Business And Digital Marketing

Business marketing should now be dubbed as digital marketing such is the role digital marketing plays in business marketing. There are various ways to market businesses but the main way to market businesses now is through digital channels. Can a business be marketed exclusively using digital marketing? And what can be the most useful marketing services?

Beginning with digital marketing, this broad set of marketing services covers specific purposes in getting success on the internet. Social media, search engines-these are the two hotspots for businesses in order to get success. This is also where the vast majority of internet traffic is directed towards.

Can a business be marketed exclusively here? Well, yes though this is largely dependent on the type of business. If the business is digital based and does most of its activity on the internet then it only makes sense that it is marketed to the heavens on the internet. A business with a strong physical and community presence may not however be best.

For you see despite being arguably the best marketing option out there, physical means of business marketing still rightfully has its place. For businesses that are consumer focused and direct should flirt with digital marketing but stick to their traditional forms of marketing. So to answer that question, it is dependent on the business though using both will only help the business.

Going back, there are many services available in which business owners can take advantage of. The most popular are SEO, SMO and PPC. The three are good services and can generate results on a large scale for businesses. They target different areas of the internet such as the search engines and social media.

Using any two of the three services is as good as using the three. I recommend personally using SMO (social media optimisation) and PPC (payperclick). The reason being is that SMO is arguably more important than SEO is at this current moment in time. Also, PPC is the best way of advertising and those adverts can be placed in specific search categories on the search engines.

The traditional forms of marketing still has its place for sure and while digital marketing may be more beneficial for most businesses, traditional marketing is great for businesses that are heavily focused on consumer interaction.But the world is going digital for multiple things which ultimately makes some things much easier for businesses.

Benefits and Challenges of a Career in Direct Marketing

Internet or Direct marketing may be a new term in our dictionaries however it is not a new concept. Direct or Internet marketing is ‘the’ way to send a message to the customer directly through various channels that eliminate the middle men or indirect means to interact with the customer. This has been done since marketing began albeit in undefined ways and now with the advances in technology, Direct/Internet marketing has become the most preferred way to reach the customer directly to promote a product, a service, a company… a message.

Direct marketing is a preferred way of knowing how the intended product PR message is faring with the masses because the responses can be quite immediate. That is why with the increasing competitiveness in businesses and the need to reach out to the customers in a more effective manner, a career in direct or Internet marketing is a very rewarding. Everything depends on marketing and whether a product will sell or not and whether the masses will pay heed to a social awareness message or not, depends mainly on how well it has been marketed.

With the way the world is growing closer… not smaller… closer due to the internet and the ease of being able to find any sort of information online or through other channels like the mobile phone, emails on the internet, advertisements, and many more; sending a message to them directly is not a challenge. What could be better than actually communicating with your customers? The only challenge is that with many direct marketing strategies being used, people thinking of a career in direct marketing may have to resort to their creativity quite often and having that is definitely a plus.

Many people think that direct marketing is not an honest field to have a job in and that is mainly because many big and small companies and even individuals have misused the power of interacting with customers directly and flooded them with constant interactions. This has left a bad taste in customers’ mouths and most of them don’t like being contacted anymore. This makes the job quite difficult… but not impossible.

The thought that a career in direct marketing is not a good idea is right and wrong, based on where you’re looking at it from. If you plan to succumb to the unethical ways for short term but immediate profit by flooding the customers with constant messages and emails, then direct marketing may not be for you however, if you are creative and have a knack of creating relevant and quality communication, then direct or Internet marketing may just be the thing for you because that is what it is all about; effective communication.

With the amount of knowledge we can share today and the level of understanding we have towards various cultures, various age groups, and their demands, direct marketing is the best way to promote a product or a company and used effectively, this can be a very strong tool that may be difficult for the competition to beat.

If a person is interested in pursuing a career in direct or Internet marketing they need to find schools to make sure they learn the right tricks of the trade and understand the basics of this amazing phenomenon. Communication and a basic understanding of how the human mind gets motivated are the two very important tools for a direct marketer however a few other things that will be good to know are:

  • Mass media
  • Behavior change therapy
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Marketing and communications

There are many more courses out there… you just need to find them and make the best of them to be a successful marketing person.

Learn To Be a Great Marketer

To be a great marketer, you have to want to be a great marketer. This is one of the factors that separates the wheat from the chaff, the true entrepreneurs from the wannabes and dabblers. In other words, you have to spend some serious time and effort deeply studying the field of marketing, so that you understand it fully — both in general, and in your particular marketplace. Soak up as much information in your field as you can, until you become an expert at what you do. People love to buy from experts. That’s one way to get a leg-up in the marketplace, especially among people who don’t know you yet and have no reason to trust you or your company. If you’re an expert, they’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

You should also know what your competition is doing — always. I’ll never forget reading the autobiography of Sam Walton, the man who founded Wal-Mart; I learned a lot from him, and it’s stuck in my mind for years. One thing that especially appealed to me was that Walton spent hundreds of hours in Kmart stores in his early days, just studying what they were doing right and what they were doing wrong. In fact, he said he’d been thrown out of more Kmart stores than any other person in history. Why did he do this? Because Kmart was his #1 competitor at that time.

