I attended another great meeting about internet marketing. This time it was the local chapter of Glazer-Kennedy Marketing. Here are some tips I picked up at the meeting:
Edumarketing is all about educating your customers about the products and services you offer and how they solve your customers problems.
Spend some time thinking about what problem(s) you’re really solving with your products and services. This is challenging, especially if you offer a service. Keep asking yourself what’s the problem I’m solving until you get down to the real core issue. The first two or three answers are the easy ones…the real root of the problem your services address will be found by the time you’ve asked the question five or six times.
Once you’ve identified the problem, look at how you’re communicating to your customers. Are you talking about solutions and benefits? Are you describing how you solve the pain they may be feeling? That’s the message you want to communicate in a variety of ways: through articles, webinars, short videos, newsletters, emails, Twitter updates, and your blogs.
And always provide your customers and prospects with a way to learn more about you with links to your website, your shopping cart (if they’re ready to buy), your email address, etc.
Do those things and you’re at least a step closer to attracting more customers and positively affecting your bottom line.
Cause-related marketing (CRM) or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a way to tie a non-profit organization’s products or services to a corporate strategy to create a win-win-win situation. The customer wins by feeling good about the products or services he/she buys from the corporation. The non-profit wins by adding another revenue stream to its bottom line. And the corporation wins by creating goodwill, increasing revenues, and generating postitive public opinion about its social responsibility efforts.
This strategy is also a way to build in sustainability and environmental consciousness to the corporate game plan. This article from Foundation Center has great information about the history of CRM and what it is. It also provides links to print and internet resources for further background on CRM.
According to Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth Mastery, there are seven disciplines that a successful entrepreneur must develop to build a World Class Company. Each discipline is like a puzzle piece that makes up the enterprise. It’s not a building block working in a linear fashion, but rather part of a system of components that work together to complete the whole that make up the company. The entrepreneur must have all disciplines regardless of the size of the company in order to achieve his or her desired objective, the vision of what he or she is trying to create.
The seven disciplines are:
There are five essential skills the Enterprise Leader must have: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication. The skill ofConcentration is learning to feel comfortable with being a lone. We’ve heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top.” It’s true. The entrepreneur is the final decision-maker. Good or bad, your decisions are the ones that will create the company of your dreams. As the enterprise leader, your work is to lead, not do. According to Gerber in his book E-Myth Mastery, you need to remind yourself every day, “I am a leader. My job is to do the work of leadership.” This skill deals with how to focus your attention.
The second skill, Discrimination, deals with where to focus your attention. You need to learn how to choose between alternatives. The most important things for an enterprise leader to consider are the vision, mission and values (the culture or consciousness) of your enterprise. Focus on the end game of what you’re trying to create. Every option or path you choose to pursue should be held up against those elements. Ask the question, “will this path get me to the vision I’m trying to create? Does it tie into the mission of what we’re doing?”
The third skill, Organization, deals with the functional components of your enterprise. This is how you organize
your business, turn chaos into order, how you structure your business so everything has a place and function, and it works in an orderly fashion.
Innovation, the fourth skill, depends on Discrimination. Everything you do must be held up against the standards of your vision, mission and values. Performance is judged by the standards of how well it contributes to achieving the future objective of the enterprise. Innovation comes from following a series of steps that include determining what you want to improve, deciding how to improve it, quantifying the improvement or its effect on the enterprise, testing it, and re-quantifying, and testing it again and again, until you get positive results.
The fifth skill is Communication. This involves how you communicate to your people what you expect of them, how you listen to their understanding of your expectations, and how you improve your communication to close the gap between your expectations and their understanding of them. Organize your communication so it’s clear, compelling and inspiring. Present it in a variety of ways, in person, via e-mail, in newsletters, on the website, in brochures and other marketing materials.
For the first time in the history of the United States, we have four distinct generations working side by side in organizations:
Add to these challenges, the swift pace of change in the world around us, and it’s no wonder leaders are having a hard time just treading water to stay afloat. Taking a holistic approach to managing change will help. One place to start is byscanning the external world to identify current threats and opportunities. Then evaluate your strengths and weaknesses across seven categories to assess your organizational capacity to manage change and identify areas for improvement. Challenges in areas, such as communicating across the generations, will show up as you conduct this exercise.
Then you can begin to put an operational plan in place to address the changes that are needed to ensure the entire organization is swimming in the same direction, focused on the same future goal.
Social marketing is the latest trend in internet marketing, helping individuals and businesses grow their leads and client base. The trend has been growing dramatically with the tightening of marketing budgets, employee lay-offs, and retiring boomers turning to the web to start their next career or generate additional income.
According to ComScore’s August 2008 report, Facebook and MySpace were the two fastest growing sites on the web from June 2007 to June 2008. Latin America has the highest rate of growth in using Facebook at 1055% vs. North America’s measly 38%. However, in terms of total number of unique visitors to Facebook, North American still leads the world with 49,248,000 vs. Latin America’s 11,931,000 in 2008. Europe came in second with 35,263, 000.
Social marketing (also called attraction marketing) is what helped get President Obama elected. Through videos on YouTube, viral marketing campaigns launched by groups such as MoveOn.org, and individuals hosting rallies and parties locally, his marketing reach was unprecedented in the history of presidential campaigns.
You can use these same tools to attract customers to your business and monetize your site if that’s of interest. Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace are just three of the many social networking sites online now. Others include LinkedIn, Twitter, Squidoo,Plaxo Pulse, Ning, Xing, and Konnects. First, decide which two or three sites to use. If you have a website, you’ll want to link to that. If you don’t, consider at least setting up a blog. You can set up a blog for free on Google Blogger or WordPress (the blogger I’m using here). Both are easily customizable to fit your needs.
Take the time to think first about what your business purpose is. What’s the ultimate goal? Is it to promote your website? Do you want to sell products or services online? Do you want to promote yourself as a speaker or subject matter expert? What’s the main purpose of your business, and what do you want to achieve with attraction marketing? Write it down on paper.
Next, do some research. If you don’t already know who your target market is, check out your competition and think about who would buy your and their products and/or services. What are their ages, incomes, aspirations, interests, needs? Again, write it down. You’re beginning to paint a picture of the purpose for your business and your preferred customer.
Now think about what success looks like. How would you measure success? By the number of phone calls, orders, product sales? By dollar volume in sales? By the number of unique subscribers to your blog or website? Write that down, too.
Then check out the various social marketing sites I mentioned earlier and see who’s using them. Are they your target market? You can get some demographic data online about the different site visitors from companies like ComScore, too. Here’s an example from Rapleaf of the gender and age of social networkers.
Choose one to start with and set up your profile. Choose a blog site like Blogger or WordPress and set up your account. Write your first blog. Then link the social networking site to your blog. A great resource to help you in this process is Renegade University. From there you’ll get a wealth of information about internet and network marketing. Here’s another great resource about the 7 Great Lies About Network Marketing. It’s fascinating.
This is just a start to get you up and on the web. If you need help, give me a call at 858-357-9600, ext. 5 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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