• Internet Marketing Basics

    Almost all of the articles on Internet marketing lacks coverage on all the basics and all the avenues of Internet marketing because there is just too much information to cover in a few words. Here I am going for an attempt which will be an overview, not an in depth affair. Here I would cover four basic marketing subjects:

    • Market Research
    • Search Engines
    • E-zine Advertising
    • Email Marketing

    Market Research This is the most basic part of any marketing campaign. This involves how much you are going to invest in the campaigns and where you are going to invest. Investing the right money at right place is the key. If you don’t know your target market and how to reach them; if you don’t know the value of the message you’re attempting to convey; if you don’t know the answer to all the pertinent questions…your advertising and the whole project will fail.

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    The most basic step in researching your market is to first have a “target.” There should be a clear picture in your mind about the target audience and you should treat them as your potential customers. This means you know who you’re aiming for (their likes, dislikes, general age group, income, business type, etc.) and have a general idea how to “hit” them. Sample target markets would include:

    This includes the segregation based on

    • Age group
    • Qualification
    • Per capita income
    • Spending capacity
    • Geographical location
    • Business class
    • Technocrats

    Once you know who your target is – the more information the better – you’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty of market research. There are five basic ideas in market research: “Primary,” “Secondary,” “Combined” (all types of research) and “Qualitative” and “Quantitative” (ways of gathering the information). A quick definition of each:

    Primary research is research conducted by the primary user of the information. Secondary research is gathered elsewhere and used by you (purchased, leased, etc.). Most small businesses conduct both of these types of market research – customer surveys for primary information and by researching free or paying fees for secondary information. This is called “Combined” research.

    Qualitative research is usually exploratory and has a direction or goal. It generally aims at specific issues in the subject matter and gives you a better idea in which direction you should proceed. This type of research is “loose” and is geared more towards finding a market or narrowing your market than it is towards getting specific information on that market and where your product fits within it.

    Quantitative is much more rigid than qualitative marketing. This research gets much more accurate statistical results and information and is best used when your target market is already narrowed and you wish to find ways to reach or explore that market as well as find specific information on your product as it relates to that market.

    Generally businesses conduct qualitative research during the exploratory research and development phase of their product to see if it is viable on the market and what they need in order to reach their market more fully with the product (colors, shapes, uses, etc.). Once the item is ready to hit the streets, qualitative research is used to fine-tune the market niche and begin offering the product for sale. Conducting your own market research is time-consuming, but is very well worth it if you have a need for information or if you are spending any considerable amount of money on your marketing for specific products or services.

  • Future for Internet Marketers

    Have you ever attended a class where the instructor followed the Socratic method of teaching? You remember, only questions, no direct answers. Some discussions lend themselves best to that format, and this look at some possible future trends in Internet marketing is one of them. Mainly because there are no answers at this point, only the questions we pose!

    Internet marketers by and large are used to creating products for, and selling to, a predominantly western audience. Whether inside the marketing niche or not, today’s web sites, autoresponder sequences, mailing lists, payment processing systems, and overall way of doing business have evolved around the needs and wants of target markets in the western world. And any experienced marketer knows it can be difficult. Despite popular notions that you can start an Internet business and watch the money roll in, the reality is that there is a lot of competition from other webmasters, regardless of the market or type of products you promote.

    Looking ahead, have you considered the impact of even more competition – lots more? In Asia, in particular China and India, large, well-educated populations, a lower cost of living with much-improved standards, and more widely available Internet access may combine in the near future to create a lot more Internet marketers. Many are well-versed in technical aspects of the Internet, including programming and site development. In fact, if you’ve ever used any of the various freelance sites to outsource technical projects, you’ve seen that many of the bidders are from Asia. With populations of one billion people and more in those two countries alone, the current generation is certainly well-attuned to the Internet, and being avid surfers, are no doubt aware of the commercial opportunities and worldwide reach available only on the net. It’s likely only a matter of time before they begin marketing to western audiences themselves.

