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Strategy

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix) 640 336 ImplicitPay CO

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix)

What is e-Marketing?

e-Marketing is still quite a controversial subject to talk about, since no one succeeded to unify the various theories around it; however there is one thing upon which there is no doubt – that e-Marketing first appeared under the form of various techniques deployed by pioneer companies selling their products via the internet in the early 90’s.

The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the internet rapidly gave birth to a new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: the e-Marketing (electronic Marketing).

There are many definitions to what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest one being formulated by Mark Sceats: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the internet as manifestation media. A working definition is that coming from a group of CISCO specialists: e-Marketing is the sum of all activities a business conducts through the internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining customers.

e-Marketing Strategy

The e-Marketing Strategy is normally based and built upon the principles that govern the traditional, offline Marketing – the well-known 4 P’s (Product – Price – Promotion – Positioning) that form the classic Marketing mix. Add the extra 3 P’s (People – Processes – Proof) and you got the whole extended Marketing mix.

Until here, there are no much aspects to differentiate e-Marketing from the traditional Marketing performed offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P’s) is built around the concept of “transactional” and its elements perform transactional functions defined by the exchange paradigm. What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, that can be synthesized in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion.

These 7 functions of the e-Marketing stay at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and they have a moderating character, unlike the classic Marketing mix that comprises situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderate, operate upon all situational functions of the mix (the classic 4 P’s) and upon each other.

1. Personalization

The fundamental concept of personalization as a part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need of recognizing, identifying a certain customer in order to establish relations (establishing relations is a fundamental objective of Marketing). It is crucial to be able to identify our customers on individual level and gather all possible information about them, with the purpose of knowing our market and be able to develop customized, personalized products and services.

For example, a cookie strategically placed on the website visitor’s computer can let us know vital information concerning the access speed available: in consequence, if we know the visitor is using a slow connection (eg. dial-up) we will offer a low-volume variation of our website, with reduced graphic content and no multimedia or flash applications. This will ease our customer’s experience on our website and he will be prevented from leaving the website on the reason that it takes too long to load its pages.

Personalization can be applied to any component of the Marketing mix; therefore, it is a moderating function.

2. Privacy

Privacy is an element of the mix very much connected to the previous one – personalization. When we gather and store information about our customers and potential customers (therefore, when we perform the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial issue arises: that of the way this information will be used, and by whom. A major task to do when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is that of creating and developing a policy upon access procedures to the collected information.

This is a duty and a must for any conscious marketer to consider all aspects of privacy, as long as data are collected and stored, data about individual persons.

Privacy is even more important when establishing the e-Marketing mix since there are many regulations and legal aspects to be considered regarding collection and usage of such information.

3. Customer Service

Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the support functions needed in transactional situations.

We will connect the apparition of the customer service processes to the inclusion of the “time” parameter in transactions. When switching from a situational perspective to a relational one, and e-Marketing is mostly based on a relational perspective, the marketer saw himself somehow forced into considering support and assistance on a non-temporal level, permanently, over time.

For these reasons, we should consider the Customer Service function (in its fullest and largest definition) as an essential one within the e-Marketing mix.

As we can easily figure out, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed upon any element from the classic 4 P’s, hence its moderating character.

4. Community

We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the existence of this impressive network that the internet is. The merely existence of such a network implies that individuals as well as groups will eventually interact. A group of entities that interact for a common purpose is what we call a “community” and we will soon see why it is of absolute importance to participate, to be part of a community.

The Metcalf law (named after Robert Metcalf) states that the value of a network is given by the number of its components, more exactly the value of a network equals the square of the number of components. We can apply this simple law to communities, since they are a network: we will then conclude that the value of a community rises with the number of its members. This is the power of communities; this is why we have to be a part of it.

The customers / clients of a business can be seen as part of a community where they interact (either independent or influenced by the marketer) – therefore developing a community is a task to be performed by any business, even though it is not always seen as essential.

Interactions among members of such a community can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be placed next to other moderating functions.

5. Site

We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place on a digital media – the internet. But such interactions and relations also need a proper location, to be available at any moment and from any place – a digital location for digital interactions.

