Archives - February, 2011



28 Feb 11

How do you assess your marketing strategy?

marketing manager

marketing strategy

February 28, 2011 – Marketing strategy often includes a marketing manager to assess direct, and network marketing needs and to hire an advertising agency that can fill both needs the best.  Ad agencies develop a marketing strategy that spans several different advertising disciplines.  Large advertising agencies have specialists in every aspect of marketing.
Advertising agencies can benefit marketing strategy by suggesting the best methods to choose for your specific project.  Ad agencies have contacts in the advertising business that a marketing manager can draw on to develop direct marketing or network marketing campaigns.
Network marketing is touted as an easy way to promote your product or service, but it also takes a lot of work comparing what works best and what is an advertising dud.  That is the role of ad agencies, to take the guesswork out of your marketing strategy.  The marketing manager who picks the best agency usually is way ahead of those who try to market their products without the benefit of an advertising agency.
Direct marketing is entirely different from network marketing.  It employs some of the same principles, but the appeal is not the same.  Network marketing has an infinite audience to reach, while direct marketing is constrained by costs, region, city or state you are trying to reach.
Ad agencies skilled in working with either one of these methods are readily available and will have a creative marketing manager to develop your marketing strategy to the best potential.  Google has taken network marketing to such a high level that ad agencies are not as valuable.  You can go to Google and set up a network marketing campaign that is not only inexpensive, but is flexible and the search engine will even put ads on your sight that are compatible with your sites direction.
Direct marketing is less flexible.  You can broadcast your mailings over a large population, or over a specific area, but there is no guarantee.  The advertising agency doing the direct marketing can forecast if you will be successful or not by comparing your ad to the others that have been successful.
No matter what you choose for an advertising strategy, the advertising manager will have to determine what is the best for your business.


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28 Feb 11

I’m often sharing my insights and experiences around social media and its significance as part of a successful local marketing campaign. We’ve helped our clients see first-hand the value and importance of social media for their business with proven results of increasing prospects and sales by helping them effectively utilize social media as part of their local marketing plan.

At the same time, with all the hype around social media, it’s important to not get caught up in it without first understanding it. For example, which social media venue do you think most businesses used and got the best results from in 2010? Did you say Facebook? I’m guessing most of you did, and with the “Social Network� movie, the fact that it has more than 500 million users worldwide, and the fact that everyone you know is probably using it, it’s no wonder.

But the answer isn’t Facebook.

Though Facebook is the most used social media venue – per a January 2011 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Study, 71% (up from 61% in 2009) of Inc. 500 companies participating in the study used it in 2010, with Twitter (59%) and blogging (50%) close behind – Online Blogging, Online Video and Message/Bulletin Boards have proved to provide the most success in 2010 for the same companies in the Dartmouth study mentioned. Though 85% did view Facebook as successful, which is a rather large jump from 54% in 2009, it still hasn’t matched the results of message/bulletin boards, blogging and videos.

What does this mean for local marketing for your business?

It means you should use a mix of local marketing social media venues to capitalize on social media and its benefits. Look at companies similar to yours and see where they’ve had the most success and see how it translates to your business. Do your research to see where you’ll get the best results.

Most companies should at least be using Facebook, Twitter and a blog in addition to their company websites. Other options include online videos and message/bulletin boards (both external and internal to your company’s website) as mentioned above, in addition to podcasting, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and email campaigns, to name some of the most used. Get creative as you optimize your resources to get the best results from your local marketing social media campaign.

More and more companies are implementing a social media strategy (86% view it as somewhat or very important in 2010 compared to 79% in 2009). Why? Because they see results and view it as a valuable and important part of their marketing strategy. Know the data to determine what works best for your company. By keeping up with the fast-paced, ever-changing trends of social media, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your company to incorporate a successful strategy as part of your local marketing plan. Our client’s company’s continued, long-term growth depends on it, and you know yours does too.


