Internet Marketing

Buckshot Marketing: What's REALLY Working?

Is your marketing really working? How do you know? Are those pens you are handing out really making an impression? Is the time you spend on Twitter and other social medias paying off? Are your endless networking meetings paying off?

How do you know?

This has been one of the challenges put before business owners and marketers, given that there are so many factors that contribute to marketing, and so many different effects different types of contacts have on different audiences. This is another reason why, in order to get the most out of your marketing dollars, it is difficult to justify taking a broad stroke approach to marketing, thinking that everyone in your target market is going to accept the same sort of input.

What’s been interesting was a quick study I did with a number of marketers that I have associations with. I created an elevator pitch that I thought provoked imagery, thought, questions and provided solutions. For the sake of the article, I am including it here:

We help business leaders create extraordinary futures for their businesses.

Aepiphanni provides strategic planning, business architecture and a wealth of resources to help businesses reaching critical growth phases cut costs, work more efficiently and reach aggressive revenue goals. We specialize in small and medium-sized privately owned companies focused on professional & creative services, Software & IT, Restaurants & Catering and Design Services.

We’ve helped clients increase their billing by up to 3000%. One of our clients in the film production industry was able to triple his billing rates, scoring a Public Service Announcement for $16,000, where he originally intended to bill for no more than $5,000. Another client of ours repositioned their company to move from selling individual services to creating long term paid relationships with their clients. Her highest billing for any client had been $2,000, where their last proposal was for $50,000. Additionally, they have needed to increase staff and create systems and processes, which allowed them to increase the company’s workload and thus increase revenues by 25%, despite the economy.

It’s not complicated; it’s about doing what makes sense. We equip business leaders with the tools to build extraordinary futures for their businesses. Trust our knowledge. Trust our Experience. Trust our Results.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting. The Business Strategy People.

To me, this is appealing. In my mind, this was flawless. True to the nature of different types of people, every marketing expert I shared this with had different thoughts on it as will you. One thought the first sentence was too intangible, where another one thought it was great. In my mind, it opened up to the question, �how do you do that?� which was answered in the second question. Others thought that it should stop after the third paragraph, where others, still, thought the fourth paragraph was the hook. The elevator speech I created is, essentially, the laundry list of answers to the questions people ask me about what I do.

In the same manner, broad stroke marketing probably won�t be as effective as finding a way to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. How do you determine that? By determining what you would like to accomplish, first, then creating a strategy to get there.

You begin, of course, by defining what you hope to accomplish, as you would if you are thinking of doing anything. Let�s take fishing as an example.

Define the goal: We are going fishing. If you don�t know or state that you would like to go fishing, what are you going to prepare for? Are you just going to walk around doing stuff, never finding the satisfaction you are seeking?

Now that you�ve decided you want to go fishing, you might want to decide why you are going fishing � is it for fun, for sport, competition, or whatever. If you are just seeking to get out of the house, drop a pole in the water and not actually catch anything (objective � a bit a peace and quiet!), well, you�ll prepare differently then you would if you were seeking to go fishing for salmon.

So, say we are going fishing for a particular type of wild salmon. What do we need to know? Where are they, when are they there and what do you need to have in order to catch them? How many do you need to catch? Putting things in this perspective helps you not just look in terms of success (I caught a fish THIS BIG) but also have the tools in place to determine if you are successful.

Now, what are you going to do if you are unsuccessful? You will probably do something different � maybe change your bait, change your location, get a quieter motor, or whatever you think you need to do to get closer to the fish that are biting. You might even do some homework and read up on how other people are doing it successfully. You�ll separate the quacks (a little dynamite helps) from the experts (Use a .345 swish flip tied fly) to the practical (if you wait until spring, the Colorado River will be teaming with jumping salmon. You can catch them at Great Bear rock) and put together a strategy that will help YOU accomplish the goal YOU have.

Developing your marketing strategy will be nearly the same. While you might hope to throw out a net and see what you get, a targeted approach to your marketing is going to allow you to put more resources and efforts into a small niche audience. Where do they gather or get their information? How do they receive the information � is it in print, audio or video? What are their problems, or what are they looking for solutions to? Why would they respect your company? Does your company have the right appearance, appear in the right circles and demonstrate the right expertise?

