Modern Marketing Strategies

Modern technology enables new, exciting and highly cost effective marketing strategies. Targeted email marketing and SMS marketing have until now been the preserve of large, wealthy organizations but over the last few years competitive pricing and increased accessibility has meant even small business owners can now join this marketing revolution and take full advantage of this technology through online providers. Such software and portals allow you to create, deliver and track campaigns with the investment of less than a monthly mobile phone bill.

Targeted email marketing is ideal for enhancing the image of your business, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and building strong, accurate mailing lists.

Targeted email marketing also enables you, for the first time, to send emails to customers based on their buying habits. Gone are the days of mass messages to all and sundry, you can now deliver messages to those people who are likely to respond to them and you can do this simply and at a fraction of the cost of conventional methods. ROIs are significantly greater than conventional marketing methods.

Targeted email marketing is ideal for newsletters, new product introductions, sales promotions and listings that change on a regular basis. Organisations such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, travel agents, venues, event organizers, to name but a few, can all benefit from such technology.

SMS marketing is an ideal partner for targeted email marketing and is ideal when the time frame for contact is much shorter. SMS is perfect in situations where your offers may be time limited to a day or so, examples of which may include; special offers, appointment reminders and school absences.

Whether you are a well established company or newly formed finding highly cost effective ways of expanding your customer database is paramount. Targeted email marketing and SMS marketing are fast becoming the main stay for thousands of organizations the world over for such purposes. At least one in three people check their emails daily and with more and more people owning mobile phones there is an unparalleled opportunity to get your messages to those who are likely to act on them.

Creating and sending targeted emails and SMSs couldnt be simpler. Todays providers take away the need for any technical knowledge, allowing you to concentrate instead on creating messages that you know your customers will respond to.

Tracking and analyzing the outcome of email and SMS marketing campaigns is just as easy. You can see who opened your messages, when and whether any links contained within the message were clicked. This further allows you to see what your customers are interested in and further enhances your list accuracy.

Such systems are also scalable allowing you to send one or a million messages with no extra work. Together with low costs and no contracts targeted email marketing and SMS marketing are set to revolutionize modern day marketing and by reading this article you have already taken the first step in embracing this new and exciting technology.

Vehicle Wraps 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider It To Advertise Your Small Business

Vehicle wraps are one of the hottest and newest trends available in advertising at present time. Below, five reasons why you should consider it for advertisement of your small business are being mentioned:

Impact: With a large number of people spending more and more of their times in their vehicles, it has been proven that people will remember more details based on perceiving visually your vehicle wrap.

Exclusivity: The design which your small business chooses is really exclusive to you. There will hardly be any other logo or company on your design. It will represent your company and services provided by you. It is completely based on what decision you take for using as a part of your campaign. Remember that your company will be the only one mentioned on your wrap. You will not be required to compete or share the space with anyone else on your vehicle wrap.

Cost Effective: Wraps is a cost effective way of promoting advertisement. They provide you the ability for incorporation of as many vehicles as required into your ongoing campaign with less price to you as contrary to running TV ads or print. In using vehicle wraps as part of your advertisement, they will not disturb your advertising budget. They are also not costlier in comparison to the typical methods which are generally used.

Reach Specific Groups: If your company offers specialized services like sports or technology then you will be capable of advertising your company by placing your vehicle at events which are centered on something that your company is involved with. This ability of taking your advertising campaign along with you to an event tremendously increases your recognition and people will take notice of your and remember who you are and what you have had to provide them.

Visibility: When you take decision to make use of a vehicle wrap for advertisement, it will tremendously increase your visibility and recognition of your small business. Remember that a vehicle wrap is made with the thought of attracting attention to your brand. Its purpose is to attract and get noticed, thereby proffering your small business a lots of chance to access many prospective customers who generally would not be aware of your small business. Becoming more visible to your prospective customers provides your small business an increased customer pool.

Hence, these were five reasons as why should consider vehicle wraps for advertisement of your small business.

Point Of Decision Marketing

Digital Signage is the answer to the on-going Retail question of how best to influence customers during the final stages of their purchase decision.

