Discovering Your Target Market

The first step in establishing your target market is to understand exactly why anyone would be looking for your product. Ask yourself what problem does your product solve? Also ask yourself what type of person or business would be willing to pay for your product as a solution to their problem.

When determining your target market, who you think is your ideal customer, may not necessarily be right. It’s best to let research lead the way and take the guess work out of the equation.

By looking at the statistics of who has already bought from you can help narrow down your target market. Look for trends in geography, gender, age group, financial status and interests. All of these criteria can help you piece together a picture of your ideal customer.

Are most of your customers local or global? Male or female? Do you sell more products in-store or online? Answering questions like these can also show you who your ideal customers are and how to best sell to them.

Evaluating your competition and their marketing strategies is another way you can define your own target market. Looking at how they market and who they seem to be marketing to will give you an idea of your industry’s ideal customer.

As you probe deeper into your target market, you need to determine whether or not you can effectively reach those people. Study your target demographic and their purchasing patterns. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, also look into your target market’s geographic location. You can use this information to find out if the people that live closest to your store are the same people who want to buy from you. If you are solely operating online, learning about your potential customers’ location and shopping habits can help you reach those customers.

As your business grows, so should your marketing efforts. Over time you may have to redefine your target market and change up how you are marketing to them. You will need to consider if the direct marketing methods you’re using now will still be effective later on down the line. You also may decide to expand your current target market to include other newly discovered prospects. If you want to grow your business you constantly need to be working your marketing plan.

The best way to succeed at selling your products is to market directly to those who are genuinely interested. Once you figure out who your customers are, what they need and how they shop, you will have a good idea of who you should be focusing your marketing efforts on. By arming yourself with as much information about your ideal customer as you can, you can push your sales over the top.

Use a Scientific Method in Marketing

Marketing is now a science. There is no question that cannot be answered within marketing. Any rejection can now be turned into a method. When a person can make a person get emotional about a product or service it is like making a new lifelong friend. People are now following one another more and more based on their personal experiences.

Keep on reading to find the proof that I have found through in-depth research. I have been dabbling in the online marketing, affiliate marketing and network marketing fields to see exactly what makes a successful person tick. There are many clues that point to why these people succeed in a particular order.

A lot of times there tends to be struggle on the front end. I have gone through this myself and any person I have ever talked to that has been ultra successful in their perspective niche have a struggle that happens. Some people were homeless and then something bit them allowing the new successful them to form. It becomes a necessity.

By making successes work one after another causes others to follow suit. The approach from here is digging your claws in the dirt. Find out exactly what you want to do in life. Find that one thing that drives you. For me it is writing. I love writing about the everyday because it can tell me and in turn I can tell others how to continue their story.

My message is clear in my writing. I enjoy the moment. I love my family most of all. They always come first. Because I want to enjoy every moment I have determined the best approach to freedom is online. The time freedom to allow you to have the life that you never have to worry about the small insignificant thing most people call bills.

Now is not the time to allow emotions to take over when things get hard. You make it through that challenge in your life and you will succeed. Do not ever leave a choice. Approach this by thinking about breathing. You have to want to submit a willingness in everything you do. Approach life with intention. Intend on what you want to do next.

If you look at any successful people you will see a pattern, Each step they take they discuss with the public. It is actually a great marketing technique. Let people know about your struggles, failures and mis-steps. This allows people to know that you grow. By showing people growth you gather the equivalent of age and wisdom. The next thought that enters your mind is, “Wow, why are all these people following me?”

Confidence in that you are doing the right thing is one of the next most important steps for you to gather. Confidence is gathered by continuing to generate success in any field that you may be in.

How Do Emotions Impact Marketing?

One of my new favorite books that is based on human emotions discusses the use of emotional intelligence which I have written about in previous articles. By making a person know more about their own emotions that person can then predict why other people feel the way they do.

Everything comes from experience. A positive experience will yield a positive feeling. In contrast, a negative experience will yield the negative emotion that they do not want to feel again.

If you think about your past you can see why you enjoy certain activities while you stay away from others. For me I love martial arts. It has instilled a thought process that I follow-on a daily basis. It is something that has grown into a passion. The reason this occurred was because of my first martial art instructor.

Let me give you a small piece of history. I had heart surgery as an infant. This stopped me from many activities like contact sports. I was not able to enjoy the same sports as my friends. By the time I was twelve my mother decided it was time to allow me to do martial arts. She actually closed her eyes and pointed to a name in a phone book. She didn’t know how to choose an instructor. When she spoke with the instructor he explained how I could still do martial arts even with my medical problems.

