Your, I Mean YOUR Marketing Concept

Let’s start with a definition:

Management philosophy according to which a firm’s goals can be best achieved through identification and satisfaction of the customers’ stated and unstated needs and wants.

OK, it sounds rather clinical but it’s a pretty simple concept. Easy to understand but not so easy to implement. Every business is different and needs it’s own marketing concept. My marketing concept will not work for you because of many factors. Considerations to be made in every business include:

  • Your location.
  • Your products.
  • Your customers.
  • The time of year. (or month, or season)
  • Your competition.
  • If you are a physical location or an internet business.
  • Your budget for marketing.

Your marketing concept must take these points into consideration. Answer these questions and you’ll have a good grasp on what you need to do.

  • Your Location.

Particularly if you have a brick and mortar location, you need to know your area. Are you in an urban or rural location? What is the population of the area you want to serve? Are your potential customers willing to travel to where you are to buy what you offer?

  • Your Products.

What a your products and/or services? What sells best? What has the biggest profit margin? What is your “signature” product? What product or service is unique to you and your business?

  • Your Customers.

This is the most important item to consider for your marketing concept. We could spend hours talking about knowing your customers but for our purpose, let’s consider a few questions to answer. Are they mostly male or female? What is the average age of your best customer? Where do they live? What is the average income of your ideal customer? Write a paragraph or 2 describing your ideal customer. Do people shop online for the products that you sell? Are your products and/or services considered a luxury or a necessity? If you live in an area that is experiencing high unemployment, will people still be interested in your offer at the price you are asking? These are just a few questions to be answered. Given your particular situation, I’m sure you will come up with more.

  • The Time Of Year. (or month or season)

Many business marketing concepts have to take into consideration what time of year it is. Take for instance where I live. Here in Northern Michigan we live in an area that depends on tourism. In the summer we see a great increase in population and many businesses rely on good summer sales to make them profitable for the entire year. In another town, Frankenmuth, Michigan, much of business there is related to the Christmas season. (If you’ve never been to Frankenmuth, you owe it to yourself and family to make the trip. Especially to see my old buddies Kevin and Ron Kern at Kern’s Market!).

  • Your Competition

Knowing your competition is key to your success. What are your differences? Are your prices in line with the others? (Not that price is the most important factor, but it puts you in the game to be competitive.) Is your customer service better than theirs? If not, what changes do you need to make? How close are they to you? Do you compete with them or do they compete with you??? Think about it!

  • Physical store location or an internet business.

Depending on your focus, either or both can be very successful if you plan it out. Here are some questions. Is you store location easy access to walk by traffic. Does what you sell rely on impulse buying? What is your parking situation? Is it easy to get in and out of your store and does it have good handicap access? Do your hours of operation match with your customers shopping habits? Does your store have a public bathroom? Is the lighting good?

If you run an Internet business, how are your skills at SEM and SEO? Do you use WordPress for your website? How are your writing skills?

  • Your Marketing Budget.

Important here is, make a plan and follow it. Nothing will kill a great business quicker than poor funding. One of the great things about an Internet business is that it can be started and run on a shoestring, this isn’t meant to discourage you from a brick and mortar business, but it is the truth. Anyway, Questions: What is your largest funding source? Who do you have to answer to, if anyone, before spending money on marketing? How much does it cost for a Yellow Page ad? Is that where your customers find your products? Other places to advertise can be: local newspapers, Craigslist, Google AdWords, radio (can be a great source), TV, word of mouth (the BEST if your existing customers love you!) and some other things coming up that can really change the marketing game and give you the advantage you deserve.

This article is meant to get the old inventive juices flowing and I’m sure you can come up with many more questions to answer. As always, the more you learn, the better chances for the success you want. America is still the BEST place to be when it comes to business start up (and for everything else). Time to build your dreams. YOU CAN DO IT!

Marketing Products Through Advertising

Advertising is the art of promoting the sales of goods or services based on a market selection. It is affected through various media, particularly through newspapers, magazines, radios and T.V. services and bill boards along the highways. Advertising affects the market in one way or another. Expenditures on advertisements amount to large sums of money and they are rising every year.

The fact that expenditures on advertising are increasing from year to year indicates that advertising is important to market a product or services. As a country becomes more industrialized and as competition in business becomes keener for the firms, marketing strategy through advertising will become more important and expenditures on advertising will rise.

