Amplify your product beauty with cardboard display boxes

Those products that are used for enhancing beauty need more care and attention in preservation. Hence different boxes are available that can protect the beauty products but the most lavish boxes are small cardboard display boxes. The cardboard itself is appreciated because it provides the stunning designs and fascinating appearance of the boxes. So, make sure that boxes of the bath bombs are elegant and made with cardboard.

On the other hand, the display boxes play a crucial role that attracting customers. Hence the bath bomb display boxes are elegant in design and better to put on your store shelves. When visitors pay a visit, they will find out the unique designs of the boxes and make their mind to buy from you. To maintain the standard of your brand, make sure that the packaging is perfect. Packaging will become perfect if you use eco-friendly materials. So, use it and see the change in your brand success rate.

Grab the most stunning designs of the custom boxes to explore the new ways of success
You can only get success if you know the tactics and strategies to formalize the structure of the boxes to make the presentation better. You want to compete with your competitors so, change the designs of the display boxes cardboard. The shape will remain the same buy you can change the outlook of the box by opting for different customizing options. So, make the standard of your product high by putting them into the fascinating packaging.

Meanwhile, make sure that the designs of the boxes are outstanding and elegant as well. Because customers have the mindset to get such things that have fascinating packaging. That’s why illustrate the packaging with embellishment and make the Custom Bath Bomb Display Boxes more accurate. Designs like gable, sleeve, front and reverse end tuck are appropriate in presenting the body refreshing bath bombs.

Besides that, the use of display boxes cardboard is to present different types of products. you can put bath bombs, cosmetic things, jewelry, and many other products. This box is appropriate to place several things due to its sturdy and composed look. Thus, present the high standard of your product as well to make it more complimentary for your brand.

Enchanting printing colors make the custom boxes more appealing for the onlookers
The brands used different tactics to attract customers to visit the brand. Pone of the most attractive and appealing patterns is printing. Make sure that the packaging of the display boxes cardboard is appealing and fascinating. You can make the packaging more pleasurable by adding vibrant colors. Modern technology creates the stunning look of the boxes that save your time and expenditures as well. You don’t need to visit se3verael places to customize the color pattern.

Meanwhile, saving money is every businessman’s priority. That’s why you have to look forward to the best printing methods that make the bath bomb display boxes more appealing. Hence the use of digital printing is to pride the digital appearance on the custom packaging. on the other hand, you can select one color look of the box as well. It means the selection of the color design is reliant on you. So, select it wisely and attract the customers with full confidence.

Furthermore, the Pantone matching system is one of the attractive methods in making the elegant colors of the display boxes cardboard. Thus, the cardboard paper can catch out all the colors and give natural look to the box. That’s why make sure that packaging is perfect and the combination of CMYK and PMS is giving one of the best color schemes for your box.

Increase your bath bomb product sale by having the commendable look at the boxes
The product sale range can only increase if you have a good quality of the product and packaging. If you are confident that your bath bomb display boxes are attractive. Then you don’t need to worry it will increase your product sale too. But you have to make sure that material is fine, design is appreciated and looks are commendable. It becomes possible if you are investing in the right company and their experts are guiding you about the right way.

On the other hand, different add/on features are available in customizing world that makes the dull and not approved packaged fascinating. So, make sure that your selecting company is making the display boxes cardboard according to the latest trends. Hence the use of PVC sheets to cover the display boxes is appreciable because it is eco-friendly. It protects your inside items from any damage. You can also select embossing/debossing. Raised inks, silver/gold foiling to make the box more attractive for the clients.

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Software For Managing Expenses Of Your Business

The expense report software is a crucial component of every business. It assists in keeping your business organised, enables you to better manage your expenses and boosts efficiency. Management of expenses isn’t just economical, it’s also a reliable method to monitor time and fix errors. The expense report software offers the flexibility to grow your business, and put your business on the right path to increased profitability and expansion. Numerous companies want to increase their possibilities through efficient marketing, travel, and customer-centric relationships through the expense reporting software.

Software for Expense Reporting provides companies with a full overview of their expenses, allowing them to determine in a glance whether the money is spent. It’s a simple method to control and manage the business’s expenses. The reports produced by expense report software will include vouchers, receipts and receipts as well as gifts cards, debit card receipts gas receipts and more. Additionally, there are details such as sales tax figures and sales figures as well as purchase dates, makes serial number, model and price. The software was created to be user-friendly simple to use, print-friendly, and comes with a variety of modules, including: expense reports expenses for employees and project expense reports. time clock reports for employees time and sales monitoring sales trends and metrics Work force management, labor analysis, as well as report on overheads for the facility and store.

Software for managing expenses is perfect for small-sized businesses with small budgets and staff. By streamlining financial processes expense report software can help companies reduce time and costs. The reports produced by this program allow for better decision-making regarding the business expenses, allowing management to improve efficiency and cut expenses. Reports can also be used to aid in cost control and accountability. By cutting spending that isn’t needed and streamlining processes, businesses can increase customer satisfaction.

