. The Internet makes it even easier to do consumer research. Search trade journals in your industry, competitors’ websites, blogs and news magazines online. Find and use this information to create your marketing strategy.

A marketing strategy is different from tactics. Think of strategy like an approach. It’s how you approach the problem of promoting your product or business. The methods you finally select to promote your product and services are called tactics. Tactics translate into action steps. Tactics are things like, “I’ll use direct mail; I’ll build a landing page; I’ll use content marketing and social networking to promote my business.” Then, break each idea down into action steps. “Write direct mail piece. Research and rent mailing lists. Create Facebook and Twitter accounts.” You get the idea.

Although you can market less than stellar products by pumping a lot of money into their promotional strategy, why should you? Having a terrific product, build to satisfy customer needs and with an emotional hook, makes it so much easier to make money. Start with a great product, build it, THEN promote it. And promote it again. Repeat until customers find you… and then truly, if you build it, and promote it, they will come to you!