When I started I feel like this was a turning point in my life. It became such a positive emotion that it caused a butterfly effect in my entire life. This can be done when you are working with clients. Give them a good feeling. Give them positive emotion. Give them enough information that they want to feel strongly about what they are about to do.

How do you build positive emotions in people?

First find out how to relate to someone. Figure out what makes them tick. Ask questions. The more questions you can ask someone the better you will be able to understand where that person is coming from.

A clear example could be if you ran into a person like me this is what you would find. I love my family. Everything I do is to further my family. Because of this if a person wanted to sell me something they would want to make me understand how it would help my family. Each person has something that they can associate positive feelings toward.

Use these emotions to bring out the most positive influence. This happens in any form of marketing you are in. Think about your product. Now write down all of the different ways it can help people. Now that you have these written down when you speak with a potential client and they hit upon one of your points you can then persuade them why your product can help them in that specific area of their life.

Only a Marketing Database Is a Marketing Database

A fully integrated marketing database is the foundation of successful direct marketing. Today’s marketers have more data, from more channels, than ever before-making a database even more of a necessity. All direct marketing channels (email, direct mail, telesales, mobile, etc.) are creating higher volumes of data and adding more complexity to each respective source-forcing each system to effectively manage its own data in an increasingly intricate manner. As each individual system, such as eCommerce, ESP, fulfillment, loyalty, web analytics, etc., grows in complexity, the need for marketing data integration across all data systems and sources grows at an even greater rate. The capability of any single, individual system to manage and integrate data from other systems is inherently lacking. By definition, each individual system functions for its own specialized purpose, not to facilitate and optimize marketing.

Consequently, the need for a fully integrated marketing database, capable of continuously managing vital marketing data from disparate silos, is greater than ever. It serves as the essential means to integrating all of this data; and to keeping this data in pristine condition, maintained in a perpetually actionable state. ESP, eCommerce, and fulfillment systems may tout their data integration capabilities. But many marketers, through painful experience, know the fallacy of such claims. An ESP is not a marketing database. An eCommerce platform is not a marketing database. A web analytics platform is not a marketing database. Only a marketing database is a marketing database.

If the following does not characterize the database you are using for marketing, then you do not have a fully integrated marketing database:

  • Trustworthy data-your data is accurate and dependable, in pristine condition
  • Accessible data-easy access via a web based application, intuitive and built for marketers
  • Fresh data-your data is always current and up-to-date
  • Integrated data-all direct marketing data, both offline and offline, cohesively integrated together
  • Customer and prospect/acquisition data is in one unified, integrated database
  • Your data is actionable and always ready-to-use; it’s not a project to get all of your data together
  • Your direct marketing data management is routine, predictable, repeatable, and automated; not ad hoc
  • Marketing department can use and manage its data, without burdening your IT group
  • Your data is integrated at the unique individual, household, address, email, and phone number level-and any other level needed to support marketing needs
  • Multi-channel direct marketing is easy and integrated
  • Ability to run counts and extract lists in minutes
  • You can analyze your marketing data dynamically and on-the-fly
  • Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) data is at your fingertips
  • All suppression data is precisely managed across all channels and all touch points
  • Demographic, lifestyle, and predictive models are integrated into your marketing database
  • You can derive meaningful marketing data from your existing raw data and act on it
  • Custom reports for marketing management are at your fingertips
  • As your needs evolve, new sources such as social or web analytics can be integrated into the database
  • Custom business rules are routinely applied to your data, adaptable as your business changes
  • Promotion history is tracked and can easily be applied; marketing “touch” data can be used for analysis, executing an optimal contact strategy, and facilitating the right blend of multi-channel marketing

The Value Of Personalised Print In Direct Marketing

The value of personalisation in marketing has been demonstrated many times. Study after study shows that consumers respond more readily to communications that are tailored to their situation, needs and desires than to blanket ‘one size fits all’ advertising. Depending on the vertical sector, personalised campaigns can outperform static ones by a factor of up to 10. While email and other digital channels of communication have been seen as the easiest and cheapest to personalise, print retains a number of advantages: it can convey quality, has permanence, reaches all demographics and cuts through the digital clutter.

The problem with print – until recent years – has been that it could not support complex personalisation beyond simple overprinting of text such as name and address, because of the cost structure of offset litho and other analogue print technologies, which excel at producing multiple identical copies of documents at low unit cost.

Digital presses have changed this, enabling documents to be printed at productive speeds and at high quality while allowing every element of every page to be different, if desired. This makes possible the ultimate in personalisation – a different printed document for every recipient.

This kind of printing is known as variable data printing (VDP) but it’s often more meaningfully called personalisation, customisation, versioning, variable information printing or one-to-one marketing communication.