Reduce costs through expense report software can be beneficial for medium and large-sized companies. With the help of accurate and detailed reports managers can pinpoint the employees who are wasting money while also ensuring that expenses aren’t excessive. The expense reimbursement programs that are based on expense reporting allow businesses to make more informed decisions about the reimbursement of their employees, customers or customers, as well as other customers. A well-planned reimbursement process can aid companies in staying competitive in the marketplace through lowering the cost of running a business. Cost reimbursement is an essential tool to ensure you are in compliance with all laws and regulations in relation to workers’ compensation as well as health insurance.

The Internet has a wide range of choices for software that can be used online to create expense reports. There are a myriad of companies providing these products on the internet. Small businesses can benefit from these websites provide quick access to easy-to-use cost reports that are easy to understand. Additionally, many sites permit users to upload invoices and receipts for an official tax receipt. Other expense report software online products include online supermarkets, car payment processors, time clocks for employees and utility bill validation systems. Online resources offer a convenient method for any business to manage their expenses quickly and effectively.

When choosing online expense reporting software, choose the one which best fit your business requirements. Select a company that offers an excellent technical support team and an intuitive interface. Consider whether the program lets you keep precise details of your expenses for travel including office equipment, Internet usage, meals or leisure time activities, personal expenses etc.

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Getting Acquainted with Good eLearning Translation Services

The eLearning industry has grown a lot in the last few years because internet access is increasing around the world which is helping people in learning new and important things no matter where they are in the world. the eLearning industry is also making sure that everything is being communicated in the best way. This has got some loopholes as well because accessing knowledge and eLearning resources from around the world might require you to use translation because they might be the native language.

This is the case when the translation will be able to make a huge impact because someone from a different country with a different native language might have a better understanding of a specific topic and accessing that piece of information by someone who speaks a different language can help them learn better. This is why you need to hire expert eLearning translation services because they will be able to do the job well for you.

These services have the best professional team that will be able to help you in dealing with the communication that you want to establish. They have the best translators who are well aware of the language to the core so that the accuracy of the translated work in comparison to the original is maintained. There is an eLearning translation benefit for eLearning business as well where the business can hire such services to get the translation done from their end so that the user can access the information in the best way possible no matter what language they might speak. This can be a great way to gain a greater number of learners and the demographic reach is also going to be wider for you. You need to hire such services where you will be able to get the best work done for yourself without having to spend a fortune on it.

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Direct Sellers: What Do Google+ Additions Mean to You?

Google+ recently rolled out some new features along with Google+ Brand Pages. The site seeks to enhance its users’ experience, giving people a greater ability to connect, interact, and play within the platform.

So what exactly are these new additions, and how would these affect direct sellers? Well, as a direct seller, you have the unique opportunity of being your own personal brand and yet also representing your company’s. You need to do a bit of balancing act here, since it’s about how you relate with your consumers and audience as a person while still promoting the company and products you stand for.

Social media has definitely changed the way direct sellers can connect with their audience. Rather than having to go house-to-house talking to one person after another, you can easily connect with hundreds of your friends and followers with just a click of the button.

So here’s a rundown of the latest additions to Google+ and why direct sellers should take note of these changes.

Ripples

Ripples are basically a graphical representation of how posts or updates are spread in Google+. The graph shows the key influencers, which people can click on and visit. You also see which of the posts are being shared and by whom.

This is an excellent feature for direct sellers, since it helps foster brand recognition. It also gives you valuable feedback on your posts – are they getting the attention you want or are they being ignored? It helps you determine which topics you should focus on and which ones you should reassess and revise as needed.

Ripples is essentially giving you an evaluation on how your posts are being spread, and if they aren’t getting the effect you want, then you really need to start reconsidering your branding strategy.

What’s Hot

The new Google+ “What’s Hot” Feature shows all the most popular information around Google+ to the users. It can be found in two places in your Google+: on a stream on the left side of your page, and underneath your new posts.

Though some have complained that this new feature still needs tweaking, as people are getting a lot of useless information such as ridiculous gifs and unfunny jokes, direct sellers who are interested in brand exposure can actually benefit from this. Of course, most are suggesting that there should be a great filter for this feature, so that people can really see what they’re interested in and filter out what they don’t like.

There are huge hopes that Google+ can make this feature better for its users, so that persons and brands alike can really take advantage of it and put out some excellent content.

Google Apps availability

Another new feature is that Google+ is now available with Google Apps. People who use Google Apps now have access to the features that are available in Google+, such as sharing with your circles, and sharing publicly with everyone in your organization.

Direct sellers can take advantage of this by sharing valuable information to their circles and organization. The integration is still in the works, however, but people are really looking forward to using the tools together.

Google+ becoming Google

Perhaps the most significant upcoming change in Google+ is the fact that it is soon going to become part of everything that Google is, from the search engine and advertising, to Chrome and YouTube. It seems that what you do in Google+ will soon become your online identity in the Google universe.

