0811Creating Online Marketing Strategies in Plain English

As the European economic crisis continues to affect small to medium sized businesses, the marketing focus has turned to cost effective strategies that provide ROI (Return on Investment) to meet specific organisational objectives/goals or KPI's (Key Performance Indicators). Each organisation has its own specific and unique objectives ranging from lead generation to revenue growth, improvements to market share or simply higher online/offline visibility (top-of-mind awareness).

Undoubtedly, the most visible and cost effective marketing tool that you possess is your business website. The main URL address, the links, content, functionality all have a specific 24/7 objectives to match your organizational goals.

A well constructed website with high ranking key terms in the natural search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN), appropriate content, linkages and suitable levels of online advertising can and will provide you with quality leads and higher levels of customer acquisition and conversions (sales, downloads, e-commerce).

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0911The Marketing Audit - Back to Basics

Often, when things are not going as well as they could or perhaps opportunities are being missed, the best thing to do is refer back to the basics. This brings us to the need to assess where we are before we move to the next level of our business development.

A fundamental part of the planning process for a business seeking to develop a marketing plan is the coordination of a Marketing Audit. The primary function of the Marketing Audit it to systematically examine each element of the company's marketing mix to determine the viability of the marketing components to the overall business objectives.

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10115 Common Marketing Errors

1. Failing to have a marketing plan resulting in disjointed marketing efforts, rather than a clear integrated approach. What is your defined marketing direction?

2. Trying to be all things to all people, instead of promoting a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to a targeted audience. What is your market niche?

3. Thinking you know everything about your competitors. Try developing a benchmark matrix which documents each facet of their product, service or business. Know your market intimately

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1111An Integrated Marketing Approach

An integrated marketing approach commences with the development of a strategic marketing plan for your organisation which on the most basic level outlines an assessment of each of the elements of the promotional mix. (Price, Place, Product and Promotion).

We examine your competitors activities, provide a SWOT analysis of your business and develop benchmarking strategies to achieve the best results in market. We provide marketing recommendations based on appropriate KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) and within a specified budget. We also provide with an estimate of ROI (Return on Investment) so you know that our plans are well defined, integrated, relevant to your business and profitable. In addition, we provide you with a variety of affiliated options such as various promotional tools, customer loyalty programs, POS suggestions, promotional calendars, business award entries for publicity and developing credibility for your business, PR campaigns and assistance with new product development. This is the essence of having an experienced marketing consultancy work with you.

1211Top Ten Marketing Tips

1. Develop a marketing plan for your business. "To fail to plan is to plan to fail"
2. Set a realistic marketing budget and stick to it. This may be a percentage of your sales?
3. Target a specific audience with a defined USP
4. Develop a clear, consistent and integrated marketing message
5. Develop an up-to-date website (currently HTML5 and CSS3) to support your business with relevant online strategies. Don't forget to consider useability issue relavant to those with specific disabilities.
6. Build relationships specific to each of your stakeholders
7. Know your competitors and benchmark your business against the best in your specific industry
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0112Website Useability Issues

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