The idea of VDP has existed for several decades in certain sectors, such as transactional printing of bank or credit card statements, insurance and other financial documents, but these have typically been restricted to variable text, usually in one colour (black), overprinted onto pre-printed stock. The same idea has been widely applied in mail merges, where name, address and a limited range of other text is added to pre-printed promotional material.

A more recent development of this is transpromo, in which marketing messages and offers are added to the transactional documents, sometimes referred to as ‘white space marketing’, since the additional material is often added in the spaces that were previously left blank around the transactional information. The appeal of this approach is that statements and similar transactional documents have a very high open rate, so any additional messages placed there have a very good chance of being seen.

For businesses that don’t have a regular recurring transactional relationships with their customers, this opportunity does not exist and what has previously been done is the mass mailer, in which standardised content is sent to all recipients – a book of coupons, for example – but can be versioned according to postcode or other demographic information. Personalisation beyond this might extend to printing the recipient’s name on the envelope and varying basic information text.

True VDP allows any text or image on a page to be made variable from one copy to the next so that in a marketing context different products and offers can be presented to different customers within one mailing, according to their age, gender, location or other demographic, their previous purchase history, expressed preferences or inferred interests. It can also allow for different selections of pages to be printed according to the same criteria, such as a college or university brochure that only features courses relevant to the recipient.

Better still, it allows the customer to be in charge of what is printed: rather than assembling the print documents from an in-house or commercially sourced database following a set of business logic rules, VDP can enable the customer to indicate what’s of interest via a website form or interactive page, the results can be fed into the VDP page composition system, the customised documents printed and mailed to the customer, together with supporting information and offers. One example of this kind of ‘pull marketing’ is a customised brochure for a motor vehicle, where the customer selects the model, variant, colour, trim level and accessories and a brochure featuring that specific combination is created, printed and mailed.

While print may have strengths that digital channels lack, the most powerful marketing combination is to use it in combination with them, exploiting the strengths of each, to yield a greater number of touches for the recipient and a unified experience across all marketing channels, both on- and offline.

Using print in parallel with other marketing channels is called multi-channel marketing; when the channels provide a degree of interactivity with each other to further engage the customer and support the marketing message, it’s known as cross-media marketing, though the terms are often used interchangeably. An example of media channel integration is the use of QR codes on printed item that link to personalised URLs (PURLs) that take the viewer to customised online content that complements the printed material.

How Do I Get More Leads To Grow My Business?

Leads are an essential growth component of every business. A constant stream of leads is one element of many that creates sustainability within a small business. Leads can come from many places. A business owner should have at least three different places that generate lead flow. One of the first places I like to see leads come from is your website. The site should be optimized and search engine friendly. Positioning your website to be on the first page of Google will produce qualified prospects who want what you sell. The only thing the prospect will need is more information to make a buying decision.

Advertising is another way a business owner can generate a lead. Understanding how to leverage the strategic side of marketing can help achieve phenomenal results. Too many business owners are quick to say direct mail, social media, radio or TV doesn’t work. It was not the medium (tactical side of marketing) that failed you; it was what you said and how you said it (the strategic side) that failed you. Once the business owner understands how to effectively convey the value they provide, generating a lead is a breeze.

Prospecting is the act of generating leads without advertising. Prospecting could involve calling a target list or foot canvassing in a specific area. Do you have marketing materials? Prospects need time to make an informed decision at the speed their brain can process information. You telling them everything during a sales visit will not always be enough. A marketing piece (leave behind) that can support the prospects decision-making process will move them along the sales process and ultimately compel them to buy.

Having sales collateral allows your information to be shared with someone the prospect knows who may need your product or service right now. Where I see small business owners over look an opportunity in their marketing material is their business card. Offer more than just your contact and website info. Provide a link on your business card that leads to a video or free report that can educate and move a prospect along the sales process.

When you don’t have a lot of money to spend on creating leads, networking is an excellent solution to create new opportunities to obtain new business. Attend networking events and engage contacts strategically. Your goal is to connect with the people in the room who have relationships with referral partners who are already doing business with your potential clients. Please do not attend these events looking to sell to the people in the room. Go with the goal of getting connected to your target. The power words here are strategic alliance. Please don’t be selfish, once someone has offered to introduce you to someone in their network, be sure to ask them, “How can I help you?”

8 Content Marketing Channels to Promote Your Business

Useful content, sent via an array of content marketing channels, is an effective way to give quality information and solutions to your customers, whether individuals or business-to-business (B2B) customers. They want to buy products that help them and/or their organizations operate effectively and efficiently. These customers don’t want you selling to them immediately – they want to make informed buying decisions based on the analysis of this quality information that you, the marketer, give them.

