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The arrival digital marketing technologies drastically changed the sales environment. In the past, salespeople made phone calls, and then met with clients and prospects in person. E-mail changed this process from a handful of face-to-face meetings to a more complex round of e-mails, phone calls, voice mails and, if a salesperson is lucky, face-to-face meetings.
Choice benefits consumers, but it makes work harder for businesses. Choice in everything - from healthcare to restaurants to rental agencies - creates a competitive situation. The battle that used to feature local companies competing against each other locally has become a global capitalistic hot war in which everybody has to compete against everybody everywhere.
Services are invisible. For the most part, you cannot see, hear, taste, or touch them before you buy. The service industry, however, is hardly invisible it is real and all around you. The difference between selling a service and selling a product is, when you sell a service, you sell a promise. Your clients cannot immediately evaluate what you are giving them; only time and overall performance will tell.
Many corporate marketers do not understand how buyers buy and how marketing works; this information gap makes for inefficient and costly marketing. Research shows definite patterns in how consumers make purchasing decisions and how brands grow. How well a brand sells depends on how many buyers it has and how often they buy. In theory, a brand can be large, either because a few buyers purchase it frequently or because many people buy it occasionally.
Sales promotions are ubiquitous, all-inclusive and ever present. Your customers cannot escape them. Nor would they want to. Who can resist happy hour snacks, a two-for-one offer or a free gift? Such offers excite consumers. Sales promotions give them something for nothing, like a better price, a fun experience or a handsome premium. They enable consumers to win.
Working the phones or slogging through cold-call prospecting are no longer the best ways to make a sale. Traveling salesmen’s techniques simply won’t work for the complex sale in today’s world of business-to-business (B2B) selling. That’s why you need a thoroughly researched lead generation program, managed to produce high profits.
Advertising once supplied the information people need to make intelligent purchase decisions. Today, people go to Google and other online search engines to find background data on the items they want to buy. They also rely on the blogosphere (“100 million blogs and counting”) and on social media websites such as “Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit” and “YouTube” to learn about available products and services.
White papers can help generate leads in online marketing programs. One vendor reports that its white papers helped increase sales conversions from 1% to 3%. Free white papers can explain the purpose and specifications of a new product or application. They are advantageous marketing tools for the following reasons:
Online marketing, advertising and sales are growing so quickly they’re threatening the established media, making it reassess its approaches and fight for its life. “Digital engagement” offers new possibilities, but taking advantage of them “requires a twist to the entire corporate mindset.”
Lets be honest, Marketing gets no respect. It’s marketing’s own fault. Marketers have traditionally neglected to make their activities in any way understandable or valuable to the bean counters in the finance department. That is probably why marketing is a cyclical expenditure. Firms tend to plow money into marketing when they have money to burn, but when times get tough, marketing is among the first corporate expenditures to feel the budget cutter’s knife.
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