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The New Marketing Landscape
Many of us in the marketing services and/or agency business are starting to see some real tangible marketing patterns emerging that businesses need to be aware of if they want to leverage their marketing dollars in this "post .com implosion economy."
Good Web Site Design increasingly More Important
It's imperative for a company to have a quality web site today - but many firms are still throwing up web sites that are just poorly designed or overly complex. Poor navigation (menus and overall site structure) when coupled with low quality graphics is really problematical (!) - online visitors think less of your company as a result which will hurt revenue in the long run. Many think just doing a minimal job is sufficient but they aren't factoring in how close your competition is! On the web any potential customer is only one click away from seeing a high quality web site that is well designed and conveys a quality image
A good rule of thumb when budgeting for a web site is to assume you will pay approximately $250-300. USD per page - this should include your graphics design, content development, setting up registration forms, etc. This may sound too expensive for many companies but for better or worse perception is reality in the online world! So, don't short change yourself, put some resources into your web site and be prepared to continue to do so - it's now a vital component of any company's ongoing marketing processes that needs constant upgrading like traditional marcom (PR, print, etc.) materials.
Opt-in E-Mail Trending Down but still Viable
Opt-in or permission based e-mail (meaning people give you "permission" to market to them) response rates for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer are dropping below where they were a year ago by 30-50% on average. What's happening? The ever-increasing deluge of Spam is negating the throughput (response rates, purchases, etc.) of quality opt-in e-mail.
Opt-in e-mail is still a viable and excellent way to market your company but expect less results, lower costs/fees (more vendors equals more competition which is good) and the need to repeat your campaigns if you want to see tangible results. And don't get dazzled by a design firm or your in house marketing staff that wants to design a fancy HTML e-mail message for you - 65-75% of the market today still doesn't want fancy graphics, they want a short message, delivered concisely with short paragraphs in a text format. Less is more!
Performance Based Marketing on Upswing
Publishers and advertisers are more and more willing to accept advertising which is "performance based" and/or based on a "cost per click" or even a revenue share basis. Meaning, it's not like putting an ad in the USA Today and hoping people respond to the publication - you can now work with list brokers, online publishers and marketing organizations to setup very targeted campaigns that are based on your paying a small cost for an actual response to your message via an opt-in e-mail campaign, text link ad on a web site and/or an insert in a newsletter.
Case in point, companies like Virtumundo, Inc. (they are a pioneer in the performance based market) are now willing to charge nothing upfront in many cases for an advertising campaign and to just do a revenue share with you on the back end; this is typically 20-40% of your SRP, will vary depending upon your goods and/or services. And, they will do a test campaign prior to a full-bore campaign to make sure that the response rates will be worth their investment.
Another key benefit to any business that wants to leverage the shifts occurring in performance-based marketing is its inherent ability to be highly targeted. You can tie a marketing process (campaign) to web site, newsletter or pay per click search engine (Overture and now via Google's Ad Words Program) with specific demographics that are highly qualified and targeted. Contrast this again with the traditional print medium where you can target to a certain extent; but not like performance-based marketing. Consider an add again (for example) in the sports section of the USA Today - it will clearly deliver a sports enthusiast, but not a male who plays tennis that lives in the Western US, etc. And, better targeting will always deliver better results, assuming all other issues are on a level playing field.
Search Engine Marketing still a Mystery to Many
I hate to say it but most of the web sites we analyze still don't have the basic HTML fundamentals (Title, Keywords, Description) in-place so their sites can/will be indexed (reviewed by an automated bot/software agent) properly. Their title is wrong (don't repeat your company name), there are too many keywords (you want 8-12) or the wrong keywords and the description of the company is either poorly written or reads like yet another "mission statement" that has been developed by the CEO/CFO and three Senior VPs. This is basic block and tackling marketing and should be setup properly when a web site is designed.
Be prepared to deploy some marketing resources for quality Search Engine Marketing - it's fiercely competitive for web site rankings; you've got 3-5K web sites coming online every single day of the week and many are trying to drive market awareness via S/Engine ranking. What's a rule of thumb of what to pay for standard S/Engine Marketing Services: i.e. Title/Description Development, Keyword Analysis, Content Rewrites, etc.? Costs can vary tremendously, depending on your market segment, web site size, what type of services you outsource, competitive issues, etc. Generally expect to pay $3-6K for a basic 3-4 month campaign and then some modest fee for ongoing maintenance (say $200-500.per month). There are alternative sophisticated S/Engine processes that cost much more than this, but these are typically suited for companies that have a good sized marketing budget and or a large web site that necessitates a different approach.
About The Author
Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience - he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc., http://www.intelective.com a results-driven marketing services company providing proprietary services to clients encompassing startups to public companies.
Viral Marketing! Are You Missing Out?
Many of you are reading this article because you would like to further promote your Internet business and are looking for new ways in which to do this. You have read lots of articles covering various Internet Marketing techniques and are still looking for the "Holy Grail" strategy that will take your website to a higher level. After all, others are achieving this so why shouldn't you.
I Don?t Smoke, But I Love a Good .sig!
