Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Tag: budgets

Opportunities Abound During Tough Economic Times

Contrarian view? Absolutely not. The best time to strike is when your competitors are off guard. While they gather in their conference rooms to complain about the economy, use this golden opportunity to reach out to your existing customers and find new prospects.

Far too many business owners absolutely take the wrong approach. They hunker down, cut marketing budgets and pull back. The end result is "unattended customers" and less competition for you. Businesses that cut marketing budgets also demotivate their best salespeople, which start spending more time thinking about getting a new job than a new customer.

Economic downturns are an excellent time to strengthen your relationships with both your existing customers and your competitors' customers. Odds are, they are not as busy. Are they willing to spend a little more time with you? Very possible so get in touch with them and consider the following:

  • Collect testimonials: Asking for a testimonial is a contact with your customer that's not a sales call. Tell them you would like to promote the testimonial and link it to their website, which will promote them as well. Use the opportunity to show your customers you value their opinion, your business relationship, and their business (i.e., dynamic websites, blogs, Scribd, PR news, etc.);
  • Survey your customers: Create an opportunity to collect feedback and discuss services and/or products you offer that they may not be fully aware of or completely understand (i.e., email marketing, custom website landing pages, etc.);
  • Network: Introduce your customers to people in your network that they consider prospects and ask to meet their business colleagues and associates – an excellent source of referrals (i.e., LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, etc.), and
  • Use your "consulting" skills: Help your customers and prospects save time and money by providing pertinent industry news and educational materials that will help them compete during these difficult times (i.e., email newsletters, white papers and custom publications all have high ROIs).

But don't be fooled. There is also new competition for you – competition from << Continued on digital AIM >>

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Why Companies Are Moving Marketing Online The Emerging Trends

The amount of research supporting the effectiveness of online marketing is staggering yet many business owners are still unconvinced or just inadequately informed. If you are seriously looking for reasons to justify spending marketing dollars online, here are a few facts and trends to ponder:

Although most marketers allocate minuscule amounts of their budgets to their email efforts, the channel continues to deliver substantial returns on every dollar spent. According to the Direct Marketing Association, marketers spent $500 million on email in 2007 to capture an astronomical $23 billion in sales – yes, $23 billion in sales; that's not a typo.

The DMA forecasts:

  • During 2008 marketers will spend $600 million on email to drive $27 billion in sales; and
  • Email delivered $48.56 in sales for every dollar spent in 2007. A substantial return is also predicted for 2008; $45.65 for every dollar spent. More from the DMA is available here.)

The results are in. The success of online marketing is supported by reliable research reports and marketing pros have taken notice. In McKinsey's July 2007 global survey of marketers, more respondents used email than any other form of digital advertising. Some people still don't understand the value but those that do are moving online across the spectrum of marketing activities, from building awareness to after-sales service. They see online tools as an important and effective component of their marketing strategies

McKinsey survey of marketing executives reports that: Continue reading

Do Online Budgets Now Equal or Exceed Offline Initiatives?

Whether its a local restaurant review, a professional service, or this week’s weather forecast, everyone now turns to the Internet and it’s use has long since exceeded critical mass (see Pew Internet Project, Who’s Online for stats). For business owners and associations, a dynamic online marketing presence is no longer an option – it’s mandatory.

So, how do you manage your online and offline marketing initiatives? Is your webmaster still in your IT department, but spends most of his or her time editing text and basic html code related to marketing? Does your marketing content flow seamlessly from your printed materials onto your website and into your email communications or is it more of an after thought with long time delays?

Online marketing expenditures are growing as fast as the use of the Internet itself and many online budgets now equal or exceed offline initiatives. Marketing managers are spending a significant amount of time managing WOM related marketing tasks, although few have developed a comprehensive strategy, let alone a management plan that includes the company’s webmaster.

Online and offline marketing components need to be interlaced – shared goals, resources, agendas, and content; however, few actually are. Take a quick look at your marketing and website management plans for 2006. Should they be merged into one comprehensive plan?

[tags] Marketing, Management Plans, WOM, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Is Jack Trout at Forbes.com All He's Cracked Up To Be?

Is Word Of Mouth All It's Cracked Up To Be? – Forbes.com With more than 40 years of advertising and marketing experience, Jack Trout still doesn't appear to get it. He states in his recent article,

I certainly would never tell a CEO, "B.J., I just put a big chunk of our budget into word-of-mouth." If you did, all I would say is "good luck."

Yes, Trout is right when he states WOM isn't new, but who believes it is? Adopting "WOM" nomenclature is relatively new, the concept of using electronic as well as offline communication strategies to get people talking about your company or ideas isn't. Measureable results from WOM campaigns are readily available and campaigns can be controlled to a certain extent if your communications are concise, clear, honest and your marketing department knows what they are doing. Trout's recent article at Forbes.com includes several good points, but his conclusions are behind the curve. When implemented and measured properly, WOM is an effective, yet sensible, non-traditional marketing strategy in today's rapidly changing world. Everyone now has a "printing press" and there's no need to worry about a shortage of ink. TAGS: WOM, social networking, word of mouth, Forbes, eoecho

Blogs Merging With Websites – Imminent?