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    Whether through affiliate marketing, or by developing new products to sell on their own behalf, the prospect of increased competition for current Internet marketers is very real, and likely very near. The biggest hurdles will be language and market understanding. After all, it’s difficult enough to write effective sales letters in ones native language, even if addressed to a market and culture you understand. Over time, even those barriers will fall – face it, just as programming can be outsourced, so can marketing and language assistance.

    The potential competition can sound ominous. And depending on your outlook, it can be. For every new product that pays affiliate commissions, there soon could be lots more marketers trying to promote it to the same audience. And for every new product of your own you develop, similar products with more features and selling for a lower price could appear. That already happens now to an extent. What will it be like with even more marketers and developers competing? But change can also be good news. You as an individual marketer can either complain about the unfairness of it all, or you can choose to adapt your business to the inevitable and prosper.

    As new marketers, and surfers in general, from China, India, and elsewhere come online, they will also create entirely new markets to sell to, markets that weren’t there just a short time ago. After all, as marketers they will need the same types of products and services that western marketers need. And as surfers and eventual online buyers, their consumers will want not only western, but also regional and cultural goods, just as online shoppers in the western world do now. Of course, marketers in those regions will also compete in their local markets, as well as western ones. The globalization of Internet marketing will continue rapidly, no doubt about it. To stay in the game, western marketers would be well-advised to begin their strategic planning for this trend now. New markets and new opportunities are forming – learn to spot them at a distance through global binoculars!

  • The 7 Commandments Of Marketing

    Marketing is the key to success with any business, online or traditional. You can have a website or business location. You can have a great product. However, if no one has heard about your business or your product, you have NOTHING! Marketing is everything you do to promote yourself and your business. Without an aggressive marketing effort, your website is just one of EIGHT BILLION listed on Google. Without an aggressive marketing effort, your store better have a location next to Walmart and hope for their overflow. How do you stand out from the crowd?

    There are seven commandments for your marketing efforts. Keep these in mind and you are well on your way to creating an effective marketing machine. Remember, there is only one way to score the effectiveness of your marketing efforts – SALES!

    1. Use a Rifle NOT a Shotgun

    Rifles leave a neat, clean hole where you point them. Shotguns scatter shot in the general direction you point them. Most failed marketing efforts are born in a scattered marketing message aimed at the world. Let’s say you were trying to sell a snowboard. To effectively sell a snowboard to a fifteen year old requires an entirely different conversation than selling the same item to his mother. Therefore, commandment #1 directs us to segment our possible customers into different groups who share common concerns. If your product could be sold to a fifteen year old or a 40 year old, you’d better decide who you are going to focus your marketing efforts upon for the greatest success.

    2. KNOW Thy Customer Like Thyself

    Following commandment #1, we selected a targeted group of people for our marketing message. Now, we MUST understand that targeted market as well as we know ourselves. We must crawl within their mindset. We must understand what they think about our product, what they want from our product, and the alternatives they have to our product.

    Customers buy for their reasons, not yours. If you want to sell them your product, you MUST sell to their concerns, not your own. Every piece of marketing copy must FOCUS upon them. If you don’t speak their language, you don’t get their money.

    3. Be PASSIONATE About Your Company & Your Product

    Attitude is infectious. If we are around upset people, we begin to take on that attitude ourselves. If we are with positive people, the same phenomenon occurs. Most people like to associate with enthusiastic people. And, most of us like passionate people. If you aren’t passionate about your company and your product, why should anyone else be? Commandment #3 means to show passion for your product by speaking and writing about it with enthusiasm. Talk about what your product can help people accomplish in their lives. If you can’t work up enthusiasm for your own product or business, find another business or product.

    4. Accept the fact that “NO” won’t kill you

    In the process of running a business and selling a product, you will hear “no” more frequently than you hear “yes” (if you’re doing it right). What? By “doing it right”, we mean you are TRYING things. Some work. Some don’t. Whenever you think of a new marketing approach, remember, the worst that can happen is they say “no”. So, try it! This is not a matter of life or death. This is a great experiment! “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

    5. Wear a CLOWN SUIT! It’s hard to ignore!

    The cheapest and easiest marketing in the world is free advertising. How do you get free advertising? Wear a clown suit! Do something OUTRAGEOUS! Become news worthy. How? When Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream first tried to expand to a nation-wide operation, it had trouble finding distributors. They determined the problem was that Pillsbury put out the word to all distributors not to work with Ben & Jerry’s. Pillsbury’s edict effectively blocked Ben & Jerry’s from the services of the national distributors. What to do? Put on a clown suit!

