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Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

Author: Tim Somers

Business success can be harder than ever these days. With more competition and a difficult economy the stakes behind every business decision can be the life or death of your business. One of the biggest challenges is to get the word about your company out and keep what you offer fresh in your customers minds. These issues can mean the difference between a thriving business and one about to go under, and should never be treated lightly. A great solution and winning move to accomplish these goals is using promotional products!

Here are some tips to consider regarding a promotional product campaign.

* Quick and Effective Advertising. Promotional products are a solid, efficient way to keep you on the customers mind and your name coming out of your customer’s lips. Put some thought into choosing the right sort of promotional product, one that represents your industry well and they’ll pay themselves off a hundred fold. For example coffee mugs may not be the best choice if you market children’s toys but calendars with cool and creative photos of the toys on them on the other hand may be spot on! Think about how many people throughout a work day would look at the images of your product, and the number of potential conversations it could inspire as well.

* Use The Best That’s Available. Be sure to have your promotional products made to the highest quality that your budget can afford. This is a reflection of your company when they are given to clients so not a time to skimp or cut corners. Think of it as an investment in smart advertising, which is exactly what it is.

* Test The Unconventional. Let’s not forget the value of other sorts of promotional products to raise your business’s street profile. Think of t-shirts, balloons or even umbrellas to get your name and logo in the public mind. It’s advertising that will pay off dividends, in many cases for a long time to come.

* Don’t Take Them Lightly. Think maximum exposure and how your promotional products can be a vital part of your overall campaign to spread the word about your business. Clients, people on the street, highly visual products that spread virally – when combined with more traditional methods of advertising all aspects of a common drive with the goal of generating more business. In this age this is what’s required for a successful business – covering all grounds available and exhausting all means of publicity.

* Free Is Key. Don’t forget the perception that you’re giving something away for free helps build a good vibe with your customers and potential customers. You send the message that you’re not money hungry and that they come first in your mind. It’s only the rare customer not charmed by this gesture of good will.

All in all a blistering promotional product campaign is one of the wisest moves a smart business can make in response to a challenging economy. Don’t neglect them if you intend on staying on the cutting edge and clearing out the competition.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/smart-tips-for-promotional-products-6381008.html

About the Author

Bizarre Marketing is a leader in promotional products in Nashville Tennessee with over 20 years of service offering over 750,000 imprintable items to businesses, clubs, churches and associations in Nashville TN and throughout the country.  http://www.promostuff4u.com/promotional-products-tennessee.html

Author: Maria Elena Duron

As a small business owner, you’re probably happy about where you currently are. You’re chugging along like a slow train, targeting mostly your family and friends and the local community, and you’re happy with the small amount of success your brand is getting. You don’t really want to make it big. You just want to relax and enjoy having a small business…

Or maybe not. As a small business owner, you probably dream about making it big. You want to be able to compete with the big brands, to become as well known as they are. Perhaps you want to become a big brand as well…

But you’re disheartened. How can you compete with the big corporations? How can your small business brand compare with these giants? They have unlimited capital, unlimited resources, and unlimited manpower. You’re practically a one-man (or woman) show, with maybe one or two employees. You’re up to the neck in debt since you borrowed money to start your small business.  Do you even have a chance of competing against these big brands?

The fact is, no matter what you do, you simply can’t compete with these big corporations on the same terms. As a small business brand, you aren’t capable of doing that because you just don’t have the means. But don’t lose hope, because there are other ways you can compete with them – it’s all about planning and strategy.

Here are some tips to help go up against the big brands:

     1. Offer value

Honestly, you can’t compete with the big guns in terms of price. You’ll just end up burying yourself, since people may think that the products and services you offer are not up to par with the big brands. Instead, always offer value – sure, your products and services may be a bit more expensive, but it’s because you’re offering something unique, worthwhile, and valuable to the consumers.

     2. Focus on what you do best

Maybe it’s customer service, maybe it’s storytelling, maybe it’s social media… but as a small business brand, you need to focus on what you do best in order to shine and be noticed. Don’t just copy what other businesses are doing. Focus on what makes you unique and the things you can best offer to people.

Providing excellent customer service is one of the best ways to reach consumers effectively. As a small business brand, you can ensure that someone always checks your email and answers your telephone line in order to address any customer’s concerns.

Storytelling on social media sites is another way you can stand out and be noticed. People love rooting for the underdog, and if you’re going up against a big brand, then you’re definitely one—so tell them the stories that will give them cause to sympathize or cheer. In short, tell them whatever will help them identify with you and wish for your success.

     3. Be more personable

As a small business owner, you can really represent your brand in a personal way that big corporations cannot. Show off your personality, put a face behind the name, go the extra mile for your customers. This really makes your small business brand stand out. Remember that people enjoy connecting and engaging with real people, not businesses. They want to know you, and become friends with you. They want to like and trust you.

People don’t just buy from anybody anymore. They’re a lot more vigilant when it comes to evaluating businesses, and they either love a brand or they hate it. When you become personable and likeable as a small business owner, you can really connect with your customers – they will definitely prefer talking to you over a big brand. After all when they contact a big brand, they usually just talk to a random, faceless,  nameless person.

