Aug 01

Trend Review: Internet Meets IRL

Here at LaneTerralever we make it a point to keep an eye on emerging trends, and in recent months we’ve noticed a number of unique movements that point to an especially exciting market shift: The blend between the real and the digital. Sci-fi is now. And here’s what it means for your business.

What we’ve seen…

Wearable tech

Watches that monitor your sleep patterns and exercise, necklaces that interact with a smartphone apps, and – of course – Google Glass. The wearable technology industry is still relatively new, and developers are busy exploring how it will function in the coming years. As Tim Moore puts it, “We’ve entered a whole new ‘what could we do?’ era,” and it’s only a small matter of time before wearables will be ubiquitous.

Showrooming and webrooming

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Ever stop by a store to try out a product, only to go home and buy it online? If so, you’re not alone. Showrooming is a building trend that popped up a few years ago and still poses a challenge to brick-and-mortar brands. The Internet makes it easy for consumers to find the best price of a given product, even traditionally store-bought items such as food (Amazon sells groceries!). Some businesses have opted to embrace the bridge between digital and physical. One software company called Fits.me offers virtual fitting rooms for online clothing retailers to showcase their products. In Korea, for example, you can use your phone to select groceries from a virtual grocery store and have it delivered to your home that day. Check it out:

Webrooming is the opposite of showrooming – seeing a product online and buying it in-store, often for the sake of saving on shipping time and cost. At Sears, you can buy a product online and then pick it up curbside. An employee will bring it out to you using your provided car information. Many brands such as Wal-Mart and Costco Photo also have buy online, pick up in-store options.

Digital tools for interacting in person

“How about we…” is an app that allows singles to propose an event-oriented date idea (“How about we have a picnic in the park?”) to cut out excessive online conversation. Meetup.com is platform for like-minded individuals to form local groups around their interests, from hikers to professionals to foodies. At the heart of digital is connection, and users are looking for ways to interact beyond the screen.

Re-targeting on different screens

We’re not talking plain old cookies, folks. First, Twitter Amplify works on the basis that a user who tweets about a TV show likely saw the commercials that played while they watched. This allows the brands that advertised to then put their message back in front of the user – this time on their computer or mobile screen. You can expect sequential messaging, which puts several ads in a sequence for the sake of storytelling, to take off in the coming years as well. Ads’ limitation to a single screen will soon be a thing of the past as they begin to interact with users throughout their day.

The fight against the blurred lines

The trend of digital integration into physical life is largely legitimized by the fact that consumers are noticing and reacting to it. Many people feel a need to “unplug,” a sense that there is too much technology in their lives and they need to get back in sync with their communities.

How decision makers should respond

The integration of digital into daily life poses endless opportunities. Regardless of your vertical, there are a number of changes in mentality that will poise your business on the cusp of these developments.

  • Don’t limit yourself to “digital” and “traditional” marketing – the two are becoming almost interchangeable. Instead, first think in terms of how your targets interact with their world. Then explore how your business can fit into their daily interactions.
  • Aim for practicality, and often digital will follow. The companies that are flexible and not afraid to bring their service to customers through this natural medium will hold the advantage over their competitors.
  • Tune in. Try out these innovations for yourself, see how they work, how they’re used. Which of the above trends do you have the least knowledge of? Go explore it. Inspiration feeds off of knowledge; it’s time to discover how your business can make use of these shifts in the market.

This article originally appeared on Terralever and has been republished with permission.

Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.

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Jul 31

Gauging Results of Your Online Marketing Efforts

Starting an online marketing campaign is only the first step in the process. It is a great idea to start an online marketing campaign if your target audience will use the Internet to research or purchase the products you sell or the services you offer but those marketing efforts may be a complete waste of time if you don’t evaluate the response to your Internet marketing. Each time you implement a change to your marketing strategy, you must evaluate the results of the change to determine whether it generated a greater profit for your business. It is critical because it can help you determine what is working and what is not.

