4 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Is Your marketing campaign a black-hole?

The method by which you inform people about your products directly affects on how people view your product, business, and future marketing efforts. Poorly considered marketing efforts can have haunting consequences for your business. A careful hand cannot be overemphasized.

Several years ago, Timothy’s Coffee launched a marketing campaign to promote it’s new coffee product. In an attempt to create more awareness about their coffee, they broadcasted an advertisement on various social media sites offering a coupon or free samples of their coffee. However, the company failed to account for the impact of their offer and the power of social media. Three days after launching the campaign, Timothy’s depleted their supply of free K-cup coffee packs. After attempting to clean-up the mistake by re-offering the product on a first come first serve basis, Timothy’s ended up resorting to posting apology videos and offers of free coupons in the mail. The backlash from social media was almost as colossal as it’s response to the initial campaign.

When it comes to running a marketing campaign, a businesses cannot be too careful. Poorly considered advertising campaigns can quickly ruin a business’s reputation and can be a haunting memory for years. Here, we will see how you can avoid the mistakes other businesses have made.

INCONSISTENT EXPERIENCES

Have you ever visited a website that had links that didn’t work or products that weren’t available? Although vast numbers of businesses market their products and services online, too often their “up-keep” of these sources falls short. Email marketing is a useful method of educating your customers about your products or services. Offering coupons is another tactic useful for attracting customers. However, if the emails you send out carry information on products that will expire quickly, or if your coupons are no longer available, customers who follow these links only to be led to a dead-end web page will quickly get discouraged. Market teams should routinely walk through customer acquisition and engagement channels to see if there are any flaws in the process which could frustrate and discourage customers from visiting your website.

OVER-AGGRESSIVE EMAILING

Emailing can be an effective and cost-efficient method of advertising. Statistics actually show that email marketing for mid-sized businesses has a 246 percent return on investments. However, caution and moderation should be considered when sending out these emails. If you send out your emails to mass numbers of customers without considering the various market segments and groups of people in your target audience, your email recipients could begin marking your emails as spam. If large numbers of your emails are marked as spam, your email provider could temporarily or permanently disable your email account. According to complainmonitor.com “The industry standard for an acceptable percentage of complaints per email campaign is less than 0.02%.” Thus, the importance of sending out emails that hold useful information to your target audience (and not over-selling your company) should be emphasized.

BREAKING PROMISES

Coming up with an effective company promise or slogan is not difficult. However, consistently following through with this promise can be a challenge for some companies. Companies who offer promises and raise expectations of their customers only to disappoint will quickly develop a reputation for themselves.

OPERATING A CAMPAIGN BASED ON BAD DATA

Data that you gather about your customers holds high importance when you are designing your promotions. If this data is wrong, you may end up spending large amounts of company money with little results from consumers and a low ROI. According to Econsultancy, inaccurate data affects 88% of companies with an average company losing 12 percent of its revenue.

Data is usually gathered from control groups. Within these control groups, some data will show that certain promotions drive encourage positive consumer engagement and high returns on investments. Often companies will push to create promotions that appeal to these groups of consumers and will lose focus on other groups. However, some companies have found that although the data shows high engagement among certain groups of consumers, the audience’s willingness to convert and actually make purchases is very low. Thus, the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket applies to the world of advertising campaigns.

A marketing campaign that is conducted in the wrong way can have complete opposite effects from it’s intended purpose. The results can last for years financially and in the minds of your customers. Companies that play out their campaigns carefully/properly become the winners.

6 Excellent Marketing Techniques for 2016

People hate advertising.

Unless they are talking about Superbowl ads, advertisements usually receive bad ratings. What if you could offer people your product/company information without being rejected? As more consumers are bombarded with advertisements, some creative business minds have designed creative marketing techniques that are less offensive to the public. Is your company utilizing any of these techniques?

1. CONTENT MARKETING

In the recent 2 years, companies have increasingly been turning to content marketing to create awareness of their businesses. Content marketing is often found to be an effective method of advertising because the company is giving the customer some useful information that can help and benefit the viewer in some way. It is less likely to be rejected because the content does not look like an advertisement. Examples of content marketing include:

*Infographs (maps or charts that display some useful information)
*Online articles
*Interesting/funny videos (the main content may not focus on the company, but on another idea)
*Email newsletters

Another advantage of content marketing is that it’s usually free. Many companies offer their publications on social networking sites, emails, or search engines; if the information is interesting enough, people will read and perhaps share the information with others. Thus, if done in the right way, this method of communicating with people about your product can be very effective and cheap.