What does this mean for direct sellers and other personal brands? Well, since it seems that all the Google sites will soon be one integrated service, then it’s really important that you ensure that your Google+ profile represents your brand well. It’s also critical that you only post information that you really want people to know; otherwise, data that you may have wanted kept private or friends only may soon appear in the Google
Search Engines.

Google+ may also soon be an important factor in ranking in the Google Search Engine, so you really need to ensure that you optimize your profile. You want to establish an excellent online identity, since it can really help spread the word about your brand and engage your audience. But always be careful what you put out there for the world to see, since this affects your online reputation.

As a direct seller, make sure that you understand these Google+ additions very well so you can use them to your advantage. Managing your online reputation has never been so critical in today’s competitive world.

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How I Get More Marketing Done While I Sleep Than Most Businesses Do All Week

I gave a speech at a conference last week titled “22 Ideas You Can Implement Today To Position Your Business for Breakthrough Growth.”

After the speech was over one of the audience members stopped me and said “That’s all great stuff…but how do you get it done? I’m already busy and I can’t imagine even getting started on all this stuff!”

Good point and fair question.

The simple and true answer is you just decide to do it. It takes some work upfront…but not nearly as much as you might think. And once these ideas are working in your business you gain so much free time, you won’t know what to do with yourself.

And honestly, what could you possibly do with your time that’s more valuable then attracting new clients and inviting old clients to come back.

But once you make the decision, how do you make it all happen?

For me, I’ve built a system that forces potential clients to “raise their hand” to get my attention…I don’t chase them. That SAVES me a huge amount of time right off the bat.
Most business owners spend 4-10 hours a week networking to find leads…that’s 10% to 25% of your time during a normal work week…that’s insane when you think about the tiny return for all that invested time.

When my prospects raise their hand, they are responding to some form of direct response offer from an ad, a postcard, my website, a video, a media interview or one of my speeches.

Depending on what they respond to they are directed, initially, to one of several “sales robots”–a 24-hour free recorded message, a free e-book, a free video.

These robots educate each prospect (even while I’m sleeping) and give them the opportunity to take the next step in the sales process (usually and initial meeting).

So I don’t waste time on a prospect until they’ve been educated AUTOMATICALLY, by my sales robots.

If they’re not ready I have my “Follow-up Robots” keep in touch my email and direct mail (sometimes by phone & fax)…until they are ready.

I’m patient…because my “robots” never sleep, never get bored and never let a prospect fall through the cracks…I know that I’ll be there when that prospect is ready to move forward.

And when they are ready…the competition already quit (usually months ago)…and I’m all alone with the prospect.

Without my robots…I’d be pulling my hair out just like that guy I met last week.

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Modes of Entering Into a Foreign Market

Today’s era is of globalization and this globalization has boosted up international trade to a great extent. Every company, whether big or small, wants to spread its reach to global markets to ensure a large customer base. There are several methods of entering into a foreign market. A company which wants to enter the foreign market has to choose the mode of entry very wisely which can provide it the maximum output.

Modes of Entry

Exporting

Exporting refers to selling of goods or services produces in one country into another country. Exports are considered to be the basic most mode of entry into foreign market. It requires least investment and the risk associated is lowest.

A company might be a manufacturer exporter or a merchant exporter. A manufacturer exporter manufactures its own goods and exports it, whereas a merchant exporter procures goods from a manufacturer and exports it under its own name. Exports are a good source of foreign earnings of a country.

A merchant exporter can opt for exporting the goods itself or hire an agent for the same. In case the exporter exports the goods without any agent, it is termed as direct exports. The direct exports provide better control over the goods, market and feedback mechanism to the exporter. On the other hand if the exports are made through the channel of an agent, it is termed as indirect exports. Though it is preferred for first time exporters to go with indirect exporting, but direct exporting provides better returns in long term.

Licensing

Consider a company which holds a patent for a particular product. The company may sell or give on rent its license of production to an overseas company. The parent company which is located in home country gets a rent or royalty for the sales made by the overseas company in the foreign market. Licensing is an easy way of earning extra income without putting in high efforts. The license may be given to the foreign company either on rent for a specified period or on percentage royalty for total amount of sales. The major disadvantages of licensing include risk of reputation being spoiled by the licensee and lower income as compared to other modes of entry.

Franchising

Franchising is actually an advanced system of licensing. In this system, the owner of a company which is also termed as franchiser allows a company called franchisee to sell its products on the name of the parent company. The parent company earns royalty for the sales made. The franchisee has to use the business name and standards of the parent company for being a part of this system. In other words, the franchisee runs his business the same way as the franchiser does. The threat to this system is that the franchisee becomes a potential future competitor for the franchiser.

Joint Venture

Joint venturing is again a very important and commonly adopted method of entering into a foreign market. A joint venture reduces the risks of the participants considerably. Joint venture is highly beneficial for a company. Consider a company which wants to enter a foreign market but it has no understanding about the culture, environment and ethics of the citizens. Such a company will enter into a joint venture with another company which is already located in the target country. This way they can have a better understanding of the target market as they have association with the local players of that country.

