Much to Consider When Choosing Your Marketing Supplier(s)

As a small business owner/operator, you are likely very good at making your product or providing your service. You may not have much experience, knowledge or even interest in marketing. However, you know you have to do something. In order to survive or even thrive in this ever changing, highly competitive marketplace, some action is better than no action.

You can find assistance working with various types of marketing professionals. They come in all shapes and sizes – from experts in websites, SEO, blogs, backlinks, social networking and email to writers, designers, printers and strategists. They operate as individuals, in an alliance of smaller two and three person shops, or as multimedia and ad agencies.

Today, more than ever, small business needs lead generation (finding new customers) and business development (building up current customers) tools. At the small business stage, marketing tools usually take the form of an internet presence, email, blogs, social networking activity, business cards, letterhead, brochures, flyers, newsletters, posters or advertising.

You can find suppliers to help you with acquiring prospect (potential customers) lists, database development and management, contact management software, lead generation and sales presentation tools, all internet related activities, telemarketing, direct marketing, sales training, marketing planning, strategic planning, strategic alliances, and the list goes on.

At the early stages of a small business, it is more likely that you will act as your own Marketing Manager. The alternative is to hire a qualified marketing person as your outsource Marketing Manager. It is similar to hiring an accountant to help with your bookkeeping and banking, or a contractor to help build an addition to your home.

1. Determine your needs either on your own or with the help of a professional. When I meet a new prospect for the first time, I ask the question – How can I help you get what you want? Make sure you know what you want to achieve. Be open to new ideas for reaching this goal.

2. Open your business to a supplier. Don’t make them guess at the information. No one can help you if they do not have the whole picture.

3. Develop a short list of suppliers. Do not rush to work with the first one that sounds like they can help you. Be wary of the “I can do it all myself”, or “I’m selling this particular method today” suppliers. Interview at least three suppliers.

4. Think activities through. Look for the suppliers that ask good questions – see below. If you do not have the answers to their questions, the supplier should help you find them.

5. Clarify the job, and make sure you have an agreement in writing. Every prospect I meet has at least one story of a less than productive experience with marketing, and it is not always the fault of the supplier. Understand your own experience. Be realistic and above all be clear on your objectives.

6. Be open to suggestions. After all, you are seeking out the help of a professional who has had more marketing experience than you. They may not know your market as well as you but they should have some ideas you may not have considered.

7. Work with them at every stage in the development of your marketing tools. Learn as much as you can for the next time and make certain these tools represent your company as accurately as possible.

8. Pay for what you need when you need it. This is much like working on your home. You might need to paint a room or build an entire addition. Determine what you are going to do, and then hire the best people you can find. Make sure you are comfortable with them as people and confident in their abilities. Your future depends upon it.

I have lost more sleep than I care to remember because I selected a supplier who did not or could not do what they promised. If your instincts tell you something is wrong, check it out. Talk to friends and business associates who have had more marketing experience than you or have developed a similar marketing tool. Call another supplier and discuss the project to get a different perspective. (You should have discussed this job with at least three potential suppliers before making a selection.)

QUESTIONS A SUPPLIER SHOULD ASK – The more information a supplier has, the more effective they can be in helping you reach your goals.

1. What is your real objective (what you are trying to achieve)?
2. What strategy will you employ (how you are planning to do it)?
3. What is your budget?
4. Clarify your target group(s), and be aware that your target group is not everyone. Find out who is actually buying your product or service. Is it the president or the shipper making the real decision?
5. What are your sales objectives? Are they realistic? Do you have staff to reach these objectives?
6. How does your product or service stand up against the competition? Who is your competition?
7. Why is your product or service different and why should I buy it?
8. Are you open to new ideas?
9. Is your desire to do marketing, short-term or long?
10. Are you looking for a long or short-term supplier relationship?
11. What marketing experience or existing materials, (for this product/service), do you have?
12. What past marketing successes or failures have you had with the product or service under discussion?


1. What exactly is your marketing supplier going to do for you?
2. How long will it take?
3. How much will it cost?
4. How do the services they offer fit in to the total marketing program?
5. What additional services can they provide – either directly or through associated companies?
6. Who will be working with you directly? Is it the person you are meeting now or someone else?
7. Are there going to be any additional costs?
8. What if the supplier goes over budget/estimate, are you liable?
9. What do they know about your industry?
10. How much experience have they had in your industry?
11. Do they think your expectations are realistic?
12. Can you see their past work?
13. Can they supply recent references?
14. What type of clients do they specialize in?
15. Do they offer a guarantee?
16. What rebates or discounts do I qualify for?

Twitter Marketing Strategy For Your Online Marketing Plan

Twitter, the social micro blogging site is considered to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to get thousands of targeted traffic to a site. However, you would be happy to know that, with this micro blogging social networking site, you can get a huge number of sales. Since, web traffic is the number one source of your online sales; you have got to focus on twitter marketing strategy. You would be glad to know that, in this article, I am going to tell you twitter marketing strategy for your online marketing plan.