    Ben & Jerry’s set up a one-man picket line outside Pillsbury headquarters. The picket sign read “Who’s the Doughboy afraid of?” The result? National-wide FREE publicity on television and newspapers. Publicity they couldn’t afford to buy. In order to differentiate yourself from the crowd of competitors, you MUST be DIFFERENT! Design your own clown suit and wear it proudly!

    6. NEVER Give Up!

    Albert Einstein said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. In marketing, everything you do moves you forward. If one campaign fails, you are that much closer to the one destined to succeed. Watch others. Learn from others. Learn from your own mistakes. BUT KEEP GOING!

    7. Always Be Closing

    “Always be closing” is often referred to as the “ABCs of sales”. However, it also applies to marketing. The objective of marketing is to increase sales. Not to “inform”, “educate”, or “entertain”. I repeat: The objective of marketing is to increase sales. Therefore, this last commandment directs us to write all marketing copy with the sale in mind. Only information that moves a potential customer toward a sale is allowed in our marketing copy. How do we know what should stay and what should go in our marketing materials? Read through it asking yourself one question – “So what?” Another way of stating “so what?” is asking “why should the customer care?” You’ve been in business since 1972. So what? Your product folds flat. So what? You’re a family owned business. So what? The alternative?

    “We have been in business since 1972 so you’ll always know where to find us. Since we are a family-owned business, you’re always talking to an owner who can answer your questions and solve your problems. Our product folds flat to save you valuable office space when not in use.” See the difference? Now you’re talking about the customer’s issues, not yours.

  • Business Marketing Strategies

    For many small business managers, finding the time and commitment to develop business marketing strategies is difficult. There are so many other obligations vying for our attention it is tempting to push formal strategy development to the back burner. Giving into that temptation, however, means putting your business at a disadvantage. Marketing strategies help point you toward the best marketing programs for your business.

    Without strategies, you risk becoming unfocused in your marketing efforts, choosing programs that do not support general strategies. To be most effective, your marketing strategies should be integrated into your marketing plan (which in turn should be part of the business plan). By integrating strategies into your overall company plans, you can better achieve business objectives. Additionally, over time this will result in more consistent decision-making throughout the organization.

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    Integrating Marketing Strategies into the Marketing Plan A marketing plan is similar in structure to a business plan, but with a narrower focus. Marketing plans include overall objectives; marketing strategies; and marketing programs, each progressively narrower in scope.

    • The objective addresses the big picture and sets the tone for your strategies. In general terms, your marketing plan objective answers the question “How will I overcome my main marketing challenge(s)?” If your company is a new Web-based business, for example, a main challenge may be figuring out how to use your Web site to better build client business. An objective, therefore, may be “To enhance online client service as well as build site awareness and interest with clients.”
    • Marketing strategies support your objective. The strategies define general approaches you will take to meet your objective. For example, marketing strategies to support the above objective could include 1) improving online communication, information, and education, 2) building awareness of and interest in your company on the Internet, and 3) communicating the Web site’s existence and advantages to existing clients.
    • Programs are the things you will do to bring your marketing strategies to life. Programs for strategy 2 in the above example (improving online communication, information, and education) could include 1) sharing experience and observations in your industry through participation in discussion boards, 2) offering an email newsletter, and 3) listing/submitting your site to targeted search engines and directories.

    By keeping your business marketing strategies in mind as you initially choose marketing programs, then making adjustments throughout the year based on those strategies, you build a better foundation from which your business can grow.

  • A Secret Technique That Entrepreneurs Can Use To Almost Guarantee Success!