.sig, or "Dot Sig" as it's affectionately known, stands for "Signature File" and is the text and (usually) other contact information placed at the bottom of email or other computer-based correspondence. It is traditionally used for things like phone numbers, alternate email addresses, mailing addresses, web site addresses, etc. However the real truth is, it can contain anything the author wishes to include. It is like having your very own piece of legitimate, non-intrusive, socially acceptable, 100% SPAM-free advertising space on every piece of email you send or posting you ever make!
5 Ways To Treat Your Website Like An Employee And Reap The Rewards
People often come to me in a state of crisis and say their website isn't working. Usually they're in a cold sweat:
George Bushs Secret To Successful Internet Marketing
Former U.S. president, George Bush Senior told the following story during a broadcast back in 1989...
Taking E-mail Marketing To The Next Level
Many types of Internet advertising don't work as well as they once did. People have gotten used to banners and don't click on them. Some ezines have failed to keep their readers' interest and ads sometimes get less response.
Discover Which Sales Triggers Are Most Effective When Mixed With SEO!
We all know the importance of gaining top visibility to a specific target audience on the major search engines. After all, you really need qualified traffic or those who are actually searching for goods and services that you are offering. While most of the time, we teach folks about the importance of doing good keyword research and/or behavioral research to ensure they are attracting an "ideal" target audience, there is another more natural aspect that I'd like to just touch on here.
The ABCs of Online Customer Support
Want to provide great online customer support? Want to provide the kind of customer support that will grow your business, by building customer loyalty and satisfaction? It's not as hard as it sounds! Just remember your ABC's.
A New Way to Profit From Your Content-Based Website
"It's a labor of love." That's how I've always described my content-based website. Until the last year or so, what I meant is that my website paid me in love more frequently than it paid in money. And if visitor compliments and good karma paid the mortgage, that would have been fine.
Its a Community Thing!
You have this great website, you have sent out e-mails regarding your services, printed out hundreds of brochures which you have given to friends and relatives, but what you really need is to get people talking about what you offer. You know that if you can do that, people will recommend you to others and your client base will begin to grow. Sounds great, doesn't it? But how on earth do you get people talking?
Attract More Orders
Attracting More Orders! Jump Starting Sales! Sky-Rocketing Profits! Whatever you want to call it. It all boils down to one thing, MORE TRAFFIC! And the different ways to get it. Here's some more ideas to try.
Internet Marketing Success Requires a Plan (Part I)
The days when you could just slap up a Website and wait for the money to roll in are long gone. Success today depends on knowing your target audience and having an effective strategy to reach them. Upfront planning is what separates winning Internet marketing endeavors from failures.
You Know Youre an Internet Marketer When...
Did you make the switch from corporate slave to independent consultant? If so, you may be part of the subculture known as "The Internet Marketer's Club." Out here on the Web, things are done a little differently. Nine to Five is a forgotten phrase. "Corporate casual" means tossing on a pair of lounge pants before booting up your laptop. Business meetings are held in the upper right-hand corner of your computer screen!
GoDaddy?s Super Bowl Commercial Success
GoDaddy made a calculated decision to nationally "brand" their name using the Super Bowl commercial. They also decided to make their commercial "news" by making it a racy play off of last year's Janet Jackson fiasco using the Senate Hearings theme. This made the commercial more then just a commercial. It made it News. I read about the commercial in Time magazine 2 weeks before the Super Bowl even aired it. Using this clever trick GoDaddy was able to make the most of their airtime by receiving press before and after the commercial. This extra press only further "branded" their name with consumers.
Using Web Technology as a Means to Strengthen Competitive Advantage
Many firms underestimate the value of using their websites to gain significant competitive advantage in their given markets. Most businesses only utilize their website as a means of displaying their corporate profile, list of products as well as things like their contact details and email address.
How To Make Make Money From a Website
I've had numerous conversations with web entrepreneurs about this topic and many of them agree that the revenue models for web business are often poorly thought out and depend too heavily on advertising for success. Back in the DotComBoom it was accepted that you didn't have to worry too much about your revenue model, it was all about investment capital and IPO's. Of course this eventually led to a crash and nowadays web business, like normal business, has to show sound revenue models and profit forecasts. They need a sustainable way to make money - who would have thought that!
Six Lesser-Known Online Marketing Ideas
Uniqueness is what separates each business, its services and its products. The difference gives buyers and on-line visitors a way of measuring this against that. It also makes the difference on their decision to buy.
Four Steps To Eliminate Frustration and Turn Your Online Failure Into Internet Success
OK, you've been bustin' your butt trying to make money online, but it's just not working out.
The Paradigm Shift of Internet Marketing
There is a trend going on in the world of internet marketing. If you truly open your eyes and pay attention to everything in the internet marketing world, you will notice this specific trend that is rapidly invading our email inboxes from every internet marketing guru out there. This trend is a marketing shift from text ebooks to more high valued products like multimedia online presentations and software products.
How Can You Can Go From Zero To Hero Overnight? Viral Marketing!
Everyone has heard about viral marketing but what is it and how long will it survive?
How To Build a Successful Online Reputation
After running an online business (web site design) for a number of years I built a reputation online that helps me to gain and retain a continuous flow of customers. I had no online reputation when beginning my business, but was able to build it up step by step over the last few years.
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