Such a location is what we call a “site”, which is the most widespread name for it. It is now the time to mention that the “website” is merely a form of a “site” and should not be mistaken or seen as synonyms. The “site” can take other forms too, such as a Palm Pilot or any other handheld device, for example.

This special location, accessible through all sort of digital technologies is moderating all other functions of the e-Marketing – it is then a moderating function.

6. Security

The “security” function emerged as an essential function of e-Marketing once transactions began to be performed through internet channels.

What we need to keep in mind as marketers are the following two issues on security:

– security during transactions performed on our website, where we have to take all possible precautions that third parties will not be able to access any part of a developing transaction;

– security of data collected and stored, about our customers and visitors.

A honest marketer will have to consider these possible causes of further trouble and has to co-operate with the company’s IT department in order to be able to formulate convincing (and true, honest!) messages towards the customers that their personal details are protected from unauthorized eyes.

7. Sales Promotion

At least but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when we build an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are widely used in traditional Marketing as well, we all know this, and it is an excellent efficient strategy to achieve immediate sales goals in terms of volume.

This function counts on the marketer’s ability to think creatively: a lot of work and inspiration is required in order to find new possibilities and new approaches for developing an efficient promotion plan.

On the other hand, the marketer needs to continuously keep up with the latest internet technologies and applications so that he can fully exploit them.

To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing implies new dimensions to be considered aside of those inherited from the traditional Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the concept of relational functions and they are a must to be included in any e-Marketing strategy in order for it to be efficient and deliver results.

Source by Otilia Otlacan

Develop A Marketing And Marketing Communications Strategy And Plan For Small Or Midsized Companies 640 427 ImplicitPay CO

Develop A Marketing And Marketing Communications Strategy And Plan For Small Or Midsized Companies

Planning for the year ahead is never an easy task. Lack of resources (people, time, budget), keeping up to date on what’s going on in your market, obtaining quality leads and improving brand awareness and reputation have become increasingly difficult for all organizations – for profit companies as well as nonprofits. This has become especially true among US CEO’s who are concerned with not just domestic but also international uncertainties.

Developing A Marketing And Marketing Communications Strategy Is Critical

This should be your priority. Without a strategy for a plan there are way too many opportunities to get off track and chew up your investment. Your ROI will suffer. Consider the following to focus your efforts when developing your strategy and plan:

1. Determining, understanding and verifying your target customers and prospects should be at the top of your agenda. To improve profitability and ROI you must know what your audience wants and needs, how they perceive your brand and how it stands up to competition.

Be sure to avoid industry and company “myths” and internal “opinions”. Employ primary and secondary research to understand your audience. With so much information available about companies and brands, it is truly the Age Of The Consumer and will be for a very long time.

2. Additionally, as part of your knowledge of your audience, determine the size and scope of various sub-segments that exist today and will tomorrow. For example, does your audience include women, or Asians, or Hispanics? If so, look at the dramatic growth of these segments of the populations and determine if your brand needs to pay particular attention to them.

Also, recognize that millennials (23% of the US population) are not a homogenous group. At the younger end (20 – 28 years), 40 percent t are currently living rent free with family, while at the older end (29 – 35 years), 43 percent have already purchased a home. With that in mind, how should your strategy differ if you’re targeting adults 55 years and older (21% of US population)?

3. Once you clearly understand your audience, develop your unique brand position. To do this, create a brand positioning statement. The statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed and a compelling picture of how you want your audience to view the brand. Sound simple? Take a few minutes and try to answer the four components of your positioning:

· The target audience, in very specific detail

· The category in which you complete and its relevance to customers

· The brand’s benefit and point of difference

· A reason for the customer to believe – the most compelling proof

All marketing and marketing communications should flow from this positioning, and it should be fully understood and embraced by all employees, sales reps, partners and management.

4. Improving brand awareness is very important but only the first step. You also need to create great customer experiences with each touch point of your brand. And that means creating brand advocacy at all levels of contact. Develop brand champions at every level of purchase and repurchase to improve ROI.

Be sure these influencers completely understand, believe and can articulate your brand premise. And provide them with the training and tools to convey their trust-worthiness in a believable manner.

Developing A Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications Plan And Budget

After the hard work of developing a meaningful strategy, recognize it’s equally important to develop a specific plan and budget. The following should be taken into consideration:

1. You must be media neutral and open minded in developing your plan and budget. It is extremely important to understand the difference between “efficiency” and “effectiveness”, and not get caught up with the latest trendy new tactic.