    If you were to walk up and ask successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs what they did to succeed or fail, most of them would cite some mentor or lack of trait. Blame genetics or outside influence. But if you were to ask the exact same group if they used this secret, 99% of successful entrepreneurs would say yes – and almost all of the unsuccessful entrepreneurs would ask what you were talking about. The secret to being a successful entrepreneur is very, very simple. It is called “Quantifiable Goals”. It might sound complicated, but when you have finished reading this article you will completely understand what it means – and why it is so important.

    Let’s say, for example, that you walk into a room full of entrepreneurs, and ask them to state their goals. To state why they are ultimately in business for themselves. Most of them will respond something along the lines of time or money. But watch them puzzle when you ask them WHY they want to earn money or have that extra time. This is the most essential part of Quantifiable Goals. Any John Doe can say he wants to make money, but why? Is there something in particular he wants to buy? Something he wants to do with that time?

    Once you establish WHY you want that extra time or money, you have just taken a big step towards success. You now have a goal. For example, you want that extra money to buy a house. Buying a house is your goal. Now comes the Quantifiable part. How much are you going to spend on this house? $250,000? $1 million? You need to come up with a dollar amount or time amount, something of quantity, to properly set your goals. That way, once you earn that $250,000 or gain those 3 hours, you have essentially attained your goal.

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    But waking up one morning and deciding to earn $250,000 doesn’t make it happen. So how do you achieve your long-term Quantifiable Goal? By breaking it up into smaller, medium term quantifiable goals. For the example we have been using, buying a house for $250,000, your medium-term goals would most likely be monetary. You could set goals to complete two projects that would each bring you $125,000, or even 10 projects that would bring you $25,000, or break it down even further.

    Well, you break each of your medium-term quantifiable goals into short term goals. For example, if you chose to get two projects with a price tag of $125,000 each, your first goal might be to think of what kinds of projects you can do that would bring that kind of money in for you. Your next goal would be to close the sale on such a project, and then to complete the project, and finally to collect payment. That way, each medium-term goal is broken down into manageable tasks.

    At this point, you want to break everything down into a flow chart to help establish your goals. Put your life quantifiable goal at the top on its own piece of paper. Then, put each of your medium-term goals on their own paper in a horizontal line directly beneath your life goal. Then directly below each medium goal, fill a sheet with the short term goals that it will take to achieve each medium term goal.

    This method will help you visualize what you are working towards, and how each step is necessary to achieve your dream. Now you’ll want to check off each short term goal as you complete it, completing one sheet at a time. By doing this, you will be able to visually SEE your results progress quickly. Each time you complete a short-term goal, you are one step closer to completing a medium-term goal, which brings you one step closer to completing your life goal.

    Now that you know the secret, what are you going to do about it? I suggest following the visualization techniques given, and build yourself a “life pyramid” on a wall that is visible while you are working. Glance at it every so often, and it will keep you on track. Reward yourself when you complete your goals – from the smallest achievement to completing the entire pyramid. It will most likely be the most positive experience in your life to see that pyramid completed – and the construction process of the pyramid itself will set you on the right path.

  • 8 Traits Of The Perfect Entrepreneur

    If you’ve considered the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur there are eight traits that are important in describing the perfect entrepreneur.

    1. Risk Taker – Entrepreneurs understand that in order to make a profit they will need to assume a certain level of financial risk.

    2. Business Manager – Entrepreneurs have a keen understanding of finance and are well equipped to manage the finances of a business.

    3. Organizer – Entrepreneurs are well equipped in the area of organizing all aspects of the business for current and long-term growth.

    4. Marketing Expert – Entrepreneurs are capable of understanding and implementing marketing strategies both online as well as offline.

    5. “People” Person – Entrepreneurs love to interact with people. They are proficient in customer service and have never met a customer they didn’t like.

    6. Self Starter – Entrepreneurs understand that if something is going to be done right they need to be the one to do it. They are never lazy and are easily motivated.

    7. Knowledgeable – Entrepreneurs understand the products and services they sell and have no problem explaining every facet of their business to interested clients or affiliates.

    8. Initiator – Entrepreneurs are ready, willing, and able to take the lead on projects and assemble all the plans needed to move forward with any project. They always get more work done than anyone expects.

