10 Marketing Insights that will Strengthen Your Business in 2009 by Joel Sussman
Marketing Strategy #1: Perhaps the single, most important marketing strategy that should be practiced by all small business owners is to make marketing a daily routine. Granted, there may be 101 different priorities vying for your attention at any given moment, but if you neglect marketing on more than just an occasional basis, then you risk losing potential sales, being overtaken by the competition, and placing self-imposed limitations on your income growth. In a challenging economy it's more important than ever to be known as a company that provides value, dependability, and great service. Without some sort of regular marketing program, your existing and prospective customers may find themselves to be unexpectedly interested in your competitor's latest offerings -- which may have been brought to their attention through a postcard mailing, a trade show exhibit, a blog posting, a phone call, a press release, or a well-written sales letter. (It's the old "out of sight, out of mind" principle.)
Marketing Strategy #2: Develop a "marketing consciousness". If you can get yourself to become just a little "obsessed" with marketing, then you'll tend to read more marketing books, attend more marketing seminars, and discover more marketing websites, newsletters, and blogs that will provide you with valuable ideas and inspiration. Of equal importance is becoming more attuned to how other people are marketing their businesses, and learning from their successes and marketing blunders.
Marketing Strategy #3: Continually ask questions, re-evaluate what you're doing, and be flexible. If your website isn't converting the way it ought to be, try to pinpoint its weaknesses and correct them. The same holds true for print ads that are not generating responses. If the solution doesn't jump right out at you, ask your associates, acquaintances, neighbors, or spouse what their initial gut reaction is to your latest print ad, website landing page, a marketing postcard, or a radio ad. Instead of asking them what they think of it, ask them the more pointed question of how they think it could be improved (and assure them that you won't be offended by their constructive criticism). Useful feedback can often come from unexpected sources.
Marketing Strategy #4: Start a blog related to your area of expertise about solving or preventing problems or making the most out of the products or services you offer. Then, invite your customers and prospective customers to check our your latest blog posts. Blogging will help give you more credibility as an expert, and it will also help keep your name and company in the forefront of your customers' minds.
Marketing Strategy #5: Email a press release to your local media whenever you have anything newsworthy to announce. It's a free way to keep your name in front of the public, and it should be a part of an integrated marketing strategy. Two tips 1) Insert your press release into the body of your short, introductory email message. The reason for doing that is many reporters and editors don't like to open email attachments. 2) Only send press releases if you have something newsworthy to announce. That could include hiring new employees, getting a government grant, organizing a successful fund raising event, a grand opening, a new web site, being a keynote speaker at a seminar or graduation ceremony, a business expansion or relocation, and that sort of thing. There are several press release distribution services that can help you build online news and get noticed , such as 1888PressRelease and PRWeb.
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