Reaching consumers in their homes is an increasingly difficult task and advertisers are looking to Digital Signage as a new way to effectively reach potential customers. The power of digital signage comes from the targeting ability, flexibility and cost efficiency. Companies need only compare the cost for a few seconds of television that might reach a small percentage of their customer base far away from the point of purchase, to that of Digital Signage.

Running branded advertising within the retail store itself means you will have a much shorter time line from promotion to purchase. This advertising method has been called Point Of Sale (POS) or Point Of Purchase (POP) . While these are not new methods, using Digital Signage is relatively new and gives the ability to deliver timely content that is dynamic enough to catch the attention of your target market in store.

The ability to update advertising instantly from within the store can help move slow moving stock. Target a particular time and area of your store to promote a particular item or sale. This is the power of POS advertising, made faster and more dynamic by digital signage.

Successful retailers are rethinking advertising thanks to a new in-store approach to messaging. Its called point-of-decision marketing, and you can use it improve the shopping experience of your customers. It can increase how long your customers shop and the size of their purchases. It can even motivate them to decrease the time they take deciding to buy.

Point-of-decision marketing gives you an effective tool to restore declining revenue and improve sales of high-margin transactions. Thus making it capable to Recover your ROI in couple of months leaving you with huge margins.

If digital signage is done well, it is proven to deliver a high return on investment. Advertising is an obvious source of revenue, the effective deployment of digital signage will also have a big influence on consumer buying behavior. Digital signage eliminates the overheads that are associated with traditional print media and studies show that the use of digital displays in retail can increase new product sales by as much as 300%.

One should also be very careful will choosing the digital signage solution and ensure that it one of best and latest solution offered to them. Truknox technologies offer one latest and finest digital signage solution for the retail industry.

Truknox (‘truenox’) Technologies, headquartered in New Delhi, India, is an avant-garde business entity committed to the design, development and support t of quality software. The company developed the Tru-i, which is revolutionary product for digital signage and associated communication systems.

Tru-I is digital signage software designed for the (Windows VISTA) platform. Simultaneously being XP compatible andreadyforWindows7,thus safeguarding your investment for the future. Its highly modular and scalable architecture, combined with an intuitive drag and drop Graphic User Interface, makes Tru-I unmatched in exibility and user-friendliness.

Why A Business Model Is So Important

A business model explains the rationale of how a company establishes, provides, and captures value. It includes the product or services offered, sources of revenue, customer base, organizational structure, strategies, operational process, and financing. Basically, the methodology and infrastructure of a business combine to form the business model. This model should be created long before a business opens its doors.

Before starting a business, an entrepreneur should be aware of the basic process for building one. This knowledge proves valuable when creating the business model. Certain aspects of infrastructure, operations, and strategic thinking have proven successful, while others are destined to fail. Being able to distinguish one from the other enables a business owner to avoid the pitfalls. A business with a model that maximizes opportunities and avoids threats is positioned for long-term success.

Sales are an important aspect of the business model and this is where proven methods really shine. By learning how to quickly generate income from sales, any business can get out of the growing pains stage much faster. The sooner a company can pass through this phase, the less likely it is to become a statistic. Quick success is especially important in the online world, where competition is particularly fierce. When a company becomes financially independent, so will its owners, and this is a much more comfortable way to live.

Closing a sale successfully is what leads to income so a business model should include information regarding closing techniques. These should be based on success achieved by other businesses and should be shared with the entire staff. Every employee serves as a mouthpiece for the organization so it only makes sense that each staff member be skilled in closing a deal.

Prospects have many excuses, especially during times when money is tight. They may be fearful of making a purchase because they do not want to spend their hard-earned money. Some of them convert this fear to aggression, placing pressure on the business. Staff should be trained in handling these situations and know how to convert negatives like this to positives.

Leaders in business know what it takes to achieve and maintain a high level of sales. It is not unusual for them to have salaries into the seven figures. By incorporating what they do and how they do it, any business can realize similar results. A sound business model can result in an entrepreneur making more money than ever anticipated.

Mobile Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

With the increasing advent of new technologies and business apps, customers are turning to these novel ways with a fast rate to find products and services. When you decide to expand your online venture, considering mobile marketing is beneficial. There are numerous winning mobile marketing tactics, which will let your customers find you easily while on the move.