Gauging the results of your Internet marketing efforts can be done in several ways. Customer surveys and embedded HTML codes are two of the most popular methods of evaluating the effectiveness of an Internet marketing campaign.

  • Customer surveys: Customer surveys can be as simple or as complex as you like, depending on how much feedback you would like to receive. However, one of the most effective ways to learn how well your different marketing tactics are working is to include a question asking the consumer where they first learned about your products or services. This is important because if you discover that a great deal of your customers are learning about your products or services through a particular venue, it is a good indication that this method of marketing is working well for you.

  • Embedding code: Embedding code into your advertisements for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a popular method of evaluating the response to your Internet marketing strategies. Advertisements can be coded so the business owner receives feedback each time an Internet user clicks through a particular advertisement. This is useful for letting the business owner know which of his advertisements are attracting the most attention. If the business owner is using two different designs for his advertisements he may discover one design is attracting more attention than others and may make the decision to convert all of the advertisements to a more effective style. Similarly a business owner who is running the same advertisement on several different websites may discover he is receiving more traffic from one website than others. He may also discover some websites are not attracting much attention at all. This would give the business owner an indication of which advertisements to cancel and which ones to keep running.

  • Web traffic analysis – The response to an Internet marketing campaign can be evaluated by carefully reviewing website traffic statistics after implementing changes to the marketing strategy. This information is useful because an unusual spike in the amount of website traffic immediately after implementing a stage of the marketing campaign can provide positive feedback that the change was well received by potential customers. While this method of evaluating the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be effective, it is important to note that implementing multiple changes at once will make it difficult to determine which changes were the most effective. Therefore, if you plan to use website traffic as feedback to gauge how well your marketing strategy is working, it is important to only implement one major change at a time so that the changes can each be evaluated separately.

Conclusion

With any marketing campaign that you may run to assist your business, it is important to track the results of your Internet marketing campaign. This should be done on a continual basis so you can ensure that the strategies you are using are working. It can also help you to determine when a strategy is not working so that you do not continue to invest time and money on a strategy that is not beneficial to your business.

Any time you implement a new Internet marketing strategy or technique, it is worthwhile to study your website traffic reports and sales receipts carefully to determine whether there is a spike either in traffic or sales immediately after the marketing effort. For example, if you send out an e-newsletter to those who have requested additional information about your products or services, you may notice that there is an increase in traffic or sales soon afterward. This is a good indication that the e-newsletter was well received and effective. However, if there is not a marked increase in traffic or sales subsequent to the e-newsletter, it indicates that the marketing effort was not effective.

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This article originally appeared on CompuKol Connection » Blog and has been republished with permission.

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Jul 30

New Book From Frank Kern Delivers Succesful Internet Marketing Strategies

(Newswire.net — July 28, 2014)  – Frank Kern’s has written a new book titled CONVERT: The Simple Little Formula That Sold $50 Million Dollars Worth Of Products and Services Online. Inside readers will be introduced to Frank’s marketing and advertising strategies that have sold over fifty million dollars worth of products and services online. Small businesses, local businesses, and anyone else looking for increased profits from their internet marketing strategies will get valuable information in this free book.

At only seventy five pages it can easily be read in one sitting and shows businesses exactly what to do, how to do it and why. Furthermore, owners can immediately implement two marketing strategies, from this book, that will be able to increase sales and profits without spending money on more traffic. Frank Kern is widely known as the guru of internet marketing and has spent a lot of money figuring out exactly which methods are the best at selling products and services.

There are an abundance of advertising books available on the marketplace but few, if any, are written by anyone who has had as much success as Frank Kern. Additionally, his book not only introduces a winning marketing strategy but also shows how to implement it successfully. The internet marketing and advertising strategies detailed in Frank Kern’s book are proven and working right now.

