Showing posts with label Internet marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet marketing. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Setting Your Business’s Marketing Budget

While marketing may not be the lifeblood of a running business, it certainly does keep an organization’s lifeblood flowing. From letting customers know about new products and services to gaining new revenue streams and continually refreshing interest, marketing and advertising have a very important role to play when it comes to staying in the black.

But how important is marketing — not in an ideological way, but in dollars and cents? How much should a business allocate to marketing, and how is a company supposed to arrive at that figure? If times are lean, and you’re more worried about how you’re supposed to afford to print postage, should you still pump money into advertising, or is it wiser to let your marketing dollars fall to the wayside? Here is a quick look at how to set and spend a marketing budget, as well as a pitch for why you need to do it even when you think you can’t afford it.

How to Set a Marketing Budget

A general rule of thumb for most businesses is that they should allocate and spend about 5 percent of their operating budget on marketing and advertising in order to maintain their current level of business. If you want to grow your market share or you have a new product to introduce, however, that figure should jump to at least 8 percent, because pushing past the inertia of what people already know about you can take some added effort.

Beyond those general rules, here are four other methods you can employ when devising your marketing financial plan:

  • Utilize a fixed percentage of sales. Take last year’s gross sales or the average sales from the last few years, and allocate a percentage based on those numbers. Five percent is a good amount, but some businesses only spend around 2 percent. The advantages of this technique are that it’s stable and doesn’t try to predict the future, but focusing too much on the past can keep you from being aggressive, and sales are not always directly related to advertising alone, which means your figures may not totally line up.
  • Keep up with the Joneses. This method employs doing what your competitors are doing. Whatever the industry marketing expenditures average is, adopt it. It’s easy and predictable, but looking at everyone around you can keep you from effectively increasing your market share.
  • Take a task-based approach. Set specific marketing goals, and outline the tasks you’ll have to do to reach them. Then, determine your budget based on how much it will cost to perform those tasks. This method is accurate, but if it fails, it’s probably going to be costly.
  • Go all in. If you have a strong stomach for risk, and you want your business to grow quickly, set aside a minimum amount of money with which to do business and put the rest in your marketing budget. Because it’s aggressive, this type of marketing can gain leaps and bounds over a more passive approach, but it’s risky. You’re liable to spend yourself out of business.

How to Spend a Marketing Budget

In order to properly spend the money you’ve set aside on marketing, you need to have a plan. From utilizing social media to television, direct mail and other campaigns, your money needs to be spent with wisdom and intention. Outline the avenues you’ll use, and then, get started. Once you know where your money is going, keep track of whether the expenditures are actually meeting your goals. If you need to adjust or change, do so. A marketing plan needn’t be fixed. Knowing whether or not your money is achieving your marketing goals is much more important than sticking to your plan or sticking to your budget. Compare quarters and campaigns. Analyze sales data and expenditures. Be patient, and be open to things that do and don’t work, and above all, make sure that your plan and its execution are in keeping with who you are and hope to be as a business.

Regardless of the type of business you run, you need people to know about the goods and services you provide so they’re able to purchase them. Even in lean times, you need to treat your marketing budget as a non-negotiable expense, because without awareness, you won’t have customers. Staying in business, remaining competitive, gaining market share — a good marketing plan with a solid and reliable budget will help you achieve these things and more, but you have to do it consistently.

About the Author: Jerry Jacobs is a contributing blogger and freelance marketer.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

4 Online Marketing Services that Drive Success

To do well with a business, one must have a multifaceted approach that involves trying to find customers with a variety of different methods. However, this is not always easy, as many new business owners do not know what actually helps to build a strong a customer base. Here are four online marketing services that drive success. 


With high organic search rankings, a company can see a lot of traffic to their website. To get started, most people opt to do it on their own and experience poor results, since it is difficult for the average person to do it right. Luckily, a professional SEO company can, with ease, help a website reach the first page of the major search engines. They can do this by helping the business create solid content and gain links from a variety of quality sources. Thus, when you are even looking for a dental practice marketing service, you should first consider using an SEO company in order to generate a large amount of natural attention. 

Email marketing

With email, one can market their ideas to a wide audience and find a lot of success. To begin, one should hire a service that can construct a marketing email that will bring in new visitors to the website of the company. These same companies, such as 123 Postcards, will also be able to provide your company with a direct mail service, which will make sure that you reach out to as many people as possible. This is a perfect option for a business that has a hard time getting people excited about their product using other methods. 

Social media marketing

Most people fail to build a sound social media marketing plan, as they do not know what will interest followers. The problem is that many people will simply give up when they don't see results from their efforts with social media. In order to see the best results, you should consider using a professional company that will know how to build and use your social media sites with the maximum amount of efficiency in mind. Remember, social media is here to stay, and a company must embrace this early on if it wants to succeed. 


When owning a website, one will, inevitably, have both satisfied and angry customers. To understand the reason for these varying opinions, one should conduct surveys. This will not only help the business to understand the mindset of clients, but with this information, the business owner can improve the situation and avoid causing issues with current and potential customers. However, most people do not know how to conduct a survey tactfully, and it is best for an entrepreneur to pay someone to do this task, since it is necessary to ask the right questions without alienating or bothering visitors that come to the business. 