The rates at which customers continue to show preference for mobile shopping make it important for business owners to take note. Consumers use Smartphones more often to buy or get product info. Given the wide berth of new technologies emerging by the day, there are several aspects below that need to be streamlined to help your company reap the benefits from mobile marketing.

Assess Your Inclination for Mobile Marketing

Just like any other business aspect, taking the plunge into mobile marketing needs to be planned. You will need to assess your readiness to and capacity to embrace this concept. It is unwise to join the bandwagon if you cannot deliver a satisfying mobile shopping experience for your target market. Decide your needs and goals first for the mobile campaign, and think about the desired outcome from the onset.

Launch a Mobile-Friendly Adaptation

With online marketing being termed as effective, there is need to ensure that you have the capacity to meet the demands of mobile customers. If you are not able to optimize your website for their needs and use patterns, they will probably use another site which offers them satisfaction. Remember to incorporate flexibility, since the mobile app world is ever-changing. For a website that includes a colorful and engaging interface, customers will keep coming. For success to be achieved page load times on mobile devices should be efficient: mobile shoppers are impatient. Dont forget text message provisions to enhance interactivity in real time.

Use Responsive Page Design

Modern mobile marketing requires fast response. This means that the design of the actual device and screen should be adaptive to each search. If the mobile interface experience delivers responsively, you will be able to create and design content, which will be compatible for all users regardless of their devices. Such innovative designs are not only time and cost effective, but they also allow venture owners to get through to customers without creating additional apps or mobile marketing platforms.

Keep Simple and Easy to Navigate

As said, mobile shoppers are demanding. You will need to incorporate simplicity in your messaging. Simple but strong calls to action should be part of the easy to maneuver interface. Remember to keep the mobile apps in question functional, and easy to use. Customers who wait for long load times on the mobile device will begin to look for other options. You must have active, user-friendly calls to action.

Embrace Text Message Marketing

Mobile shoppers can be engaged using valuable text messages. However, for a text to make the intended impact, it must be worthy and laden with valuable info. If it can offer suspense and special promises, the customer will be curious enough to make a conversion. Text messages with limited offers are likely to be effective. Consider having an exclusive edge on the text, such that the customer is not only getting quality product offers, but also helpful information to boot. The frequency of text message is one critical factor to be considered. If you bug your target audience with text round the clock, it may end up disastrously, since customers could perceive it as spam.

what’s In A Name – Just Your Business Survival!

What’s so important about how I sign my name?”

I get asked that question all of the time from my business consulting clients.

I tell them that a better question to ask me is this:

“Who cares about how I sign my name?”

The answer is a simple one.

NOBODY.

FINE PRINT: Except… your customers and clients, your creditors, your bank, your mortgage company, your landlord, the I.R.S… oh yes… and anyone else that wants to SUE YOU (and don’t forget ALL their lawyers!).

As in many areas of the law, the exception to the rule swallows up the rule!

What do I mean by this?

Well, let’s start with some basics. For instance, if you’ve already formed a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), you may think that you’re already protected from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit against your business.

In general, the rule is that a corporation or LLC, if formed correctly, and if all of the formalities required under the law of the State where the entity was formed are followed, does protect you from personal liability for business debts and lawsuits.

FINE PRINT: Except… when you choose to do business as an individual, and not as the corporation or LLC that you initially formed.

You see, whenever you sign documents like contracts, purchase orders, contractual agreements, leases, loans, mortgages, promissory notes, and most other legal documents involving your business, you need to make sure that you sign your name only in your business capacity.

You MUST avoid signing your name in your individual capacity.

And how do you do that? It’s pretty simple. You see, the format that you use to sign your name is the controlling factor.

In many cases, you as the business owner, sign your name without knowing how to properly sign your name to business documents. In fact, most business owners of corporations and LLC’s still sign legally binding agreements in their individual capacity…and not as the business.

SIGN AS AN AGENT OF YOUR BUSINESS

If you have formed a corporation or an LLC, you must remember to sign all contracts, agreements, invoices, etc… as an agent of the business.

