- Business and Employment
7 Secrets to More Online Sales
Seven Secrets to Increased Online Sales
Good marketers plan their sales and marketing strategies backwards. This basically means that you define your target before you take your first step. Just think of a battlefield general yelling to his troops to "Ready! Fire! Aim!" It would not work very well.
However, this is exactly what many people do in their marketing on and off line. Yet they scratch their heads when "nothing they do" seems to work. The truth this, because they don't identify their end goal, they are doomed to fail.
This also leads to the ever prevalent "this doesn't work" statement and attitude. The truth is, that if you find yourself in this category, then you need to stop what you are doing and read this report in full. Online marketing obviously works and it works very well for those who know how to use it.
This article will help you create the centerpiece of your marketing efforts, your marketing plan for on or offline.
The Purpose of Your Marketing
What exactly is the outcome you really want from your marketing? More sales? Higher priced sales? Repeat sales? You have to begin by creating sensible, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound or time sensitive goals.
Maybe you wish to develop say 25 new leads within 2 weeks, generate 5000 new web hits per day, get 5 new paying clients in the next month or maybe increase membership to your online membership site by 100 in the next 60 days.
You must realize that all steps to follow will be based on the clarity of your initial goals and purpose. Vague goals will always fail to deliver what you think you desire. Be specific about what you want to achieve.
The Benefits of Your Product or Your Service
When you clearly determine what your target market wants, you can orchestrate a marketing campaign based on addressing those needs and wants. What do your ideal clients really want?
To be sure, most people want the following: to be happy, safe, wealthy, well liked, in loving relationships, have a sense of purpose, have fun, to be pain free, to be healthy, etc. But is this what you need to target them?
Marketers often confuse features with benefits. Features are the things inherent in your product or service. A benefit is something that your potential client sees for themselves. Remember WIIFM - What's In It For Me!. Find the benefits that will meet the desires of your customers. What do they really want and how are you different at giving them what they want?
Give your customers what they want in a new or unique way in order to satiate their desires.
Aim for Your Target Audience
Now that you have identified the purpose of your marketing and the benefits of your product or service, it is time to clearly define your target, your ideal customer or client. Who exactly, do you believe needs what you have to offer? The wrong answer is "everyone and anyone".
You need a niche and the more focused the better. What are your ideal customers ages, income levels, needs, jobs, hobbies, etc. If you can't get a clear picture start with the market first then define the product or service.
You may find, for example, that men in their 30's get gray hair due to stress. What product or service might benefit them?
On Target: Niche
Now that you have determined your purpose, benefits and target market, it is time to define your marketing niche. Successful marketers know that the marketplace is cluttered with competition and that it can really, really pay to be the leader in a smaller pond.
Sure, you may be in insurance or fitness but how do you narrow your huge market down to a manageable size in order for you to dominate that niche? Maybe you could specialize in mining or high risk insurance. In fitness you could be the trainer that does workouts for the busy executive in their office.
You have to carve out a position where you can differentiate yourself and that difference is apparent in every marketing weapon you use. Define your niche then go and exploit it for all its worth.
Marketing Ideas and Weapons
Successful marketing uses numerous weapons for launching their marketing attacks. You will want to spend some time finding out these weapons and choosing the best ones for you and your company.
The weapons could be as inexpensive and small as business cards or they can be as big and expensive as a highway billboard. Just remember that the size and cost of a marketing weapon does not foretell how successful that weapon will be for you.
Often, the less expensive options turn out to give the biggest bang for the money spent. It all depends on your budget, where your potential customers are and the kind of product or service you are offering. If you are targeting gray haired 30 year old men then you would not want to focus your marketing in magazines that cater to women in their 20's. And no matter how much you spend or how magnificent your ads are, they will not be successful.
Identify Your Identity
Here is something for you to do right now. Strike the term IMAGE from your marketing vocabulary. Image is a facade, its phony and today's sophisticated and educated consumer knows a phony when they see one.
Instead of image, use the term identity instead. Your identity is (or should be perceived as) automatically honest. If you communicate a real identity, people sense feelings of comfort and relaxation when they contact you.
What your customers see in your marketing is ultimately what they expect to get from you and your company and that build trust and rapport and it builds repeat customers and raving fans as well. Be honest and genuine in your identity.
Go to Battle with a Solid Budget
The beauty of many forms of on and offline marketing is that a lot of it can be free or nearly free. But don't let that fool you. There are important reasons to spend money on your marketing. The successful marketer knows that the most important place to spend money is on your presentation.
This means the quality of your stationary, business cards, brochures, flyers, logo and post cards should be the best you can afford. Don't skimp here. The public will get their first sense of your professionalism and dedication through your written materials. A cheap business card often gives the impression that you are cheap and use cheap materials or you are not really worthy of your customers time.
Make a strong first impression. Yes, it may cost you some money, but look at is as an investment in your future. Leave the cheap and free stuff to other areas of marketing. Your identity is on the line with your business card and your stationary. Don't make yourself look cheap and bargain basement especially if you wish to command high prices.
Use Social Marketing for an Increase
Remember to always start with the end goal in mind. If you do that, the rest of the battle plans will come easier to you. And you will know almost right away if something is hitting the mark or if it is way off target. Adjustments are easier, faster and less costly when you know what you are trying to accomplish.
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