It is not necessary to recreate the wheel every time you want to start a campaign to market your products or services. Instead, you can look to the best practices of what other online businesses have done in the past for proven online product marketing tips. You can learn both from the mistakes and successes of other businesses, so long as you effectively incorporate those ideas into your own marketing strategy.
An important marketing tip to follow is to remember the needs of your potential clients as your primary focus. Another important tip to follow is to study the competition and learn as much as possible from what you observe. Finally, it is so important that you are the absolute expert in your field, so that you can market yourself in the most effective methods possible.
How well do you know your potential clients? You first need to understand that no matter how valuable the products and services that you offer, they will not appeal to everyone. Instead of trying to market your products to entities who will never be interested, you should instead set your sights on those individuals who will actually be interested in what you have to offer.
Forget about segments of the marketplace that are yet untapped. You may be able to go back later and find ways to reach out that will be effective to your overall marketing strategy. But until you’ve achieved success with your target customer groups, you cannot spend time looking at clients that are a long shot.
What do your competitors do well? What do they do not so well? You should constantly be observing how your competitors deal with their businesses. You can rely heavily upon your own observations.
In addition, you can ask trusted friends or current clients to look at the offerings and practices of your competition to find ways to emulate their successes or change practices to avoid the ways in which they have not been as successful. Proven online product marketing tips can come from nearly any observation you make about the businesses of your competition.
Finally, you must be an absolute expert in the field in which you do business. How else can you expect your customers and clients to trust you, if you do not know more about what you have to offer than any of your competitors?
Learn about your products and services inside out. If they are products and services that you have developed on your own, you should carefully document every piece of knowledge possible about them. If they are third party products or services, you should read all documentation that is provided, test out the products and services so that you know how to use them inside and out. When you don’t know the answer you need to know how to find the appropriate experts of whom to ask questions whenever they may arise.
(Excerpt from On Target: The Book on Marketing Plans by Tim Berry and Doug Wilson)
Every marketing plan has to fit the needs and situation. Even so, there are standard components you just can’t do without. A marketing plan should always have a situation analysis, marketing strategy, sales forecast, and expense budget.
Situation Analysis: Normally this will include a market analysis, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and a competitive analysis. The market analysis will include market forecast, segmentation, customer information, and market needs analysis.
Marketing Strategy: This should include at least a mission statement, objectives, and focused strategy including market segment focus and product positioning.
Sales Forecast: This would include enough detail to track sales month by month and follow up on plan-vs.-actual analysis. Normally a plan will also include specific sales by product, by region or market segment, by channels, by manager responsibilities, and other elements. The forecast alone is a bare minimum.
Expense Budget: This ought to include enough detail to track expenses month by month and follow up on plan-vs.-actual analysis. Normally a plan will also include specific sales tactics, programs, management responsibilities, promotion, and other elements. The expense budget is a bare minimum.
Are They Enough?
These minimum requirements above are not the ideal, just the minimum. In most cases you’ll begin a marketing plan with an Executive Summary, and you’ll also follow those essentials just described with a review of organizational impact, risks and contingencies, and pending issues.
Include a Specific Action Plan
You should also remember that planning is about the results, not the plan itself. A marketing plan must be measured by the results it produces. The implementation of your plan is much more important than its brilliant ideas or massive market research. You can influence implementation by building a plan full of specific, measurable and concrete plans that can be tracked and followed up. Plan-vs.-actual analysis is critical to the eventual results, and you should build it into your plan.
Courtesy of Palo Alto Software Inc.
Many companies spam their clients and people, but companies that advertise through spamming methods are not following the internet marketing principals that would best market their products. One of the largest complaints that people have about the Internet is spam, and they ignore anything that looks even remotely spammy.
An important means of reaching people through the internet is often done through target marketing. This is the idea that instead of spamming one hundred people and hoping that two like your product, you focus on people and online groups who are already interested in similar goods or services.
It’s true that by doing this you will significantly decrease the amount of exposure you get, but this also means that you will reduce the amount of bad publicity you get as well. All of the people that you sent email advertisements to that weren’t interested in your merchandise are going to think that your company is merely one of those fly by night spamming operations.
Even if you’re not, it won’t change the way they think of your product and their perception of your business practices. However, if you can focus your marketing ideas on groups of people, who you know are interested in similar things, then you increase your likelihood of having good corresponding sales figures. Internet marketing principals are not that different from other means of promoting something.
One of the more important rules is to know what people will pay for your product. Too many times people don’t properly estimate the value of their product or service.
The first time many people see an advertisement or commercial, they form an opinion of what is being marketed. If they see something they think is priced too low, they might decide that it’s made with lower quality parts and decide they don’t want to buy it. If they think it’s priced too highly then they may think it out of their price range and discount it immediately.
This is why it’s never a bad idea to look around online at what your competitors may be charging for similar products. The idea behind this is to get your price slightly lower than what they are charging; so that people think they’re getting a good deal on something. Of course, make sure that it’s not so good of a deal that they start wondering about quality.
If you are still having problems pricing your items, then you could go to a message board and see if there are any discussions that might give you an idea of what people are willing to pay. Many times this is the kind of research that large public relations firms do for their clients.
Remember to keep everything you do as professional as possible and don’t be too pushy. You shouldn’t have a problem learning how to safely and easily promote your company, especially if you put these internet marketing principals into action.
Ask yourself this CRUCIAL question. Based only on your direct mail package or email, would you buy your product or service? Be uncompromisingly honest. If your answer is “no”, keep making the necessary changes until you can unequivocally answer “YES”.
Cultivate “swipe” files. Set up files and collect examples of great headlines, sales letters, emails, brochures, coupons, teaser copy, and so on. Study the examples that really make you feel like taking action and use them for your marketing.
How to get the most mileage out of premiums. A bulky premium that your customers can feel will get your envelope opened. If you’re premium isn’t bulky, a teaser along the lines of “Your FREE item is inside” is effective.
Use heavy stock for your paper order forms. A substantial stock, such as card stock, always outpulls flimsier paper.
Use a separate order form. A separate order form will outpull a coupon contained within your brochure or email. Smart marketers always use all three. If a separate order form is used, another pass-along order can be made from the coupon in your brochure.
Use 2 colors of ink on paper and email order forms. Two colors of ink on white stock or white email backgrounds give you the opportunity to create an extremely professional looking order form.
Use colored stock for paper order forms. Colored stock with black ink distinguishes your order form from the rest of your package. It draws attention and increases sales.