Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

How Web Analytics Help.

Web analytics is the study of the behavior of website visitors.

In a commercial context, web analytics especially refers to the use of data collected from a web site to determine which aspects of the website work towards the business objectives; for example, which landing pages encourage people to make a

We live in the information age and analytics are a great information gathering tool. Unfortuanatly, some people beleive that the more hits you get the more conversions you get. Not necessarily! What is the point of having a million visitors to your website a day yet only 5 people actually decide to purchase your products. You optimize your website for search engines and you run a pay per click campaign. Your daily visitors increase and your website is getting traffic and you think it's the solution to all your problems. No, we still have the pesky little problem of converting that traffic into sales or newsletter sign-ups or whatever type action you want visitors to take. This is where analytics swoop in and save the day.

In order to have your online business succeed, it is vital to understand exactly how your website works and where the weak points are situated. Having a web analytics solution can help you in developing strategies to acquire new visitors, retain existing visitors, understand visitor paths, understand visitor behavior, search terms and the search engines that drive your traffic, pages that are visited most, main exit pages, and maximazation of your profit.

With a Web Analytics solution:

  • Monitor where your traffic is coming from (IP Addresses)
  • Track unique visitors and how many sessions they have.
  • View the path of your visitors (Time spent on each path and the sequence of browsing)
  • See what were the top entry pages, top exit pages and how many files they downloaded
  • See what pages are giving you referral traffic
  • View which search engines are referring traffic, and which search terms are providing traffic.
  • You can see the demographics of your visitors.
  • Track referrals and affiliates that provide traffic to your site.
Once a complete analysis of the user behavior has been completed, decisions can be made for your marketing strategy. After the in-depth web log analysis is complete, any changes to the website can be made in order to ensure you don't lose visitors who may be interested in your product or service.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Why should I choose Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing?

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a very simple concept. It is about producing sales leads. Instead of utilizing advertising dollars to annoy people that have no need of your products or are just not interested. You concentrate on people that are looking for you or the type of products or services you offer to be more precise, inbound marketing vs. direct marketing.

PPC advertising is quickly becoming the advertising choice for small business owners.
Why is it so attractive to small business owners? Well, it's affordability!!!

Imagine advertising on the television and not having to pay for that advertising unless a potential customer sees the advertising and actually picks up the phone and calls your business or even better, they get in their vehicle and actually drive to your store. Well, that is exactly what you get with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. You don't have to pay for the ad until someone actually clicks on the ad or with some PPC programs you are also charged for a certain number of impressions (views), usually after about thousand views you are charged a small fee. With PPC you actually set the price of how much you are willing to pay and then your account is deducted each time your ad is clicked. There is no set price, it is determined by the competition for that particular keyword and several other factors calculated by the PPC provider you are advertising with (Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter, and Yahoo). However, compare the cost of this service with that of a billboard or television and radio. Quite a large savings in cost. PPC may be a cost effective alternative to other traditional forms of advertising, however, it can still be a very expensive investment if not managed carefully. In general, the budget for PPC search engine advertising may be a $100 to $100,000 depending on the number of keywords used. These prices can increase easily as more and more sites bid for the same keyword.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Link Building for Your Website

Link building is an extraordinary way of making your website or blog popular. This process of creating inbound links to your website utilizes: newsletters, directories, search engines, and anything else a crafty marketer can think of. Link building has several advantages. It helps in getting quality traffic from relative sights which increases sales. The higher the quality of incoming links the more valuable search engines will see your website. Link building is a valuable tool in creating awareness, visibility, and the credibility of your website. Through proper link building, your site will obtain wider search engine exposure and help to get your website indexed by search engines. The quickest and simplest way of building links to your website or blog is through the use of directories.

Web directories are collections of web pages that contain similar subjects and contents. Internet users see directories as a valuable source of information. The more directories that your website becomes listed in the better chance that your site will be added to the popular search engine listings: google, yahoo, msn.....etc.

What do you get out of directories?
There are 3 types of traffic that directory listings supply:

1. Click-through traffic-anyone who ends up on the directory page will be able to see your website and information.

2. Indexing your site-once directories find the links to your website, they will begin indexing the pages and bringing you traffic again and again.

3. By increasing your ranking on the search engines themselves when they find the volume of links and references to your website or blog.

Link building is one of the best ways to improve your traffic to your website or blog. The higher the quality of the links to your page the higher page rankings you will achieve in search engines. However complicated or time consuming it may be, building links to your website will help to improve your site traffic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Affiliate Marketing Works.