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28 Feb 11

A new word-of-mouth marketing program promises students a chance to earn rewards while they promote brands and products on social networking sites.

University Rep, or UREP, touts itself on its website as “one of the most effective word-of-mouth marketing platforms available.”

Students sign up to be “freelance marketers” and then post about brands and local businesses on their Facebook or Twitter profiles on their own time. After completing marketing activities, students can earn points they can cash in.

“A lot of people do it anyways,” said John Storey, a senior from Eden who is one of two BYU students working with UREP currently. “You’re getting paid to do something you do anyway.”

People often talk about businesses online, and marketers see social media as an integral and natural part of their marketing strategy.

“If I have a good experience with a brand or product, I tweet about it to give them a shout out,” said Stephanie Grimes, a senior from Sacramento, Calif.

Grimes said she often uses hashtags and the “@ mention” feature so her comments can be a part of the larger conversation about the product online.

Students who sign up to be UREPs can expect to not only post links, but take part in other activities such as trying out products or completing polls or surveys.

UREP was started by the Tempe, Ariz.-based company Brand Adoption, and its founders have high hopes for its future.

“We have over 300 reps since December,” said Evan Rogers, one of Brand Adoption’s founders. “The way we’re building our model is we’re starting with local businesses. We plan on building the largest student marketing network in the country.”

The company seeks to expand the UREP program outside of Arizona, and has found students in Utah Valley to be eager to join in.

“So far, the reaction has been amazing,” said Todd Skinner, a BYU graduate and co-founder of Brand Adoption. “The quickest response came from Provo.”
 


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27 Feb 11

Small Business Trends

Readers (that’s you!) have already voted on the 2010 Best Business Books — Reader’s Choice Edition.

Now, as the Editors of Small Business Trends, it’s our turn. Below we present the Small Business Book Awards – Editor’s Choice version for books of 2010.

Here at Small Business Trends, we read and review well over 100 business books during the year.  Some are provided by authors in draft form, giving us the opportunity to review and comment on the book before publishing.  Some are sent to us by publishers to review.  Some we purchase ourselves simply because we have heard they are good books and want to read them.

Regardless of how we got the book, what’s most important to us is the overall value the book will bring to small businesses. Are the ideas fresh? Does the book get us to think differently? Do we learn something we didn’t already know? Does it tell us enough, with sufficient detail, that we can put it to work in our businesses? Can the book make a difference to our businesses?

In 2010 there were a lot of excellent books — making it very tough to choose. For purposes of this list, we looked at books published between October 1, 2009 and October 31, 2010.

The following books are NOT in any order. It was challenging enough to whittle the list down from over 100 books we had – putting them in order would have really been tough. Without further ado, the 2010 Small Business Book Awards – Editor’s Choice version.

* * * * *

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Author: Dan Heath, Chip Heath
Book Site: Switch (Our book review of Switch)

Switch makes the psychology behind how hard it is to change accessible. It demystifies the basic psychological conflicts that can lead to poor choices or derail the most complex business team. It makes its points using narrative, yet the stories are rooted in scholarly sources.

Why We Love It: Switch is a lesson in how to fearlessly take on a challenge, and lead groups through a change. And if change is the one thing we can count on, this book has great ideas, inspiration and examples.

* * * * *

Built to Sell: Turn Your Business into One You Can Sell

Author: John Warrillow, Bo Burlingham
Book Site:  Built to Sell (Our book review of Built to Sell)

Are you running a business — or is your business running you? Whether you ever intend on selling your business or not, Built to Sell will turn your business into a money machine that you can either run or sell. John Warillow’s allegorical story about a business owner who transforms his business and himself will inspire you to do the same.

Why We Love It: Behind every profitable business and happy business owner is a systematized, automated money making machine. Built to Sell teaches you how to build your own business system in a fun educational way.

