Where Does Advertising Fit Into the Marketing Mix?

Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here’s a simple view of where it fits in.

In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P’s

o Product

o Pricing

o Place

o Promotion

The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are “doing your marketing”. It’s your communications or your actual marketing activities.

But first, let’s get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.

“The PURPOSE of marketing or it’s biggest task is to

persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you

can present your offer. Done well they come waving their

credit card and ready to buy so there’s no need for hard sell.”

Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.

You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to “present your offer”.

With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as

o Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, newsletters

o Phone, mail, fax

o Radio & TV,

o Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts

o Teleseminars & webinars

o Mobile media – Blackberrys and mobile or cell phones

o And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking

Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don’t have to use all of these but they are available to you.

In any event you’ll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.

JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.

So where does advertising fit into this?

Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it’s the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or “present your offer”. This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications. What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the “sales pitch” isn’t obvious.

But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL.

So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn’t designed to sell, NOW.

What I do and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.

The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something.

Whether you’re building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to “sell” it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.

In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing and direct response marketing and advertising is the champion for small business.

What Items Are Considered Fashion Accessories And Why Are There So Many?

Have you been trying to upgrade your gear as in your appearance of what you wear? If you are then you will need to start looking and thinking about what your style is and find that type of brand that you like and stick with it for awhile.

As it comes to fashion and accessories you will find that there is a diverse variety of different types of accessories. Fashion accessories, like clothing, shoes and others come in different shapes sizes and more. There are clothes and other fashions made just for that type of person it can be found from kids to bigger adults.

One of the most desirable types of fashion accessories is that of jewelry. As it was stated above fashion accessories are for all types and ages of people and genders. For kids and teenagers and older people they like necklaces bracelets and that such with charms and colors. Men usually like necklaces with large charms or nice watches, while women tend to like rings with stones those of diamonds, bracelets, anklets and many more.

More types of fashion accessories include handbags or purses. Most teen girls and women like to carry all there stuff in one of these. A purse is just used to carry their stuff that they need with them and handbags are just larger than a purse and can hold more. Handbags and purses come in many different styles, shapes and sizes that is why many girls and teenage girls and older women have a variety of these.

To go along with purses and handbags traveling bags are now popular as well. Travel bags are sort of the same as a handbag but are made for men and women. A travel bag might even have a smaller handbag inside to be used to bring on to the plane with you.

Shoes also are a prized possession of many types of women. A lot of women have to own a different pair of shoes for every outfit. Due to those reasons is why women like to shop a lot. So if a woman has a lot of shoes but not enough clothes she’s going to go out and get enough to match them.

More pieces of fashion accessories are belts for both men and women. Men and boys usually wear belts as means to hold up their pants but women wear them as fashion and are not just to hold up their pants. Women’s belts arrive in many different shapes sizes styles and colors. These belts that women wear are just for fashion and are not made for any specific reason except to display their sense of style and fashion.

Importance of Branding for E-Commerce Businesses

E-commerce businesses are becoming a reliable way to buy products online. Branding plays a direct role in improving chances of e-commerce business success. An increasing number of global customers are switching to e-commerce sites to purchase everything from groceries to apparel, and electronics to lifestyle products. The e-commerce industry has completely transformed the way in which consumers around the world access products and services. It has suddenly brought a world of options to the fingertips of end users. The future seems bright for the e-commerce industry, with major players branching out into newer product categories frequently (thus setting the standards for smaller brands).

For e-commerce businesses, things are going well enough, but the competition is also fierce. New e-commerce brands are launching every day and persistently trying to get a foothold online. When it comes to branding, e-commerce companies are leaving no stone unturned. In this scenario, it is vital that you build and implement a high quality branding strategy for your e-commerce business.

Branding Strategies For E-Commerce Businesses

By having a result-oriented, effective branding plan for your e-commerce business, you can stand out amongst your competitors. To achieve that, you must determine what makes your e-commerce business a unique player in the industry. Are you offering high quality products at the best available rates? Do you organize regular discounts and offers for your customers? Are you adding new product categories to meet more customer demands? What are the factors that would convince customers to choose your brand against others? E-commerce business owners must strive to highlight the unique selling points of their brand. Only then can an e-commerce brand be boldly promoted to larger audiences.

As an e-commerce brand, you have to be at the forefront when it comes to attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your e-store. Vendors would be interested in using your marketplace, if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers. The number of sellers and customers you bring in to your network depends on the strength of your e-commerce brand, and how well it delivers on its promises. If you are intelligent in your branding, and consistent in your service quality, your e-commerce brand can achieve considerable success.

E-commerce branding, like all branding, is influencing the perception of your brand and its services, in the eyes of the customer. Effective e-commerce branding will make marketing easier, retain more customers, drive up loyalty, and create better potential value for steady, long-term success.