From my observations, there is no one-size-fits-all-guaranteed-90-days-to-long-term success solution that works for everyone. Marketing needs to be authentic, transparent and appealing to those you are targeting. Of course, that is a no-brainer. What is REALLY working will take your company some time to develop. It will require some tweaking and some self assessment, but once you�ve got it down, you will see your work pay off.

Remember � if it was quick and easy, everyone would be doing it.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Business Decisions,Business Development Strategies,Business Strategy,Internet Marketing,Recession Buster,Small Business Consulting,Marketing Strategy
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Buckshot Marketing: What’s REALLY Working?

Is your marketing really working? How do you know? Are those pens you are handing out really making an impression? Is the time you spend on Twitter and other social medias paying off? Are your endless networking meetings paying off?

How do you know?

This has been one of the challenges put before business owners and marketers, given that there are so many factors that contribute to marketing, and so many different effects different types of contacts have on different audiences. This is another reason why, in order to get the most out of your marketing dollars, it is difficult to justify taking a broad stroke approach to marketing, thinking that everyone in your target market is going to accept the same sort of input.

What’s been interesting was a quick study I did with a number of marketers that I have associations with. I created an elevator pitch that I thought provoked imagery, thought, questions and provided solutions. For the sake of the article, I am including it here:

We help business leaders create extraordinary futures for their businesses.

Aepiphanni provides strategic planning, business architecture and a wealth of resources to help businesses reaching critical growth phases cut costs, work more efficiently and reach aggressive revenue goals. We specialize in small and medium-sized privately owned companies focused on professional & creative services, Software & IT, Restaurants & Catering and Design Services.

We’ve helped clients increase their billing by up to 3000%. One of our clients in the film production industry was able to triple his billing rates, scoring a Public Service Announcement for $16,000, where he originally intended to bill for no more than $5,000. Another client of ours repositioned their company to move from selling individual services to creating long term paid relationships with their clients. Her highest billing for any client had been $2,000, where their last proposal was for $50,000. Additionally, they have needed to increase staff and create systems and processes, which allowed them to increase the company’s workload and thus increase revenues by 25%, despite the economy.

It’s not complicated; it’s about doing what makes sense. We equip business leaders with the tools to build extraordinary futures for their businesses. Trust our knowledge. Trust our Experience. Trust our Results.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting. The Business Strategy People.

To me, this is appealing. In my mind, this was flawless. True to the nature of different types of people, every marketing expert I shared this with had different thoughts on it as will you. One thought the first sentence was too intangible, where another one thought it was great. In my mind, it opened up to the question, �how do you do that?� which was answered in the second question. Others thought that it should stop after the third paragraph, where others, still, thought the fourth paragraph was the hook. The elevator speech I created is, essentially, the laundry list of answers to the questions people ask me about what I do.

In the same manner, broad stroke marketing probably won�t be as effective as finding a way to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. How do you determine that? By determining what you would like to accomplish, first, then creating a strategy to get there.

You begin, of course, by defining what you hope to accomplish, as you would if you are thinking of doing anything. Let�s take fishing as an example.

Define the goal: We are going fishing. If you don�t know or state that you would like to go fishing, what are you going to prepare for? Are you just going to walk around doing stuff, never finding the satisfaction you are seeking?

Now that you�ve decided you want to go fishing, you might want to decide why you are going fishing � is it for fun, for sport, competition, or whatever. If you are just seeking to get out of the house, drop a pole in the water and not actually catch anything (objective � a bit a peace and quiet!), well, you�ll prepare differently then you would if you were seeking to go fishing for salmon.

So, say we are going fishing for a particular type of wild salmon. What do we need to know? Where are they, when are they there and what do you need to have in order to catch them? How many do you need to catch? Putting things in this perspective helps you not just look in terms of success (I caught a fish THIS BIG) but also have the tools in place to determine if you are successful.