Included with the free book is access to his brand new video training seminar which has led to over half a million dollars in gross sales. The book is only available for free until the 1000 copies that were published run out. A copy can be claimed here while it is still available: http://convertbook.frankkern.com/freebook/

About Frank Kern: Frank Kern is a successful internet marketer and is considered one of the top experts on the subject. He is available for business consultations and can be contacted through his website at http://FrankKern.com

About  

 

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.com/new-book-from-frank-kern-delivers-succesful-internet-marketing-strategies/

Jul 29

Here’s How The Internet Of Things Will Power Greater Marketing Success

Ira Kalb

If you ask 10 people the question, “What is the Internet of Things? ”, you are likely to get at least 10 different answers – varying from blank stares to long-winded pontifications. To be useful, the Internet of Things (IoT) should be easy for everyone to understand. It can be boiled down to the following three main elements:

  1. Smart and sensor-embedded devices and software.
  2. Users of the information (people and/or machines).
  3. All connected through the Internet.

From a marketing perspective, how can marketers use the IoT to improve their business performance? The fundamental building blocks of marketing provide a useful structure to organize some of the more important answers to this question.

Marketing Information System

The IoT has the capability to collect and analyze feedback, report it to decision makers, enable them to take the appropriate action, and provide an analysis as to how well the actions taken worked. The IoT can enable marketers to measure actual behavior in real-time rather than process biased answers to unwanted or inadequate survey questions. It can collect and react to complaints, compliments, new-product ideas, competition information, and marketing strategy feedback as it happens and when it matters. It can provide you with real-time information on what customers want rather than relying on executive guesses. It can save you from endless meetings where decisions are too often based on the boss’s opinions rather than marketplace data.

Branding

The IoT can measure brand interactions by capturing brand preferences, brain activity, heart rate, body temperature, eye movement, and other human responses to such brand elements as logos, mascots, jingles, colors, shapes, and type fonts. Using this information, sellers can get more accurate feedback than is possible from traditional buyer research – enabling them to improve customer relationships, increase sales, and lower costs.

Product

Using sensors in products and packaging, the IoT can provide feedback on how people use and interact with products, the rate at which they use products, and when products are about to fail or run out of replaceable components. Some devices already warn customers when batteries are low, filters need to be changed, or alarms have gone off in remote locations. From wireless devices, users can remotely turn products on and off, open and lock doors and windows, and receive reminders to take important actions. The IoT will enable users to improve product performance and efficiency, notify manufacturers of defects and the need for maintenance, and even automatically order consumables so they’ll arrive as they need to be replenished.

Sellers can use crowd-sourced data in real time to determine which products to offer in which locations to better match supply and demand and allow for local variations. Customer service and repair technicians can remotely diagnose and fix problems as they occur without having customers go through the painful process of contacting providers, reporting problems, hoping for competent help, and then fighting for bill adjustments.

All of this will work together to lower the cost to manufacture, maintain, distribute, and provide customer service. Ideally, buyers will have a better customer experience and get what they want at a lower cost.

Price

Lower transaction and friction costs translate into lower prices and/or better quality for the same price. The reduction in defects, improvement in customer satisfaction, and lower customer service costs all work together to improve seller performance and buyer experience.

The IoT will also enable different prices to be dynamically offered to different buyers based on their purchase and credit history, loyalty, and importance to the company.

Distribution

The IoT can deliver efficient and convenient distribution alternatives to buyers. It can tell buyers via their mobile devices and automobiles the closest places to buy the products they need. It can also provide independent ratings of these businesses according to user-specified priorities.

Sellers can sense when their customers are nearby and send them alerts related to the products they like to buy that are on sale, or they can provide buyers with coupons (that only apply to them) delivered to their mobile, Internet-enabled devices.

Promotion

Out of home marketing, such as electronic posters and billboards can adjust their messages and rate of display based on a variety of factors such as eye movement, speed of travel, and number of passers-by. They can also deliver coupons to mobile and wearable devices on demand. The IoT can enable signs to go on and off or change based on the flow of traffic and time of day – saving sellers on electricity bills and providing greater relevance to buyers. Smart promotions online and off can measure eye movement and obtain real-time feedback on the parts of ads that are being viewed or ignored. Buyers can respond to ads automatically by using mobile devices to request more product information or order directly. Consumers watching a TV show, movie, or video game will be able to stop action, request more information, or order products the actors (and characters) are using or wearing.