For example… Many business owners haphazardly, or perhaps inadvertently, sign legal documents like the format shown in

EXAMPLE 1 below:

EXAMPLE 1

(signature)
————————
John Doe

“But what is the consequence of signing my name like in EXAMPLE 1 above to invoices, agreements, or documents?”

EXAMPLE 1 and the above signature format legally establishes that YOU have signed the contract, invoice, loan, or agreement as an individual.

And not as an agent on behalf of your business.

If you sign your name to agreements in the form depicted in EXAMPLE 1 above, YOU could very well be liable personally to meet all of the terms of the agreement.

And you likely don’t want to do this!

Why Simply out, because you’re therefore subjecting all of your business assets and personal assets as well to the risk of a lawsuit.

If you sign agreements as depicted in EXAMPLE 1 above, YOU will very likely be named personally, as well as your business, in any lawsuit filed against the business.

Remember then:

Signing your name like in EXAMPLE 1 above DOES NOT establish that you have signed the agreement as an agent on behalf of your business.

“Okay. So how should I sign my name to my invoices, contracts, leases, loans, or any other business agreements?

What simple step can I take to protect my business, and my personal assets as well?

SIGN DOCUMENTS ONLY AS AN AGENT OF YOUR BUSINESS

Make sure that you only sign legal documents, letters, memos, invoices, loans, leases, etc… as an agent of your business.

How must I sign my name to any legal document or agreement to show that I am signing only as an agent of my business?

Follow EXAMPLE 2 below:

EXAMPLE 2

ABC CORPORATION, INC.

(signature)
———————————–
BY: John Doe
President (Company Title)

If you sign your name on the dotted line following the exact format depicted in Example 2 above, you legally establish that you are only signing as an agent on behalf of the business…and not in your individual capacity.

But you MUST follow the Example 2 precisely.

CAVEAT: Another very important point on this topic.

AVOID SIGNING documents that state “PERSONAL GUARANTY” on them.

A Personal Guaranty is usually a separate legal document attached to the main agreement. You generally see a Personal Guaranty in a loan, mortgage, or lease. However, sometimes a Personal Guaranty can be established just by the way you sign the legal document, invoice, lease, or agreement.

How?

Simple. If the agreement merely has a signature line that has your individual name on it without any reference to your business name, you are signing the document as a Personal Guaranty. You are therefore personally liable for that agreement if you sign the agreement with such a signature line.

But, what do I do if I am being required to sign a Personal Guaranty, like for a business loan or commercial lease for example?

If a Personal Guaranty is required, you or your lawyer should negotiate a limited period of time (the shortest possible) that the Personal Guaranty will bind you as an individual.

Remember, if you formed a corporation or LLC in the first place, you did it to avoid personal liability and to protect your personal assets. Anyone who does business with your company should, and usually does, know this. So, be careful. Other possibilities can be negotiated too. Just do your best not to sign in your personal capacity by signing a Personal Guaranty.

It’s important to remember to only sign legal documents, invoices, and even letters as an agent of your business. (Follow the format found in EXAMPLE 2 above).

How else can I make sure that I am signing my name properly to all of my business documents?

Call your attorney to review all of your agreements, invoices, leases, and legal documents BEFORE you sign them. Your attorney will offer sound advice that protects YOU, your loved ones, and your business.

Now, let’s review.

What’s in a name?

Well… besides your business…

…it could be all of YOUR personal and family assets!

The best advicve especially in the midst of tough economic times or a Recession, is to have any document you sign first reviewed by your lawyer or business consultant.

Copyright (c) 2008. Miguel Mendez, Jr. All rights reserved.

Business Strategy – Barriers to Entry

Starting a new business? Introducing a new product or service to your current business? Before embarking on either, strategic consideration should be given to potential barriers of entry to the market – and how you will position yourself and develop a competitive strategy to overcome them. Porter’s 5 forces model of industry analysis is an excellent tool that could help you decide on strategy and ascertain whether your business may achieve success and profitability in a particular industry. >

Potential barriers to entry to be considered include:
Capital Expenditure
Brand Loyalty
Cost Advantages

Capital Expenditure can scupper businesses before they even start. Do you have the capital necessary to penetrate your industry of choice? The size and scope of your business will play its part here. How much will it cost in start up expenses, e.g. equipment, premises, distribution, etc.? If you are entering a low barrier industry, such as setting up an after-school activity, capital expenditure will be minimal. Setting up a bus company on the other hand, would be considered a high barrier to entry as a great deal of capital expenditure will be required to buy buses, employ drivers, mechanics and other staff members, the cost of buying an operating licence, and so forth.