2. SEOs & SEMs

Search Engine Marketing (Search Engine Marketing) is placing information about your company/products on popular search engine sites such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. These ad placements often are effective in driving traffic to your products or services, because the content of your advertisement can be optimized to be viewed by customers who perform searches related to the content of your ad. These ad placements are not free, but the number of visitors who can access your ad is often large. (Below, we can see the number of the number of active users on the 5 most popular search engines in the world.) Search engine optimization (SEOs) are a little different from SEMs. Each search engine has search results that are ranked in an order that lists the web pages, videos, or content which the search engine considers most relevant to the particular search results. Each website has its own standards for which web pages will be listed on the first page of the search engine results. Different companies have different strategies for increasing their chances of having their information placed on the first page of the search results. Some modify their HTML codes and the website content (they try to make the website appeal more to possible popular searches.) sOME place certain keywords a certain number of times in their website to increase their prioritized search chances. Other SEOs work by taking advantage of search engines functions. For example, some website designers will fill the article with keywords. Other designers will go a step further and hide keywords in the background of search engines so the search engine will place their information first.

3. ONLINE

Consumer preferences are shifting. In the last few years, we have seen an increasing number of people turning to shopping online. During the highest buying and selling time period for western companies (October through December) the number of people shopping online is now greater than the number of people purchasing products from a shop. A new generation of buyers is also arising: millennials. According to statistics, 74% of millennials will shop online for products before (or while) they are in a shop to find the best prices. What does this mean for your company? You can directly compete with brick-and-mortar shops for customer services no matter where your company is located.

4. CROSS PROMOTIONS

Operating in a silo is a phrase used to describe a company who acts alone in their marketing campaigns. Advertising costs and effects can be greatly diminished if companies partner with organizations who offer similar products. Cross-promotions is the process which companies group together and share the costs of an adverting. There is great potential with this type of marketing. For example, if your company sells baby beds and another company sells baby toys or food, imagine how many more customers could be leads to your products or website if your products were advertised on your partner’s web-page. At the same time, other companies will group together to share the costs and profits of an advertising campaign. Thus, with cross promotions, we can see great potential for decreasing costs while increasing your reach.

5. MARKETING TO PHONE USERS

Most webpages are built and designed to appeal to desktop users. However, studies have found that this year, for the first time, the number of people making purchases from their phones was actually greater than the number of people purchasing by PC. The future of marketing is mobile. It is estimated that on average, companies waste millions each year creating advertisements and websites that appeal to mobile users. Instead of building a web page that appeals to PC audiences, it is recommended you now prioritize your website to appeal to mobile users.

6. DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING

This type of marketing encourages people to sign up for company newsletter or create an account in exchange for an offer. This type of advertising offers your viewer something free, a discount, a copy of a company’s business report, or a special service. This type of advertising can create lists of contact information your company can used by your marketing team to offer products or information later on.

5 Key FAQs (And 5 Good Answers) About Health Care Marketing

Almost everyone in the United States will see a doctor at some point in his or her life. The established fact is that all people need healthcare. In today’s society, health care marketing plays a vital role for all health professionals, as the medical and dental industry remains a competitive field. If you maintain a practice or provide any type of health care services, you may have questions regarding your marketability. Take a look at some of the following frequently asked questions and some even better answers:

1. What is Health Care Marketing?

Health care marketing is very similar to other fields of marketing, branding, research and advertising. Yet, it is unique in that it contains elements of public health information, specific research as to health matters, and health communication. Those who work in health care marketing often practice techniques of integrating standard methods of marketing with science-based strategies of research and health information. Many refer to this as the marketing mix, as it draws from many disciplines to inform, educate, and appeal to the public.

2. Why does it matter?

It is no secret that health care covers not only a very diverse array of services, but is also quite competitive. Most aspects require some form of marketing, including: dental practices, general medicine offices, and large corporations of hospitals, non-profit sectors and research firms. Effective marketing strategies primarily include branding. A great brand tells the public what your business or discipline is and why it is important.

Health matters to everyone, and patients need to know what to expect and why they should choose a certain service. Many professionals make the mistake of ignoring branding, as they feel they are immune to economic recessions. However, research shows that patients choose practices with great branding practices.

3. What is a best patient?

In marketing, not everyone is going to be the perfect customer for a business. For every product on the market, there is an ideal audience. Outdated methods of advertising practice a “pray and spray” methodology of targeting a consumer base. Now, research has shown that narrowing your customer base to those more likely to purchase or participate in your product or offering is much more effective than targeting an entire population randomly. This person most likely to engage in your business is called the best customer. For the health care industry, the best customer is known as the best patient.

4. Is a marketing firm important for the medical field?

It can be an overwhelming process, determining your best patient and creating a brand for your services. Most health care professionals want to focus on providing the best care or the best research possible to the public. But to maintain the resources to do so, one must have a successful and thriving practice to continue one’s work. That is where a great marketing firm can come into play. Marketing firms have the knowledge and ability to identify your best patient. A knowledgeable branding company will realize what an effective ad campaign will look like and will give you the tools to reach your target audience, helping you to continue to best serve your patients.