Joint venture also allows the companies to merge their resources and perform at a large scale. Two small companies can take advantage of bulk production and selling. If the joint venture is between companies from developing and developed countries, the technological and managerial skill sharing between them becomes a highly important aspect. But when it comes to business expansion, the two companies might not have similar opinion and it becomes the reason of failure of most joint ventures across the globe.

Turnkey Projects

Turnkey projects are mostly observed in large investment projects. Let us consider for example a developing country which has very less technological expertise. Such countries outsource their public construction work like roads, dams, bridges, rail lines etc. to foreign companies which are technologically sound. When the project is finished, two possibilities exist. The company which accomplished the project may operate the project and earn through tickets, toll taxes etc. or hand over the entire project to the concerned government on full payment of the contract.

Strategic Alliances

Strategic alliances include cooperative agreements between two or more companies. These agreements are usually made for research and development work but may also cover managerial assistance. The strategic alliances thus mainly concentrate on developing new products instead of expanding the markets of existing products. Technological sharing is one of the most important benefit of strategic alliances.

Wholly Owned Subsidiaries

Wholly owned subsidiary is considered as the extreme mode of entry into foreign markets. A company establishes its own production plant in a foreign market and operates it there. This mode of entry requires huge amount of capital investment and the risk associated is also considerably high. As an advantage the wholly owned subsidiary provides a better control to the company on the overseas activity. The company has to follow the norms of both the home and host country’s government.

Companies which tend to establish a wholly owned subsidiary also opt for acquisitions in foreign market as an easier way. If a company in the host country has a well-established business, the company of the home country will prefer to acquire it instead of setting up a new business unit in the host country.

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Mind The Gap: Aligning Strategic and Tactical Marketing

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat….
–Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”

We marketers are an ambitious lot. We often aspire to corporate leadership, so we spend a great deal of time and energy establishing and developing a reputation for strategic marketing competence. This may often happen to the detriment of tactical skill development. However, marketers who master strategic marketing, tactical marketing and the critical integration of the two are more likely to build successful brands in the long run, and they are more likely to be prepared for senior leadership.

What do we mean by strategy and tactics?

The word “strategy” conjures up visions of masterminds creating new and amazing directions for businesses to pursue. Contrast this with “tactics,” which conjures up visions of managing day-to-day tasks.

These terms have their roots in military history, dating from the time of the ancient Greeks. Indeed, the definition of strategy from the Oxford English Dictionary shows the traditional demarcation: Strategy is “the art of a commander-in-chief; the art of projecting and directing the larger military movements and operations of a campaign. Usually distinguished from tactics, which is the art of handling forces in battle or in the immediate presence of the enemy.”

Broadly speaking, then, strategy is typically about answering “what,” and tactics about answering “how.”

Organizations often view strategy as the more appealing area, given its cross-functional scope and impact, whereas “merely” tactical roles can seem mundane and limited in scope and impact.

For many in marketing, especially those with aspirations to senior leadership, there is a natural attraction to being the commander-in-chief, directing the larger movements. But there are two key organizational risks to this: a marketer’s perceived or actual skill set may not fit this precise role, and staff see strategy and tactics as mutually exclusive, whereas an integrated approach is how brands succeed.

BREAKING DOWN ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS

Specialization runs the risk of creating silos, where strategy no longer takes into account how something is executed, or tactics are used in pursuit of short-term goals that are unrelated to, and possibly contrary to, an organization’s strategic marketing objectives.

For example, brands often seek to expand from one market to the rest of the globe, attempting to develop a global brand positioning and to leverage scale. However, they often fail to account for key differences between their homeland and the markets they seek to grow in. Competitive sets and positioning maps may differ. There may be different buying influences or regulatory requirements. Customers may play much larger roles. Perhaps most importantly, consumer segmentation and buying behaviors may be very, very different. As a result, it can be very challenging for a brand to build and implement global strategy when a brand fails to account for different tactics required in different markets in order to achieve the global strategy.

Similarly, tactical decisions in pursuit of short-term goals can work against strategic objectives. A clear example of this is when a brand seeks to develop equity as a premium brand. Often brands will take a strategic decision on price and promotion strategies with a view toward long-term equity building, such as setting MSRP at a premium to the category and limiting frequency and depth of promotions. However, if volumes fall short of sales targets, one of the first tactics used to drive momentum is deeper, more frequent price promotion. While this moves the needle in the short-run, it impedes the ability of the brand to establish itself as a premium player in its category.

An interesting contrast to these examples is where a brand strikes a good balance between strategic planning and tactical execution. For example, strong global brands leverage a global insight with near universal relevance. They develop a globally consistent look and feel with clearly defined mandatory elements. They allow for relevant locally developed touchpoints that reinforce the core brand message without it becoming the “lowest common denominator.” In short, they account up-front for not only a truly global strategy but also important differences in tactical approaches to achieve it.

