8 incredible offline marketing techniques for businesses

2-online-and-offline-marketingDo you know the similarity between marketing and story writing? It is the out of the box ideas and planned execution that hits the chord among target audience in both the processes.

With inception of digital marketing, various marketers are losing belief in offline marketing.

But if done creatively, offline marketing ideas can still create a huge impact among potential customers.

Let’s look at some awesome offline marketing strategies which work effectively for both startups and big brands:

  • Bookmarks and pens

Merchandise like bookmarks and pens with brand’s brief description can be donated to local libraries. These require small investment and benefits are long term. You can also distribute these during some local events or literary festivals.

  • Flash mobs

Marketers can organize flash mob in places like malls, popular shopping complexes, parks etc. These help in creating positive buzz for your company due to surprise factor added with it. A colorful street festival can also turn your products / services into renowned brand.

  • Participate in trade shows

Make sure the banner representing your stall in a trade show is vibrant and clearly visible. It is definitely attract potential clients and will ensure that image of your brand remains in their mind for a longer duration.

  • Turn infographics into pamphlets

Take support of creative writers and designers for creating informative and attractive infographics associated with your brand. Get them printed in bulk and distribute among the regions where your target audience is located.

  • Take help of journalists and critics

Make sure to develop a good bond with journalists and review writers of local media. These writers have a big following and words written by them in their respective channel / newspaper / magazine about your brand will develop a lasting impression among readers.

  • Attach discount with pamphlets

Adding discount coupons with pamphlets and leaflets will definitely draw more attention of customers towards your brand. It makes sure that they use your product / service at least once to redeem the coupon.

  • Offer freebies to regular customers

An important strategy to build a long term relation with loyal customers is offer them freebies like CD-ROMs, magazines and mobile covers etc. This will help in creating positive word of mouth for your brand. Giving special discounts for these special customers also improves the loyalty towards your brand.

  • Car stickers

Applying big stickers representing your brands on your car can add visibility on the move. You can also take support of auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws for placing banner ads on the back of these vehicles.

Remember, you don’t have to implement ideas at once. You can choose a mix of these strategies and apply them as per the budget and time allotted for the brand.

Large retail chains and the emerging market puzzle

retailSigns

Large retail chains such as Walmart, Carrefour, and Tesco etc are finding it tough to conquer emerging markets. These retailers first tried to implement the same business model that they used in developed markets, in developing ones too. This model was one of having large supermarket or hypermarket stores, located at some distance away from city centers. Most Walmart stores in America are located in suburban areas. Car ownership is high in America and gasoline prices are relatively low. Road network is also good there. Therefore American customers easily drive to suburban Walmart stores when they want to buy grocery or other household items.

In an emerging market such as India, the situation is different. Car ownership is low and gasoline (petrol & diesel) prices are higher, as a proportion of per capita income. Road network is often very poor outside cities. Customers cannot drive to a suburban Walmart store, every time they want to buy grocery, in India. So Walmart’s American business model cannot work in India.

In emerging markets such as India, the need is for smaller stores that are located near the homes of target customers. Many retail chains have started following this small, convenience store model in these markets. The commercial rent for smaller stores is also less. High commercial rent is a major problem in India due to shortage of high-quality retail space.

Consumers in emerging markets too want to have a good shopping experience. They too want to buy products at discounted prices. Retail chains just need to tweak their business model to suit local conditions more. The focus of these chains should not be too much on expansion of number of stores. The focus should be on ensuring profitability. A retail chain should open a new store once the previously opened store has become profitable. Tata group’s Trent chain in India follows this policy and therefore has been a sustainable business for long.

The potential of retail industry is huge in India and other emerging markets. According to a recent report by consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, by the year 2025 consumer spending in emerging economies will rise to $30 trillion. This will amount to half the total global consumption. Retail chains – both domestic and international – which show flexibility in term of business model and do not become too eager about expansion will definitely be able to tap this huge opportunity.

Top PPC Mistakes to Avoid

PPC-MistakesIts been 9 years in the industry & have seen many google adwords account. Basis my experience I am listing out few PPC mistakes that one has to avoid while working on account.