5. What does a successful marketing campaign look like?

Efficient marketing strategies will look a little differently for different doctors, hospitals, practices and firms. A good marketing company will help you recognize your strengths in the market place and will communicate those strengths to your best patient. Ideas that turn into compelling content are key to reaching your ideal audience with a trust-worthy branding message.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9367647

Make Your Business Stand Out With the 5 P’s of Marketing

How can you make your services/products stand apart from your competitors? Competition is tough, customer loyalty is not what it once was, and the price of products continues to rise. Differentiating your products can be a challenge. Let’s look at how your business can differentiate your products to increase the chances that your target market will choose your product.

Although a familiar concept in the business world, the 5 P’s of marketing (product, place, price, promotion, people) is a highly effective method of differentiating your product. The answer for how to differentiate your product can be found in any of the 5 P’s of marketing.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DIFFERENTIATION can come in many various forms. Companies can offer decreased prices, higher quality products, special services, or different product sizes (which can make price comparison more difficult).

**Decreasing prices by sourcing products from overseas is perhaps the most common method of decreasing your product price. Product quality has seen great improvements in developing countries and the potential for importing quality, low cost products is greater now than it ever has been. Although some are still wary of purchasing products from a company they don’t know, many business women and men have found that purchasing products through b2b platform businesses allow them to avoid wholesalers.

**Special Services options are only limited to the specialties and imagination of the people in your company. Free shipping, customer services, or specialized customer advice are common services companies can offer. Online newsletters are also an effective way to give your target audience advice while still educating them about your company.

**Different product sizes and colors can also be a very attractive feature. Many groups of customers appreciate products that are different and are attracted to products that help display their special characteristics. A check with your supplier may surprise you at the various product styles and colors they can produce. (As a note, asking your supplier about various product colors offered can be cheaper than asking for different sizes. Different size products may mean a change or a different assembly line method.)

PLACE DIFFERENTIATION can include making your product available in more locations, for longer hours at a time, or over the Internet. Place differentiating in marketing – how your company’s brand name is marketed and seen by audiences – has also recently seen significant shifts. As many companies realize the disdain most people have of traditional marketing strategies, they have sought new ways to educate people about their brands. Content marketing (embedding information in interesting publication) and Entertainment marketing (placing your brand name within various entertainment products) can be a more subtle and acceptable to audiences.

PRICE DIFFERENTIATION can be difficult as many customers can now go “price shopping” even when they are in the actual store making purchases. But setting the list price of a product is only one of means of price advertising. Offering various payment methods to preferred or various groups of customers or offering decreased/free shipping can draw people to your products.

PROMOTION DIFFERENTIATION, as seen above, has taken a turn recently as consumers normally turn a blind eye to most advertisements. Subtle has become the new advertising scheme as most advertisements are rejected by consumers. How can you make your advertisements seem helpful to customers? Infographics are gaining in popularity as the information looks and is useful and educational to consumers. Through infographics, companies are able to offer some helpful information to customers while still educating customers about their product/services. Other companies have acknowledged the number of hours customers spend on various social networks and have turned to accessing customers through popular social networking sites.

PEOPLE DIFFERENTIATION can come in several forms. Online or brick-and-mortar businesses can put qualified, educated, and caring people in charge of assisting customers. Many customers are attracted to businesses who offer service representatives who care. People differentiation can also include the groups you are marketing your product to. Marketing to smaller more interested groups of customers can allow you to better personalize your marketing attempt and can save your marketing budget time, money, and effort.

There is a need for your company’s product on the market. However, many times, the need your product fulfills is not obvious to consumers. Educating your customers how your product/service can fulfill their needs and make their lives better can increase the chances they will purchase the product. But effectively educating your customers and attracting them to your product through common advertising types used in the past may be partially ineffective. Marketing creativity and knowledge about your

7 Skills You Need to Be Your Own Best Marketing Expert

If you’re thinking that paying for a marketing consultant or a topnotch copywriter is too much of an expense for you, then let me tell you that you’ve just limited your ability to grow – financially, emotionally, and abundantly – in every area of your life.

You realise, one area of life absolutely has knock-on effect in every other area of your life.

However, if you really want to grow in every area of your life, using your business as the launch pad, but paying someone else to help elevate your life is troubling to you, then, you need to be in the driving seat yourself. You see, left to the limited nature of our own thinking, it leads us towards a life of sheer mediocrity. Harnessing the power of others who are more skilled in particular areas that we are not, is the sort of entrepreneurial thinking that creates astonishing lives.