Using the IoT, online content can be dynamically adjusted to individual customer interests, time of day, and click-through rates. Similarly, retail store window and in-store displays can be modified in real time as store traffic, ambient lighting conditions, and other dynamic factors change throughout the day.

Smart screens throughout homes, offices, and shopping malls can provide information on products, discounts, and special offers, and enable buyers to order directly when ready. Users can automatically transfer electronic coupons from these screens to their smart devices.

Future IOT devices are here or on the way

To facilitate doing all, or any part, of the above there are many new inventions that are already here or on the horizon. The following is just a partial list.

  • Google Glass. Wearable glasses with the ability to send and receive lots of different information in real time in the direction of where the wearer is looking.
  • iWatch and other smart watches and wearable devices send, receive, and retrieve information that is carried on the wrist or other parts of the body.
  • Smart TV. Provides TV content and two-way communications capabilities via the Internet.
  • Smarts Screens. Similar to Smart TV, the concept of two way interactivity is extended to mirrors, windows, and other screens in homes, classrooms and businesses. They are already on computers and mobile devices in the form of touch screen and tablet computers.
  • Smart posters, ads, and billboards. Taking traditional forms of promotion into the future, these will be ads that communicate to potential buyers, enabling them to interact with the ads, request more information, and buy products directly from the ad.
  • Smart ink. Several manufacturers have developed forms of ink that enable electronic circuits to be printed on just about anything. This will enable consumers of print ads to interact with those ads – giving Marketing Information System feedback, transporting consumers to Web sites, and enabling them to request more information or even order products.
  • Smart clothing. Sensors built into the fabric, or printed on, clothing will give health and performance feedback to medical personnel and athletes. Marketers will use such clothing to monitor physiologic responses to marketing content, product and brand variations, and pricing changes.

To stay ahead of the curve

Knowing what customers want and giving it to them is a 24/7 job that requires always-connected and integrated technology that better serves the customer and delivers more efficient and effective results for the business. The Internet of Things offers marketers the ability to interact with the marketplace in real time, make better decisions, be more efficient and effective, and do a better job of giving customers what they want. The hope is that some of the information provided in this post with enable you to take advantage of the IoT to increase revenues, lower costs, develop better relationships with customers, and achieve greater success. Best of luck, and stay tuned.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.com/heres-how-the-internet-of-things-will-power-greater-marketing-success/

Jul 28

How to Start Marketing Your Business Online

While, in theory, the concepts behind Internet marketing might be quite simple, executing effective strategies can be extremely difficult. This can even be tough for those who are quite experienced in the world of Internet marketing. With this in mind, this article will attempt to explain the concept of Internet marketing for beginners and will outline some basic strategies that can help a business owner to launch his or her own Internet marketing campaign. It will cover concepts such as creating a website, placing banner ads, sending out e-newsletters, orchestrating an email marketing campaign, and optimizing your website for search engines.

Creating a Website: One of the most basic steps for starting an Internet marketing campaign is to create a website. If you don’t have a website or have a poorly designed website, you should consider creating or redesigning a website to adequately market your products. If you do not have experience in web design, there are a number of software packages that make it simple for those with no design experience to create a functional website. However, hiring a web designer is worthwhile because he or she can work to create a website that is attractive, functional and suitable for your products and series. He can also help you to include more advanced features on your website.

Online Advertising: Banner ads are another popular option for advertising your business on the Internet. Banner ads are advertisements that typically appear along the top of a website but may also include smaller ads in other locations. Banner ads typically include graphics and text, which entice Internet users to click on the advertisement. Once a user clicks on the ad, he or she are directed to your website. This type of advertising can be very effective when care is taken to place the advertisements on high traffic websites, which attract an audience that may have an interest in your products.