THE HUMAN FACTOR

In addition to creating that strong strategic and tactical coordination and integration on individual campaigns, it’s critical to have the right staff doing the right things on a day-in, day out basis.

Here are some concrete ways to bring such integration to life in your marketing organization:

• Manage the Organization: Hiring and cultivating staff who have mastered both the tactical and strategic arts, and can apply them appropriately, should be a key objective for marketing staff development.

Additionally, recognize the value of having roles whose main responsibility is “integration marketing”: bridging potential organizational gaps, for example those between global and local marketing, design and delivery, brand and customer marketing, etc.

For example, in some effective global marketing organizations, there are global brand/product marketing managers who develop the global strategies, local marketing implementers responsible for bringing to life the strategies at market and customer level, and a team of regional sector/channel marketing managers whose responsibility it is to ensure that each informs the other appropriately in planning and execution.

• Plan Your Marketing Work: Modify marketing planning processes to force integrated discussion of strategy and implementation. Ensure that strategic and tactical marketing staffs, as well as other implementers such as sales and product supply, inform each other to ensure harmony up-front. Acknowledge and leverage the different points of view, enabling each to serve as a check-and-balance on the other in a way that creates constructive tension, open communication, and clear accountabilities.

• Work Your Marketing Plan: Do not let the “plan” be the end of the integration of strategic and tactical marketing. Rather, it must be the starting point. Throughout the year, hold regular, robust engagement sessions between those with strategic, integration and tactical marketing roles to evaluate work to date, realign on objectives and activities, and plan out appropriate next steps.

• Seek Lessons Learned : It is absolutely essential to spend the time needed to conduct post-mortems on key projects and identify where the linkages were strong, and perhaps more importantly where they fell short of what the business needed. Take the time to determine what you will DO differently next time.

By doing these things, marketers do not fall into the trap of creating, in Sun Tzu’s words, “the slowest route to victory.” Instead, we do many vital, beneficial things: We keep in mind the critical question of whether the organization we are supporting can execute with excellence the strategic vision, architecture, segmentation, positioning, etc., that we develop. We ensure that those who will ultimately execute the strategy buy into it, feel a sense of ownership of it, and commit to doing their part to fulfill it. We ensure that the tactical activities are aligned with the strategy, so as to avoid the “noise before defeat.” And we align organizational goals, right down to KPIs and individual performance reviews, with the broader strategy to ensure that we execute with excellence and ensure that the strategy takes into proper account the “lay of the land.”

In the end, whether on a battlefield or in a boardroom, strategy, tactics and the integration of them are means to an end: victory. Marketers must ensure all three are present, mutually supporting and well designed. If we do this, we win.

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Why Shopping Carts Need Social Marketing

Most quality shopping carts are very good at presenting products to customers and moving them through the checkout process. With the growth of new technologies like Ajax and One Page Checkouts, carts have ramped up their ability to take a website visitor through the checkout process as quickly as possible.

Conversions are critical, but how can you build referrals and repeat buyers to get the cost of sale down? Enter Social Marketing.

Social Marketing enables you to use your customers to market your products for you. In basic terms, it’s word of mouth with a technological spin. Your customers endorsing your products and both directly and indirectly telling others to come and visit you.

Social Marketing takes many forms – from a website visitor clicking to save your website’s link on their favourite social bookmarking site through to directly writing about you on their “wall” on their favourite social networking website.

Shopping cart software that can harness these social networking tools allows the store owner to engage their customers in the after sales process. If they bookmark your store so they can find it again, then others can search that list and find your store. So can search engines so it’s another link back to your store. If they write about your store on their own page, it’s effectively a direct endorsement of your site, and more information that can help sell your products to others. Social networking and online shops go hand in hand.

As a store owner how can you take advantage of social networking?

Here are a few useful suggestions:
- Add social bookmarking links to your product pages. That way if a customer finds a product they like they can bookmark it and find it later – so can other potential customers who can see those bookmarks.
- Post coupons on your own social networking pages. If your customers “follow you” on those social networking sites it increases your effective popularity on those sites, and exposes your website link to other people to find. It encourages other people to follow you too in order to get the discounts, snowballing your popularity.
- Use the “widgets” from social bookmarking sites. Most of the major social bookmarking sites will allow their users to download code for “widgets”, which usually take the form of inset boxes on your website where the data comes from the social networking site concerned. In the box may be the most recent updates you have posted on your social bookmarking site, or links to the profiles of others who “follow” you. These widgets demonstrate to potential customers that you are connected, and add to your online reputation. Use them if you can.
- Follow up with your customers and ask them for reviews. If you make it easy for people to write a review about your product or website, then they probably will. Give them the link for where to go to write a review and/or provide an incentive to encourage them to do so.

Integrating social marketing into your overall marketing campaign can help your shopping cart website sell even more of your products. Social marketing is cheaper than direct advertising and easier to implement – it will cost you far less in the long run, but it does require both more planning up front and the faith in your products and services that your customers will recommend you.

