I thought this article was interesting because the communication tips it gave were different than just asking the client for what they think they need or want from your service or product. It said to share valuable information with your client first. This means staying on top of your clients industry and informing them of new things or ideas and asking them what they think of it. It makes you look well informed and reliable. If your client thinks they know something and you’re certain that they don’t, gather evidence or articles or other research to help them be more informed. Networking is also important. Connecting clients with other people is also beneficial.
A marketing plan will help you understand what your target market is and how you are going to reach it. It will also help you differentiate yourself from your competition. A marketing plan is a set of guidelines intended to show you how your marketing strategies are helping your ROI. It can be changed if you see that a certain tactic isn’t working or if you think more resources should be used on tactics that are. The marketing plan can help you see how you are connecting with your target market and whether or not your marketing techniques are working.
A mission statement clearly defines what is a business is about, its goals and why it exists for the customer, employees, suppliers, community, etc. Asking why you are in business and who your customers are and knowing what image you want to convey can help with writing a mission statement. Since a mission statement is only a few sentences or a short paragraph, every word in the statement counts so it helps to be creative in conveying your message.
This article was geared more towards men, but the idea of appropriate dress is still the same for women. Clothing will send a message about you to your clients. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed and it is also important to be dressed for the occasion. A suit would look strange or out of place in some situations. People will make assumptions about you immediately based on what you are wearing.
A site specification document will help developers and designers with a project and avoid any surprises. It will give an estimate of the time it will take and outlines the cost of development based on what is in the specifications. I think that this is a very important thing to have before any work on a site is started. In the print, an estimate and an agreement of exactly what is in that estimate are essential. I think a specification document would help with communication between the customer, designer and programmer.
Branding is the identity of goods or services of a seller. It delivers the message and confirms credibility and connects emotionally while motivating the buyer. It is a promise to the consumer and it’s their perception of what you are. Branding should be done through every point of public contact. It is important to be successful in branding strategies because it makes a consumer feel a certain way about your company whether good or bad and they can always go to someone else that they feel more comfortable with.
This is a really great article that has some tips for designing logos. It also includes useful links for inspiration, plagiarism, color schemes and one for a brand personality evaluation. It says to be unique and clever, but you must also understand the brand. You wouldn’t use flashy colors or fonts for a serious impression. The logo is often the first impression of a business. Keep the logo easy and simple so that people don’t have to stare and try to figure out what the logo is. It is also a good idea to use white space in a design and remember to design for the logo to be used in all mediums. I liked how it mentioned to not expect instant success, of the company you are designing for doesn’t get themselves out to the consumer properly; the best design might never be seen.
Since I have been in customer service for a number of years, I thought I would like to know more about what CRM software was and how it’s used. I was surprised to find out that I had never used CRM software before. I used CRM strategies all the time, but in the form of notes on scraps of paper stuck into job tickets or just remembering things about customers. Supermarkets use CRM software by issuing reward cards and then offering specials tailored to the customer based on their purchases. My guess would also be that Target also uses it at the point of check out because I usually get coupons with my receipt that correlate to what I bought.
Corporate social responsibility refers to the things that businesses do to benefit society. More people, consumers, expect that the places that they purchase from will also care about the communities that the customers live in. News stations have food drives or community baby showers and Kohls has the Kohls Cares program. I think that consumers also feel good about shopping at businesses that contribute to the community in some way because then the customer feels like they contributed also.
This is a cool site. I scrolled up and down a couple times before I even read any of the content. Measuring the profit made from a customer is the customer lifetime value. This information can be used to determine how much time, money and energy a company should spend on trying to retain that customer. It can also help improve customer retention efforts. I am also surprised that my previous employers didn’t take this measurement more seriously. Of course all of our customers were important and we knew which ones we were going to spend the most resources on, but I would be curious to see what some of those customers real lifetime value would have been.
Secondary market research is data that is already available and is often easier to get and more inexpensive compared to primary research. It can be used as a base to develop the primary research. It can be good data and free, but by the time it gets to you the information might be outdated. Primary research lets you have more control in finding out about your target market but it can be expensive and time consuming. Using primary and secondary research together will get the best results when trying to figure out what the target audience needs or wants.
Qualitative market research is finding out the behaviors of your target audience and quantitative market research is a measure of what the target audience is thinking. Using both of these methods together can be more valuable and give you a better idea of what the customer really wants. Like in the Dominos case study, a focus group can tell you how a customer feels, but then following up with a satisfaction survey can let the company know how satisfied the customers were with the changes they made.
I was wondering about biometric market research and how effective it was in accurately portraying consumer feelings about a product or service. If someone knows that they are being monitored, they will behave differently than if they would if they thought no one was watching. According to this article, some marketers are using nero-scientific data from research suppliersthat use techniques that have not been peer-reviewed or examined by experts. The NeuroStandards Collaboration was started so that research suppliers can submit their claims of neuro-scientific data so that it can be reviewed and critiqued scientifically by neuroscientists and phychophysiologists.