     4. Utilize social media wisely

Social media is a great equalizer – it’s really changed the way people connect with brands, which is why both small and big business brands seem to have an equal chance in this regard. Sure, big brands may have the big bucks, but most social media platforms allow you to engage with your fans and followers for free – all you need to do is devote time and effort to your page.

Maintain a blog, create a Facebook and Twitter account, and don’t forget to update them regularly and interact with your audience using these platforms. Social media marketing is an excellent way to promote your small business brand, since a single update can spread like wildfire through these sites if it’s interesting enough.

Concluding Thoughts 

As you consider how to get ahead as a small business, don’t even try to compete with big corporations on their own turf… Without their money and resources, you can never win. Instead, offer value on the products and services that you sell, focus on what you do best, be more personable, and remember to use social media wisely. These are the simple ways small business brands can compete with the big guns.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/small-brands-up-against-big-brands-6103082.html

About the Author

‘Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks ‘work’ and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy, http://buzz2bucks.com.’

Author: Gabrielle Jeans

Today, all real estate professionals must create their own business identity through their branding.  Long gone are the days when we could rely on our company name for our branding.

One of the most important aspects of branding is consistency.  You should be using the same wording (eg. business name, slogan) and graphic design elements for your business identity in all areas of your promotional material.

Domain Name – your domain name should be synonymous with your core business branding, so use it everywhere in your promotional materials.  The goal is having your website name easily remembered and top of mind with prospects when they need a real estate professional’s services.  So have it prominent in the letterhead on your 8.5′ x 11′ print stationary, sticky notes, note pads, business cards, quotation and invoice templates, and any fliers you send out.

Spreading It Everywhere

Branding is psychological.  With branding you’re trying to influence the way people think, not just make your brand memorable.  To some extent your ability to influence people is a function of the quantity of your branding.  The more you advertise, the more likely you’ll be remembered.

Practically speaking, you don’t have a Fortune 500 sized marketing budget, so you need to make the best of what you’ve got.  On your website have your site’s name and logo prominent but not obtrusive on every page.  Have your website link in your email signature.  Write guest articles for popular real estate blogs so you can demonstrate your expertise in a forum recognized as less biased than your own blog.

Comment on blog articles related to real estate and include your website link every time.  Engage in real estate discussions on forum sites like Active Rain and include your website link in your signature when ending each message.  These are great ways of leveraging what you’ve already got in terms of expertise and promotion and making them go even further for you for little or no additional expense.  All of these things will help a lot with your ranking in major search engines like Google.

You can get the most bang for your marketing buck these days by advertising online.  Purchase online banner ads on real estate related websites.  Launch a pay-per-click campaign with a major search engine like Google.  Purchase premium placement for your ads on highly popular classifieds sites like Kijiji and ones local to you.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/branding-for-success-in-real-estate-6046714.html

About the Author

Gabrielle Jeans is an iconic Real Estate Trainer in the North American real estate industry. Founder and CEO of e2000 Training Institute Inc. and Web Tech Dezine Inc., Gabrielle has helped thousands of real estate professionals across North America take their business to new levels of profitability, market penetration and brand recognition. Serving as a coach, mentor and management consultant to everyone from new agents and seasoned veterans to large multi-office real estate brokerages and regional real estate boards, Ms. Jeans empowers real estate agents and sales managers with the tools and strategies to realize exponential growth in business, and it is not uncommon for her clients to enjoy 100to 200 increases in revenue streams within months of retaining her services.

Author: Jerry Canavit

Having worked in the creative end of this business for a good while, I have often been asked  ‘How do you come up with advertising ideas?’ Do ideas just happen

So why do some seem to be so prolific at generating ideas while others are seemingly so challenged?  Does it have something to do with genes? Intelligence?

Or, a magic formula?

Well, first let me say that I believe that most everyone has the potential to be creative.

I also believe that those who find success at being creative have identified and practice a problem-solving approach to doing so. They may not understand how the process actually works, but they’ve come to understand that there is a creative process involved.

I’m not even going to attempt to try and analyze this topic in a broad sense, but rather to limit it to how a very definite process is in play when producing messages in marketing communications mediums. I believe there is no magic formula for producing ideas, however, I do believe there is a process that can serve as a guide to how ideas can be generated.

Here are my thoughts:

In marketing communications you can produce ideas in basically two ways. You can ‘borrow’ an existing idea or approach, adapt it to your needs (with slight modification, of course), and Presto, you have your own idea (and we all know there is a lot of that going on out there). Or, you can try to create something that is totally original and unique to the product or service you are promoting.

Now, we all strive to do the latter, however, the truth is that it is very difficult to do this every time. Do you remember the last time you came up with  a totally original idea?

It does happen, but not very often.

More often than not, an advertising idea is a combination of existing ideas that we’ve  seen or heard before, that can be used in a different and unexpected way – the familiar cliché seen differently, if you will. This ability to see and make new combinations is heightened by an ability to see how things relate – and to combine them to create effective and memorable marketing communications messages.

I do believe that the generation of these ideas is the result of a deliberate problem-solving process that leads to this end. I therefore offer two statements which I believe are at the source of idea generation. They are:

  1. An idea is usually a new combination of existing ideas.
  2. The ability to create new combinations is heightened by the ability to see relationships between existing ideas.