He took the best of what they were doing well, did the opposite of what they were doing badly, and built Wal-Mart into the mercantile empire we see now. He outcompeted them in almost every market, and they were unable to adjust to the challenge. He set out to serve the customers the best, most profitable way he could, while taking away as much market share from the competition as possible.

This is a lesson for all of us. As a marketer, you must learn from your competition, regardless of your field. If you’re already the #1 provider for your marketplace, then you’re the target of all of the others who want to be #1; so you have to stay on your toes. If you’re not #1, find out what #1 is doing, both right and wrong, and take the proper steps forward based on what you’ve learned. If you do that, you can achieve major marketing success — because they’re doing many things right if they’re already the leader in the market. But chances are, they’re also making some key mistakes. Turn those mistakes around, and you can’t help but get ahead of them.

Another thing that’s ultra-important is that you have to meet the customers. Too many small business owners sit in the back, overseeing the help as they handle the customers. Instead of being remote, come out of your office and meet the people buying your products and services. Find out what they’re really looking for; what are their true desires? What can you do to provide them? If you get a lot of business by phone, then you’d better handle some of the sales calls yourself, so you know exactly what’s going on in your business. According to some rumors, Steve Jobs of Apple fame used to take technical service calls occasionally to keep his skills sharp.

To be a great marketer, you have to understand your business, you have to understand the customers in your business, and you have to understand the competition. Once you develop a good understanding of all three, you’re going to make a lot of money. This is such a simple principle, and yet most people just never seem to get it. Maybe that’s because it’s all based on learning by doing: on becoming a master marketer simply by going out there and getting started.

That’s how you become the next billionaire: you get out there and start marketing, absorbing knowledge like a sponge, trying new things out, and rolling out big with the things that really work. Just like in pro sports, you only become a superstar by becoming a star first. You have to put a lot of work into it, and become great over time. No one has yet figured out how to turn greatness on and off like a spigot; it’s something most people don’t recognize anyway until they’re looking back on it.

This isn’t something that just happens by magic, or like a lucky lottery win. You get there because you’re committed and because you’re dedicated to doing what it takes to become a master marketer. Just like a superior athlete or a top actor, you reach superstardom by training and hard work and dedication. Sometimes people become “overnight successes,” but usually these successes were preceded by many, many years of effort, training, and study, all focused on becoming the very best they could be. They just seemed like “overnight” successes because they were under everyone’s radar before then, working their tails off. It usually happens as a result of being completely sold on the goal you’re trying to reach. Becoming a master marketer doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t just stumble upon greatness.

Now, I can imagine some people saying, “Why should I go through all that work?” Well, how else are you ever going to make a lot of money? No matter what anyone tells you, there’s no way to build a fortune without putting your all into it. This is what drives star athletes to spend 5-6 hours a day in the gym every day for a decade, constantly pushing themselves beyond their limits. If they hit the peak of their prowess, they can make millions of dollars and be set for life. Becoming a great marketer can do the same: it can make you a multimillionaire, if that’s what you want to achieve.

Business is the great equalizer. I know there are problems in America, but I thank God that in this country, you can still start a business for next to nothing. You can go from poverty to being a multimillionaire simply by getting involved in the game and putting your heart into it. There are plenty of people who have done so already, and there are more who are doing it right now. Great marketing is the secret that makes that happen. Marketing is all about attracting and retaining the largest possible number of the very best buyers in your marketplace. Those people are out there right now. Learning to become a great marketer will help you to attract those people and get them coming to you rather than your competition.

Everybody should read Sam Walton’s biography. He was an incredible man, a man who put his business at the heart of everything he did. His family knew that his business was his central focus. They hated going on vacation with him, because that meant they had to stop at every single discount center along the way. The kids would sit in the car with their mother in the hot parking lot, while Sam was inside with a legal pad, walking up and down the aisles, taking it all in and monitoring the competition.

Incidentally, this kind of monitoring is much easier to do today, now that we have the Internet. The Internet has got to be the greatest tool ever for the marketer, because you can easily find competitors’ sites, borrow good ideas, and see what they’re doing wrong. Everything’s right out there in plain sight — all kinds of ideas for making tons of money, if you can adopt or adapt those ideas to make them your own, and find ways to implement them.

A few years ago, my mentor had the chance to meet Jerry Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. If Buss isn’t a billionaire, he’s very close to it. Jerry asked him, “What do you do?” and my mentor replied, “I’m into marketing and business.” And Buss said, “You know something? With all the star status we have with the Lakers, from Kobe Bryant on down, the one thing I’ve learned is that if you want to be super-successful, you can never stop marketing.”