Now, what are you going to do if you are unsuccessful? You will probably do something different � maybe change your bait, change your location, get a quieter motor, or whatever you think you need to do to get closer to the fish that are biting. You might even do some homework and read up on how other people are doing it successfully. You�ll separate the quacks (a little dynamite helps) from the experts (Use a .345 swish flip tied fly) to the practical (if you wait until spring, the Colorado River will be teaming with jumping salmon. You can catch them at Great Bear rock) and put together a strategy that will help YOU accomplish the goal YOU have.

Developing your marketing strategy will be nearly the same. While you might hope to throw out a net and see what you get, a targeted approach to your marketing is going to allow you to put more resources and efforts into a small niche audience. Where do they gather or get their information? How do they receive the information � is it in print, audio or video? What are their problems, or what are they looking for solutions to? Why would they respect your company? Does your company have the right appearance, appear in the right circles and demonstrate the right expertise?

From my observations, there is no one-size-fits-all-guaranteed-90-days-to-long-term success solution that works for everyone. Marketing needs to be authentic, transparent and appealing to those you are targeting. Of course, that is a no-brainer. What is REALLY working will take your company some time to develop. It will require some tweaking and some self assessment, but once you�ve got it down, you will see your work pay off.

Remember � if it was quick and easy, everyone would be doing it.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Business Decisions,Business Development Strategies,Business Strategy,Internet Marketing,Recession Buster,Small Business Consulting,Marketing Strategy
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Great Posts from Across the Web

The New Era Of Purpose
Huffington Post, NY
article on March 12th, even Jack Welch declared the obsession with short-term profits and share-price gains as “a dumb idea.” At best, it acknowledges the critical role that profitability and strong performance plays in making a business viable.

There’sa big difference between the Great Depression and Economic
Valley Bugler Newspaper, WA
Business advisor Jack Welch predicts that when the downturn ceases, the American economy will be stronger and sounder than ever. Welch urges business people to talk about reasons for confidence. America is loaded with energy and creativity, he says.

clip_image002Lean and Green
Redmond Channel Partner, CA
Spurred at least in part by former Vice President Al Gore’s Nobel Prize-winning campaign to raise awareness about global warming, organizations worldwide have taken a hard look at reducing their “environmental footprints” in the past decade.

Building a Scaffold for Social Change
Whole Life Times, CA
We are experiencing a termination of capitalism as we have known it, a shutdown recently dubbed “The Great Disruption” by Thomas Friedman, in The New York Times. Until recently a leading cheerleader for Neoliberal globalization, Friedman has come to

Human Potential Untangled
T+D, VA
At the other extreme from the three traditional, methodical approaches to development was Peter Senge‘s vision of a “learning organization,” in which people are continually enhancing their capabilities to create the results they truly desire.

The Changing Role of the CMO
BusinessWeek
By Marshall Goldsmith Marketing is everywhere, but with the ubiquity of slogans and ads, it’s easy to forget that there’s more to marketing than meets the eye. As a result, it is often one of the first budgets to be cut in economic downturns.

Jim Collins: How to Thrive in 2009
Inc.com, NY
In other words, it’s not a bad time to be an entrepreneur You would be hard pressed to find two individuals more determined to uncover the secrets of business success than Jim Collins and Bo Burlingham. Collins is the author of the best-selling

21st Century Business Networking By: Alan Rae, Lisa Harris, and
Healthy Wealthy n Wise, WV
Some are essentially salesmen, some just like connecting people, and some are subject experts – ‘mavens’ in the terminology used by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point. So you need to be clear what you’re doing in the network – are you

Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose Discuss Angel Investing and Naming Companies from Glen McElhose on Vimeo

 http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3934635&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Tim and Kevin from Glenn McElhose on Vimeo.

In this video, Kevin Rose – founder of Digg and others – and I talk about how we invest in other companies as “angels” and how we choose names for companies. Topics include:

-How to test company or product names using Google AdWords
-Kevin’s criteria for both good site names and good angel investments
-The role of start-up “advisors” and investors
-How I choose companies to work with: overlap, PR options, UI design.

It’s an Oprah-style conversation, so if watching isn’t an option, you can also opt to let the audio play in the background while you’re doing other things. Let us know if you’d like to see more of these brainstorming sessions.