…therefore, creativity in advertising communications involves using combinations of known elements and an ability to see relationships that allow these elements to be considered in different ways. With that said, I will continue with a discussion about a technique for producing ideas.

The Five Steps in the Process of Producing Ideas:

Step One: Gather Raw Material.

The gathering process falls into two categories: Specific and General.

Specific: In marketing communications, Specific materials are those relating to the product or service and the people to whom you want to sell this product or service. We need knowledge about the product and the consumer on an intimate level. We dig for FACTS. We do RESEARCH. The process here  is called PREPARATION.

General: Equally as important is General information. This information involves a continuous process of gathering general materials and life experiences that are relative to the problem being solved.

A good analogy here is the kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope is an instrument that designers can use to look for new patterns. Every turn of this instrument shifts bits of glass into new patterns (or relationships). The more pieces, the more possibilities for new combinations. Comparatively, the more elements stored in your mind, the more chances are increased for the production of new ideas.

To reiterate, Specific information is information relative to the current problem-solving challenge, and General information is the total content of your kaleidoscopic mind reserve – and is a life-long job.  Both contain the seeds for planting – taking us to . . .

Step Two: Into the Mental Maelstrom.

The second step is hard to describe. It goes on entirely in your head. Like chewing food – mashing information and facts together.  Looking for relationships; for a synthesis of where everything will come together like a jigsaw puzzle.

In this part of the process, two things will happen: First, you’ll have partial ideas – some crazy and incomplete. You should write them all down. They may forecast the real idea that is yet to emerge. Writing everything down helps the process.

Second, after a period of time you may tire of trying to fit this puzzle together (not all solutions come quickly). Everything seems jumbled. There seems to be no clear insight anywhere. At this point, you are ready for the next step.

Step Three: Incubation.

The third part of the process can be called the incubation stage. This is where you make absolutely no more conscious effort in looking for a solution. You drop the subject completely and put the whole thing out of your mind. Now I have no idea why this works, but I have found that it does. Apparently, when you turn problems over to your unconscious mind and let it work on its own – it can solve problems. Sometimes it comes in a revelation after a nights sleep – or while in the shower – or during a walk. I have also found that by dropping the problem-solving effort completely and turning to things that stimulate me imaginatively and emotionally – like reading a book, listening to music, or even going to a movie ­– things can happen. Not all solutions come this way, however,  my point here is that it often works this way.

A good example of this technique is in old Sherlock Holmes movies when the famous detective would stop abruptly in the middle of a tough case and begin playing his violin or even drag a baffled Dr.Watson off to a concert. This was, of course, very irritating to the literal-minded Dr. Watson who never seemed to grasp why Holmes would consistently resort to this behavior when they were right in the middle of solving a case. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle understood – for he was a creator and understood the creative process and the power of the unconscious mind.

Now, if you’ve done your homework in the first three steps, you will almost certainly experience the fourth.

Step Four: Eureka!

Out of nowhere the idea can appear. It may come sometime when you least expect it.

For me it’s happened in the middle of the night, when I’m half awake in the morning – or, more often when I’m showering or shaving. For you it might be something different. My point is that ideas can sometimes come seemingly out of nowhere after you’ve stopped all of the conscious straining and have passed through a period of rest and relaxation from the search. And when the idea actually materializes, it can be so all-consuming that it becomes difficult to concentrate on much else. The application of the idea can become so involving that other competing activities can pale into a paralysis. This can provide very difficult challenges if you happen to be in the middle of a meeting or if you are working on an unrelated project with a hot deadline.  Sometimes when the ideas start rolling out quickly, like giving birth, it requires immediate attention.

This step is also particularly difficult in that it involves a constant assessment of the

value of the idea and to see exactly where it can be taken.  This can be a period of frustration for creative people. Some don’t recognize or even care about the process that generated the idea. The truth is that many supervisors expect a well thought out idea delivered according to schedule. The problem here is that the process does not naturally work that way. And, for every good idea, there are always a few clinkers that just don’t work out and you just can’t know beforehand which will work and which will not.

This is a time of constant moulding.

You question everything.

Will it work better this way? Or that?

Is the communication clear?

Is the tone right?

Is it just clever without  making the point effectively?

Is this really as good as I think it is?

Your gut tells you it is!

Right?

Right!

So now you’ve come up with this great idea.

What next?

Step Five: Hello Cruel World.

How will the world react to your newborne creation?

Well, have courage.

You should share your idea with your peers.

Don’t shelter it.

When you do, a surprising thing can happen.

A good idea has self-expanding qualities.

It can stimulate those who see it and make them want to add to it.

Possibilities you had not considered may be brought out.

Congratulations!

Another great idea created.

Maybe you were lucky and hit a home run. Maybe not.

Whether your idea was a good one is not the point here.

What I’ve attempted to do is describe the steps involved in allowing you to produce the idea. The quality of the idea is still in your court.

If your idea is an award winner (great), a bottom-line winner (wonderful),

or both (even better), it’s just the icing on the cake – as we are only concerned about the process here.

Those are my thoughts.

Now, do I finish the three projects that have been laying here on my desk all afternoon?