The following are eight content marketing channels you can use to educate customers and potential customers regarding your products and services. These channels will assist you in presenting solutions to your target market, who make purchasing decisions.

Email

Your email campaigns must be in a clear, plain copy that is easily readable. Make sure your emails do not include distracting, annoying graphics. In addition, make sure they provide relevant, high-value information.

Reports

A report is a standard form of business communication. These business reports meld qualitative and quantitative information in a logical format. They serve as vital business documents that you can use to provide up-to-date, detailed information to a customer or potential customer. Like emails, they must be clearly written.

Articles

Articles are interesting and informative documents that you populate your business website with regularly. You can also add articles to your blog. In addition, you can publish articles in trade magazines you know your customers read. Furthermore, you can send timely articles to customers and potential customers to give them information and data that helps them in their decision-making concerning purchases.

White Papers

A good white paper provides your customers a fresh perspective concerning solutions to their problems. They highlight your products and services in an intelligent manner, focusing on giving data, facts, and such that prove the effectiveness of your products and/or services.

A quality white paper focusing on customers’ needs lends credibility to you and your company. White papers are information documents that reach people outside the typical sales process.

Case Studies

With case studies, you can collect evidence and information through diverse sources. This includes interviews, observations, physical objects, and/or the analysis of archival information. You can use a combination of the different sources to create an informative, helpful case study. Additionally, you can include quantitative data as is feasible.

In essence, a case study is a short, to-the-point, straightforward story with a conclusion that provides a solution. A good case study helps readers identify with the situation. They see their situation in the case study’s story.

You draw the reader into the case study with facts. The case study then offers premier solutions to help the reader. Essentially an information document, a case study helps individuals make decisions based on quality information. It can facilitate faster decision-making.

Events

People you want to connect with will attend your event if they believe it is truly beneficial to them and/or their company. Therefore, an event you hold should have a speaker who is an A-list expert on a topic other business professionals are interested in.

Telephone

Before you place a telephone call to a business, know whom you’re calling, and the issues they are facing in their enterprise. Call as a follow-up after sending a report, case study, white paper or after the individual has attended your event.

Direct Mail

Send only relevant material. A simple one-page direct mail letter in a plain #10 envelope works the best. Make sure the letter has a clear and concise offer for information. The main offer of your direct mail communication should include reports based on studies, research results, and high-level white papers.

The Takeaway

Use the above content marketing channels wisely. Let them be your tools to educate others on what you have to offer and why they will provide solutions to their needs. Prove to individual customers that you do business with that your desire is to help them with their problems and concerns.

Remember, your goal is to educate initially, throughout the process, and in your concluding presentations. Continuing education is also essential in after-sales service, with information on product updates, new ways of using a product, and more.

How to Make Direct Mail Marketing Work in a Digital Age

Does anyone actually still send mail, not emails but real paper mail? Yes! And it works! Direct mail marketing has a higher response rate than email marketing. Think about it, you’re more likely to get all of the mail from your mailbox on a daily basis then you are to open every email. If you’re anything like me most of your emails get deleted before they’re ever opened. You’re probably thinking how most of the marketing mail from your mailbox is also thrown away before it is ever opened and that’s where I may offer you some help!

First, I want you to consider who you are marketing to. Is it anyone and everyone you could get an address for? How many other people are marketing to those same people? Focus on your target audience. Market to an audience that’s exclusive to you; make sure your records are from a suppressed data source. Our data is suppressed for 6 months! Your list is exclusive to YOU! We won’t sell your list to anyone else which means your name will be the only one they see. Also, consider who exactly you want to target. We can add a multitude of filters to your list that will help to hone in on exactly who would be interested in what you have to offer. For example, a real estate investor is looking to market to an audience of sellers, people who are willing and/or looking to sell their properties. In order to find those people we add filters; how long ago did they purchase the property? Do they still currently live in it? Are they retired or planning to retire soon? Do they have extra properties they may be looking to liquidate? How much equity do they have in the home? How much is it worth? All of these questions are going to help narrow your audience to one that works!

Second thing to consider, what are you mailing? If it’s your typical white envelope, maybe windowed with a generic typed font showing through, with a piece of mail that looks eerily similar to every other piece of junk in your mailbox chances of it going directly to the trash are VERY high. Half the battle is getting your mailer opened. So how do you get people to open it, yet alone read it? How does a hand addressed, invitation sized envelope sound? If you’re thumbing through the mail at the end of the day do you think you’ll open that plain white windowed envelope with Times New Roman font showing your name OR a small invitation sized envelope with a real person’s hand writing? More than likely that envelope that looks personalized as though you may be invited to a party is going to be the first thing you open. You did it! You’ve won half the battle! Now let them read what you have to say.