* * * * *

The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow

Author: Rafi Mohammed
Book Site: 1% Windfall (Our book review of The 1% Windfall)

“A study by McKinsey and Company of the Global 1200 found that if they increased their prices by just 1%, and demand remained constant, on average each company’s operating profits would increase by 11%.” If you’ve been avoiding pricing, this sentence alone should get you interested. Need to sell more product to existing customers – there’s a pricing strategy for that. Mohammed makes pricing easy and engaging by grouping pricing strategies by marketing challenges.

Why We Loved It: If you’re not making money, you don’t have a business. You can literally pick a pricing strategy from 1% Windfall and use it in your business today.

* * * * *

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

Author:John Jantsch
Book Site: The Referral Engine (Our book review of The Referral Engine)

If we all know that referrals are the best, most cost-effective marketing strategy, then WHY do we continue to leave referrals up to fate or some happy coincidence? John Jantsch, author of “Duct Tape Marketing” and award winning social media publisher has filled his book with lots of practical, real-life examples and case studies that you can use as inspiration to develop your own referral strategy.

Why We Love It: Referrals are STILL the best strategy for building a profitable small business. The Referral Engine is loaded with creative ways small businesses of all shapes, types and sizes use referrals.

* * * * *

Black Is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans

Author: Andrea Hoffman, Leonard Burnett
Book Site: Black is the New Green (Our book review of Black Is the New Green)

Uptown Media Group (known for Uptown magazine) Co-CEO and group publisher Leonard E. Burnett Jr. and Andrea Hoffman, founder of marketing research firm Diversity Affluence, apply their 40 combined years of experience to examine corporate America’s advertising relationship with African American consumers. Black Is The New Green solidly conveys how nuanced today’s African American consumer is, and how the strategy to target consumers must also be nuanced.

Why We Love It: If you’re selling to minority consumers, this book will give you valuable insights into how to connect with traditional affinity groups as well as how to structure your online marketing strategy accordingly.

* * * * *

The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy

Author: Adrian C. Ott
Book Site: The 24-Hour Customer (Our book review of The 24-Hour Customer)

Today’s consumers are multi-tasking more than ever. This book shows you how to take advantage of time-slicing strategies to develop products and services that your customers will be happy to interact with. Ott uses a variety of research studies to show us how there are exponentially more products and services competing for a static slice of our time.

Why We Love It: Being at the right place at the right time is not just a trend, but a pre-requisite in being chosen by your ideal customer. 24-hour Customer will get you thinking in a new way about new products and services that you can launch in your business.

* * * * *

Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue

Author: Jim F. Kukral
Book Site: Attention! This book Will Make You Money (Our book review of Attention! )
Small Business Trends Radio Show: Interview with Jim Kukral, Attention!

When you’re an entrepreneur and run your own business, chances are your marketing budget is limited. But you can make up for that limitation with attention marketing. Kukral gives loads of case studies and examples of outrageous entrepreneurs and the creative ways they get noticed. The best part is that you will start thinking about your own ways of getting attention.

Why We Love It: Guerrilla marketing is alive and well and this book is LOADED with low-cost high impact marketing ideas that will get you noticed and chosen.

* * * * *

The Mesh : Why the Future of Business Is Sharing

Strong: Lisa Gansky
Book Site: The Mesh (Our book review of The Mesh)

Traditional businesses follow a simple formula: create a product or service, sell it, collect money. Mesh companies use social media, wireless networks, and data crunched from every available source to provide people with goods and services at the exact moment they need them, without the burden and expense of owning them outright.

Why We Love it: The movement for ecologcal living has openned up a series of services and products. The Mesh will show you how to build trusted brands and value through leveraging shared resources.

* * * * *

The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done

Author: Peter Miller
Book Site: The Smart Swarm (Our book review of the Smart Swarm)

Based on extensive globe-trotting research, this lively tour from National Geographic reporter Peter Miller introduces thriving throngs of ant colonies and many other examples of the wisdom to be gleaned about the behavior of crowds-among critters and corporations alike. He explores how these “swarms” inspired computer programs for streamlining factory processes, telephone networks, and truck routes.