Or, do I take the afternoon off for some step three incubation time and take in a movie?

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/the-creative-process-5829828.html

About the Author

While creativity is Jerry’s stock in trade, he distinguishes himself by basing solutions on solid marketing objectives. That’s why his work not only receives national attention for its creative content, it also produces increased market share for clients.

A graduate of the University of Texas College of Fine Arts, Jerry is highly trained in the technical aspects of his craft. During the past three decades, he has enhanced his skills with extensive practical experience in the communications arts. He is comfortable creating and developing ideas on the computer, producing television commercials on location, or presenting an advertising campaign in a corporate boardroom.

Jerry has instructed classes in Art Direction, The Business of Advertising and Typography at San Antonio College and has served as AAF judge for advertising awards competition in Albuquerque, NM and Baton Rouge, LA.

Jerry’s rich experience allows him to apply his craft skillfully to a wide range of client needs. His work is seen in a variety of commercial advertising applications and has received a bevy of regional and national awards. With Jerry Canavit heading the  creative team, BK&A Advertising clients enjoy the benefits of unique and award-winning solutions tailored to produce bottom line success.

Author: Carol Gracias

The modes of communication and the methods of incorporating the business have gone radical changes with the passage of time. Being a professional, your credible attitude ensures the continuing success of a business house and as well to maintain your customers and clients loyalty. Apart of providing better products and services, maintaining a friendly relationship with the clients becomes so necessary today. You can easily maintain a booming relationship with your clients using a compliment slip. This indispensable element of communication has become the first choice of any businesses which are keen in making perfect communication and strong relationship with their clients.

Compliment slip printing is done on paper that comes with similar information to that of any letterhead or visiting card etc such as name of the contact person, address and salutation etc. It needs to put some space for few lines similarly like hand written message. The compliment slips are used to express a variety of expression making your message very much personalized so that the receiver easily can feel the sense including in it.

Having a complete knowledge of the purpose of compliment slips is necessary in taking correct decision for its printing. You need to check the quality of the paper, color, fonts and backgrounds etc that you are going to use in your compliment slip. And even when writing the personal note words must be selected in accordance with the purpose, so it does not make the recipient feel confused. The size of the slips can vary as per the requirement of user. They are as small as a visitor card, or it can be a large sheet depending on requirement. These slips can also be used as ‘thank you note’ or can be used as an ‘acknowledgment’ or can be used to show ‘appreciation’. A well designed compliment slip remains for long time in the memory of the receiver. Therefore, it becomes essential to be printed in an artistic manner to serve their purpose and express all emotions.

Benefits of Compliments Slips:

•    The compliment slips are the best way to express your gratitude, apologize for some sorts of mistake or to say a warm ‘Thank You’ to your clients or business associates.

•    Compliment slip printing is the prerequisite for all those businesses who harvest a desire to ensure perfect communication and relation with their prospective customers.

•    Take the benefits of the printing companies that offer free compliment slip printing facilities to attract their target customers. These printing companies are confident of their superior services and innovative ideas.

•    A compliment slip contains your business logo, personal message and address to allow people to connect with your business with ease.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/printing-articles/compliments-slips-a-success-business-tool-5721910.html

About the Author

Carol is an expert article author, sharing the information about compliment slips and online printing through article, news, press release and blogs. For more information on print product and online printing visit our website.

Online marketing involves embracing various strategies that can bring about brand awareness and customer loyalty. The Internet offers numerous opportunities to share product information. However, it is important to create a plan based on research to ensure ad campaigns are suited for your demographic market.

To achieve success with online marketing requires exploration of all available strategies and how they can enhance your business. While it is best to incorporate a diverse mix of advertising mediums, not all are practical when first starting a business.

After research is complete, the next step involves developing a written marketing plan. Considerations should include the wants and needs of the target market and the type of ads they respond to.

One virtually untapped advertising method is mobile marketing. Millions of consumers utilize their cell phone to access the Internet, text, chat, and respond to email. At present, approximately 20-percent of the 5 billion cell phone subscribers use their phone as a computer. Companies that want to take their business to a new level should consider learning the fundamentals of mobile marketing.

It is crucial to investigate Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines before engaging in mobile marketing. Companies must avoid making false claims or sending ads to individuals who have not opted-in to a mailing list. Non-compliance with FTC regulations can lead to expensive fines and legal expenses and may result in loss of business.

Podcast marketing is a powerful online marketing tool that can be used in multiple ways. Audio podcasts are a great way to share product information and company insights. They can be used to broadcast a sponsored Internet radio show or to present interviews with industry experts.

Podcasts are an affordable way to build brand awareness by providing entertaining or educational information. The secret to success is publishing new podcasts on a regular basis. Doing so can help companies develop a dedicated group of listeners who will share podcasts with others.

Another exceptional Internet marketing tool is online videos. The secret to success with this strategy is determining viewing habits of the demographic market. As mentioned earlier, many consumers view videos via handheld devices. Companies need to consider the size and duration to minimize bandwidth use while providing attention-grabbing marketing messages.

Lastly, article marketing is an influential online marketing tool. This advertising medium can be used to build a reputation as an industry-expert. Many business owners neglect article marketing because it is a practice that requires a fulltime writer. It can be advantageous to hire freelance writers experienced in SEO and LSI techniques.

