Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who Is Really Marketing Your Company?

Something just occurred to me. I've been learning about social media for a while now and I am always looking for ways to communicate to businesses why it's imperative that they should add this medium to their marketing plans. Awareness campaigns. Promotions. Target large audiences. Test the market. Yes, these are all good reasons, but I just realized what social media sites have really done to our society to make this strategy enormously effective:

Social media has turned the typical consumer into a marketer for products and services.

Congratulations! You are now in the marketing profession! With social media, word-of-mouth marketing has been amplified! Not just by sharing recommendations and testimonials, but also being able to easily provide links to videos, articles and websites for products and services.

If I were a business owner, I would be crazy not to participate in this on-line movement. Consumers are savvy! They want recommendations and information. They search for and read testimonials. If your business doesn't have an on-line presence in the places that your consumers are tapped into (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin), guess what happens? You don't get their business. And your company isn't promoted to the people that they know - which is an average of 250 potential prospects.

Consumers are marketers.

That means that every person that purchases from you is a marketing campaign for your company. Can you wrap your head around that concept for just a second? Has your cranium exploded yet? Talk about mind-blowing!

I'll let you sit with that thought for now. But before you jump in to the social media pool, let me know. I wouldn't want you to drown.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Marketing Trends for 2011

It's a fact: Customers are continuing to search for information and make increasingly more purchases online. This is where consumers are, so it makes sense that marketers arrange their budgets to involve more Internet marketing efforts. And what's not to love? Internet marketing allows us to reach targeted audiences online, it's more cost-effective and it's easy to measure the results!

What does this mean for your marketing plan? It means that the traditional marketing you've been investing in is going away. What is replacing it?

1) Mobile Marketing - Who doesn't use their smart phones to check their email and search the Internet these days? You've seen the "Text to #12345 and get a free " campaigns. Welcome to the future of mobile marketing.

2) Social Media - Companies are integrating social media into their overall marketing plan now that they've realized it works. Plus, they've expanded it's use from just brand management and customer service to using it as an effective target marketing tool and to collect customer data!

3) Optimized Websites - Just because you have a website doesn't mean people can find you. If you haven't had your website optimized or it's been over a year, it's time to talk to a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist TODAY! Websites can be more than just an online brochure. It can generate leads for you if it's optimized appropriately.

As you begin or continue to utilize Internet Marketing as a primary source of lead generation for your business, remember this: Relationships will always drive loyalty and sales. Keep this in mind as you are planning your marketing communications. It's the relationships you want to develop and maintain that will be key to the success of your business.

May success find you in 2011!