Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ten Marketing Strategies that will Energize Your Business in 2009

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by Joel Sussman

Marketing Strategy #1:
Perhaps the single, most important marketing strategy that should be practiced by all small business owners is to make marketing a daily routine. Granted, there may be 101 different priorities vying for your attention at any given moment, but if you neglect marketing on more than just an occasional basis, then you risk losing potential sales, being overtaken by the competition, and placing self-imposed limitations on your income growth. In a challenging economy it's more important than ever to be known as a company that provides value, dependability, and great service. Without some sort of regular marketing program, your existing and prospective customers may find themselves to be unexpectedly interested in your competitor's latest offerings -- which may have been brought to their attention through a postcard mailing, a trade show exhibit, a blog posting, a phone call, a press release, or a well-written sales letter. (It's the old "out of sight, out of mind" principle.)

Marketing Strategy #2: Develop a "marketing consciousness". If you can get yourself to become just a little "obsessed" with marketing, then you'll tend to read more marketing books, attend more marketing seminars, and discover more marketing websites, newsletters, and blogs that will provide you with valuable ideas and inspiration. Of equal importance is becoming more attuned to how other people are marketing their businesses, and learning from their successes and marketing blunders.

Marketing Strategy #3:
Continually ask questions, re-evaluate what you're doing, and be flexible. If your website isn't converting the way it ought to be, try to pinpoint its weaknesses and correct them. The same holds true for print ads that are not generating responses. If the solution doesn't jump right out at you, ask your associates, acquaintances, neighbors, or spouse what their initial gut reaction is to your latest print ad, website landing page, a marketing postcard, or a radio ad. Instead of asking them what they think of it, ask them the more pointed question of how they think it could be improved (and assure them that you won't be offended by their constructive criticism). Useful feedback can often come from unexpected sources.

Marketing Strategy #4:
Start a blog related to your area of expertise about solving or preventing problems or making the most out of the products or services you offer. Then, invite your customers and prospective customers to check our your latest blog posts. Blogging will help give you more credibility as an expert, and it will also help keep your name and company in the forefront of your customers' minds.

Marketing Strategy #5:
Email a press release to your local media whenever you have anything newsworthy to announce. It's a free way to keep your name in front of the public, and it should be a part of an integrated marketing strategy. Two tips:
  1. Insert your press release into the body of your short, introductory email message. The reason for doing that is many reporters and editors don't like to open email attachments;
  2. Only send press releases if you have something newsworthy to announce. That could include hiring new employees, getting a government grant, organizing a successful fund raising event, a grand opening, a new web site, being a keynote speaker at a seminar or graduation ceremony, a business expansion or relocation, and that sort of thing.
Occasionally, it may pay to use one of the online press release distribution services for greater exposure and coverage.

Marketing Strategy #6:
Speaking of media relations, another strategy worth exploring is to let the media know that you're an expert in your field and are available as a company or industry spokesperson. Depending on your credentials, as well as your comfort-level with being interviewed by a reporter, you might want to send a brief letter outlining your accomplishments and expertise, and mention that they can feel free to call you if they need comments, quotes, background information, or opinion on a news article or feature story they're working on. The positive publicity, credibility, and recognition you could potentially get from this kind of coverage can potentially give your business or practice a real boost.

Marketing Strategy #7:
Business cards can either by a waste of paper or an effective bridge between a prospect and their potential as a long-term client. Business cards are an integral element of your company's branding strategy, and can sometimes make or break you when it comes to getting prospects to take you seriously. A lot of companies skimp on business card design, concept development, and printing; and that lackluster image is conveyed directly to prospective clients. Bottom line is: Your chances of favorably impressing prospects will improve substantially if your business cards are printed on high-quality paper, display a professional-looking logo, and use a font style that's easy to read and is representative of the nature of your business. Your business cards should also contain either a well thought-out slogan or a short bulletted list that capsulizes your services, your expertise, and your commitment to excellence.