It can be challenging to stay abreast of all available online marketing strategies. Business owners often find it beneficial to work with an online media marketing consultant. These professionals can decrease the amount of time required to implement ad campaigns and reduce associated costs. They can also help owners determine which techniques are best suited for their business model.

Article Source:
http://www.articlesbase.com/internet-marketing-articles/are-you-using-these-powerful-online-marketing-techniques-4397431.html

About the Author
Online Marketing DNA provides customized
online marketing packages. Whether just starting out or an established business, we offer something for everyone. Learn how to launch your business to the next level at www.OnlineMarketingDNA.com.

On this week’s segment our President/CEO speaks about the role of opt-in email marketing along side of Social Media. 

FriedonBusiness-09-01-2011

As a marketing coach, I’ve probably heard every excuse in the book why people can’t market their businesses. You wouldn’t believe some of the whoppers people tell when they’re trying to justify their failure to attract clients.

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not that failing to attract clients makes one a bad person. Not at all. It’s just that when I hear the following excuses I feel compelled to call ’em as I see em: Baloney!

If you have the mistaken notion that any of these lame excuses are the reason that your business isn’t successful, get a clue. These are just EXCUSES for people who fail, not reasons not to succeed (a subtle, yet important, difference).

1. ‘I’m too honest to market.’ OK, this little gem is at the top of my list because it is both a lie AND an insult! I am a marketer by trade, and I am honest, so I know for a fact that marketing is not a dishonest process or practice, nor does it have to be dishonest to be effective. What’s dishonest is when you overstate your results, or if you truly don\’t believe that your product or service is worth what you charge, or if you deliberately intend to defraud people. In that case, the problem is with you, not marketing, so stop insulting the rest of us.

2. ‘I’m too modest to market myself.’ Listen up, princess, every word out of your mouth doesn’t have to be about YOU. Think about what your clients want, need and actually get, and that’ll keep the conversation going for as long as you need it to go. Hey, if you’re not comfortable saying great things about yourself, start saying great things about what your clients get out of working with you. Or better yet, let them say it for you in the form of testimonials. But don’t think that you have to be the subject of every fascinating conversation you have with prospects.

3. ‘I’m too shy to market myself.’ As a highly sensitive person myself, you’d think I\’d have more sympathy for this excuse, but I don’t. If you want to be successful, know right now that it may not always be comfortable, and you have to be willing to do what it takes to succeed, even if that means going outside your comfort zone. Shyness is a habit that can be overcome with practice, so join Toastmasters, or see a therapist if that’s what it is going to take, but get over yourself. I promise you will be glad you did.

4. ‘I’m too creative to market myself.’ This excuse is really lame! Marketing is a very creative process, and since you have literally thousands of options when structuring your marketing plans, creativity is an asset, not a liability. Unless you’re one of those I-am-a-self-indulgent-whiner-who-refuses-to-accept-any-responsibility-for-my-actions-and-masks-that-character-flaw-with-claims-of-misunderstood-or-excessive-creativity kinds of people, in which case I say, grow up, and while you’re at it, think up a more creative excuse.

5. ‘I don’t have enough time to market my business.’ OK, this excuse sounds good at first, but in reality it doesn’t wash. Either you are already marketing but not acknowledging your marketing activities as such, or your business is so busy that you don’t need to market at all, which makes this excuse unnecessary. So if you haven’t got all the business you want but you don’t have time to market, you need to reevaluate how you’re spending your time, and make some tough decisions about when you are going to do what you need to do to get those clients.

6. ‘I don’t have enough money to market my business.’ Again, you get points for trying, but this is still just an excuse, because good marketing isn’t about money, it’s about relationships. You can start very modestly with your marketing plans, and spend nothing but your time. And let me tell you, if you can\’t get some traction spending 40 hours a week trying to build your business relationships, maybe you should rethink your decision to be an entrepreneur.

7. ‘I have no personal network to market to.’ Oh please, you’ve got to have a better excuse than this! If you truly have no family, no friends, no colleagues, no acquaintances or no former co-workers, then start meeting some. I don’t care if you’ve been on a desert island for the past 20 years, you can always meet people through networking meetings, trade associations, classes, social clubs, or at the gym! Just pick up the phone and call the people you want to know, get out there and mingle, and your personal network will grow quickly.

8. ‘My product or service is too hard to explain to people.’ Fine. Quit explaining what you do, and start talking about what your customers GET from working with you. Do you help your customers get thinner, smarter, married, fitter, their first home, or what? Seriously, nobody cares about what you do, really; people care about what they get. Get it?

9. ‘My product or service is so good that it should sell itself.’ Sure, that’s probably true if your product is a talking monkey, or your clients are all telepaths, but other than that, it’s going to take a little effort on your part, bucko, so start creating some momentum in the marketplace and you’ll find that your product needs less and less of your efforts to sell, until one day it almost seems like it DOES sell itself!