The way you must approach an e-commerce branding strategy is by highlighting some key points. With branding, you must uphold your business’s core mission, the problems you aim to solve for your customers, standards that it adheres to, and proof of the quality of services you provide. What are the factors involved in business branding and their importance?

E-Commerce Branding – Methods and Importance

1. Your Brand Image - A stellar, uniquely identifiable brand image helps customers attach value to your e-commerce brand’s personality. This includes various things such as logos, banners, taglines, marketing captions, social content etc., which should always represent your brand the best. This is quite important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A good brand image goes a long way in retaining customers, by continually generating interest for your e-commerce brand’s offerings.

2. Customer Satisfaction - Customers are everything, when it comes to e-commerce or any other type of business. You can actually enhance customer experiences and drive up satisfaction (and loyalties). This is a big part of establishing your e-commerce brand. Put your best foot forward while marketing, deliver on your promises you make, and provide unmatched service and support to enhance your brand’s potential value. Remember that satisfied existing customers can and will bring in newer customers to your e-commerce business. Maintain your integrity and keep reinventing to bolster your brand’s chances of business success.

3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition - As an e-commerce business owner you must determine the USP of your brand. This will help you brand and promote it better to larger groups of potential customers. Think about what sets you apart from dozens of competitors vying for true e-commerce glory. Is it your service quality or support? Is it the trust of your customers and your track record? Do you provide innovative offers, discounts and promotions on special occasions? Do you house the widest variety of rare products? You must determine why customers would choose your e-commerce site. What extra value can you offer to your potential customers that convince them to use your platform again and again? Find your USP and use it to strengthen your brand.

4. Utilize All Channels - Technological advances in the past decade demand that your e-commerce business maximizes its presence on all social, web-based and mobile platforms. More and more potential customers buy and sell through handheld devices, and almost all of them are on social websites. All your competitors are doing it, and so should you. It will help you make your brand easily accessible to larger audiences, which in turn will bring more conversions and significantly better revenues. Social and mobile should be the front and center of your branding strategy.

E-commerce sites can benefit from the above mentioned branding strategies. By using the concepts provide here, you can establish your e-commerce brand and take your business to the next level.

How to Turn $50 Into $5,000 in 30 Days

A critical first step in making more money is to determine your reason(s) for making the extra money. It could be that you want to make enough money for a down payment on a new car. I heard that Mercedes has a new offer on the stylish S-Class series. Maybe you want to take a well deserved vacation. The average vacation cost is $4,580 according to cnsnews.com. Perhaps you want to save up for a wedding. Weddings, by the way, are going for a whopping $28,400 on average according to money.ccn.com. It might be that your children are bugging you to create or add money to their education fund. Education costs are skyrocketing. College costs have surged 500% in the U.S. since 1985 according to Bloomberg.com. The reason could be debt related. The average credit card debt per adult in the U.S. is $4,878. The money you make could be used to pay off your credit card debt, or pay off medical bills. Medical bills incidentally, are the biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. according to cnbc.com.

It’s critical to write down your reason(s) now. Please get a pen and paper and do so before continuing.

Next Steps -

  • Establish your goal. A goal is a desired result a person, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. A goal is something you put in writing with a specific amount our outcome and a specific time frame or deadline. Your goal could be to earn $5,000 within 30 days as an example. Or it could be to earn $50,000 within 3 months. It’s your goal.
  • Define the objective. Objectives are closely related to goals. And the two terms are often used synonymously. But goals and objectives are different. Objectives are specific and measureable milestones that must be achieved in order to reach a goal. In this example, your objective is to find people who are interested in buying products and/or services and sell them those products and/or services at a price they can afford.
  • Create a strategy. With your goal and objective established and in writing, you can now proceed to the strategy. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve your objective and goal. The strategy is a high-level written statement of the methods you will use to reach your goal. In this example, your strategy will be to use affiliate marketing opportunities to and a blog to bring buyers and sellers together. When a sale is made, you will earn a commission.
  • Develop your tactics. Tactics are specific actions required to deliver on a strategy. Tactics are what you do, and for every strategy, there are a number of tactics. You will be using several marketing techniques in order to attract buyers to your blog. Social media marketing, article marketing, video marketing and other techniques will be utilized.

What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts according to Wikipedia. It’s a function of e-commerce. By the way, total e-commerce spending in the United States will hit approximately $262 billion this year, up 13.4% from $231 billion last year, according to a new projection from Forrester Research Inc. Affiliate marketing is a low-risk, high-return strategy for online marketers. U.S. affiliate marketing spending will reach $4 billion by 2014 and will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 16% from 2009 through 2014 according to Forrester Research Inc. By becoming an affiliate marketer, you are plugging into this exchange of buyers and sellers and you are giving yourself an opportunity to make a lot of money.