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3 Small Business Marketing Predictions for 2012

What’s in store for small businesses marketing in 2012?

Good question.

It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to recently. And after a little debate, I decided to chime in with a few of my own predictions for what’s in store for small business marketing this year. Keep in mind this is not every prediction rolling around in my noodle.

But it is a few of the biggies.

Give this short article a read to see for yourself.

3 Small Business Marketing Predictions for 2012:

1. The relationship is KING

It goes without saying that the relationship you have with your customers (and are building with your prospects) is important. It’s been this way since the dawn of business. But in 2012 it will become vital. I’d say maybe even 80 to 90% of the buying decision will be made based on this alone.

Why?

It’s simple:

People are bombarded from every nook and cranny with marketing messages by business owners claiming to be the best at whatever they do. The internet has made this even worse. And the only way to make sense out of who’s telling the truth is to go based on that relationship.

2. People will tune OUT Social media more and more

Mark my words, Social Media (like Facebook and Twitter) will get tuned out more and more.

Really?

Yeah, and let me prove it to you.

Anytime a “new” media hits the scene, it’s fascinating to people. And slowly but surely more and more people give it a try. Then what happens? That’s right, the marketers move into the realm because they want in on the action too.

Who can blame them?

Problem is this leads to even more messages being blasted which annoys people.

Need an example?

Email.

I remember when email was this cool and novel idea. But what happened to email? It’s become cluttered like your grandma’s shoe closet.

So anyways…

I’m not against Social Media for chatting with friends and things. But I am strongly against it as tool that small business owners rely on for getting new customers.

3. Direct mail makes a huge comeback

Huh?

Yeah.

In fact, I’m on a lot of mailing lists. And I’ve noticed that my stack of mail is piling up. Why? Because direct mail is one of the best (if not THE best) media for attracting new customers, and savvy marketers already know this.

And with the postal rates going up, it’s only going to get better.

Why?

Because only the best and brightest marketers will be able to afford direct mail which makes it “the elite” marketing place to be.

Compare this to Twitter: How much does it cost to blast a tweet to your list? Zippo. Which is why the least talented marketers use Twitter as their bread and butter tool for growing their business.

So there you have it.

3 small business marketing predictions for 2012.

One last thing:

If you own and operate a small business and are serious about growing it, then what’s holding you back? That’s right. Good information. Truth is you may be one good idea away from having a breakthrough. But you must be careful who to turn to for that breakthrough idea. Can I help you? Maybe… maybe not. To decide go to my website which is located in my author’s box below.

Wesley Murph is the author of “The Little Black Book of Small Business Marketing: 10 Proven Ways to Add New Customers, Repeat Sales and Referrals to Any Small Business!” which includes a campaign he wrote for a client that pulled a whopping 35.7% response to an ice-cold list. He is not accepting any new clients at this time. But if you’d like more tips like the one you just read, then head on over to:

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Market Technology: The Missing Link

Although many, aspects of Industry have morphed and changed over the last, few decades, there are several outposts that continue to find their way. In spite of technological advances, process improvements, changing Market and Customer demands, fierce Competition and even the advent of the Internet and powerful, Marketing platforms – like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – the prevailing mindset has not changed dramatically.

In 1981, we submitted a manuscript to Harvard Business School for review and consideration. It was titled, “Market Technology: The Missing Link.”

It certainly would not rival Ted Leavitt’s “Marketing Myopia,” however Market Technology approached the fundamental issue differently and distinctively.

The actual manuscript was a “library of congress” class of document complete with concept overview, relevant models, heavy detailed, descriptors, case examples to demonstrate that the stuff had been applied to the real world, etc.

In its raw form – Market Technology advocated that companies must treat their marketing, sales and business development needs similarly to the way core engineering and product development are handled. Determining the right response and the right mix for a company’s marketing and sales programs is no different than determining a company’s products and services. In fact, conceiving effective programs is as complex and critical to the company’s success, as conceiving its product set. This meant that the Marketing discipline and process need to be integrated into the business. In fact, with small-to-medium, sized companies – the Market Program – is classified, as critical – in that, it could make or break a company.

For smaller firms – they must get it right – out-of-the-gate, and may not get a second chance.

This is one aspect that distinguishes smaller companies from their larger counterparts – as the larger firm can absorb a missed opportunity or loss more readily.

How many companies have you been associated with that thought and operated this way?

Market Technology represents a Mindset, framework, methodology, process orientation and an implementation -ready, program all rolled-up in one, complete package.

In your company, what role does Marketing play?

Most, will respond by indicating that Marketing plays a support role for either the product/service or to provide mainline support to the company’s Salesforce or Distribution Network (Channel Partners).

Reference will be made to Trade Show support, MarComm, collateral material, brochures, data sheets and even the dreaded “lead generation program.”

In your company, what is the stature of Marketing?

There are exceptions (depending on the Industry and Company make-up), however most will indicate that it is not a Leadership role (although the Marketing Team wants it to be).

