Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Tag: marketers (page 1 of 5)

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 >>

[Please note we have updated our marketing news website. To receive future updates including our 2009 Marketing Plan series, add your info here | digital AIM – Email.]

Ad Design Tactics That Increase Response Rates Online

Why are ads with pictures of people seeing higher response rates than those without? Human beings read a person’s face rapidly; the emotion and feelings are conveyed before the words are even noticed. A recent survey by the MarketingSherpa suggests using people photos in your online ads will increase your response rates.

What else is working for online ad design? Here’s a chart that provides insight into ad design based on an online advertising survey of marketing professionals (click on the chart to read the full article at MarketingSherpa.com):

Ad_design_chart_09-23-08-lp

Blogging Tips, AIM Custom Media Weekly Update

Those that invest years of their time gaining experience in a particular field review a vast amount of information. Translating the information into knowledge requires the skills of organization, prioritization, and collaboration. From those with both the experience and the skills, you can acquire wisdom.

Blogging Tips
After blogging for several years now, I find the greatest value, and wisdom, comes from bloggers that express their point of view based on their personal knowledge and experience; before they send readers off to another website via a link. When you post a link on your blog, tell your readers why you recommend the link and add your own unique content. The end result creates value for your readers as you foster a relationship with them.

Did you ever wonder where the term “weblog” came from? A guy named Jorn Barger coined the term in December 1997. And yes, he has many years of experience on the web. Barger is a philosophical guy and his advice can be somewhat esoteric but he does share his wisdom. Here are a few of his blogging tips that I like from a brief article published at Wired.com:

1. Re-post your favorite links from time to time for people who missed them the first time. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading

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

More ad spend moving from offline to online in 2008

Almost every day now we can read an article that tells us how more ad dollars are migrating to online marketing campaigns. And, for good reason.

Today's example from the publisher's of AdAge Digital includes the article, "Automakers Will Steer More Spend From TV and Print Toward Digital." It'll be a banner year for Detroit — online. Not only do they understand the value in marketing online, they understand the value in taking care of their existing customers according to Susan Jacobs, president of auto consultant Jacobs & Associates. She says:

. . . expect automakers to put a lot of their efforts toward keeping their existing buyers . . . "In a down market, it's better to channel your marketing efforts on retaining your owners [existing customers] instead of on advertising to conquest new ones" . . . So car companies will focus on customer relationship management and owner-loyalty programs, she added. << Full article here at AdAge digital >>

Whether your industry is in a down market or not, focusing your attention on your existing clients to build strong customer relationships is always a good idea – one with the highest potential returns.

2008 Marketing Trends Survey

After listening to a teleseminar this afternoon – "Search Marketing Trends and Tactics" – it appears the obvious has been confirmed by marketing research; budgets for online SEO and related online marketing tactics will continue to increase. The data for the teleseminar was gathered from:

  • Surveys of 2,475 Search Engine Marketers and 711 SEM Agency Pros
  • Partnered Research
  • Lab Tests
  • In-depth Interviews with Survey Respondents
  • “Best of” Data from 500+ Research Orgs.

2008 Marketing Trends SurveyThe most interesting slide in the presentation shows the marketing pros perceived ROI for different marketing tactics. As the graphic on the right shows, house email marketing campaigns scored highest (click on the image to the right for full-size view).

Email is considered the strongest marketing tactic when compared to marketing tools such as SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (paid search marketing), public relations, direct mail, etc. 

Even though the proliferation of SPAM is reaching an all time high, email remains one of your best, and most cost-effective, tools when marketing directly to your existing customers and your extended target market.

There are several ways to effectively reach your target market online: email newsletters, PR campaigns using social networks, a blog with email capabilities, etc. As a former owner of multiple publishing companies, I have worked on marketing campaigns within a variety of industries. Each industry has unique characteristics and often it is best to collaborate with specialists to plan and implement effective strategies.

If you need help managing a proactive online marketing strategy, feel free to contact us for a free telephone consultation. Enhancing your ability to communicate with your target market can start today with a phone call (804-915-7379). Whatever questions you have – no strings attached.

Additional Resources

2008 Search Marketing Trends and Tactics
(MarketingSherpa teleseminar slides)

Mercedes-Benz Club Newsletter
(sample email newsletter designed & managed by eoecho.com)

AMG Market | Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts
(sample blog designed and managed by eoecho.com)

Exhibitor's Journal

Catalog Choice Stop the Mail

Catalog Choice is a new not-for-profit operation that lets you opt out of unsolicited mailings on a catalog-by-catalog basis. Visit the website and let them know which catalogs you do or don't want. The company will contact the advertisers sending out the catalogs for you.

This is a great method to improve target marketing for advertisers and a great way for you to save a few trees – not to mention landfill space. Visit Catalog Choice here.

Hat's off to Tech Crunch for spreading the word. 

The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing is a key component of any marketing plan in today's business world. When looking for immediate feedback, which should always be measured, direct response marketing strategies are preferred especially when it comes to trade show marketing.