Why We Love It: Since we live in a series of interconnected networks and have started using the wisdom of crowds to develop not just products and services, but policies. This book will give you ideas on how you can leverage your network for your business.

* * * * *

Competitive Selling: Out-Plan, Out-Think, and Out-Sell to Win Every Time

Author: Landy Chase
Book Site: Competitive Selling (Our book review of Competitive Selling)

Landy Chase doesn’t believe in messing around. If you’re in a selling situation, then recognize that your customer is considering alternatives to what you’re selling – and you’d better be prepared. Sales people will find this book a sales coach in a box and marketing people will find this book helpful in defining exactly where you should put your focus to get your customer to choose you.

Why We Love It: What’s not to love about a book that gives you practical strategies on getting and keeping more new and profitable customers?

* * * * *

About the Editors:
Choosing a book for the editors’ choice is never easy because there are so many wonderful books to choose from. This year we have four passionate and well read book editors that had to duke it out for their favorites to get on the list:

  • Anita Campbell – The Editor in Chief and the publisher of Small Business Trends and expert on all things Small Business.
  • Ivana Taylor -  Book Editor for Small Business Trends and the publisher of DIYMarketers.com. Her focus is on finding and reviewing books that help small businesses get and keep customers.
  • Pierre DeBois - Web Analytics Strategist and President of Zimana You’ll often find Pierre reviewing books on online marketing analytics and on topics such as minorities in small business and economic trends that impact small business.
  • Margie Zable-Fisher – President of Zable Fisher Public Relations and business book lover. Margie also reviews across a wide category of books, primarily those that help small businesses.

WINNER’S BADGES: If your book was named an Editor’s Choice Winner, you can grab a Winner’s Badge here.

From Small Business TrendsBest Business Books 2010: Editors Choice Winners


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27 Feb 11

Are your marketing tactics keeping up with the new reality?

marketing resources

marketing tactics

February 27, 2011 – Marketing tactics, marketing resources, and marketing methods are hugely affected by online marketing strategies.  Marketing experts design marketing ads that work both on the internet and on TV and cable.  Online video marketing is very big right now with many established companies and start ups using Youtube, blogs, Facebook and other areas to disperse their videos.
The online marketing strategy is moving from print to video marketing.
As marketing tactics evolve they become more pervasive in all types of media, and since most companies adhere to the idea that without advertising nothing ever happens, they are employing market methods so their products will sell.  Marketing resources are changing from major stores to niches.  Marketing methods on the internet can bring in huge sums from ‘long tail’ online marketing strategies.  Marketing experts are studying the ‘long tail’ effect that was not available to physical structures because of their limited resources.
This ‘long tail’ marketing causes online video marketing to develop stars from ordinary people who have a niche following.  They don’t need to sell thousands units of one item every month; they can sell one or two of several items a month and still make a sizeable income.
Online marketing strategy is embracing this ‘long tail’ effect and applying their marketing resources to this effort.  Marketing ads on the internet can be very niche specific, in fact whole websites can be devoted to a very specialized niche and succeed.
Marketing methods have to be more diversified than in the past because many of the old marketing mediums are drying up because people are turning to the internet for much of what newspapers supplied in the past.


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26 Feb 11

How has performance marketing evolved?