Affiliate marketing is a simple but effective way of exposing your products to a wide range of viewers. With this internet marketing practice a business pays affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's efforts. Basically it is a type of crowdsourcing. This form of marketing utilizes a very simple process:

  1. First, the affiliate agrees to feature the merchants products on thier website.
  2. A potential new customer views the affiliate's website.
  3. Next, there is an action such as clicking the ad, the result of which the viewer is sent to the merchant's website, via your personal affiliant link.
  4. If the customer goes on to make a purchase, it will be tracked back to you since they entered the merchant's site using your affiliate link.
  5. Upon a successful transaction, the affiliate will be credited for the sale and given a commision.
Affiliate marketing has basically three main components:
  1. The Merchant
  2. The Publisher
  3. The Consumer
The merchant is the seller. The merchant is the one that wants to advertise their products to as many potential buyers as possible. Next we have the publisher. This is the affiliate, the one that writes great sales copy to get thier viewers to click onto the merchant's site. Then we have the consumer. This of course is the person that completes the transaction and makes money for everyone.

So how do you know if your blog or website will be an excellent candidate for affiliate marketing?

You have to take a few things into consideration.
  1. Having high traffic is a key component to your website or blog.
  2. Next you have to find relevant products or services that relate to your website or blog.
  3. You also want these products and services to be of good quality. (If you reccommend low quality products to your readers then they may begin to distrust your message.)
  4. Your readers have to also be in a buying mood. You can have the best product or service for sale but if some one isn't in the mood to make a purchase then it just won't matter.
  5. This is where the ability to write good sales copy comes into play. If you can write outstanding copy, then you may be able to influence the buyers mood and swing them to make a purchase.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What is Email Marketing?

I remember a time when we had to make a trip to the store to buy envelops, paper, and pens. Then on our way back home or to the office we stopped at the local Post Office to buy book after expensive book of stamps. Then we we prepared our correspondence and had to make another trip to the post office and wait in long lines to send our marketing messages to our customers only to have them thrown in the trash without ever being opened. Thank the marketing gods that technology has advanced and cut our costs dramatically. Email marketing is simply defined as the email that you send to a customer or potential customer. Email marketing is usually broken down into three segments:
  • Sending direct promotional emails to try and acquire new customers or persuade existing customers to buy again.
  • Sending emails designed to encourage customer loyalty and enhance the customer relationship.
  • Placing your marketing messages or advertisements in emails sent by other people.
What makes electronic email so popular?
  1. Sending email is cheaper than most other forms of communication.
  2. Email lets you deliver your message to the people.
  3. Email marketing has proven successful for those who do it (Well, those that do it right).
Email marketing is a wonderful tool for the multi-channel marketer, however, it has its problems. First the designing and delivering of email messages to the right people can be a very complex task. This complexity can be minimized by using email services such as Constant Contact or iContact these email marketing services offer businesses solutions to their email and survey campaign management. A list of the 2009 top ten online email marketing services and reviews can be viewed at Next you have to get the recipients to read and respond to your message. Then finally you have to measure and analyze the results.

IMPORTANT: Don't be a Spammer!!!
If you send emails to people without the email owners permission then it is SPAM. If you are accused of sending spam, then you may have your email accounts
closed down, your website shut off, and your reputation tarnished. Some parts of the world it is against the law.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What is Search Engine Optimization?

So you have finally decide to make the investment and create a website to promote your business or service. Or maybe you just started a blog and you want to get the word out about it. After you have told all of your friends and family about your website and emailed your contacts and associates, its time to step up into the big leagues and get world wide promotion. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO is important tool because it helps in creating qualified customers. Instead of going out into the street and yelling to everyone that you are selling widgets, these are people that are actually looking for widgets (excuse me sir, do you have any widgets for sale). Now you can turn your campaign to people that really want what you have instead of wasting valuable marketing dollars on non-widget buyers. This alone should help to create an improvement on your marketing Return on Investment (ROI). SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Search captures an individual at the moment they view query results, creating immediate sales opportunities. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to indexing activities of search engines. Web crawlers (a computer program that browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner) are one of these such indexing activities. Being one of the most cost effective methods of advertising, search engines are the primary way Internet users find websites. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) continues to deliver the highest pre-qualified audience online.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What is Brand Management and Why is It important?