Marketing Strategy #8:
Anticipate why a prospective customer might be reluctant or ambivalent about doing business with you, and then make sure to address their concerns in a clear, deliberate, and confident way. Guarantees of satisfaction, believable testimonials from satisfied customers, and assurances of dependable customer service after the sale are a few of the ways that you can reduce sales resistance.

Marketing Strategy #9:
If you find yourself chatting with a blogger who's in your profession or industry, but does not directly compete with you, offer to fill in for him, occasionally, as a "guest blogger". Blogging can be a pretty arduous undertaking, so they might welcome the chance to take a break and present their readers with a slightly different point of view. Make sure, of course, that you are allowed to include one or two links back to your website. This will accomplish two objectives:
  1. You'll probably draw in at least a trickle of additional traffic to your website, and
  2. Inbound links to your site from other relevant, high quality sites can help improve your search engine positioning (ranking) in Google.

Marketing Strategy #10:
When developing a marketing plan, don't forget that there is a huge range of marketing ideas you can employ, many of which are free or inexpensive. Marketing ideas and techniques include yellow pages advertising, Pay Per Click advertising on Google and other Internet portals, exhibiting in trade shows, networking at local or regional professional conferences and business groups, direct mail, distributing coupons, sponsoring contests, and of course, traditional media advertising, such as radio, TV, newspaper, and magazine display ads. That's just the short list of marketing strategies you can pursue as part of a planned marketing campaign, so devise an exhaustive list of possibilities, target your audience, and then plan a campaign based on your budget and your goals.

32 comments:

Consumer Mailing Lists April 20, 2009 at 2:02 PM  

Great tips, I especially agree with #3...you have to be constantly evaluating your product and researching your competitors.

Toronto Condos June 6, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

Thanks, Great tips. I like marketing strategy 5 "Insert your press release into the body of your short, introductory email message." the most.

Gold Bullion August 8, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

Thanks for the marketing strategy.Im a newbie on the business..Reading your blog fully educates me.Thanks

Musikinstrumente March 2, 2010 at 7:34 PM  

Cool ten strategies. I think they also work for 2010. :-)

Web Hosting UK April 1, 2010 at 3:17 AM  

This strategies will also be great for years to come, yes you should always re-evaluate what you're doing, and be flexible!

Domain name registration June 18, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

I think this point are still very relevant to this year as well, if is is effectively carry out.

AlbertB September 17, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

Thanks for sharing this mate. I hope that these strategies will be also effective in 2010.. I think social media rules today.

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I get the same exact results of no data for the Authors Tag Cloud.

Mike Dillard's Elevation Group February 19, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

One of the best marketing strategy today is the use of social media. The popularity of this sites had gone to the top and advertising and promoting your site in tons of members will be a great help for you..

Improve your customer acquisition marketing June 8, 2011 at 9:17 PM  

Great list! The marketing world is changing everyday, but still the most important is generating traffic and therefore leads. Always keep your goal in mind: make money for your client :)

text message marketing July 14, 2011 at 11:21 AM  

The strategies in marketing always change but the thing that will not change is marketing is always needed in any business.

beauty December 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM  

Pretty good post! I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

KVM Switches January 25, 2012 at 5:18 PM  

Always remember that everything starts in your mind so clear out the negativity, fear and doubt. Treat it like a garden. Plant the seeds and they will grow. Your thoughts are the seeds the results are what comes from them. You can grow flowers or weeds. What do you choose to grow? Spending time reviewing your original brand assumptions is the critical starting point of this exercise. It is easier to change how you do business than why you do business. If you are in line with your vision and purpose, and can communicate your Brand Charter to others, it is much easier to reprioritize tasks and refocus resources for the next successful business cycle.

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You have to be willing to question what you've been doing and what you are about. Listen to your clients and understand the macro trends affecting your industry. Every organism, including businesses, must adapt to succeed.

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