Is your mailer a long drawn out whole sheet, maybe two sheets, of paper? Trash can. Keep in mind when most people are going through the mail; after a long day at work, maybe they’ve made dinner and done the dishes and they’re wore out. The last thing people want to read is a small font, LONG letter. Keep it short. Say what you need to say in the fewest words possible. Let’s face it once they open the envelope and realize it’s not an invitation to a birthday party they’re probably going to be slightly disappointed and only willing to read a short message. Also, are you going to have that letter on plain white paper with the same generic typed font as every other piece of mail? Trash can. Try a Yellow Letter! Yellow Letters are printed on lined paper like a piece of legal pad paper. We use a variable font, this means each individual letter in the font was written by a real person and then loaded onto our software so every “a” looks a little different than the next. These letters are personalized; remember that list we narrowed down for you? Each letter is addressed to the individual “Dear Jim,” which stands out from any generic mailer. There are also other fields that can be merged, such as their property address if you’re looking to buy their home, their city if you’re marketing to the area, anything that helps to personalize your message helps you stand out. Most importantly you want them to remember your name, and what better way to do so then to personally market to them.

The Many Colors of Direct Mail Marketing

Are you looking for a small change to make in your direct mail marketing campaign that could render a bigger response rate? How about a different color envelope? There are many options for the color of envelope you choose! If your yellow letter campaign isn’t giving you the response rate you would like then switching something up is definitely worth a shot. Maybe you’re a skeptic and you think everyone has figured out these yellow letters, with the red font and the ivory invitation style envelope. Well then try a blue or gray envelope with blue or black ink, or a pink envelope. Change it up; keep your audience opening their yellow letters. What about coordinating your envelope color with the season or the holidays? Use orange for the fall, green or red for the holiday season, pink or blue or purple for the spring time.

Thinking about putting your campaign on pause through the holidays? Keep them mailing, here’s why – Things slow down. Think I’m crazy for saying so? I don’t blame you it does sound absurd but hear me out. Of course everyone is super busy during the holidays but if you think about it most of that time is busy because it’s filled with shopping and decorating, parties and family, but not typically with business. Someone that is looking to sell their house is STILL looking to do so in the winter season. If you can you should keep your mailer going. Tis the season for Christmas cards and when your audience receives an invitation style envelope, green or red, hand addressed with a sticky holiday postage stamp… They’ll open it. Not to mention you may be the only one that still reaches out, while everyone else is taking a break you’ll be the prospective buyer that is still there which means you’ll get their phone call and hopefully their available property!

Even after the holiday season has passed increase your response rate in the spring with a brightly colored, hand-addressed envelope to catch their attention and brighten up their mailbox. Making a small change like different color envelopes during different times of the year can really affect your response rate. Add a return address label with a seasonally appropriate picture on it, a sticky stamp and a real person’s hand writing and boy you’ve got yourself a campaign for success. Let the calls start ringing in!

Trust Marketing for Small Businesses

If you are a person who is looking to have some great tips for your small budget business then you are in for some great luck as you can find some of the most trusted as well as proven small budget tips for marketing your business here. These ideas can surely make up the difference for you that you might have not even imagined before. They are given as follows:

  • Pay Attention to Content

This is something which is almost very obvious now. It is because if you pay attention to have some really awesome content then you will surely attract a lot of prospects that will eventually give you true sales. Thus, make sure that you have quality based content which is actually helpful to know about you or your product / service being offered.

  • Make Videos

Many people might not pay enough attention to it but the fact is that people are more attracted to buy a service or product when it has some great instructional videos for use or those that show the product or service clearly. Thus, make sure you spend some amount clearly on this aspect to make people have faith in you and build a trusted relationship.

  • Get Those Promos

Getting real advertisement promos can be quite out of budget but there is still good news because there are many places on social media where these ads and their posting are free through some promotions and deals. So make sure you don’t miss out any chance on these as they are available quite often to get you the best marketing.

  • Remember Reddit

Redddit is a very smart way to go with marketing because Reddit can help all people to brush up any marketing skills that have been applied. Reddit makes use of these skills to utilize them in the best possible way so make sure you don’t forget this place for marketing at all.

  • Get into Networking

This is the best way to stay updated and keep people updated about your business too. Thus, make sure that you are truly active and available on almost all social media platforms for people to know about your business and get their queries answered as well too.