When marketing yourself or your business on the internet, Twitter would be a great addition to your marketing arsenal. With over 105 million Twitter users, and 300,000 users signing up with Twitter daily, Twitter is a must for marketers.

The more followers you get on twitter, the more visitors you get on your site. Getting thousands of followers is the prerequisite of getting thousands of web visitors to your website. So how to get more followers on you twitter account?
Many internet marketers seem to create their accounts by their website name. Well, people love following individuals rather than following a website on twitter. Just create a twitter account with your name and try to interact with your followers. On the other hand, send direct message to them, reply their queries and retweet some of the tweets.

On twitter you shouldn’t do anything spammy. Follow your targeted audiences on twitter and some of them will follow you back. The best option here is to choose a successful internet marketer who has thousands of followers. Just go to his followers section and start following. This strategy is really great since you are adding targeted web traffic.

Whenever, you add a new blog post on your site, try to shorten the URL of your post and tweet that. Make sure that your tweets are catchy so that they could attract your followers.

Another strategy to get more followers is to put a twitter sign on your blog, so that your site visitors can directly follow you. Focus on branding your twitter page. Add your website URL, about me on your twitter page so that your followers can get a quick access to your site. Nevertheless, try to spice up your twitter page by changing the default theme.

Therefore, I can say that, if you really want to get thousands of twitter followers and get huge sales, you have got to follow the twitter marketing strategies. However, try to follow your targeted audiences, interact with them, send direct messages to them and reply their queries. Don’t be just spammy.

Internet Marketing and Strategies

If you want to grow your sales, reach a wider audience then better try internet marketing. Internet marketing is used by companies to market their products or services on the internet. They use all available resources on the internet to make their company popular and surpass competitors.

This marketing technique works by promoting your website to other users of the internet. Making your site popular will grow your revenue a lot better. Relying on expensive television ads will not be as effective as using online marketing. In this marketing technique you can reach a wide and variety of audience in days. Internet marketing techniques is so effective and inexpensive. There are things you need to know before starting your marketing campaign. You can choose from, perform banner promotions, and generate targeted online traffic and positioning your content. Either of this techniques is an effective way to drive traffic to your site, but choosing the right one that fits you is a critical factor.

Social media marketing is one of the famous techniques use by companies to promote their site. Social media marketing is all about interaction. You need regular updates and interact to the people who visit your site. In that way you establish a good relationship to your potential client. This will be a great opportunity for you to share information and promote your site.

Online marketing, men and women have different perspective in the use of internet. If your sites sell products for men see to it that its content is appropriate for your probable customer. Men likes to pick up anything they want and go directly to the cashier, so make your site direct to point to avoid your possible customer from reading a lot of product details before they can purchase. See to it that it is direct to the point description and make it short. Unlike women who like to browse, read product description thoroughly before making a purchase, your site should have a different approach. It should have more product description and update your list regularly.

Submit article into web 2.0 sites. This will greatly benefit your site. Web2.0 sites have a high page rank in search engines. Submitting your links to a site with high page rank is other way of internet marketing. This will make your site on the upper list of a search engine’s result. Search engine optimization will make your site on top of your competitors.

The Marketing Smoothie Recipe For Older Adult Services

Take your direct mail, your advertising, your website, Facebook page, special events and put them all in a blender. Combine, mix on high and serve immediately. The rich flavors will create a marketing masterpiece worthy of your finest efforts. Yields: New customers. Will keep for at least one year.

It’s true, every ingredient you add to your marketing mix is going to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign especially when you combine them and let them work together to support each other. This is especially true when appealing to older adults. Seniors usually read direct mail and watch or listen to commercials, hence the expiration date for these mediums is further out than say, print advertising. That.5% response rate you get with direct mail may bring people to your community, your store or your website. Use it wisely because it is quite expensive; however, it can boost interest and awareness about your organization when you promote your website, blog, Facebook, etc., in the mailed piece (email or snail mail).

Special events are a great place to have people sign up with their email addresses. Offer something for free, or an opportunity to win cash or a give-away and you’ll get more email addresses. Take your online magazine or website on the road — to senior fairs, to trade events, anywhere you can. Then let people see what they can learn, enjoy and gain value from by participating in your online activities.

Of course there’s a menu of options for those folks who like to consume the latest communications trends of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, too. First, connect your Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts via any one of a number of new social media management services that are often free. Then link all of that to your website. Connect the paths among all these accounts to your blog or online magazine, to reputable referral sites and of course, your RSS Feed. Promote your events on your site, within these accounts, offer special discounts, etc. via these mediums. You can even try pay-per-click advertising on search engines and referral sites.

In your monthly statements or newsletters, provide links and special advantages to using your organization’s online tools. Use signage throughout your venue to promote your online and make it worth a prospect’s while to seek out your business on the Internet.

Online strategies are far less expensive overall and are proving to be about 60% less per lead than traditional tactics. However, a slow but steady shift of funds and efforts away from the traditional methods into the online is a far more successful way to reach the older adult market. Use the next year or two to change your lead-generating diet to mostly online.

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