Regardless of the specific marketing tactic, or type of digital or traditional media, you’re evaluating, keep in mind that cost efficiency does not necessarily lead to effective results. Also, and most importantly, the best source of marketing communications leverage is the quality of the message, not the marketing tactic.

2. The scope and diversity of marketing and marketing communications tactics have grown faster than the ability to measure some of them. Marketers now are actually spending money without knowing how it impacts their profitability and ROI! Consider the variety of ways in which nearly $450 billion is expected to be spent in the US in 2018:

· Sales promotion ($83 billion), telemarketing ($60 billion), direct mail (($46 billion) and events ($40 billion) highlight projected 2018 US Marketing Services expenditures;

· The internet ($78 billion), television ($68 billion) and the combination of radio, newspapers and magazines ($47 billion) are projected to be at the top of the 2018 US Major Media spending categories.

Source: Zenith Total US Spending

And while it may surprise you, 90 percent of consumers (and 94 percent of millennials) still use coupons. The coupons come from a variety of on-line and traditional mediums, but mail is most popular. Why do marketers still use coupons? The simple answer is because they’re effective in guiding purchase. In developing your own plan and budget, determine and recognize the effectiveness of all marketing tactics, not just their efficiency.

ROI Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications Consultants

If you’re like most small and midsized companies, you and your team may not have the expertise or time to develop an ROI focused marketing and marketing communications strategy, plan or budget.

Even major global brands are seeking outside advisors. In my May article, I discussed the dramatic growth of management and accounting consulting practices (33% increase in US revenue) at the expense of traditional global advertising agencies (0.3% increase in US revenue). One reason for this 2017 growth of consultants is their focus – not on trends or what’s in the news – but on marketing and marketing communications effectiveness, profitably and ROI.

While you may not be able to afford the large global consultants, you should consider hiring a marketing and/or marketing communications consultant. The type of people you should hire should:

· Have a focus on ROI, with significant experience across industries, b2b and b2c brands, both large and small, as well as for profit and nonprofit organizations

· Be media neutral, apolitical, down to earth, be willing to be part of a team and “tell it like it is” so candor will flourish

· Have flexibility to bring in other professional specialists when and as needed so that overhead isn’t an ongoing expense

· Have strong convictions to measure what has been done and measure what will be done to improve ROI, perhaps including a marketing communications audit

In today’s challenging environment, a greater focus on strategy, planning and budgeting can go a long way toward leapfrogging competition and improving brand profitability. And the fresh eyes of a consultant can go a long way to building a meaningful future for your brand.



Source by Gary Kullberg

Marketing With a Blended Marketing Strategy For Maximum Visibility 640 320 ImplicitPay CO

Marketing With a Blended Marketing Strategy For Maximum Visibility

Marketing in general is a vast and complex beast which requires knowledge and effort to truly master and leverage it to its full potential to grow your brand, let alone your business. Any good internet marketing strategy can effectively help you build your business online. However, as many internet entrepreneurs look to expand their online presence and grow their businesses further, I find that many of them fail to create a complete marketing and business development strategy, focusing the majority of their efforts online. Sadly, this is a HUGE mistake on their part.

Over the course of my career as an entrepreneur, business owner and web designer, I’ve conducted business with many individuals and businesses all wanting to increase their reach, develop a stronger brand awareness and build a strong internet presence. Yet through all their questions, two common fears continually rang through during my discussions with many of them. They either feared the idea of taking on a major internet campaign or they felt that internet marketing would replace their tried and true traditional marketing methods. Both these fears have their roots in the fact that the vast majority of them simply lacked the proper knowledge necessary to see that both an internet marketing and traditional marketing strategy should compliment each other providing reciprocal support of their various strengths. I like to refer to this more complete picture of a marketing strategy as “blended marketing”.

Why Do I Need to Do Marketing

If you plan to generate any kind of income online you need to gain an understanding that your blog or website is simply and extension of your true business. You must develop your business model first before you can properly identify how to apply your blog/website as a useful tool in your overall marketing and business development strategy. Any successful business has a marketing strategy to grow their business. You can’t simply set up a blog or website and expect the business to come rushing in. You must have a strategy in place to help bring in the interested buyers you desire.