Electronic Newsletters: Sending out e-newsletters can also be an important part of an effective Internet marketing strategy. E-newsletters are essentially emails that may contain a variety of different types of information, including informative articles, useful quizzes, relevant advertising, or any other information that is deemed worthwhile for the recipients of the e-newsletter. The importance of these newsletters is that they can be used as marketing tools, which are not viewed by the recipients as advertisements. One way to do this is to incorporate links or other soft sales approaches into the copy of the e-newsletters. However, care should be taken to keep these references to a minimal so the e-newsletter is not viewed as spam.

Email Marketing: Email marketing campaigns can be another successful aspect of an Internet marketing campaign. Email marketing essentially involves sending out emails to a group of individuals who may be interested in your products and services. Care should be taken in sending out these emails to avoid sending emails that are unsolicited and will be viewed as spam. One way to do this is to only send out the emails to users who have requested inclusion on an email mailing list. Another way is to provide value in the emails as opposed to just including advertisements. This can be done by offering relevant advice in your emails and other useful information, which may be of interest to the email recipients.

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Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing your website for search engines is a critical aspect of an Internet marketing campaign. Search engines rank websites according to quality and relevance for particular search terms. Many Internet users appreciate the effort by search engines and use these search engines to find the best websites on a particular subject. This means that the Internet users are likely to only visit websites that rank well with search engines. Therefore, if your website is not high-ranking, you are not likely to generate a great deal of traffic from Internet users who use search engines to find relevant websites. Top-ranking websites are likely to obtain the most traffic from search engines and all websites falling on the first page of the search engine results will likely enjoy some degree of success in improving their traffic.

Social Media: Participation in industry-related social media networks is one of the easiest ways a business owner can use the Internet as a promotional tool. Social media networks are websites that provide a forum for Internet users who share a common interest to share information related to that subject or just to socialize. Business owners may choose to join social media networks that closely relate to their industry or the products or services they offer. This is important because doing this gives the business owners access to a group of Internet users who fall into the target audience for his or her products or services. It also gives the business owner the opportunity to promote his own website. Many social media networks allow users to place a link to their own website in their profiles. Business owners who do this and also contribute useful commentary on the message boards may attract potential customers via the link they place in their profile.

Blogging: Blog marketing is quite easy to start using. If you have never blogged before, you will, of course, want to start a test blog just to get the feel for how it is. You will want to become familiar with the blogging platforms that you will be using and learn how to create a post. So, once you have become familiar with blogging and what it takes to post and make changes, you are ready to go further. The next thing that you are going to want to do is choose a niche market. You will want to choose something that is low in competition, yet is something that people are searching for.

Now that you have your topics in place, it is time to begin blogging. When you are blogging for the purpose of marketing, you want to give your readers something that they have to keep coming back for. You want to peak their interest and make them want more from you. This will keep your readership base up and will allow you to have followers who will follow you anywhere to see what you are going to say next on their favorite topic.

Now that you have a topic, you want to determine just how much time you are going to spend updating and posting this blog. If you tell your readers that you are going to post on a daily basis, do so. If you let them know that you will be blogging weekly, you should also stick with that. Whatever you tell them, be sure that you do not let them down. Otherwise, they will find another blog to read in place of yours, which is something that you will not want.

Conclusion

Just like there are no magic weight loss cures or ways to earn money from home without a great deal of effort, there is not one simple solution to guarantee Internet marketing success. However, Internet marketing is not overly complicated and many business owners can enjoy at least some degree of Internet marketing success with only limited knowledge about the industry.

A simple way to enjoy Internet marketing success is to hire a consulting firm to plan and execute your Internet marketing strategy. Just like SEO, Internet marketing is essentially a full-time job. Business owners may have a great deal of difficulty trying to run their business and organize their Internet marketing. Outsourcing this work eases the burden on the business manager and will likely produce more favorable results.

This article originally appeared on CompuKol Connection » Blog and has been republished with permission.

Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.