What is the missing ingredient?

Is it that Senior Management did not come from the Marketing discipline and will not give it its day and cut it loose?

Is it that companies have experienced too, many false starts with their Marketing Program or it just doesn’t work?

Is marketing too, risky and costly compared to making investment in other areas of the company?

Is marketing viewed, as a luxury vs. a mainline contributor?

There is no silver bullet answer, although some combination of these factors may be the root to understand the dynamics going on here – in your company.

Let’s revisit the elements of the All-in-One package referenced above:

*The Mindset – we continually get bombarded with messages that advocate a company must migrate to a Market-Driven or Customer-Centric state – well, how many successful transitions have you been involved in or led?

The point is that this involves cultural and many times, organizational change – and that is not a small step, but a giant leap. It may demand shift changes in focus and direction, which may also have an impact on the make-up of the Senior Leadership Team.

It takes careful assessment, planning, timing and relentless dedication to pull something like this off, however the starting point is the Mindset. If there is need to infuse or change the company mindset to embrace Marketing – then it must start with the Top Dogs (Senior Leadership Team) and then filter into the organization. Although the mindset sounds like “soft science,” if the company environment is not ripe and receptive and the mindset is not understood and put to practice, then there is no need to invest any time, resource and effort into driving this forward. It’s a Dead stop!

*Framework/Methodology – most companies’ Marketing efforts look-like a disjointed, puzzle. The pieces are laid out and some fit, however it just doesn’t hang together. The reason for this is that the make-up of the Marketing Program is comprised of discrete events (activity-based) vs. a well-thought out, integrated Program (defined and driven by Strategic intent). Further, there are times when something is put in-place to satisfy the interests of the Top Dog or to appease the Sales Team – avoid these activities like the plague. They will not serve the organization well, deliver the desired results and most likely put a “black-eye” on the Marketing function or diminish its value.

When defining the baseline Marketing Program, it is useful to utilize a simple framework that identifies and breaks down the Marketing Sphere into its core elements: 1. Research (primary and secondary) 2. Market Planning and Strategizing (industry, market segment, application, customer, product, competition, pricing, packaging, etc.) 3. Market Program Development (consistent with Strategic Business Plan and critical priorities) 4. Advertising, promotions and communications (various platforms and vehicles – company capabilities, positioning, customer profiles, product coverage, etc.) 5. Sales Development (market, business, sales, product, etc.) 6. Product Management (market, technology and competition). There are other elements that can extend the framework, although these are the basic, building blocks.

The framework can be viewed, as a group of circles, where each element is inter-related (like a Venn diagram – math term). The circular flow is continuous and self-feeding. Market Research (the Homework), for example, can be integral to defining the profile and make-up of a Market Program – like a Product Launch Campaign or a Competitive Attack Program or building/developing a Strategic Alliance and Partner Network. To have a shot at developing effective, Marketing Programs – it is necessary for your firm to utilize a framework to guide the Marketing challenge. This will also assure that your program is fully-integrated from the get-go. This must be aligned with the Strategic Business Plan (and its priority set), although there are times, when implementing a tactically-driven, program has purpose and value. These are usually opportunity-driven. Once the framework is understood – program considerations are mapped-onto the framework to represent the make-up and selection of your Phase One Market Program. The driver for Program selection should be those challenges, opportunities or problem-set, which are critical to business success – not something that is neat to do. We have many clients that utilize a framework, which has streamlined the Marketing task and not let them down. With the framework, you can “walk before you run” – selecting a few, sample programs, putting them to the test and then extending your reach. Over time, mastering the framework and having all of the elements working in your business – is the target objective.

*Process Orientation – there are a series of steps to define and develop Market Programs. They are not goof-proof nor will they guarantee success, however to embark on putting programs in-place, without a process orientation – is like putting your company’s livelihood on a Las Vegas roulette wheel.

These steps represent a methodology and an integral process:

*Baseline Research – we refer to this, as the homework. This can be completed in short-order (depending on how conversant and savvy you are on the subject matter). To keep it fresh and unbiased, it would be useful to bring in Outsiders – that are not contaminated with the internal view. They may also challenge conventional wisdom and bring-in new perspectives. This phase is normally overlooked or de-emphasized, however it is critical to fueling, shaping and molding your Program selection and content. Can you imagine spawning a Market Program, let’s say, that must build position in a new, Industry segment and generate business, without doing the Homework?

Over time, this must be integrated into your company and be a continuous, process.

*Profiling – bring in your brightest lights and some Outside support to translate/interpret the Homework, which will naturally point you in the right direction to choose and select the “best” Program mix and aid in defining the content of each Program. Develop a written profile – complete with all of the elements – for each Program consideration.