Mobile market research can let researchers get better feedback from consumers. They can see videos, pictures, talk to consumers and know what they are feeling at the moment they are using a product or service. The Mobile Marketing Research Association was developed to design studies that will help use data collected from mobile market research. They also set guidelines to ethically use personal data collected from mobile devices.
This article was from 2009, but it gives a good example of how a company positioned themselves using emotion instead of price. Godiva positioned themselves as a high end chocolate during the last recession. They wanted to make the consumer feel like they deserved to splurge on their product even when times were bad.
This article focused on writing copy that would generate more conversions. Start by setting a specific goal for what the copy is supposed to do. Conveying the message to potential customers that the value of what you have to offer is worth what they have to give up will generate more conversions. Ask “why”, “what” and “how” in that order when writing copy. “Why” will determine why a customer would or would not choose you, “what” will answer exactly what you need to convey to the customer about the value of your offer over another and “how” will answer how you will use that information to write the best copy. Using keywords like “get” and being clear about your message will let the customer know exactly what they will get in return for their investment. The author of this article showed that by being clear and precise in his copywriting conversion rates will be higher, but I thought that by his own practices the copy he wrote ended up being creative.
A business names should be uncomplicated. Using made up words or combining existing words can be hard for a consumer to pronounce or understand. It can also result in problems when trying to use it in a functional domain name. However, as the article points out, it sometimes works like for the video game Castlevania. Taglines should be action oriented. Say “Servicing our customers for however amount of time” instead of “in business since whenever.” A tagline or brand name should also give a potential customer a glimpse of what they are getting from you. Sometimes this is also not the case, like for Apple. A name or tagline should also be memorable for any potential customer. If the customer can remember the name of your business or even parts of it and it can be uses in the domain name, chances are better for your business to be found online.
I had no idea what ICANN was. Now I do. Basically. ICANN coordinates the domain names across the world so that there is one global internet. They coordinate the technical services for the Domain Name Systems operations. These technical services are the Internets Assigned Number Authority. The ICANN performs these functions under a government contract. And other stuff I’m not going to pretend I understand, but basically they make it so there are no identical domain names.
I also had no idea what WhoIs was either. When someone registers a domain name, ICANN requires the registrar to submit the contact information to the WhoIs database so that it is available for anyone to look at. People can check for expiration dates, they can look when transferring ownership and authorities can check if they are investigating criminal activity. The WhoIs database is public, but registrars can, for a fee, offer private listings. When someone looks up the information they will see their information not the owners.
I just found out about this guide last week. I think that it’s a great resource for marketers and designers. Looking through this guide can help in designing a site and writing copy. It has all the useful information to optimize a site. I also think that if marketers and designers are at least familiar with the guide and glanced at it, it would help them communicate to the programmers what is important about the message of a site and where things need to go on a site.
A cookie is a piece of information that a website stores on your computer. When someone visits a website, the site creates a piece of text that the web server stores on the computer. The next time that the person visits the site, the text string is sent to the server and the information that was stored for that text string is retrieved. Cookies are not bad; they cannot gather any information from the computer because they are just text files. They are very useful because a person will have a better experience using a website that they already visited because information is retrieved form the last visit.
By doing market research you can get information on what the consumers need, if the product or service will sell to the targeted consumers and also where to sell the product or service. This is an article where a lady made mistakes when she was doing market research. She got information that didn’t really represent the market she was targeting and her store ended up closing after three years and she lost money in the process. If she would have done a better job getting information on the customer she thought she was going to sell to, she would have seen that there was not a market for her products in the location she put her store.
Search engine optimization uses techniques to increase the number of visitors to a website. I liked what this lady, Carolyn Shelby, had to say about SEO, “Skipping the basics and spending all your time and money on social and ‘fancy stuff’ is the same as skipping brushing your teeth and showering, but buying white strips and wearing expensive cologne.” Along with increasing the number of visitors to a site, SEO should create a good user experience and let the search engines know exactly what your site is for so they can recommend your site. Search engines look for certain thing in a site and if the site cannot clearly communicate these to the search engine, the site will not get listed and users won’t see it. This was a good article that gave 8 basic tips for optimizing a site.
When someone does a Google search, their programs check their index to return the most relevant search results. There are three key processes to deliver search results; Crawling, Indexing and Serving. Googlebot, which is a program that is used to discover new and updated pages to be added to their index, is used by a large number of computers to crawl the web for pages that are updated, new or no longer exist. Google does not accept payment to crawl a page more frequently. Then Googlebot processes the pages and indexes them. Media rich files or dynamic pages cannot get processed. When a user searches, Google’s machines search their index and return the results. Over 200 factors determine the relevancy of a page, one of which is PageRank. This measures the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. But they have to be good links because Google tries to identify spam links and other things that negatively impact search results. You can use their Webmaster Guidelines to help improve a sites ranking without having the negative impacts that they look for.