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Jul 27

BUSINESS DIARY

CONTRACTS

SunTel Services, Troy, a provider of services for unified communication networks, was awarded a contract with Oakland Schools, Waterford Township, for the purchase of Voice over Internet Protocol service. Website: suntel.com.

ProQuest LLC, Ann Arbor, and Ancestry.com Inc., Provo, Utah, announced an agreement to deliver genealogy resources to libraries worldwide. ProQuest will distribute existing products — including the Ancestry Library Edition — and future Ancestry.com products. The agreement allows for significant content and feature improvements to ProQuest’s HeritageQuest Online. Websites: proquest.com, ancestry.com.

Maestro Media Print Solutions LLC, Bloomfield Hills, a print management company, completed a catalog project for Independent Distributors Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, a cooperative serving independent suppliers of indus- trial and maintenance products throughout Canada. The 2,200-page catalog is designed to help IDI’s locally based member companies compete with larger multinational chains. Website: maestromps.com.

Altair Engineering Inc., Troy, a provider of computer-aided engineering and computing software and services, announced that the National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, chose Altair’s PBS Professional as its high-performance computing workload management system. Website: altair.com.

InterClean Equipment Inc., Ypsilanti Township, a manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicle wash systems, was contracted by the U.S. Air Force to design and install an Automatic Taxi Through Clear Water Rinse System at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as a corrosion control tool for the fleet of KC-130, MV-22 and other fixed-wing aircraft. Website: tammermatic.com.

Easy Like Sundae, Ferndale, opened a frozen yogurt café at Green Oak Village Place, 9689 Village Place Blvd., Brighton. Telephone: (810) 522-5367. Website: facebook.com/EasyLike Sundae.

EverFit Personal Training LLC, Brighton, opened EverFit Training Studio at Green Oak Village Place, 9835 Village Place Blvd., Brighton. Telephone: (810) 225-4529. Website: everfitfitness.com.

Front Street PR, West Bloomfield Township, an online website design and marketing agency, launched a lead-generation tool for client StartupNation LLC, Birmingham. Websites: frontstreetpr.com, startupnationlaunch.com.

CudaTel, Ann Arbor, a subsidiary of Barracuda Networks Inc., selected Flowroute LLC, Seattle, as its preferred SIP (successful interoperability testing) trunking provider. As part of the certification process, CudaTel’s communications servers were integrated with Flowroute’s SIP trunking to provide Voice over Internet Protocol services. Websites: cudatel.com, flowroute.com.

ArborMetrix Inc., Ann Arbor, a provider of health care analytics, announced that Atrius Health Inc., Auburndale, Mass., has expanded the use of analytics in Episode Metrix from six to 28 surgical procedures. Website: arbormetrix.com.

LLamasoft Inc., Ann Arbor, a provider of supply-chain design software, and Cassidy Turley, Washington, D.C., a commercial real estate services provider, announced a contract under which Cassidy Turley will provide industrial real estate cost data and other information for U.S. markets to LLamasoft customers for their use in strategic supply-chain design. Websites: llamasoft.com, cassidyturley.com.

Advanced Photonix Inc., Ann Arbor, a supplier of optoelectronic sensors, devices and instruments used by the test and measurement, process control, medical, telecommunications and homeland security markets, was awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy‘s Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, R.I., to further develop a high-speed imaging system for the detection of corrosion under marine coatings. The estimated contract value is $1 million, including options. Website: advancedphotonix.com.

Control-Tec LLC, Allen Park, a vehicle data acquisition and analysis software company, announced an agreement with Verizon Wireless that will allow state-of-the-art wireless vehicle data recorders designed by Control-Tec to transmit real-time information on the Verizon Wireless network. Website: control-tec.com.

Aqaba Technologies Inc., Sterling Heights, was awarded a contract by Ziebart International Corp., Troy, for reputation management, mobile marketing strategy, custom Web development and implementation of an enterprise-level content management system. Websites: aqabatech.com, ziebart.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.com/business-diary/

Jul 26

Internet Marketing And Selling Small Business Style

I have published quite a few blog posts and podcasts about the importance of selling in your content and on social media. Here are two: click here and here to see each.