Wilkepedia defines Brand Management as the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand. It seeks to increase the product's perceived value to the customer and thereby increase brand franchise and brand equity. Marketers see a brand as an implied promise that the level of quality people have come to expect from a brand will continue with future purchases of the same product.
How is brand measured, usually by comparing one brand to another. For example, Burger King vs. McDonald's. The whole point in a nutshell is what do people think of my product as compared to my competition. Are my products considered to be of higher quality or of lower quality or perhaps equal. The higher the perception of quality, usually the higher price that the brand is able to charge. The more value that your products provide to customers, the higher quality that your brand will be perceived to be. Business Week offers an annual guide of The World's Best Brands that list the 100 top companies in order of brand value. Next important question. Why do brands matter and to who? There are two groups of stakeholders, consumers and producers.
Consumers value brands because they offer:
  • Identification of source product.
  • Gives an assignment of responsibility to the product maker.
  • Reduces dis-satisfaction risk.
  • Search cost reducer.
  • Establishes a bond with the product producer.
  • Provides a sign of quality
Producers value brands because they offer:
  • Offer a means of identification to simplify handling or tracking.
  • Its a means of legally protecting unique features.
  • Provides a quality level to satisfied customers.
  • Source of competitive advantage.
  • Source of financial returns.
Brands are considered tiny businesses within a company and the brand managers in charge of them have several duties to attend to:
  • Monitoring the competitive landscape of the category in which your brand resides.
  • Developing strategies to exploit market opportunities.
  • Executing those strategies with the help of a cross-functional team.
  • Delivering the sales volume, market share, and profit projections for the business.
Brand managers craft elegant business plans and submit them to senior management. They focus on the minutiae of a daily sales-volume report, and they dream big dreams when it’s time to update the vision for the brand.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What is Tween Marketing?

Tween Marketing usually referes to the promotion of products and services to young people between the ages of six and twelve. This multi-billion dollar industry deals with views and attitudes that are constantly changing. These tweens that use to be happy playing with toys now turn their attention to music, fashion, and their individuality.

Why is this tweenie market so attractive to marketers, well besides the multi-billion dollar price tag? Tweens are young and uninformed about the world of advertising. Tweens are aware of shopping, however, they lack the skills to make informed buying decicions. "Childhood" once was thought of as the post toddler stage to adolescence, now there is a new stage created mostly by the consumer age. Tweenies are easy to target with children oriented advertising strategies. Tweenies have a massive buying power. They have the power to dictate household spending on items such as clothing, activities, foods, drinks, and groceries. Children have a positve response to triggers in advertsing. They are brand savy and make choices based on image, appearance of items and brand names. They believe in upgrading and replacing items in line with trends, and they move rapidly from one purchasing desire to another. Holiday's such as Christmas and Easter are excellent Tween marketing opportunites. During these times Tweens can be persuaded into holding a desire for the latest toy, game, clothing, music, or piece of technology. Highly visual, colorful, musical messages are excellent for Tween marketing and advertising campaigns. From a disposable income perspective, tweens represent the largest audience,segment or group. The tweenies mareket has become hot property in the advertising world. These 6 to 12 year olds are the next generation of consumers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What is Interactive Marketing

The latest craze in today's marketing feeding frenzy is interactive marketing. This new tool that has been added to the marketers' tool belt is yet another term that gets thrown around with little or no discussion of what it actually is or how it works. Wilkipedia defines interactive marketing as the evolving trend in marketing whereby marketing has moved from a transaction-based effort to a conversation. The definition of interactive marketing comes from John Deighton at Harvard, who says interactive marketing is the ability to address the customer, remember what the customer says and address the customer again in a way that illustrates that we remember what the customer has told us (Deighton 1996).
Interactive marketing takes marketing to a new level. We as marketers are scientist that constantly test human behavior. We want to know how people respond to certain colors, certain ad copy, banners, pop up ads, and any thing else that may get us a sell. Unfortunately, all of this testing tends to become expensive. Sometimes we have to run advertising campaigns blind and then see how the public responds. Yes, we can employ focus groups to test our theories, however, taking a small sample can be mis-leading. For example, lets say that you live near the beach and you decide to go to the ocean. One day while at the ocean you wonder if there are any fish in the ocean so you take a bucket and dip it into the ocean. When you pull your bucket out of the water you find that there are no fish in it, therefore you reason there are no fish in the ocean. We both know that this is a very WRONG conclusion. This is very similar to test groups when dealing with marketing. Sometimes we are just looking in the wrong place. Interactive marketing helps us to deal with this problem. Interactive
marketing allows us to have a dialogue with our customers. It's like mailing a letter to the fish and asking them where they live. We can even take it further and ask what they like and why they like it. Interactive marketing is a chance for marketers to get it right. We can use it to deliver more value to customers by identifying products and services that customers need and want, then deliver those products and services to them. Interactive marketing empowers the buyer. It allows the buyer to have a say in the purchases they make. No more provide it and they will buy it, rather, provide what they want and they will buy it. Well hopefully they will!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social marketing has become an important part of many a marketer's tool kit. Its metamorphosis into the choice buzzword for today's marketing specialist as they find that social bookmarking and social media websites are valuable sources for their needs. Wilkipedia defines social marketing as the systematic application of marketing along with other concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioral goals. Social marketing actually began as a way of promoting social good, for example, trying to promote exercise for a growing population of obese citizens. However, its commercial use roots began around the 1970's and has matured into an integrated customer relationship management platform. Social marketing's vast expansion may be contributed to factors such as technological advances, growing market competition, and its relative low cost. The market place has met the demand for our world's increasing need for social outlets with a hybrid of technology/social platforms such as facebook, flicker, twitter, and several others.