With these four services, a company can build their customer base and achieve long-term success.

Friday, September 6, 2013

5 Things That Are Important For Your Company To Invest In

One of the challenges of running a company is determining where to invest money and resources. It is not always clear that a particular investment will have a worthwhile return. Similarly, some individuals underestimate the value of different parts of a business. Every company should take the time to invest in five specific areas that will contribute to long-term success.


The employees of company determine the success of the business in a very direct way. It is important to invest in workers before, during and after employment. Talent management means spending the resources to find the right workers. Employees should receive training regularly to keep up with new procedures and systems. Retaining talent also means investing in retirement plans or other incentives.


Infrastructure refers to the basic systems that a business needs to produce goods or perform services. It is important to invest in infrastructure so that there are no barriers stopping employees from meeting business goals. This might mean maintaining a strong information technology infrastructure or a cloud-based service. It might also mean investing in the aesthetics and comfort of a storefront or larger product inventories.

Internet Marketing and Advertising

The reality is that every modern business needs to invest in Internet marketing and advertising. Services like OrangeSoda provide search engine optimization (SEO) that increases the visibility of a company online. An OrangeSoda Facebook business page creates a branded marketing channel that will attract new customers or create sales leads through social media. Effective Internet market has a high return on investment.

Customer Intelligence

Every successful business invests in some form of customer intelligence. Customer intelligence is the collection and aggregation of different pieces of data about consumers who have interacted with the business. This can be gathered through outbound surveys, online tracking or even direct written feedback. This allows a company to stop working in the dark and to start responding to quantifiable customer needs. This will improve loyalty and satisfaction when implemented correctly.


There will always come a time when a business does not have the experience or expertise to continue growing successfully or to handle certain problems. These are situations when it is important to invest in outside expertise from consultants or other experienced professionals. Investing in outside experts will help to guide a business through some of the more difficult periods without making common mistakes.
It is important to measure the results of each investment over a period of months or years. A particular strategy might require adjustment in order to work for a specific company. Alternately, an area that has seen successful returns might benefit from additional investment.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How to Form a Marketing Plan for a Successful Business

To become a successful business, you need to have a feasible marketing plan that will attract potential customers. Without it, you are stuck with whatever it is you are doing, with the hopes that it will continue to work. But if you are looking to take your business by the reigns and get as much attention as your business deserves, you can create a marketing plan that will attract many more customers and potential clients. Here are some tips on how to form a marketing plan for a successful business. 

Set Your Goals

If you have no destination in mind, then you’ll never know where to set your sails. When you begin a marketing plan, it is important to set attainable goals that will give your business an idea of where you want to be, and also keep you motivated during the process. With your marketing plan goals, you should specifically state exactly what it is that you are trying to market, and who you should market it to. Defining these few elements can help form a marketing plan much easier than not having any idea of where it is you want to be. Make sure everyone you work with understands the goals and is as motivated as you are in achieving them.

Budget Your Plan

Marketing should be a valuable part of your business. That said, it deserves money to be spent on it and should be considered just as valuable as other elements that make up your business. However, its important not to throw money into marketing that won’t work. If you put all of your money into marketing that no one will hear or see, your money would be spent better elsewhere. Make sure that you know how much money to spend, and where to spend it when marketing. Come up with a variety of ideas and choose the one best for your company.

Innovative Marketing Techniques

With the advancement of technology, there is always something new and exciting that a business can implement to set themselves apart from other companies. This includes social media integration, SEO services, pay-per-click marketing and more. There are ways to get images for your company and present a marketing plan with resources like infographic world. A well-created image will be able to generate interest and provide detailed information that other marketing techniques cannot comply with. Being aware of technology and the possible elements around you will certainly help with a marketing plan.

Accountable Actions

When you make a marketing plan, be sure that everyone in your business is aware of what their responsibilities are and how they can help. Your team must be accountable for the things that they do, the time line in place, and the results that are expected. Having this accountability for your team will organize everything much more clearly, which will have long-lasting results for your marketing plan.

Marketing is one of the most valuable parts of any business. But in order to maximize your efforts, it has to be done right. Keep in mind the tips on this list on how to form a marketing plan for a successful business and you will stay on the right path to attract your customers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Imperative of the New Marketing in the 21st Century Business Environment

Could marketing be new? This is a very fundamental question that readily comes to mind at the mention of the words ‘’New Marketing’’. It also logically entails that there is an old marketing. For the sake of clarification, the new marketing refers to the use of the social network in advertisement and marketing while the old marketing refers to the use of the conventional marketing media such as newspapers, magazines, bulletins, and so on. 

Due to the sophistication of the contemporary age, the social media has become the second nature of man because it seems he cannot do without it. Consumers continue to have the flair and enthusiasm over the internet, Smartphones, social media, and other online networks. This equally requires a paradigm shift in the marketing strategy of any business that wishes to survive in this 21st century world. Smart businessmen know this fact and waste no time in tapping into the opportunities.