As pointed out by several marketing and communication bloggers during the past year, the trend of replacing “static” websites with "dynamic" blogs has begun. And one of the best-known ad agencies in the country is already on board. The move makes sense for several reasons, as we'll discuss below. But first, are blogs really replacing websites? The look and feel of blogs has changed significantly since their introduction. You'll notice static "web style” pages on almost every blog you visit. When taking a closer look, it becomes clear blogs are not, in essence, replacing websites. They are "merging" and the result is a full-functioning communication tool – a better mousetrap if you will. Whether you consider your blog a "tab" on your website or your website a "tab" on your blog – let's face it, aren’t they Continue reading

Ad Spending Trends

Business in Calgary – Marketing and Internet Strategies – Ad Spending Trends

Our friend has a nice post on ad spending trends, which includes a few charts from a report prepared by the research firm eMarketer.

Pay particular attention to the Internet spending trends. At eoecho, we are seeing significant increases in WOM related marketing budgets – Internet spending on blogs, social networking, podcasting, viral marketing, etc. Are you experiencing the same trends? Do you see these trends continuing?

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~ Don't Give Out Your Business Cards ~ A Strategy

People spend far too much time fussing over their business cards. One-sided or two, picture or no picture, what format, and the list goes on. The fact is most business cards are thrown away and you need a better strategy to get what you really want for your time – new clients.

Here’s a simple strategy to increase sales and maximize your networking ROI:

“JUST SAY NO” when someone asks for your business card.

Stay with me, I tested this strategy while conducting research for an article, “Business Networking Organizations – Should You Pay to Join?”

If you plan to join a networking group, like BNI for example, first prepare a marketing plan and budget. Your costs are far greater than the joining fee. Marketing strategies such as the one below will help you close more clients. Continue reading

AMA Web Seminar – Using Technology to Manage Your Marketing Projects

First a brief note on web seminars: Free seminars on almost any marketing topic are now common on the web. Use them to hone your skills and stay abreast of new marketing and management strategies. Who benefits?

  • Independent marketing pros
  • Marketing managers with small firms, and
  • Business owners with limited training budgets (they’re free professional development tools).
  • Project Management Software for the Marketing Dept.
    Marketing managers are required to plan, implement, manage, and measure multiple concurrent projects, usually with limited to non-existent capital budgets. The use of PM software is a wise investment if you expect to maximize your marketing department ROI.

    Finding the right PM software for your operations can be a daunting challenge. Do you need customized software for your marketing department? Shouldn’t the PM software you use for your IT department be just as effective for tracking marketing projects? After all, a project is a project isn’t it? Unfortunately, large enterprise software systems generally don’t work well for the marketing department. Continue reading

    Word of Mouth Marketing – A Strategy

    Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is a term used to describe activities that companies undertake to generate favorable publicity. People are inclined to believe word of mouth promotion because the source is preceived as credible and likely someone you know.

    WOM is highly valued by marketers and it has become a managed marketing strategy with significant budgets. Successful word of mouth campaigns create buzz and there are dozens of techniques being used to engage target audiences.

    The following WOM articles and research reports discuss the concept and provide background information for those interested:

    Harris Interactive Inc.
    Harris Interactive Inc. analyzed the effect of word-of-mouth communication and found that it strongly influences those making purchasing decisions. The survey shows Continue reading

    State-of-the-Art Endurance Center Grand Opening Today – Feb. 25

    Endorphin Fitness hired us to help market their Grand Opening event. Given a very limited marketing budget, we recommended and ran a sensible Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing campaign for the event. The campaign included:

  • Writing and distributing press releases to local media, publishers, key contacts (or connectors), associations, and sponsors
  • Regular website updates to keep relevant content front and center; and, most importantly, consistent with all other event communications
  • Preparing compelling content for the company’s email newsletter
  • Numerous “one-up” email communications, etc.
  • Planning and marketing FREE seminars
  • Managing a part-time marketing assistant
  • Preparing several handouts and fliers
  • Although no money was spent on print or television advertising, more than 300 people attended a very successful event. If you would like more inforamtion on effective and economical WOM campaigns, please contact eoecho at your convenience. We’ll be glad to help you plan and implement a WOM campaign. Continue reading

    Increase Your Sales With a Company Catalog

    Increase Your Sales With a Company Catalog

    I met with one of my clients this week to talk about his new business, which he is in the process of launching. We spent a few hours defining his “offering” after we discussed his target market.

    It’s clear you need a simple, easy to understand message when meeting with your prospects, preparing your marketing materials, and gaining referrals from your colleagues and friends. Therefore, we built a document outlining “packages” of services he wants to offer his customers. A list of bullets describing each feature for each package is included. Subsequently, we listed all of the “benefits” his customers would gain from the services within each package. Continue reading

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