These websites have reunited friends, family members, and classmates. I once heard that a dead beat dad was tracked down by his kids on Social media advertising has become a trusted way of learning about a product or service before you actually purchase it. If everybody raves about the product then you tend to think it may be something you want or a
atleast want to know more about. This creates the buzz and buzz is a key concept to social marketing. The bigger the buzz the bigger the views and that means the more impressions for advertisers. Social media marketing gives marketers a chance to interact with their customers/potential customers. This helps to add to the whole experience for the customer, consequently adding value. Social media marketing seems to be the new way of marketing. It should not be feared or underestimated. We should embrace it. It is an extraordinary and relatively low priced multi-channel marketing tool that will continue to flourish as technology advances and people continue to want to be a part of communities and groups.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

With increasing advertising cost and greater competition to sell products and services to consumers we, as marketeers, must form new strategies in order to keep our organizations competitive.  In a constantly changing environment we must stay lean and flexible in order to adapt and overcome.  One helpful tool on our tool bet would be the use of Guerrilla Marketing Tactics.  The real magic of guerrilla marketing is taking a calculated marketing pitch and making it seem that it's a spontaneous unique interaction of information.  This new marketing technique has become  popular due to its reliance on energy, creativity, and imagination rather than large marketing budgets.  Guerrilla marketing usually consists of  street stunts, product giveaways, and any other public display that a creative marketeer can think of.  Basically you are trying to get the maximum exposure with the least amount of resources.  There really are no rules to guerrilla marketing that's where we get the name from.  Jay Conread Levinson, author of the book "Guerrilla Marketing:  Secrets for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business" has been credited with the creation of the phrase.  Using guerrilla marketing tactics have allowed small businesses to compete with large corporations.  It is the ultimate in viral marketing sparking interest that gets passed on from person to person until an entire marketing target segment is infected with product buzz and just hopefully they decide to buy the product.  With the constant improvement in technology and the explosion of the Internet superhighway, guerrilla marketing is now being initiated in chat rooms and social blogs.  Extremely determined marketeers, such as myself, have even used text messaging, which is highly effective for parties and events, to spread the word.  Guerrilla marketing may be a new and crude form of marketing, however, it is a deadly weapon in the multi-channel marketing professionals arsenal.      

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Television Killed the Radio but Who Killed the TV?

Television by any marketer's standards is an exciting tool for getting your message out.  It offers not only sound but also a visual picture for your audience.  This double message reinforcement has helped to build franchise empires such as McDonald's and Coca Cola.  We have all sat back on Superbowl day and watched in amazement at the largest yearly advertising event entertain us with outstanding movie like commercials.  The next day everyone races to the office water cooler to laugh about the new commercial they saw the day before.  But someone wants to take all of this water cooler chatter away?  Who is the dirty rotten scandal that seeks to make the job of every marketer harder?  None other than the criminal minded TIVO and DVR.  These two partners in crime have single handily destroyed the the advertising campaigns of countless marketers.  Don't get me wrong, I think whomever created the technology should win a Nobel Peace Prize.  However, the amount of commercials that get fast forwarded are continuing to grow exponentially.  DVR penetration, for US homes, is expected to climb between 30% and 35% by 2010, according to an article on Businessweek .com (Watching the TIVO Effect).  So the Million or Billion dollar question that I ask all of you Marketers and Advertisers out there is how do we combat this phenomenon?  How do we do what we do best and find a way to take advantage of the trend and increase company profits? 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is Multi-Channel Marketing and Why is it Important?

Multi-Channel Marketing to most marketeers is the use of many different marketing channels to reach customers.  For example, using radio, television, and social media marketing to get the word out about the new Eminem CD.  Your objective, as always with marketing, is to make it easier for your customers to buy products from your organization.  Basically, we are offering customers more than one way to buy products from us.  But why is multi-channel marketing so important.  Well, many different reasons.  First it makes things easier for the customer so they are more likely to continue with their purchases.  We all know that convenience is a key component to customer service. Next  multi-channel marketing allows the company more opportunities to interact with their customers.  More interaction leads to building customer relationships and that leads to more purchases.  Customer interaction, particularly website or phone calls, allows marketers to gather important customer data that can later be used for  developing mailing list, or for future promotions or branding campaigns.  Multi-channel marketing is essentially bringing together a complete and cohesive marketing campaign that provides value to customers and profit to the organization.