Gain a Little Perspective

As a successful internet entrepreneur and internet marketing expert myself, I’ve been using a blended marketing strategy for well over a decade to maximize my reach, increase my exposure and better market to my target audience to grow my online business. I’d like to share with you how a blended marketing strategy can benefit you and provide you with some techniques I use when constructing your blended marketing plan.

To help you gain a better perspective on the concept of blended marketing I suggest you have a quick read of Rena Bernstein’s post over at Social Media Today entitled “Integrating Social Media with Traditional Advertising to Gain Higher Returns”. It is a great read and provides valuable insight into the benefits as well as examples on how effective it can be if done correctly.

What is Blended Marketing

Blended marketing is essentially a mix of both internet marketing and traditional offline marketing methods to create a more complete, overall marketing and business development strategy. Many businesses fail to integrate both internet marketing and traditional marketing strategies together. By taking advantage of the strengths of both an internet marketing and traditional marketing strategy, you will better position yourself and/or your business for greater success.

The idea of a blended marketing strategy is to create a complete marketing strategy which takes advantage of the various strengths of both an internet marketing strategy and a traditional marketing strategy where you work to increase your search engine rankings and internet exposure, while at the same time increasing your reach and exposure offline as well.

Different aspects of a blended marketing strategy can be for example, utilizing an email marketing campaign in conjunction with a direct mail campaign to provide a specific promotion to a select group of recipients. Some email marketing systems provide a service where they will also send a direct mail piece to your email list provided you have addresses for each recipient in your list. This is just a high level example of how a blended marketing strategy can work to ensure broader reach from multiple fronts.

Benefits of a Blended Marketing

The benefits of a blended marketing strategy are vast allowing you truly grow your business at a much more rapid pace than if you didn’t have one. A blended marketing strategy allows you to:

  1. Gain Greater Exposure
  2. Market to the Same Audience Through Multiple Online and Offline Marketing Efforts
  3. Track the Effectiveness of Various Campaign Efforts
  4. Identify the Strengths of both Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
  5. Create Multiple Promotions for Various Marketing Strategies
  6. Generate Multiple Sources to Feed Your Sales Funnel
  7. Create Brand Awareness Online and Offline
  8. Market Products/Services Both Online and Offline
  9. Present Yourself as a Strong, Stable Business
  10. Increase Sales

These are just a few of the many benefits in which a blended marketing strategy can provide.

Creating a Blended Marketing Strategy

Creating a blended marketing strategy isn’t all that difficult if you know your target audience and have identified how to reach them. From that point, you can craft a marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your target audience through multiple fronts to ensure your message is heard.

The first step is to conduct market research (yes you have to do this and you cannot skip this step). When conducting market research you need to identify:

  1. Who Your Target Audience Is
  2. Where They Hang Out
  3. How to Reach Them
  4. What are Their Needs
  5. How You Can Fill Their Need
  6. Will They Buy

Identifying a market for whatever you are offering is essential to the success of any business whether online or off.

The second step is to begin crafting your blended marketing strategy to incorporate the various resources available to reach your market. This is where the fun begins! Be creative with this and make sure you explore all possible options to get your message out to market. For example, you may want to include the various resources to syndicate your content not just for online purposes but also for offline purposes, such as industry magazines and journals. If you are creating an email marketing campaign, how will you mirror this effort offline through direct mail pieces? If you are going to utilize the Third Tribe concept for your online marketing, what real-world business networking and industry convention events are you going to attend to create brand awareness? Consider how you are going to integrate social media into your blended marketing and how can you drive people to follow you from your offline efforts?

The best way to create a blended marketing strategy is to mirror your online marketing efforts with potential real-world offline efforts that my accomplish the same if not similar task as your online efforts. Simply ask yourself: “Self, what offline marketing effort would be similar to this online marketing effort” then make a list of all related marketing strategies and decide which to integrate into your complete blended marketing strategy. Dedicate a lot of quality time to this process, because the more time you spend on market research and development to create your blended marketing strategy, the more effective your blended marketing strategy will be.

I hope you found this information useful and will apply what you’ve learned to create your own blended marketing strategy for whatever your business maybe.

To Your Success!

Source by Sean M Smith