10. ‘My niche is too narrow and I can’t find my customers.’ Hogwash. What this usually means is that you haven’t yet defined your customer, because you can’t find what you haven’t identified (and don’t give me that you’ll-know-them-when-you-see-them line). Start with a matrix of situation and need to identify that client. For example, let’s say you’re a financial planner, and you think your clients are ‘people who want to get their financial affairs in order.’ Think instead about who needs to get their financial affairs in order, and you’ll probably come up with something like ‘married couples with children who have $X in assets and need to protect those assets with planning.’ And you can certainly find those people, can’t you?

So we’ve blasted all these lousy excuses, but we haven’t yet addressed the biggest excuse of all: fear. Most of the time I’ve found that the more excuses my clients offer for not moving forward with their businesses, the more fearful they are.

Hey, I understand, and I’ve been there myself. But what it comes down to is this: Are you more afraid of succeeding (or failing) than you are of going back to work for that idiot boss you always end up working for? If the answer is that you’re more afraid of facing the personal responsibility of entrepreneurship than of any garbage your boss could throw at you, then good-bye entrepreneur, and hello wage-slave.

But if you think that the worst possible scenario is working for some moron again, and that you’ll happily work like a dog if that’s what it takes just so you don’t have to slink back into that stinking office with your tail between your legs, good for you. It’s time to forget about excuses, and start figuring out how to make this whole self-employed thing work for you.

The first thing to understand is that fear is OK. Yes, we’ve all been fearful (and yes, I include myself in that ‘we’ statement). It can be scary picking up the phone. It can be scary going to a sales meeting.

But at the end of the day, isn’t your product or service of value to someone? Aren’t people glad (or going to be glad) that you’ve solved a problem for them? So stop worrying and fearing the marketing process, and remember this: Marketing is really nothing more than the process of developing relationships, and you, my friend, can do that in your sleep.

Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach, is a successful Vancouver, WA-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and Certified Professional Coach.  Through coaching, classes and workshops, Ronnie helps small businesses attract more clients. For free marketing resources including articles and valuable marketing tools, visit her web site at http://www.sohomarketingguru.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-tips-articles/top-10-excuses-why-marketing-is-not-for-you-847776.html

Author: Vasco Doves

1. THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

Public relations (PR) is a term that is widely misunderstood and misused to describe anything from selling to hosting, when in fact it is a very specific communications process. Every company, organization, association, and government or says. They might be employees, customers, stockholders, competitors, suppliers, or Just the general population of consumers. Each of these groups may be referred to as one of the organization's publics. The process of public relations manages the organization's relationships with these publics.

As soon as word of the Valdez Spill got out, the PR staff at Exxon assumed responsibility for handling the barrage of phone calls from the press and the public and for managing all company communications with the media.

Simultaneously, other company departments had to deal with numerous local, state, and federal government agencies and with the community at large – not just in Valdez, Alaska, but anywhere in the world where someone was touched by the disaster. In addition, myriad other publics suddenly popped into the spotlight demanding special attention and care: Alaskan fishermen, both houses of congress, local politicians, the financial community, stockholder, employed, the local press, national networks, Exxon dealers, and environmental groups, for starters.

Companies and organizations know they must consider the public impact of their actions and decisions because of the powerful effect of public opinion. This is especially true in time of crisis, emergency, or disaster. But it is just as true for major policy decisions concerning changes in business management, pricing policies, labor negotiations, introduction of new products, or changes in distribution methods. Each of these decisions affects different groups in different ways. Conversely, effective administrators can use the power of these groups' opinions to bring about positive changes.

In short, the purpose of ever using labeled public relations is to influence public opinion toward building goodwill and a positive reputation for the organization. In one instance, the PR effort might be to rally public support; in another, to obtain public understanding or neutrality or in still another, simply to respond to inquiries. Well-executed public relations is a long-term activity that molds good relationships between an organization and its publics. Put yourself in the position of Exxon's top public relations manager at the time of the Valdez accident. What do you suppose was the major thrust of the PR staff's efforts in the days immediately following the discovery of the oil spill? What might they have been called on to do?

We will discuss these and other questions in this chapter. But first it is important to understand the relationship between public relations and advertising they are so closely related but so often misunderstood.

2. CORPORATE ADVERTISING

As mentioned earlier, corporate advertising is basic tool of public relations. It includes public relations advertising, institutional advertising, corporate identity advertising, and recruitment advertising. Their use depends on the particular situation, the audience or public being addressed, and the message the firm needs to communicate.

2.1 PUBLIC RELATIONS ADVERTISING

Public relations advertising is often used when a company wishes to communicate directly with one of its important publics to express its feelings or enhance its paint of view to that particular audience. The Claris ad in exhibit 18-7, for example, targets customers investors, and stock analysts. Public relations ads are typically used to improve the company's relations with labor, government, customers, or suppliers.

When companies sponsor art events, programs on public television, or charitable activities, they frequently place public relations ads in other media to promote the programs and their sponsorship. These ads are designed to enhance the company's general community citizenship and to create public goodwill. The ad in Exhibit 18-8 promotes an art exhibit ant southwestern Bell\'s sponsorship role.

2.2 CORPORATE/INSTITUTIONAL ADVERTISING

In recent years the term corporate advertising has come to denote that broad area of non-product advertising used specifically to enhance a company's image and increase lagging awareness. The traditional term for this its institutional advertising.