Brand Loyalty can make it very difficult to penetrate established industries even if you consider your product or service to be superior to that already offered in the market. However, customers can be extremely loyal to their favourite brand. They may need a great deal of persuasion to even try your product never mind abandon their favourite tried and trusted one. Marketing costs could prove expensive!

Cost Advantages of large businesses can help sustain their competitive advantage in the industry. Capable of mass production and/or providing services to a huge client base,they can easily undercut new businesses by lowering their prices, thus effectively thwarting potential new entries to the industry. New businesses are deterred because they have little hope of being profitable trying to match or beat these lower prices. Could you afford to enter into a price war with the bigger players? Remember, they will in all probability have the resources and the capacity to absorb any short term losses they might incur until you can no longer compete.

When considering your business potential and strategy, bear in mind that -Barriers to Entry’ is just one of Porter’s 5 forces of industry analysis and should not be considered in isolation from the others: competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and threat of substitutes.

Advantages Of Listening In A Business Directory

Advantages Of A Business Directory

Registering in a business directory is a very wise move to increase the prospects of any business. As the Internet has made everything very accessible, registering in an online business directory can be very beneficial to the local businesses.

Who does not want to expand ones business in this rapidly burgeoning economy? Of course, everyone does wish the concerned businesses to prosper and soar high. To make that happen different people employ different strategies. Where some people distribute their pamphlets, cards or offer various promotional services and products, some people merely just register themselves in a good business directory.

If you are looking forward to further the prospects of your local businesses then registering yourself in a business directory is a very wise way to advertise and become known to the masses. Business directories are really beneficial in promoting local businesses of an area thereby improving the sales of their services and products. These days the facility of online business directories is also there. Thanks to the advent of Internet, that has made connecting to masses so very accessible.

An online business directory has lots to offer if you get registered with them. The major advantages of getting registered in an online business directory are:

It promotes the visibility of your local businesses in higher place in comparison to their competitors who are still employing the ancient methods of advertising, i.e., in the yellow pages and newspapers.
It strengthens your relationships with the existing buyers, customers and clients by updating valuable information regarding your company online.
You can acquire the customers of your competitors, as your company will be much more visible and updated attracting and promising the customers of quality services.
You can always remain in the sight and mind of your customers by offering only website coupons and special promotions.
There are no restrictions regarding the quantity of the content that you can include in the business directory.
You can also upload your products pictures, menu and service records along with your very own business URL.
You can add the business directorys website address on your business cards so that customers find it very easy to access you and thus avail your services.
You can keep the prospective customers duly informed about tour new products, business hours, special offers and discounts.
A business directory also submits your companys Internet page to the leading search engines that helps to increase your websites quality traffic flow.
As increasing number of consumers are availing the facility of the Internet, it is very easy for them to spot your company and seek services.

The best part about getting registered in an online business directory is that once you have registered, you will keep progressing as your business is exposed to a large populace inland and abroad. Moreover, you do not even need to possess a personal computer to keep checking your companys status on the online business directory, and you merely have to avail a hosting service for Internet, some technical skills or ISP to make the best possible use of this facility.

After you have registered in an online business directory, the sales quotient of your business will improve considerably and you can happily cater to the needs of your clients.

Overcoming Marketing Clutter

What was the last marketing piece that blew your mind?

Why companies need to work on overcoming media clutter . . .

Advertising is no longer the novelty it once was and has become so commonplace today that most of us barely notice it. Indeed, marketing clutter surrounds us in our daily lives through television, radio, newspapers, internet, billboards, and even your coffee cup! With such fragmentation of the media it is but natural that only outstanding advertisements catch the viewer’s attention and live on in human memory.