Our friends over at ExhibitorsJournal.com posted a nice piece on the benefits of direct response marketing for those interested. Here's an excerpt:

For any business, it is crucial to market yourself and your “brand” to a target audience. One way this can be achieved is through direct response marketing, which is a form of marketing that is designed to achieve a direct and immediate response. Obtaining an immediate reaction can be especially important when it comes to trade show displays. Your first impression is often what detours or attracts future clients. But how does one attract the right potential clients for their business; their “brand.”

This is where direct response marketing comes in…

Targeting the right audience is one of the most important aspects of direct response marketing. In fact, experts calculate that 40% of the battle in obtaining the desired response is based on. . . . << MORE >>

Do you have a direct response marketing strategy that works? If so, please leave a comment for our readers. Thanks!

Tips For Your Proposal Graphics and Oral Presentations

The graphics (visuals) we use in our sales and marketing presentations are often gathered from canned material we use in our written proposals. But most visuals in a written proposal are far too detailed, wordy, and difficult to read when used in an oral presentation.

You’ll be far better off, and you'll save time and resources, if the graphics for both your written and oral proposals are developed from the start to serve both purposes. Here are a few quick tips when preparing your proposals and presentations:

  • Establish a working meeting for your writing/production and presentation team early in the process to ensure that what’s written is optimized by the oral presentation.
  • Provide the presenters with everything they need to know before they prepare their first draft of any oral presentation.
  • Develop graphics for your written proposals knowing that they will also be used during the  oral presentation.
  • Understand that the graphics will be enhanced during oral presentation given non-verbal communication and other delivery techniques will have a measurable impact on evaluators.
  • Role-play to anticipate the evaluators’ questions and reactions through an effective simulation (make it fun so everyone is relaxed).

Additional Resources

eoecho.com | custom publishing: we provide proposal support that reduces the load on your staff when large proposals are due. In addition, we can provide two-person teams (writers, proposal managers, etc.) and the publishing support needed for both written and oral proposals. Ph: 804-915-7379

If you are in the Washington, DC area, consider this seminar ($65 per person) hosted by the APMP-NCA (Association of Proposal Management Professionals, National Capital Area Chapter):

May 23rd Roundtable
The Blended Bid: Synergizing the Written Proposal and Oral Presentation
APMP-NCA’s May Roundtable
Time: 5:30 – 8:30 PM
Fairview Park Marriott, Falls Church, VA

Free Computer Classes Online at HP Learning Center

Mention Hewlett-Packard (HP) and we think of printers. Yes, HP sells office equipment. To increase their sales, and brand awareness, they now offer free computer classes online through the "HP Learning Center."

The HP classes are open to anyone interested in signing up. You can choose from a variety of subjects and software programs. Here's a sample list of the classes offered:

Software & Technology

  • Macromedia® Flash MX: beginning web animation
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2003: introduction
  • Adobe® Illustrator CS: introduction
  • Building your first web page
  • CorelDRAW® 12: introduction
  • Microsoft® Access, Excel, Publisher, and Windows XP
  • Project management made simple, etc.

IT Professionals

  • Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003: building your solution
  • Managing your data center
  • Network attached storage basics
  • Firewall basics
  • Linux® 101, etc.

Business Skills

  • Search engines 101: using search engines to market your business
  • Digital photography and your business
  • Run your own direct mail campaign
  • Data disaster recovery: a practical guide, etc.

In-house Marketing

  • Adobe® Acrobat®: creating PDFs  CLASS FULL!
  • CorelDRAW® 12: introduction
  • Microsoft® Publisher 2003: advanced
  • Adobe® Illustrator CS: introduction
  • Design your own business documents
  • Digital photography and your business, etc.

Real Estate

  • Real estate marketing made easy
  • Connecting to the world with your Pocket PC
  • Microsoft® Excel® 2003, advanced part 2: charts and graphics
  • Digital photography and your business- Run your own direct mail campaign

The price is right and we can always benefit by enhancing our skills. Additional details are available by visiting HP's Free Online Computer Classes. If you have experience taking a computer class through the HP Learning Center, please let us know by leaving your comments. Thanks!

2007 Marketing Wisdom Report Released

VIRGINIA, Jan. 9, 2007 – AIM Custom Media | PR News –  The 2007 Marketing Wisdom Report has been released by our friends at the MarketingSherpa. The marketing report features 110 real-life stories and tips from marketers.

Read the report to learn about improving your e-newsletters, marketing campaigns, online content, websites, and blogs. You can view and save the report by following this link: MarketingSherpa Marketing Wisdom Report – Free PDF File

Hundreds of MarketingSherpa readers contributed their stories and quotes for this fifth Annual Report. According to the MarketingSherpa, the editorial team had to winnow the stories down to the "best" submissions. There are numerous ideas and examples for your 2007 marketing campaigns.

Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make

If your using PPC (Pay Per Click) ads to boost your web traffic and sales, check out Igor's post over at his BizMord Search and Marketing Blog. His recommendations are specific and will increase your ROI in many cases:

17 Most Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make–BizMord Search and Marketing Blog
As I manage quite a few PPC campaigns I always notice the silly and sometimes not so silly mistakes that advertisers make with their PPC programs. Mistakes when creating PPC ads, click fraud detection, and lack of testing are just a few of them. Fixing each of these mistakes could mean an extra 70% of revenue or a savings of thousands of dollars every month.

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