Some of the top affiliate marketers are pocketing over $2 million a year. There’s plenty of money to go around but no promises that you’ll make $2 million a year right out of the gate. However, if you are committed to the process, you can make a full time income working part time hours.

Okay, so the next step is to identify the industries you want to help. You may be inclined to decide based on your personal interests. Maybe you’ve read that a particular industry is about to surge. There are many industries that offer affiliate marketing opportunities.

The renewable energy industry may be of interest to you. There are many products that are available online such as solar-powered flash lights. By the way, when is the last time you saw a solar-powered flash light in Wal-Mart or your local sporting goods store? They are incredibly hard to find. Many people who enjoy the outdoors would save a great deal of money on batteries and lantern fuel if they had solar-powered flash lights and lanterns. This is just one example of items that people will gladly buy from your blog.

Another example is personal financial services. Millions of people are struggling with personal debt and need solutions to help them get back on their feet financially. By offering people credit card debt reduction services or mortgage refinance services that they can’t get locally, you are helping them regain control of their life and you will get paid in the process!

Maybe you love to travel or wish you could travel more. Providing travel packages to exotic places may float your boat so to speak.

Provide health-related products/and or services to millions of people who are searching for ways to lose weight and live a more active lifestyle. There are many options to choose from and many ways to make money as an affiliate marketer in most industries.

The next step is to create a blog so you can inform people of the products and/or services that will improve their lives. There are many companies that offer free blog space or you can purchase blog space. It depends on your budget and your technical skills. Spend a day or two learning how to create a blog and how to add blog posts to your blog.

Write a few posts detailing information about your industry and the products and/or services that will soon be available on your blog. Make sure your content is informative and interesting. The last thing your visitors will want to read are blatant advertisements.

Next, apply to become an affiliate marketer for the companies in your industry. Use Google to locate the providers for the types of products and/or services you have selected to sell and complete their affiliate marketer application. You will get an answer within 48 hours in most cases. Be sure to keep track of which affiliate programs you have applied for and what the outcome is for each application.

You can then begin adding affiliate links to your blog for the products and/or services you wish to sell. Try to balance your blog with content and advertisements. A rule of thumb is to load up your blog with 70% content and 30% advertising. Another piece of advice is to offer products and/or services that will give you a good range of commissions. In other words, include high, medium, and low commissionable items on your blog to give yourself a good mix. You may sell several of each during the course of a day and having the right mix will enable you to reach your income goal.

Now it’s time to market your blog. People will learn about your blog through your marketing efforts. Your marketing plan should include social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others). It should also include articles and e-books as well as SEO (Search Engine Optimized) blog posts.

Write down a list of keywords your niche market will most likely use to search online for the information and items you’re publishing on your blog.

Spend at least an hour each day marketing your blog. Be sure to include the list of keywords you just wrote down for your Twitter searches. Follow people who are industry leaders as well as people who appear to be novices in the industry. By the way, the industry leaders typically have many more followers than novices have.

There are many Twitter tools available which you can use to reduce the time required to build, maintain, and communicate with your Twitter following. Search for Twitter lists related to your industry and create a list for your account.

Use online automation tools for the delivery of your blog posts to your target audience to reduce the amount of time and effort required for tweets.

Include a Facebook Fan page in your marketing plan. Create a Facebook Fan page and add relevant content and photos. Post snippets of your posts on the Fan page to pique the Facebook visitors’ curiosity and encourage them to visit your blog.

Articles and videos should also be used to promote your blog. Ideally, you should write one or two articles each week. You can convert the article to an e-book and even a video after the article has been published. Establish goals for your marketing plan and adjust your efforts until your goals have been reached. I have written other articles as well as blog posts with thorough instructions on writing articles, setting social media marketing plan, conversion goals, and creating an overall online marketing plan as well as other tips and tricks.

Replace low-performing affiliate programs with other programs until the conversion rates are at acceptable levels.

Continue to market, measure, and adjust until you have reached your traffic, conversion, and income goals.

In summary, when you identify the reasons for making more money and you have clearly established a written goal, you can then proceed to creating objectives, strategies, and tactics for reaching your goal. Monitoring your progress on a daily basis and making adjustments, will keep you on track. E-commerce is here to stay and there is a growth surge just before the holiday season but anytime is a great time to get started. Your start-up costs should be around $50 or less depending on the blog service you use and other blog-related items you choose.

The two most important things to remember is you need to align yourself with the people and resources which will provide assistance to you at any point in the process and you need to get started now.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” — Helen Keller

“You may delay, but time will not.” –Benjamin Franklin