    The truth is there are relatively few entrepreneurs that have all the skills listed above, yet their businesses are not only surviving, but their ideas are flourishing. Sometimes the best tool an entrepreneur can have is to pull together the right team. Very few people are gifted in all areas of business, so it just makes sense to find individuals that are a compliment to your business objectives. If you are strong in one area search out individuals who are strong in the areas where strength is required.

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    Chances are good that you will learn something from your employees while you work together to capture your vision for business success. The World’s Most Perfect Entrepreneur is one that knows how to manage resources. Sometimes that means knowing when to call in reinforcements and not being embarrassed to acknowledge your areas of weakness.In essence a weakness in an area of entrepreneurialism does not have to mean an end to a dream. It simply means finding the right running mates to give you a fighting chance at making it to the finish line.

  • Online Marketing

    Online Marketing is essentially a marketing communication activities using the Internet media. At first using HTML-formatted pages that can be accessed by Internet users. That was the beginning of the website which then becomes ‘second home’ for companies that already exist to show his true identity.

    In the development of online marketing is not just using the media website, but also email and other applications that run over Internet protocol. As part of its marketing activities by using the Internet media, online advertising (advertising on the Internet) to be of interest to the study of particular marketers and business generally.

    At first Internet advertising in the media is to move the material which has been running ads in conventional media (television, magazines, newspapers) to the website. But in its development, utilization characteristics of the Internet media is able to maximize the results obtained through the activities of advertising on the Internet. It results in Internet media is now used as part of the mix (marketing mix) with a different approach according to the characteristics of the media and target audience to be achieved.

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    Activities are commonly used in Internet advertising in the media is put banners (banner ad). But the demands of an increasingly complex marketing communication is not enough just in that way. It takes strategy, creative and accurate measurement and mengkonvergensikan possibilities. For example, using a viral e-mail marketing strategy, build a separate product-specific sites from the corporate site, designing webtorial pages, making the advert-gaming, synergize with mobile marketing, online surveys / polls, and other strategies.

    There are many other possibilities in the development of advertising on the Internet. Together with online marketing consultant AFP, we are ready to realize the achievement of your online campaign markerting with specific and accurate approach. By using AFP, the biggest news portal in Indonesia, as a medium to distribute your online marketing campaign, is the right choice. Because that way your campaign will be seen by the majority of Internet users in Indonesia.

  • Product Strategy

    Sometimes companies have a variety of brands according to its business portfolio. Each brand will serve a target market that was commissioned by the strategy at the corporate level, functional and business unit. Sharp Plasma Cluster have, and LG have the Neo plasma to serve different target markets.

    The chosen target market is the “compass” for the entire marketing effort. Marketers to position their products or services in the minds of target consumers. What kind of want to be perceived by the target consumer, is at the core of the placement of this position, as represented by the brand. So when it was dealing directly with consumers, the brand strategy is the marketing strategy itself, and the point is positioning.

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    There are a number of criteria that must be taken into account positioning. First, it must be prominent brand positioning in the eyes of customers, and customers are used as an indicator of quality. Second, brand positioning should be based on the actual strength of the brand. This means that the promise given to consumers must be obeyed.

    Third, the brand should reflect the position of competitive advantage. There is no point if we position the brand similar to the position of competitors. There should be perceived differentiation of consumers, our products will not be treated the same. Fourth, the position of the brand should be communicated in a clear and motivating the market, should not be too complicated.

  • 5 Steps To Creating a Marketing Plan

    Have you created a marketing plan for your Website? If not, it is time to think about developing one. An Internet marketing plan helps you make the right day-to-day and long term decisions. Without a marketing plan it is more likely your Website will be a drain on finances rather than a business builder.

    Creating a marketing plan need not be scary or difficult. It does not require a marketing degree or a lot of experience. You do, however, need to put some quality time into writing your plan. There are different ways to write a marketing plan one of which is to create a marketing plan outline (or single summary page) through a five step process. 5 Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan

    1. Gather and Analyze Information

    You will need information about your company, competitors, customers, and other industry players to reference while creating the plan. This includes all you can find about how the Internet is currently being integrated in your industry with respect to products, promotions, pricing structures, and distribution channels. From this information, you can complete industry and SWOT analyses as well as identify your target customers.