So, what should you do if you want to be a skillful marketer? If you want to gain such expert status that those who know you won’t recognise the breakthrough difference in you and what you are capable of doing? Well, here are 7 key factors that will help you climb out of the ranks of the mediocre marketers, and into those of the magnificent. And, here they are:

1. Accepting internally that you CAN and WILL be a master marketer!

Quite honestly, this intangible skill is the all important foundation that’ll set the tone for what you think you can or cannot achieve. Once you internalise the fact that everyone you consider a great marketer or copywriter didn’t get to be that way without some sort of internal struggle, some sort of obstacle, or some sort of ‘failure’. In other words; they didn’t just arrive. What you tell yourself is true about what you can do is true! Go with the attitude that says, “If they’ve done it, so can I!” And believe it with all your might.

2. Be willing to throw away most of what you know and all that you’ve been formally taught about marketing.

We all have a head full of stuff that we’ve not challenged or reasoned. We’ve not taken the necessary strides to ask such simple questions like, “How did that get in my head?”, “How do I know that’s true?”, or “How come I’ve accepted it as truth when I haven’t proved it to myself?” I mean, it’s very easy to let it go without thinking too much about it. But you see, whatever we have up there in the mental department is helping shape whatever we think, do, and believe. And when it comes to marketing, advertising and business building, there’s a lot of bogus information out there delivered by people who have no right, no credentials and no proof of what they’re saying, works. Steer clear from those whom you’ve got no real connection with. Stick with those who’ve a proven track record and who walk their talk. Do your utmost to bypass those ‘pop up’ gurus, those who are itching for you to part with your cash for some worthless, hyped-up product.

3. Understanding that the main asset in your business is the customer.

There’s a number of vital assets existing in every business: products, staff, tax, manufacturing, SEO, web design, direct mail, software technology, you name it, they’re all uniquely vital. However, the one real asset that is the granddaddy of them all: the customer. You see, each customer isn’t worth a mere ‘one-off transaction’. When you take in account the referral, residual, and lifetime value of a customer, you’ll realise that each customer is indeed worth a tiny fortune. Can you now see how vital it is to ensure that your business is stocked with the type of customer who’ll be a valuable asset not only for today, but for many many weeks and years to come?

4. Knowing that most competitors aren’t savvy marketers at all.

Have you heard the saying, “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king”? Well, it applies beautifully in most business categories or industries you can name. But what does it mean? Well, it means that most business owners, professional practices, online entrepreneurs, are pretty lost when it comes to really marketing their enterprise for maximum profit. You see, they’re all going about it the wrong way around. They see someone else who seems successful, and they copy it. They see big company advertising and brand building campaigns, and they try to copy that too. In a nutshell, most are marketing blind. They’ve no real clue what they are doing.

However, with the information you now possess, you’ll at least be going in with one eye open! Even if you master one or two direct response business building tips or strategies, that’s more than enough to clout your competitors silly. Imagine though, once you’re able to add one extra strategy or a money-making business building concept each and every month? Let me tell you that you won’t believe the difference in profit, excitement, and control that you’ll experience.

5. Using only Direct Response Advertising Methods

Traditional advertising is all about image, brand building and creating a warm and fuzzy feel to products and services. It’s not bad to do that. However, if you’re a shoestring entrepreneur, if you’re just venturing out, if it’s a choice between getting money in the door, in your inbox, or in your post box today rather than hanging on for a long term association you hope your prospects will make, then Direct Response Advertising is the way to go. Anyway, what does ‘direct response’ mean? It’s simply asking the people you wish to influence for a response to your advertising. It’s that simple. And it’s hard to understand why all business owners aren’t using this most obvious and results-oriented form of advertising and marketing. Whether we’re talking about a response to a message from your website, business card, brochure, email, salesletter, audio, video or podcast message, or anything in between, asking for a response is what will lead to dialogue, to influence, to communication, and to sales!

6. Understand that Applied Marketing has more merit than a shelf full of awards

Marketing is active, progressive, and a momentum-based skill. It’s no good if the information, ideas, thoughts and strategies remain unemployed on your desktop, on your shelf, or in the imaginings of your mind. Results-based marketing is all about action. Wherever it is you pick up your marketing instruction from [see no.4 above], it needs to flow from thought to practical application. Whether a document, a video presentation, attending a seminar, an article, a book, a recommended resource, whatever it is, it then needs to be translated into a practical, forward moving action plan for implementation.

7. Be locked in to a continual source of people, information, resources.

It’s comforting knowing there will come a time when you can say that you’ve mastered a particular skill or have acquired a deep knowledge base about something. And, when we’re talking about marketing, it’s even more of a thrill to know that the acquired mastery of it can help turn on the wealth taps in our own business. However, as with anything worthwhile in life, mastery is an ongoing process. And, if the constant flow of information, resources, people and the other elements that feed your marketing mind dry up, you can bet that the profits you joyfully banked at an earlier time will somewhat only trickle in. To be at the forefront of your marketing game, you need to be constantly plugged in to the knowledge base that will keep you on track, motivated, and in the money!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9366111