*Positioning/Messaging – we have seen many firms “go creative” on this phase – imagination is good, however make sure that the positioning/messaging is consistent with what was compiled and translated from the Homework. We are not taking a shot at creativity, however Programs are implemented to generate results – not win awards. In today’s market – take the focus off your company, product, service or yourself – the target audience is not interested in that fluff. Have your campaign highlight a critical, Industry problem or opportunity or a target application – something that is relevant and useful to your audience. Have Programs that host a theme not a product-line – this can also be built upon and perpetuated. Mix it up and make it distinctive. Use the “acid test” – when done with your positioning/messaging, put the Competitor’s logo on it – if it makes sense and is not defendable – go back to the drawing board, rather than embarrassing yourself in the Open Market. Incidentally, to support the continuous, development of Market Programs – you might want to consider creating a role – Market Designer. This allows dedication to the task and results in building skill and competence in this key, area.

*Pilot Test – take your Whiz-bang, guaranteed-to-work, Program out to a test audience. This exercise is insightful, can take less than thirty (30) days and can save your bacon. Have the audience made-up of known and unknown quantities (including some of the competitor’s customers) to get a fair cross-section. Take their inputs seriously, factor their valued, inputs into the Program make-up and then launch with less pressure and more certainty. Include your Sales/Support team and 3rd Party Network into the process – get their feedback and also enroll them into the Program early, as they will predictably be an implementation arm for the real thing.

*Implementation Phase (Ready-to-Roll) – this is it – the real thing. Pre-launch your Program both within and outside of the company. For insiders, get them ramped-up and rallying around the Program. Make it a Company event. For outsiders – build a little, mystery – prior to formal launch. Depending on the make-up of your Program – you can leverage the Media (all forms) – most salivate over something new and newsworthy. Take advantage of webinars, instructional programs (How To Workshops), click-into Industry Groups and Associations that cater to your prospective audience, generate useful Industry articles (and find sites whose subscriber network fit your needs) – if your Program lends itself to Social Media – go for it – there are powerful, Marketing Platforms that you can leverage – and turn viral.

Need help?

There are trusted, experts out there that specialize in these areas – tap them!

This is also a critical, phase for your Program.

If you are leveraging a Sales team and/or a 3rd Party Network (Partners) – make sure to provide the front-end, training, campaign materials, and incentives to get them focused and juiced-up.
Listen to their comments along the way, as they are on-the-street and closely aligned with your prospects and customers. Make adjustments to your Program quickly and cleanly, based on their inputs – no burden.

Highlight the early-stage, successes (regularly).

Remember: the first 30-45 days of your Program is the “bleeding neck” phase – if you lose grip and momentum – you will not get it back. Poof goes your campaign!

*Metrics – avoid putting stiff, metrics on a Program up-front – until it is fully, launched, out there and generating tangible results. At that stage, the Program can be evaluated/assessed, in terms of, its potential impact and then realistic and attainable metrics can be applied.

As a rule-of-thumb – both tangible and intangible metrics need to be defined and put to practice for every, Market Program.

*Program Ownership – if your organization can swing it – identify an individual or group responsible for each Program – to breed ownership and accountability. They should be the conduit, between the inside and outside audiences for all aspects of the Program. They must be key, players in the organization that command respect and “carry a stick.” Program implementation is not a piece of cake and, at times, demands a degree of clout to get things done. If your Program Owner interfaces with the field Sales Team and 3rd Party Network (Reps, Dealers, Distributors, etc.) – make sure they are a known quantity and “speak the language” of the audience. We have seen brilliant, Programs go down the tidy bowl or sit-and-spin, because the wrong people were selected to lead and direct the Program. This is a subtlety that must not be overlooked.

*Reporting – keep the reporting short and simple, although with an emphasis on “keeping a finger on the pulse,” monitoring the stage of Program life (introduction, maturity, wind-down, etc.) and what is useful to Management and the Program participants. Reporting must not be, viewed as, imposing or Management’s attempt to “look over the shoulder” of those driving and participating in the Program. At the front-end of the Program (Roll-out/Launch) – it is helpful to report more often, as early-stage, feedback is key to effectiveness. As the Program takes shape and is more, predictable – the reporting can be less frequent.

*Program Continuum – every program has a life-cycle – it can be a short-term, program, for example – a hard-driving, Competitive Replacement Program designed to generate revenue quarterly, to a long-term, program designed to investigate and build a Channel Partner Network or Strategic Alliance relationships, to a mid-term, program like a formal, Product Launch Campaign. At every step of the Program life-cycle, there are opportunities to enhance the program format, depending on the business drivers and responses of the target audience. For example – for the Competitive Replacement Program, it may be useful to introduce incentives for both the potential buyer and the participating Dealer/Reps or construct powerful, Competitive Analysis tools or generate pre-qualified, leads. For the Product Launch Campaign example – automated “try and buy” kits, which will allow the prospect to review and test the new product (at their leisure with no sales pressure) may reinforce the campaign message, create a sense of urgency and strengthen the overall, Program format. There are times, when it is necessary – mid-life – to repackage a program or take it down a different path. This amplifies a key point – that Programs are not a done deal, after roll-out and launch – they have a life-span, which we call the Continuum.

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