Institutional or corporate ad campaigns may serve a variety of purposes – to report the company's accomplishments, to position the company competitively in the market, to reflect a change in corporate personality, to shore up stock prices, to improve employee morale, or to avoid a communications problem with agents, suppliers, dealers, or customers.

Companies and even professional advertising people have historically questioned, or simply misunderstood, the effectiveness of corporate advertising. Retailers, in particular, have clung to the idea that institutional advertising may be pretty or nice, but that it ' doesn't make the cash register ring '. However, a series of marketing research studies sponsored by Time magazine and conducted by the Jankelovich, Kelly & White research firm offered dramatic evidence to the contrary.

In the first of these studies, 700 middle- and upper-management executives were interviewed in the top 25 U.S. markets. The researchers evaluated five companies that were currently doing corporate advertising and five that were not. They found that the companies using corporate advertising registered significantly better awareness, familiarity, and overall impression than companies using only product advertising. In fact, the five corporate advertisers in the study drew higher ratings in every one of 16 characteristics measured, including being known for quality products, having competent management, and paying higher dividends. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research was the fact that the five companies with no corporate advertising spent far more for total advertising than did the firms engaged in corporate advertising.

David Ogilvy, the founder and creative head of Ogilvy & Mather, has been an outspoken advocate of corporate advertising. However, he has been appalled by most corporate advertising, characterizing it as filled with ' pomposity ', ' Vague generalizations,' and ' fatuous platitudes'. Corporate advertising has also been criticized for oblivious to the needs of the audience.

Responding to such criticisms and to other forces in the marketplace, corporations have made policies and campaigns. Expenditures for this type over the last decade. The primary medium used for corporate advertising is consumer (primarily business) magazines, followed by network television.

A change in message strategy has also accompanied this increase in corporate ad spending. In the past, most corporate ads were designed primarily to create goodwill for the company. Today with many corporations diversifying and competition from for ling advertisers increasing, these same firms find their corporate ads must do much more. Their ads must accomplish specific objectives- develop awareness of the company and its activities, attract quality employees, tie a diverse product line together, and take a stand on important public issues.

Another category of corporate advertising is called advocacy advertising. Corporations use it to communicate their views on issues that affect tailors its stand to protect its position in the marketplace.

Corporate advertising is also increasingly being used to set the company up for future sales. Although this is traditionally the realm of product advertising, many advertisers have instituted ' umbrella ' campaigns that simultaneously communicate message about the products and the company. This has been termed market prep corporate advertising a GTE umbrella campaign, for example, emphasized the company\'s products and services in a way that pointed up its overall technological sophistication.

Of course, no amount of image advertising can accomplish desired goals if the image does not match the corporation. As noted image consultant Clive Chajet put it, 'You can't get away with a dies enounce between the image and the reality – at least not for long '. If, for example, a sophisticated high-tech corporation like IBM tried to project a homey, small-town family image. It would lose credibility very quickly.

2.3 CORPORATE IDENTITY ADVERTISING

Companies take pride in their logos and corporate signatures in fact, the graphic designs that identity corporate names and products are considered valuable assets of the company, and great effort is expended to protect their individuality and ownership. The corporate logo may even dominate advertisement. What does a company do, though, when it decides to change its name, logos, trademarks, or corporate signatures, as when it merges with another company? How does it communicate that change to the market it serves and to other influential publics? This is the job of corporate identity advertising.

When software publisher Productivity Products International changed its name to Stepstone Inc., it faced an interesting dilemma. It needed to advertise the change. But in Europe, a key market for the firm, a corporate name change implies that the business has gone bankrupt and is starting over with a new identity. So, rather than announcing its new name in the print media, stepson used a direct-mail campaign. It mailed an announcement of its name change to customers, prospects, investors, and the press. The campaign was a success: within days of the mailing, almost 70 customers and prospects called Stepstone to find out more about the company and its products. More familiar corporate name changes from the recent past include the switch from America of Western Bank corporation to First Intestate Bankcorp; the change of Consolidated Foods to replace the pre-merger identities of Boroughs and Sperry.

2.4 RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING

When the prime objective of corporate advertising is to attract employment applications, companies use recruitment advertising such as the Chiat/Da ad in Exhibit 18-10. Recruitment advertising is most frequently found in the classified sections of daily newspapers and is typically the responsibility of the personnel department rather than the advertising department. Recruitment advertising has become such a large field, though, that many advertising agencies now have recruitment specialists on their staffs. In fact, some agencies specialize completely in recruitment advertising, and their clients are corporate personnel managers rather than advertising department managers These agencies create, write, and place classified advertisements in news papers around the country and prepare recruitment display ads for specialized trade publications. So far in this chapter, we have discussed only the advertising of commercial organizations. But nonprofit organizations also advertise. The government charities, trade associations, and religious groups, for example, use the same kinds of creative and media strategies as their counterparts in the for-profit sector to convey messages to the public. But unlike commercial advertisers whose goal is to create awareness, image, or brand loyalty on the pan o\' consumers, noncommercial organizations use advertising to affect consume! opinions, perceptions, or behavior–with no profit motive. While commercial advertising is used to stimulate sales.

3. NON-COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING

Used to stimulate donations, to persuade people to vote one way or another or to bring attention to social causes.