Likewise, ads too have changed. Gone are the days of mere showcasing of the product. Ads today have taken on an emotional hue and products have developed character to become brands. To stand out ads need to connect with the consumer in more than a sales-pitch manner. Aspirational marketing draws on people’s deep-seated dreams making them desire things that they do not truly need. Some emotional advertising even draws on negative cues such as fear or insecurity (eg insurance products) to earn sales revenue.

Advertising designing too has advanced greatly. Simple black and white images have been replaced by hi-fi graphic designs that jump out at you as you walk past. Images have always been a great way to grab audience attention as they say much more than words in a limited time. Some advertisers get carried away and plaster their ad space with words and images to get the most out of the media space they’ve paid for. Quite often, print ads with a lot of white space actually attract more eyeballs.

But the real problem behind ad clutter lies in the proliferation of brands in a booming economy. When people have a choice between 500 different toothpastes, marketing seems like the only way to be the preferred brand. While every company worth its salt seeks to be on every media platform possible, media space costs spiral and so do the costs of the products themselves, leading to a vicious cycle.

So what is the solution to such an obvious problem? The way to overcome marketing clutter is to constantly innovate. Once there is a breakthrough, chances are the new medium will be exploited untill it becomes monotonous to the audience in a very short span of time. In such a scenario, new innovations in terms of creative ideas, media, and message delivery are constantly required to keep the audience engaged.

Some of the greatest breakthroughs in marketing have been thanks to the internet. Social media marketing, pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, have all revolutionized the way companies spend their marketing budgets and given the smaller business a chance against the heavyweights.

The other surefire way to engage the audience today is through interactive advertising. Anything that gets the viewer to do more than passively look at a picture or watch a TV commercial is more likely to make a mark due to the levels of engagement it demands.

With a daily increase in products and brands, advertising clutter is likely to continue. In this media jungle, only the most creative or those with the deepest pockets will ultimately survive.

Advantages Of Twitter For Business

Many think of social networking sites as being solely for the purpose of socializing. However, businesses are increasing their usage of social networking websites. In fact, many are seeing the advantages of using them and are reaping many benefits as a result. One advantage is free advertising or promotion.

Twitter is a site that has only a few simple features but can be a very effective means of announcing new developments in your business. Perhaps youre a manufacturer and want to announce a new product that is being released. Maybe you have old products that have features or uses people arent aware of. Those are the kind of things you can tweet on Twitter.

Lets say you run a print ad in a newspaper. The costs will obviously vary depending upon the size of the ad, the circulation of the publication and other factors. It could, however cost you approximately forty dollars or more a week to run a small 2 inch by 2 inch ad, one day a week. Thats for a publication with a circulation of about 10,000 readers. The cost of tweeting a message to 10,000 people is zero.

What is not being implied here, though, is to drop print advertising. This article is just making the case for using Twitter and possibly using it in conjunction with other means of promotion, marketing and advertising. It is also an attempt to present the case for the cost effectiveness of using Twitter for marketing and advertising purposes.

Any business having a Twitter account should provide their Twitter web address as part of any contact information they list, anywhere. The Twitter address should be listed on their web sites, on any publication they publish, and can even be included with their product manuals.

Studies have shown that it is easier to sell something to a previous customer than it is to sell to a new one. Thats operating under the assumption that the previous customer is a satisfied customer. So, if that satisfied customer is a follower of your business on Twitter, he could become aware of your newest product releases or new services your company is providing, through a tweet. Even retailers can tweet whats on sale for the week.

It can take a while to build a large following on Twitter. However, it will be well worth it in the long run. Thats what makes it all the more important to list your companys twitter address as often as you can. The number of tweets a day should be limited though. You should not tweet too many messages in one day. Some people may stop following you if they feel they are just being barraged with too many annoying tweets. So, sometimes less is more and you should obviously prioritize on what you plan to tweet.

One thing you could do to get things started is to have some employees sign on as followers. That way, when someone checks out your Twitter page and they see that others have already signed on, they are more likely to do so themselves. Just creating a profile and hoping people stumble on to it will not work effectively. Getting started with your employees as followers and list your Twitter address as part of your business contact information is a great way to get the ball rolling.