Take it from a man who’s richer than most of us put together: marketing is the one thing that makes you the most successful. Even if marketing isn’t your forte, if you’re in business I think you should learn the difference between good and bad marketing. Now, you don’t have to be a copywriter; you don’t have to prepare jingles for TV and radio. You can hire that out. But you do have to be able to tell the difference between good marketing and bad, that which will serve you well and that which will not.

5 Reasons to Change Your Marketing Strategy

All business owners’ get comfortable doing the things that we have to and sometimes we don’t stop and think “what can I do better” or “what can I do differently”. This article “5 Reasons to Change Your Marketing Strategy” will help you break out of your rutt and get excited about trying new things!

1. Location in the product life cycle: Most of us are familiar with a Product Life Cycle Chart. Some of you are probably asking “how does this apply to Insurance sales?” Great question! Stretch with me a little and let’s look at two ways this applies. First, as Agents, we sell a product called insurance. There are different types of insurance, but inside each of those markets (home, auto, life, health etc..) we sell different types of policies, with different coverage levels, types of coverages, different deductibles, etc… Some of these policy products are new offerings, others are well established, and some that are on the verge of being pulled from the market because of relevance to today’s market demands. Second, our Individual status and/or our Agency’s status in the Life Cycle Chart changes over time. In both instances, our Marketing Strategy should reflect where our product or Agency is on the Life Cycle Curve. A startup agency will market completely different from a well-established agency. A new agent is attempting to build a brand image and an experienced agent is marketing his years of experience and knowledge of the industry. Being aware of where you are on the Life Cycle curve is vital to your marketing strategy.

  1. Underperforming ROI – One essential component to a Marketing Strategy is measuring results. It makes no sense to spend financial resources without have a way to measure the return on that investment. There are numerous ways to easily track incoming revenue from a marketing effort. Establishing volume/revenue goals and measuring those results provide the feedback required to either tweak the plan or in some instances, shut it down. If the plan under review is not capable of generating the necessary revenue, stop putting resources into it! Don’t throw good money after bad… Refocus your team, time and money in a different direction after reviewing why a specific marketing plan failed to return the anticipated revenue volume.
  2. Underperforming ROI – One essential component to a Marketing Strategy is measuring results. It makes no sense to spend financial resources without have a way to measure the return on that investment. There are numerous ways to easily track incoming revenue from a marketing effort. Establishing volume/revenue goals and measuring those results provide the feedback required to either tweak the plan or in some instances, shut it down. If the plan under review is not capable of generating the necessary revenue, stop putting resources into it! Don’t throw good money after bad… Refocus your team, time and money in a different direction after reviewing why a specific marketing plan failed to return the anticipated revenue volume.
  3. New Technology – We’re referring to new tools you can use to get your message to your potential or existing client base. Five years ago, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, YouTube and numerous other forms of communication either didn’t exist or if they did, they were not used for business applications. Today, very few companies DON’T have access to their target markets through these new forms of media. If you aren’t using these and other types of media to communicate with your market, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities. One last comment… I guarantee your competition is!
  4. Change in Product, Service or Demographic – Our business environment is constantly changing, and that will never change. When you have a change in your product offering, let people know! Tell them why they need it, how it will help fulfill a need they have and make their lives easier or safer. YOU are their expert and if you don’t share the news, who will? If you change your hours of operation or provide a new service for claims or policy changes, create a new marketing plan to get the message out. You can use this as an opportunity to increase brand awareness, separate yourself from the competition and also lay the ground work for future sales, with account rounding. If you have a book of business that is dominated by older clients, create marketing strategies aimed directly to that audience’s needs. If you are concerned that your book is largely dependent on older clients that are slowly fading away, then market to a younger demographic. They will be interested in different products and the way you communicate with them will include multiple forms of new technology channels.
  5. Experiment (don’t get stuck in a rut) – Of all the reasons we’ve covered in this report, this is the MOST IMPORTANT! The “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is a guarantee for failure. Yes, if you have a great strategy that is bringing in fantastic results, keep using it! But be aware, all strategies need to be reviewed for ROI and eventually changed when the returns start to fall. Use the time when your current strategy is experiencing superior results to try other types of marketing. Start off small, perform the necessary tweeks, and see what happens… Not all of these experiments will work, but some will. Those that do, will be your new Super Stars when the old strategies begin to slow down.

You may be very satisfied with your current marketing strategies and see no reason to change what has been successful for the last 10 years. I have one request… Stop and think about how consumers have changed their shopping habits in the past 10 years. How has technology contributed to that change? Think of Amazon, Esurance, and marketing campaigns built around Cavemen, “Mayhem” and a Gecko lizard…

Crazy or innovative? You decide!