Google Analytics let you know the performance of your website and how the users are using it. It’s a free service that provides data about your website to marketers and/or IT staff. Their service is free and you don’t have to use Google’s hosting service, all you have to do is add a line of code to the pages that you want analyzed. There is also a paid version that offers support, management, greater data capabilities and more. This article pointed out that even though the free version is available now, it might not always be offered for free like Google Apps is no longer free. You can also make adjustments to your site because the information offered shows what things are working on a site or what isn’t.
Market segmentation identifies parts of a market so that it is easier to satisfy the needs of the customers in those segments. For example the shoe market might be separated into segments for dress shoes, running shoes or seasonal shoes and marketing to each one of those segments would be different to satisfy the needs of the consumer in those segments. Consumer markets and industrial markets have different bases for segmentation. Consumer markets can be segmented by geographic, demographic, psychographic, demographic or behaviorist characteristics. An industrial market can be segmented by some of the same characteristics as consumer markets but also by location, company type and behavioral characteristics.
A target market is a specific group of consumers from a market segment. Finding out as much as possible about the consumer of your product or service is important. It you try to market to everyone, someone else that can serve the needs of a certain group will take those customers.
Cohorts are factors that are shared by a group of consumers and are used to identify and target segments of the market. They separate specific groups of people within their demographic groups. They cannot be used as a general marketing tool and work best for targeting a very specific group of consumers.
Sometimes referred to as behavioral segmentation, it divides the market into groups of consumers based on their lifestyles. Because there is an increase in demand for food that has certain characteristics, companies change their packaging or marketing to get the customers looking for those characteristics. For example, some cereal boxes now say they are gluten free even though they always were, but by saying that, they can get the customers that want a gluten free diet.
The customer mix is the consumers using a product or service. Understanding the types of customers that use your product or service can help with increasing sales or marketing to them. If a printing company has a sign department, it would make sense to market that product to their customers that have a fleet of vehicles that need lettering but it would be wasteful to try to sell that to their customers that have no need for vinyl graphics.
Guerilla Marketing is the use of unconventional marketing tactics with a small budget. Jay Levinson came up with the term in 1984 in a book he wrote about marketing. Mostly useful for small businesses, large companies have also used the strategies in some of their marketing campaigns. Individuals can also use guerilla marketing in their job search. I thought that this was a good article because it had examples of big company failures and successes. One of the examples was how the makers of the Blair Witch Project used Guerilla Marketing tactics and before the movie was even done, they established a fan base. There is an Official Site of Guerilla Marketing, but some of the articles that I read on there seemed a little dated.
A price point is the retail price when a consumer becomes more willing to buy a product. This is a pricing strategy used to make consumers feel they paid a fair price for a product. Research has shown that consumers like prices that end in odd numbers, like .99 or $1.95. Keeping the price under $20 is also a popular price point because it’s the bill that most people carry, according to one of the articles. Setting price points creates value for the consumer and makes them feel like they are getting a deal for the price that they pay.
This might be CRAP, but I thought the article was interesting and fit in the web presence category. The article talked about “appvertising” and gave 5 tips for advertisers and developers to use when creating appvertisements. If done right, the appvertisement can be something that the consumer wants to interact with and tell all their friends about. It is important to put the user in control and also use other apps on the device that the user is using. This can let the user be in control and still not make them do more work. The example they had was GPS, why have the user type in their location if you can use the devices GPS. Even though this is a newer way to advertise to consumers some of the tips are the same as if you were developing anything for the web like being smart about load times and testing the ads.
Servicescape is the physical surroundings of a service company and emphasizing its impact on the consumer and employees. The concept was seveloped by Bernard Booms and Mary Jo Bitner. A servicescape gives the consumer information about what they should expect from the place of service. For example, Wal-Mart and many grocery stores now have a self-checkout implying to the customer that the service of ringing up and bagging items are up to them. If a place wants to imply trust and confidentiality, a small comfortable atmosphere would be used like at a lawyer or accountant office. By changing the paint, decorations and the employee uniforms many hospitals now look more like hotels rather than medical facilities.
I went with prestige pricing because most consumers are aware of odd-cent pricing. It’s used everywhere from selling a car to a fountain soda on a value menu. Prestige pricing is the opposite of odd-cent pricing and is used to sell a product that should be perceived as high end or luxurious. So you would round up to the next whole number. This works because $1,000 implies a product is expensive and not “cheap”, (not to be confused with inexpensive.) $999 sounds cheap or discounted and that could drive the intended consumer away from the sale.