Advertising is regarded as “the life-blood of marketing” simply because it gives information to prospective consumers of the goods or services which are made available in the market. It tells a group of selected market of the existence of a new product or of new uses for or new or better qualities of an existing product, or reminds a market of the existence of a product. Without such information given through the various advertising media, the prospective market may not be aware of the existence or the uses of a product and the producer may not be able to sell it. A product that is not sold or cannot be sold is of no value to the producer and to the selected market. Therefore, it is obvious that informative advertising is very important to a firm or to an industry and is also important to consumers and the market at large.

Generally, advertising as practiced by most firms is competitive rather than informative in motive. This is particularly true where there is a great deal of product differentiation brought about by the practice of branding a product. A firm advertizes mainly because it wants to push the sales of its products. When its products are differentiated from the products of other firms by just its brand, then it hopes to increase the sales of its branded products to their selected markets. It can do so by marketing, through advertising techniques, to create a special image for its brand of products and to build up brand loyalty for its products to a given markets.

Once customers’ loyalty for its brand of products is established, the demand for its products will be less price-elastic and it is able to make some monopoly profits to a given specified markets. Competitive advertising, as we can see, is wasteful. Experts may tell us that there is no real difference, physically or chemically, between different brands of a product.

Whatever difference there may be between two brands is strictly psychological in nature built up through large sums of money spent on marketing through advertising campaigns. It can, therefore, be argued that the consumers would benefit more if firms spent less on competitive advertising and passed on their savings to consumers in the form of lower prices or in the form of genuinely better quality products obtained through more research which could be made possible with savings from unnecessary marketing activities.

However, it can be counter-argued that competitive advertising may not be a waste after all, because very often a consumer derives extra satisfaction from owning or consuming a widely-advertized product. Since he obtains more satisfaction, the higher price which he has to pay for the product because of the advertising is, therefore, justified.

Further, it can be pointed out that because of the large amount of revenue from marketing activities through advertising, newspapers and magazines are sold more cheaply to readers and they are within the reach of more people and, further, radio and T.V. stations are able to produce or buy better or more programs. Also, the advertising industry itself gains with more jobs created for the market community.

In conclusion, it can be said that one cannot deny that marketing trough advertising is the life-blood of industry. But it is really difficult to conclude that it is a waste of economic resources because much depends on one’s judgment of what is good or bad for the society.

Affiliate Marketing – Product Promotion

After selecting a product/service to promote, the next big challenge is to find people interested in that product/service. There are several methods you can use to market your product online.

Create a Website

You can promote your product by creating a webpage for it that you will optimize for the search engines and promote using different internet marketing methods, such as article marketing, social media marketing, and paid advertisements. Page optimization involves describing your product in at least 400 words and using “keywords.” Keywords are words that people use to find the product you are selling, and they can be found with the help of tools, such as Google AdWords: Keyword Tool and Wordtracker. The primary keyword should appear in the title of your article and a few times in the article body.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is mainly done through article directories. The idea is to inform the readers about the usefulness of the product and encourage them to follow the link provided to purchase or learn more about it. The inclusion of keywords in the article (title and body) is also important to enable people to find your article. You do not have to write a separate article for each directory. When submitting the article, you should carefully select the category, sub-category (if applicable), and keywords.

Video Marketing

Creating videos about your product can also help you find buyers. Google, the leading search engine, directly indexes videos, so your video can show up in the search results besides the text results. In the video, you should inform the viewer about the product and how they can get. You can provide your affiliate link in the video description and ask the viewers through the video to click that link to get the product. A good way of saving time when creating videos is to simply narrate the points mentioned in the article submitted to the article directory.

Slide Sharing

Slide sharing is a simple affiliate marketing technique. All you have to do is present the article you have written for article directory submission in the form of slides. You can use a tool like MS Power Point to create the slides. Slideshare.net is a site where you can upload you slides for free.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is widely used for product promotion these days. Promotion on sites such as Twitter and Plurk can bring traffic to your target site. Social bookmarking sites, such as Digg, Delcicious, and Diigo, can also be used for promotions.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising in the form of pay-per-click advertising is used by many affiliates for internet marketing. All of the top search engines display per-per-click ads. Google AdWords is the most popular pay-per-click program. It allows you to bid on ad positions related to a keyword and make your ads appear in specific regions, if you like. Paid advertising enables you to display your site besides the top search results, without promoting it through other means or search engine optimizing it.