I believe that a small business should always be selling. This may run counter to what you may have heard about content.

You may have heard some say you should give it away 80% of the time. Give 80% take 20%. Or to never use social media to sell.

Here’s the thing; this isn’t wrong, but it also isn’t right.

Sometimes the person disseminating this advice is completely wrong. But many times, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of you, dear reader.

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It’s your fault

Here’s the definition of marketing according to Wikipedia.com: “Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.”

Here is the dictionary definition: “The activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc. 1: a: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market. b: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. 2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer”

In this age of social media people have become selling phobic. But it isn’t because you shouldn’t be selling. It’s because people have the definition all wrong.

What it means

Selling doesn’t mean asking for money. That’s certainly part of it. But that’s the very last part of it.

It is that part of the marketing picture that should be used with caution. Asking people to buy in content and on social can be a bad thing if it’s over done.

But selling is not just asking for money. It is qualifying the prospect, grabbing attention, building interest, growing desire, etc. This should always, always, ALWAYS be done in content and on social.

Most importantly, there should always be a strategy. Producing free content with no marketing message does not serve your business at all. And you’re in business to make money, pure and simple. Too many people these days make that sound like a bad thing.

People say you can’t be self serving on social media.

WRONG!

Marketing is the oxygen your business needs to survive. Without it, there’s no point.

In episode 57 of the Nuclear Chowder Podcast, I bring on my good friend Ralph M. Rivera who is one half of the brains behind Web – Search – Social. We have a discussion about the importance of selling all the time. After all, as Ralph said… You can’t deposit branding in the bank.

This article originally appeared on Nuclear Chowder Marketing and has been republished with permission.

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Jul 25

Baidu To Boost Investment In Mobile Apps After Profit Grows 34%

Baidu Inc. (ADR) (BIDU) announced that it will increase investment in mobile offerings after mobile-revenues contributed to its strong earnings. Baidu posted financial results for the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year (2QFY14) yesterday, and beat earnings estimates by $0.31. Second-quarter profits grew 34% from 2QFY13 at $1.7 per share. Revenues for the quarter were $1.92 billion, up 58.5% compared to the same period last year. Analysts had estimated $1.93 billion in revenues.

Baidu is China’s largest internet search provider, and is often referred to as “China’s Google.” The company offers a variety of products and services including mobile apps. Majority of its revenues come from the online-marketing segment, where business customers utilize Baidu’s services to reach users who search for the business’ products.

Baidu has been investing in mobile offerings to generate advertising-based revenue through mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Its efforts seem to be paying off. Second-quarter revenues from its mobile services – which include search and mapping – contributed 30% to the total revenue for the first time. Baidu’s mobile apps enable users to access its internet services through mobile devices.

Mobile traffic for the internet search service reached 500 million active users in June. On some occasions, mobile traffic even surpassed visitor traffic from desktops.

The company plans to capitalize on the potential of the mobile offerings segment. Selling, general, and administrative (SGA) expenses increased 99.3% from 2QFY13. According to CFO Jennifer Li, SGA increased due to higher promotional spending on mobile services. She reiterated the company’s plan to continue investing in mobile services and on their marketing.

Baidu intends to develop an ecosystem of apps around its Mobile Baidu search app, where users can continue carrying out other transactions using one of the other apps offered by the company, without leaving the Mobile Baidu app. CEO Robin Li illustrated an example of a user looking to buy a movie ticket, who should not only be able to search for the movie through the Baidu Mobile App, but also buy the ticket using the Baidu Wallet app.

To achieve this objective, the company has been acquiring a number of mobile service companies. Last year it bought Wireless Websoft Ltd, a Chinese mobile app store; and a 59% share in Nuomi, a group-buying site.

Baidu is currently up more than 7% at just over $204 during pre-market trading.


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