marketing expert

performance marketing

– February 26, 2011

Performance marketing is the optimization of all search and advertising activities and how they affect the ROI (return on investment). Your corporate marketing and niche marketing need to be tracked for performance to determine if the current advertising methods are part of a successful marketing strategy. Many marketing expert websites have emerged to help you develop a business marketing plan that will bring significant change to your ROI.  These websites are marketing businesses and can show you where your advertising dollar is performing optimally for your business.
Corporate marketing is changing drastically to meet the needs of an infinite market instead of depending on fixed locations that determined their marketing methods in the past. They can no longer expect large numbers of people to be attracted by the conventional business marketing plan of the past.  Their marketing expert will be able to use niche marketing to sell their less popular items of the past.
Successful marketing is now based on niche marketing which is the art of making many small sales of thousands of items instead of selling thousands of a few items.  Marketing businesses would determine which items were advertised, and therefore available to the public in stores with space for only those items that sell in huge quantities.  In the past performance marketing depended on the 80/20 rule.  This universal rule was the norm for fixed locations, 20% of the items brought in 80% of the profit.  Now, with niche marketing and an infinite market with very little to no expense it is possible to sell just one or two items in a quarter and still be very profitable.
Successful marketing has evolved into being a market expert on which key words especially long tail keywords are the most profitable for your niche market.  Even corporate marketing has changed to develop websites that cater to the niche market for their goods.  This has changed their business marketing plan to include items that were peripheral sellers in the past.
With all of the websites devoted to marketing a niche market, even graphing the performance marketing strategies for any business, it is now possible for anyone to enter their niche and outstrip corporate marketing for sales.


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26 Feb 11

(live-PR.com)
Shutterfly, Inc : . (NASDAQ:SFLY), a leading Internet-based social expression and personal publishing service, today announced the appointment of Sean Foley as vice president of marketing strategy and of Brian Osborn as vice president of brand marketing. Mr. Foley and Mr. Osborn will report to Shutterfly´s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Peter Elarde : .

“I

am thrilled to welcome Sean and Brian to the Shutterfly team. Both executives possess strong leadership skills and deep marketing experience that will immensely contribute to the company,” said Peter Elarde, senior vice president and CMO. “Sean´s track record of generating consumer insights to develop successful corporate strategies will ensure that Shutterfly continues to accelerate along its path of innovation. Brian´s knowledge in creating meaningful customer connections while driving strong brand awareness will be a valuable asset as we continue to extend our category leadership.”


Mr. Foley, vice president of marketing strategy, is responsible for marketing strategy and market research. In this role, he leverages consumer insights and develops strategies to pursue additional growth opportunities for Shutterfly.

Mr. Foley brings more than 20 years of business and strategy development experience to Shutterfly. He has held leadership roles at Gap Inc., Marakon Associates and Andersen Consulting. Most recently, Mr. Foley was the vice president of branding, consumer insights and strategy for Art.com, where he led market research, customer analytics, corporate strategy, brand strategy and public relations. Mr. Foley earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Princeton University and MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Mr. Osborn, vice president of brand marketing, is responsible for the company´s brand strategy, consumer marketing programs, and corporate communications. In this role, he develops initiatives to maximize the company´s growth and extend the brand´s leadership position.

With more than 15 years of experience in consumer marketing, Mr. Osborn brings a strong combination of brand marketing and strategic business management to his role. Previously, he held leadership positions at consumer and technology companies including Walmart.com, PayPal, eBay and Kraft Foods. Most recently, Mr. Osborn was the vice president of marketing at EZShield, where he was responsible for all marketing initiatives including market research, corporate strategy, brand positioning and product development. Mr. Osborn earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and MBA from the University of Michigan.

About Shutterfly


Founded in 1999, Shutterfly, Inc. is an Internet-based social expression and personal publishing service. Shutterfly provides high quality products and world class services that make it easy, convenient and fun for consumers to preserve their digital photos in a creative and thoughtful manner. Shutterfly’s flagship product is its award-winning photo book : line, which helps consumers celebrate memories and tell their stories in professionally bound coffee table books. Shutterfly was recently named one of the top 25 Best Midsized Companies to Work For by the Great Place to Work Institute. More information about Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY) is available at www.shutterfly.com : .
Shutterfly and Shutterfly.com : are trademarks of Shutterfly, Inc.

