You may have seen these bizarre-looking symbols on a store front or Realtor sign and wondered what it was. These are QR Codes—scannable bar codes that act like web hyperlinks. A cell phone users scans it and is directed to a website, video, or a URL on the Internet.
Is the recession officially over? Most economists are saying that the recession ended somewhere between July and September of 2009. Maybe I missed something. Or maybe economists just make good money. How does that saying go…? “It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.”
Just in case we didn’t get the memo and the recession really is over, here’s the first item on the post-recession agenda.
Predicting the future is always risky business. But a recent article, Four Mega Trends Shaping the Future of Commerce, gives an insightful look into what that future might hold.
In the next decade, we’ll see more change in the commerce landscape than in the past 100 years combined.The reason? Four mega trends being driven by consumers are dramatically changing buying and selling habits as we know them. Merchants of all types—from brick-and-mortar retail outlets to non-profits, to manufacturers and even those selling online—need to ensure they’re keeping pace or risk going the way of Blockbuster, Borders and the dinosaurs.
One of those trends is the merging of mobile and local search which, according to the article, “is leading to the creation of entirely new business models and opportunities for merchants and consumers alike.”
The following was a guest post at TMR’s Direct Mail and Marketing Blog.
In their book, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg say that …
…customers want to enter into dialogs with businesses, to establish relationships, participate in the conversations, and be more in control of the exchange. They expect a level of personal communication tailored to their needs and wants—relevance and context are their top priorities. (p 41)
That sums up the philosophy behind inbound marketing in a nutshell. Customers are in control. They TiVo past commercials, subscribe to commercial-free satellite radio, circumvent pop-up ads with pop-up blockers, opt out of receiving phone books, and use caller ID or the “do not call” registry to avoid telemarketers.
Sometimes, “selling” is a dirty word to the those of us in the professional services industry, and we do everything we can to avoid appearing like that’s what we’re doing.
… I would do anything to avoid directly asking for the sale—especially if it meant I had to quote a price. Instead, I took the softer, gentler approach and buried the cost somewhere on page nine of my 10-page proposal. But after a few years, I began to grow weary of the “prepare a proposal and hope” strategy.
Like it or not, you’ve already branded yourself in the minds of your customers. That can be a good thing or a bad thing…
When we think about commercial brands, we tend to think of a name, logo, or slogan … anything that is used to identify and distinguish a specific product, service, or business. But on a more basic level, a brand is an identification mark … like when a rancher or farmer uses a branding iron to mark an animal to indicate ownership. A mark can also be a symbol of disgrace or infamy …
In my latest SitePoint article, I talked about inbound vs. outbound marketing. In case the difference isn’t clear to you, here’s a quick definition of inbound marketing:
A marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers, where the customers find you through various search engine marketing efforts, social media, or word-of-mouth referrals.
Outbound or traditional marketing would be things like print advertising, direct mail, cold-calling, and television and radio advertising—essentially, anything a company does to find customers, as opposed to “being found.”
It’s become quite vogue to characterize outbound marketing as “old school.” But is traditional marketing really as dead or ineffective as inbound marketers claim?
I’m conducting some intensive training for the lead generators I manage and oversee, based on curriculum from appointment setting expert Scott Channell. I’ve broken the training into four distinct phases. Although this is specifically geared towards cold-calling, the steps in this process apply to any type of marketing you do.
The first step in the process is What to Say when you have a decision-maker’s attention. Whether that’s over the phone or on your web site, you’re going to have to plan in advance what you’re going to say. If you don’t have something very compelling to tell them, you will lose them. Without the right message, even the person who has a need for your product or service will tell you ‘no.’
I’d like to think I’m a good boss, but I’m certain that at least a few of the people working for me hate me this week.
That’s because I’ve been subjecting them to some extensive training on setting sales appointments. The first step was to develop an effective script. Everyone worked hard coming up with a good one, and today we completed our final drafts. I gave everyone until Monday to make any last-minute tweaks and to practice, practice, practice before launch day.
But a few of the more rebellious ones decided to start using the new script right away. In the first hour after today’s meeting, 3 people set appointments with their new script; and one person used a portion of his to overcome an objection and book an appointment. Way to go, team!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of our techniques and strategies, successes and failures. Regardless of how you’re marketing, I think you’ll read something to help in your endeavors.
In my last post, I talked about how raising prices can actually bring you in more business, reduce your workload and make you more profitable. The reason is simple: raising prices drives away the cheapskate customers. And what’s left are the ones who spend the most.
Another way to accomplish this is to deliberately target customers who spend the most. The idea here is to clone your best customers.
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.