If a specific commercial objective for a new shampoo is to change people\'; buying habits, the analogous noncommercial objective for an energy conservation program might be to change people\'s activity habits, such as turning off the lights. The latter is an example of demarcating, which means the advertiser is actually trying to get consumers to buy less of a product 01 service. Exhibit 18-11 compares objectives of commercial and noncommercial advertisers.

3.1 EXAMPLES OF NONCOMMERCIAL ADVERTISING

One example of noncommercial advertising conducted on a large scale is the anti-drug campaign created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. In 1987, this coalition of more than 200 ad agencies, the media and many other companies in the communications business launched an all-out attack on drug abuse. The coalition set its goal as the 'fundamental reshaping of social attitudes about illegal drug usage.' The $1.5 billion program entails the efforts of ad agencies across the country, each developing components of the campaign at their own cost.

The anti-drug program includes hundreds of newspaper and magazine ads as well as 200 different commercials and print ads. The space and time allotted for the ads, all donated by the media, are worth an estimated $310 million per year.24 Similarly, most of the creative and production suppliers have donated their services.

The wide variety of ads have been created to reach specific target groups. Some are aimed at cocaine users, some at marijuana smokers; some are aimed at parents, some at children. Most ads present hard-hitting messages about the dangers of drug abuse, depicting drug use as a sure route to the hospital or the cemetery. In a TV commercial targeted at teenaged marijuana smokers, for example, the Ayer agency suggests that pot smokers are subjecting themselves to the risk of physical and mental health problems. Other commercials compare the brain on drugs to an egg in frying pan or show dead rats that have succumbed to cocaine abuse. Print ads have also emphasized the dangers of cocaine abuse, including a series of ads developed by DDB Needham Worldwide that enumerate cocaine's effects. Exhibit 18-12 is from that series of ads. In addition, some ads speak to parents who use drugs ('If parents stop, kids won't start'), to women tempted to use cocaine ('What to do if he hands you a line'), and to parents who have put off talking to their children about drugs ('If everybody says it can\'t happen to their kids, then whose kids is it happening to?').

The effort is being billed as the 'largest and most ambitious private-sector, voluntary peacetime effort ever undertaken.' Believing that the United States cannot succeed as a drug culture and that advertising can 'demoralize' drug use, the organization wants nothing less than a drug-free America.

Not all public service advertising is done on such a massive scale. We see advertisements daily for intangible humanitarian social causes (Red Cross), political ideas or issues (political candidates), philosophical or religious positions (Church of Latter Day Saints), or particular attitudes and viewpoints (labor unions). In most cases, these advertisements are created and placed by nonprofit organizations, and the product they advertise is their particular mission in life, be it politics, welfare, religion, conservation, health, art, happiness, or love.

Research conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America proves that noncommercial advertising does change consumer attitudes. Specifically, the coalition\'s ads have changed attitudes about drug use. Thus, by providing information to the public on issues such as health, safety, education, and the environment, noncommercial advertising helps build a better society. Public service announcements emphasizing the dangers of unsafe sex and drunk driving and those stressing the virtues of recycling and continuing education demonstrate that noncommercial advertising can help to enhance the quality of life.

3.2 TYPES OF NON-COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING

One way to categorize the various types of noncommercial advertising is by the organizations that use them. For instance, advertising is used by churches, schools, universities, charitable organizations, and many other non-business institutions. We also see advertising by associations, such as labor groups, professional organizations, and trade and civic associations. In addition, we witness millions of dollars' worth of advertising placed government organizations: the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine, Corps, and Postal Service; the Social Security Administration; the Internal Revenue Service; and various state chambers of commerce. In addition, in election years we are bombarded with all sorts of political advertising that qualifies as noncommercial. The Advertising Council Most of the national PSAs you see on television have been placed there by the Advertising Council, a private, nonprofit organization that links noncommercial campaign sponsors with ad agencies. The sponsors pay for production costs, while the ad agencies donate their creative services.

3.3 ADVERTISING COUNCIL

The Ad Council's policy today is basically the same as when it began during World War II: 'Accept no subsidy from government and remain independent of it. Conduct campaigns of service to the nation at large, avoiding regional, sectarian, or special-interest drives of all kinds. Remain nonpartisan and nonpolitical. Conduct the Council on a voluntary basis. Accept no project that does not lend itself to the advertising method. Accept no campaign with a commercial interest unless the public interest is obviously over riding.'

Among familiar campaigns created by the Ad Council are those for the United Negro College Fund ('A mind is a terrible thing to waste'); child abuse prevention ('Help destroy a family tradition'); the United Way ('It works for all of us'); crime prevention ('Take a bite out of crime'); and the U.S. Department of Transportation ('Drinking and driving can kill a friendship'). Exhibit 18-17 shows frames from an Ad Council commercial that advocates a healthy diet. The Ad Council's two longest-running campaigns are those for the American Red Cross and forest fire prevention. According to the Ad Council's research, the number of forest fires has been cut in half over the life of the Smokey Bear campaign.29 The council is currently playing a role in overseeing the Partnership for a Drug-Free America effort.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/public-relations-corporate-advertising-and-noncommercial-advertising-4578973.html

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