Shutterfly, Inc.Gretchen Sloan, 650-610-5276 (Media Relations) gsloan.shutterfly.com : mailto:gsloan.shutterfly.com


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26 Feb 11

The PBS show, known for its in-depth science reporting, gave IBM another prominent platform to showcase the technology. However, Michael Bicks, director and producer of the “NOVA’’ piece on Watson’s journey to “Jeopardy!’’, said the program was not a participant in any marketing strategy. Watson was simply “a great science story,’’ he said.


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25 Feb 11

Want to pull in the big bucks in interactive marketing? Then consider aiming for the position of VP, e-commerce.

A salary guide, prepared by executive recruitment firm Crandall Associates, reports that executives who lead a company’s e-commerce marketing strategy earn an average of $155,900 a year. The pay range for the role of VP, e-commerce, is $113,700 to $203,400.

The next highest paid gigs in interactive marketing, according to Crandall Associates, are Internet marketing directors and interactive creative directors. Internet marketing directors, who earn between $84,100 and $125,800, fall under the category of executives responsible for developing and executing a strategic e-business marketing plan, among other duties. Interactive creative directors, who earn between $95,100 and $150,400, are responsible for developing creative briefs, website prototypes, and design concepts.

Wendy Weber, president of Crandall Associates, said the salary guide is based on interviews and discussions with than 1,000 people, including employers, from presidents to human resources officers, as well as job candidates. For a reality check, she said, the firm spoke with people working in online marketing, including those not interested in another position.

When asked whether social media is emerging as a job category, Weber said in an e-mail interview, “Social media is definitely on our radar, but at this point we have not conducted enough search assignments for positions that focus exclusively on social media to create a salary report with reliable data. We are certainly finding that most online/ecommerce position descriptions include some social media responsibility.”

When asked how salaries in interactive marketing compare to traditional marketing jobs, Weber said the number of interactive marketing positions – and salaries – are growing at a steady pace. “Traditional direct marketing is a more mature market, and whether or not salaries are growing is generally reliant on how much revenue the position is generating for the company,” she said.

A full report, which includes the average salary and salary ranges for 21 positions, plus job descriptions, can be can be downloaded for $50.


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25 Feb 11

Santa Rosa, California (Vocus/PRWEB) February 25, 2011

Barber Insurance Agency has partnered with Astonish Results, LP a digital marketing and training company which specializes in revitalizing the insurance industry, to create an innovative new online marketing campaign. This bold new marketing strategy features an interactive “Virtual Insurance Office” and custom “Virtual Insurance Agent” which is meant to increase consumer engagement as well as provide the visitor with a more personal and educational experience. The Astonish Results campaign is also intended to help Barber Insurance Agency both find and keep new, prospective customers.

The agency’s renovated website, www.barberinsurance.com, was created to make the overall online insurance shopping experience not only easier, but much more comprehensive. The site is divided into clear categories, making it nearly effortless for Northern California insurance shoppers to find exactly the type of insurance they are looking for-and better yet, allows the visitor to take a much more proactive approach to better understanding their policy options.

Maybe you’re looking for low cost California auto insurance, comprehensive business insurance in California or even a reliable California home insurance policy-well then rest assured; Barber Insurance Agency has you covered! Whether you’re simply shopping around or have particular questions regarding your current policy, www.barberinsurance.com provides current and prospective customers with multiple ways to contact the agency. Fill out a free quote form, get social with their experts on various social media sites or even just give them a call at 1-877-340-7754.

Barber Insurance Agency wants to make the insurance shopping process as trouble-free as possible-and even a bit enjoyable too! The agency is thrilled to move forward with the initiation of their modernized digital marketing strategy, and has high expectations for the ease it will bring its California consumers.

About Barber Insurance Agency:

Since 1969, Barber Insurance Agency has developed into an all-inclusive, client-centered insurance brokerage-dedicated to providing Berkeley, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Rosa and all of Northern California with the most effective insurance strategies. As one of the area’s most trusted “family-run” agencies, Barber Insurance Agency is committed to serving all of the diverse insurance needs of California individuals, families and businesses.

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/2/prweb8157290.htm


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