Internet marketing:

The new marketing is basically focused on how to gain customer loyalty through the use of the social media and online sources. The new marketing attracts customers by offering useful information about the business in a more concise and precise manner using the online method. This is done with the belief that the majority of people cannot do without their social network applications. Because of the social media, the kingship of the customer (remember the popular marketing maxim that the customer is the king) is more enthroned through the social media. This is because the customer now determines the type of information he wants, how he wants it, and when to receive such information.

In the new marketing, Google and the social media become the main avenue through which your clients can find you. The clients do not need to come to the corporate office. All discussions between you and the clients about your business take place through the internet. This is the core area of the new marketing as major implication of the social media marketing. You create an account with Facebook or twitter, and people who have an interest in your products start to follow you. Offering useful information about your products is the surest way to gain their full loyalty.

Social media marketing:

In the course of the social media marketing, it is ideal to reserve some budget for promotional giveaways. This will help to get your followers and clients fascinated. Plan it in such a way that such giveaways will be given to clients and followers who participated in contests and won. This will increase the participation of the followers and clients. You will be surprised at their positive response.

When you open an online marketing site, it is advisable that you make an inclusion of other issues such as entertainment, news, education issues, sports, and other things that have the potency of fascinating readers, especially the youths. These will serve as baits in getting more clients to your site or social media page or business profile.

Author Bio:

Austin Richard is an IT professional from Selftesttraining. Have you really looked for this Assistance? Move ahead to take the benefit of SAP Certification Exams and pass your exam easily.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wish: How an Affiliate Marketer and a Conversion Rate Optimization Expert Found Success in Simplicity

Richard and Stephen are the rare breed of business partners. They don't quarrel, they don't have firm delineations of duties in their business, and they somehow managed to start and grow an incredible business alongside an existing successful venture. How did they do it? Answer: they kept things simple.

An Expert in Conversion

Stephen Pavlovich started out in SEO. From his humble beginnings, and working with a photo printing company, he established his skill in Internet marketing - getting the company ranked very well for its desired keywords. Still, the rankings weren't good enough for the printing company to rank #1. Stephen had a choice. He could attempt brute-force tactics that could diminish the ranking of the company over time, go after broader, less-relevant keywords, or he could focus on increasing conversion.

He chose the conversion route, and understandably so. Within three months, the company's revenue had increased six times over. From that point forward, it was obvious what Pavlovich should be doing for clients.

An Expert in Affiliate Marketing

Richard Kershaw's background is in affiliate marketing. Yes, affiliate marketing. When companies want traffic, they don't always pay up front for it. Sometimes, they seek out the services of someone like Kershaw, and pay a referral fee for delivering sales. It's a win-win relationship since the company saves money on the front-end, but someone like Kershaw can command ever higher referral fees for good performance. As a business model, it's solid. So solid that Kershaw became a top affiliate for a major supplier in the UK. Eventually, he decided it might be better (and more interesting) to be on the other side of the fence.

When Kershaw Met Pavlovich

Pavlovich and Kershaw met in 2007, thousands of miles away from their home. Ironically, it was Las Vegas that kicked off a rock-solid relationship that would eventually turn into multiple successful business ventures. Ironic because both lived near London, but it took PubCon to bring them together. Their first successful business venture together was The Conversion Factory. Harnessing the lead generation skills of Kershaw, and the conversion acumen of Pavlovich, the company focuses on taking existing traffic and increasing conversion without increasing traffic. Next, they turned their eye to a truly unique business idea.

To Wish Upon A Star

You can't commoditize a zombie hunt. That's part of the magic behind Pavlovich's and Kershaw's new business venture They offer unique experiences that are difficult to replicate and, even if you could, no one can touch them on pricing.

Want to learn how to fly a plane? Want to see what it's like to be thrown into a full-on riot? How about romantic getaway for three? plunges you into some of the most exotic and thrilling scenarios. In some ways, it's like those "daily deals" you get from Living Social or Groupon - except that Wish doesn't have an expiration date on coupons and its pricing allows vendors to perpetually offer deals without going out of business.

Companies that agree to do business with Wish agree to discount their services, but both the customer and the offering company walk away happy with the deal. The key to making the business work is partially in the business structure. Much of inner workings of the company are outsourced - from marketing, to lead generation, to fulfillment - Pavlovich and Kershaw have kept things really simple.

That's a good thing because, in a way, Wish has had to compete with other heavyweights in the "daily deals" industry - heavyweights with a lot of cash and full-time employees. The founders do admit, however, that their choice of name allows them to "punch above their weight." Incredibly, the two landed the website name in a Sedo auction for about $12,000. It was serendipity. Wish was just the right word for their unique service. Going forward, it looks like blue skies for the two partners. The name has real market appeal, it's ridiculously easy to remember, and it has a high resale value if things ever come to that.

Jack Harding is a marketing analyst with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He spends his time exploring the world of online marketing and reporting his observations on various blog sites. To see affiliate marketing and CRO in action, visit Wish.

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