Special thanks to Glenn McElhose for the great video shooting and editing!

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It's 08.08.08…Do You Know Where Your Website Is?

I was doing some research for a client recently and came across a website called the website grader – www.websitegrader.com.  This was an amazing site: it gave me a real-time analysis of my website and some recommendations on how I could better structure it.  As someone who feels that “websites are the windows to the soul” (of a business), I immediately decided that I need to make plans to make some changes.  

Of course, I wanted to share this info with you, so you can take advantage of what I have learned.  

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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Is Your Website Earning its Paycheck?

Millions of companies across the world have created beautiful websites with great tools and information that they want to be their “number one sales person,” and are waiting for customers to beat a path to their door. Unfortunately, this isn’t the Field of Dreams. Your website is like any other resource you employ; it takes time, money and development in order to stay productive and income generating for your business.

Several areas we look at, first, when evaluating a website include appearance, functionality, alignment with business and its customers, intuitive function and content. when someone goes to your site, you have less than 10 seconds to keep them there.

Next, we go deeper, and look at things like page titles, keywords, metatags, content and finally, search engine submittal. These items speak to how internet browsers will find you. If all of these are properly aligned, search engine spiders will begin “crawling” your site to see if your site will be of value to its browsers.

The combination of these elements, in addition to ongoing monitoring of where people go on your site and what they do, then making the appropriate changes on the site to increase the number of users who turn into customers is called “website conversion.” This is where you start to see a return on your website investment (ROWI).

While you might feel that it is not important, or the “top priority” for your company, consider this: would you allow an employee that you hired to sit idly at their desk each day? Would you purchase a car or a boat that you could not drive? In many situations: maybe. But what if you could invest in that person or that car or that boat, and increase your capabilities or pleasure exponentially?

As we move into the 21st century, we will be looking at new ways to do business. Many barriers to entry emerging businesses have had are being crushed. New technologies and internet capabilities are allowing smaller companies compete, successfully, with the major ones! By taking their businesses online, small business owners are no longer necessarily ‘squeezed out’ by the big retailer down the street.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Okay…my site has LOTS of traffic…now SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

The short and sweet of it…WEBSITE CONVERSION. Yep…that is what we are looking at and talking about when you want to actually make some money off of the website you’ve spent so much money on to do everything in the world but fry eggs. Or, for that matter, for the one-page site that you are using to promote whatever product or service you are selling, reselling or just want people to know about. It’s what makes people click the, “Pay Now” button on your site.

How do you find out about your conversion rates? Well, it is as simple as looking at the amount of unique traffic (using your website as your home page will get you a BUNCH of views, but only counts as one unique visitor!) versus the number of sales you’ve gotten from that traffic. Okay…simplify, they always tell me…if you get 500 new visitors to your site over the course of a week, and only 10 of them purchase, you might want to look at a website conversion strategy.

A website conversion strategy is one where you will look at different parts of your website, your business, your advertising (where you advertise and to whom) and your keywords – basically, how people are finding you, and when they do, what are they looking for and looking at on your site. Of course, this takes TIME!, and time is a resource that is always in short supply. None the lest, to get the best return on the money you’ve put out for your website, you might want to make this part of your marketing strategy.

Next question: Where do I find more about this phenomenon? Well, get educated on it first…check out Google. They have a website optimizer within their AdWords product. Also, do your internet search, but look before you leap! Like anything else, there are business out their who are simply parasites that will leach dollars out of your company for little to no return.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we
are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in
helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me,
Rick Meekins, a call
at 678-697-2315, or email me at
[email protected]
.


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Build Websites that Sell

Internet marketing is about getting the most return on your internet dollars spent. Everyone says that you, as a business owner, MUST have a website. Every article you read, every email you receive, every product you purchase has a website address attached. You, as an intelligent business person, have to ask yourself how you will be found if you are in cyberspace with quite literally trillions of other websites. How can you guarantee a return on the $6,000 or $3500 or $2100 you just spent on a website? Internet marketing is the key. That is what makes Coke® pop up on the first page when you type “cola” into the search engine bar.

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