    2. Verbalize Your Main Challenge

    Write down the main Internet related challenges you want to overcome as a result of your plan. Referring to these main challenges will help keep you focused while creating your marketing plan You may even want to write your challenges down in question form – “How do we _____________?”. When your marketing plan is completed, it will answer the question “How do I address these challenges?”

    3. Develop Your Website Objective

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    The objective addresses the “big picture”. Your objective answers the question “How will I overcome my main marketing challenge(s)?” in broad, general terms. If your company’s main site-related challenge is figuring out how to use your Website to help build client business, for example, an objective for your Website marketing plan could be “To enhance online client service as well as build site awareness and interest with clients.”

    4. Create Strategies

    Strategies support your objective, defining the general approaches you will take to meet your objective. For example, strategies to support the objective outlined in Step 3 could include 1) improve online communication, information, and education, 2) build awareness of and interest in your company on the Internet, and 3) communicate the Website’s existence and advantages to existing clients.

    5. Choose Marketing Programs

    Marketing programs are where the action takes place – these are the things you will do to bring your strategies to life. Marketing programs to support strategy 2 in the above example (improve online communication, information, and education) could include 1) sharing experience and observations in your industry through participation in discussion boards, 2) offering an email newsletter, and 3) listing/submitting your site to targeted search engines and directories.

    Once you have created a marketing plan summary by working through the five steps, there are numerous ways to create an expanded write up. If you are a company employee, there may be existing format and content you must follow. After the initial plan is created, you should treat it as a work in progress. Tweak and adjust as needed in response to changing conditions. Many companies update marketing and business plans annually when developing budgets for the coming year. Whether you are a one-person shop or part of a good-sized company, having a Website marketing plan can help your business prosper on the Web.

  • Choose an Internet Marketing Company

    Internet marketing is essential to the success of web sites. You can have a professional looking website but what good can it do if internet users are not able to find it when they need your products and services? That is where an internet marketing campaign comes into play. “Your website has to magically appear before buyers when they need products and services.”

    Internet marketing is similar to designing websites- it does not require much experience to do a good job, just good knowledge and a keen eye for details. It is fundamentally important for a good internet marketer to constantly update himself weekly, if not monthly, of online markets. There are many ways to market your website .

    Justify the costs of hiring an Internet Marketer – First of all, getting an internet marketer is not essential for every website. If your website is a business website or a website which you want to generate revenue from, it is good to seek a competent internet marketer to work on your website. The costs spent on your website for internet marketing has to be justified and often, they are justified by having more revenue and traffic to your web site.

    Potential customers have to know that there are no guarrantees in SEO. Since everything is fundamentally based on search engines, SEO work is at the mercy of major search engines like Google. Many SEO companies tried to secure customers with guarrantees that they cannot fulfil, resulting in lawsuits or customers getting burned for hiring their SEO services.

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    In short, an Internet Marketer oversees that your website is built properly for visibility and promoted with the best dollar spent on your internet marketing campaign. It is no good having a website and not appearing in internet searches. Your website has to magically appear before buyers when they need products and services. Internet Marketers deploy search engine optimisation techniques to make your website visible and targeted to internet users.

    Internet marketing requires research and analysis effort for individual website, followed by optimisation of website. Hundreds of hours may be spent on each website, depending on the size of your targeted market. You are essentially paying for the amount of effort involved, effectiveness of your internet marketer and daily sales tracking of your website.

    How to choose an Internet Marketer- Internet marketing requires constant updating of skills and knowledge. One crude way to test if your internet marketer is a genuine or fake- Ask your internet marketer about recent events that happened in his field. If he cannot answer that, he must have a genuinely good reason to back himself as a good internet marketer! At times, it is easy to fall prey into the hands of bad internet marketing companies as happened in US and other parts of the world.

    It is also important for you to feel comfortable with the amount of money you are spending on getting your site popular before committing yourself to a internet marketing campaign. Internet marketing campaigns typically last a few months and requires monthly tune-ups to your website. Include the costs of an internet marketing campaign when doing your company’s advertising budget.