1. Geographical Targeting: Many people forget to check this feature & there ads run on global setting. Geographical targeting allows you to target your ads to display to users in the area/location that is most accurate to your businesses reach. However, if your business is international then perhaps targeting global is the best idea. For e.g if you have a pet shop in delhi only, targeting whole india will not work. You will loose money with no conversions.

2.Negative Keywords: Add negative keywords to eliminate your ads appearing for irrelevant searches. Having relevant keywords that are targeted and added as a tightly controlled match type isn’t enough.For example, if you want to target the search term “Washing Machine Noida” and have the keyword selected as phrase match, your ad still might appear for “Second Hand Washing Machine Noida”. You know you don’t have second Washing Machine, so it would be advisable to add ‘Second Hand’ as a negative keyword to ensure your ads don’t appear for second hand related searches.

3. Ad Extensions: Ad extensions shows extra information. One can add them manually or automate them. Extensions can help in improving CTR(click thorough rate), which
means more clicks & more customers.Its also helps in gaining higher ad rank when competing with same bid and quality ad. There are 10 different ad extensions you can use in your ads:

  • Sitelinks
  • Location
  • Call
  • App
  • Reviews
  • Callouts
  • Consumer ratings
  • Previous visit annotations
  • Seller rating
  • Social

4.Using too many or too few ads: Running only 1 ad per adgroup is not advised. It could be risky, because if the ad isn’t the most appealing ad around it will be the only ad that gets impressions & no conversions. Running too many ads limits the best performing ad, mainly because it won’t get as much display time while it is rotating with other weaker performing ads. It would be best to have 2-3 ads running, test them, and replace the weaker performing one.

5. Mobile Ads: Mobile advertising is getting bigger & bigger each year. You are definitely missing some customers if you are not marketing on mobile. But you should be aware before going for mobile ads. It is not necessary if something work on desktop will work on mobile also. One needs to change UI as per mobile experience.

These are few important mistakes that one needs to take care.  Managing PPC campaigns can be complex & need lot of attention to avoid losses. One need to manage campaign actively to attain success.

Key To Successful Sales…Secret Unveiled.

Picture1What do you think is the key to a successful sale? Is it years of work experience? Is it skills? Is it an art? Well, answer could be a bit of all- in the right mix. Anybody could crack a deal if he knows a few things and uses them appropriately.

First, of all whether it is your first job or fifth, you need to have passion to sell. You should enjoy meeting new people and giving presentations.Second, You need to know what you sell- very well. That means knowledge is crucial.If you are new to the company, ask for training before you start your job. If your organisation does not provide training and you are expected to hit the ground running then hit the ground running. But do the training yourself. That means spend enough time and efforts in understanding about what you are expected to sell.

Then, you need to identify the needs of your customers before you start pitching for your products or services to them.It is essential to highlight the benefits of your service or product to the client.It is important that clients understand the prospects of a good service. Approaching customers with confidence is important. It is important to offer what you have with confidence as it implies that your product or service has value. There needs to be a genuine interest in customer as self-serving manipulation is complete turn off. Further the clients are smart enough to sense it.

If you can, then try to findthe buying behaviours of your clients. Do not profile them on the basis of their appearance as you know looks could be deceptive.However, effective researching about the company, customer, buying behaviour and their upcoming requirements could help you go a long way.

It also helps to know your best clients well and profiling their specific characteristics to know what sort of customers you should target in future. In sales, competition is acute. Sometimes very sharp… resulting in jealousy.If you face jealousy, then do not let it drag you down. However, what really makes one successful is by helping, aligning and seeking ways to serve others. Yes, you read it right. It always helps to be helpful to others.

It is crucial to target your existing client base time and again and making it easy for them to buy from you each time. This means keeping the process simple, being approachable, available and ready to delight them each time. Principles of successful sales usually remain same with tweaks here and there-whether you are selling IT services, microchips, customised applications or hotel rooms, travel deals or credit cards or insurance. It is just the application of these principles – that make all the difference.

The Digital Marketing Mix!

Picture1Digital marketing is a common term these days. As much as it is being used, different people have different meaning attached to it.So, what is Digital Marketing and what does it entail? Marketing, in layman terms, is used to promote a brand or create a product or brand awareness. As a result, the targeted audience buys or recommends the product or service.

Digital marketing is about using digital media to influence the users, buyers, and specific targeted audience.It leverages the use of electronic devices- Laptops, tablets, phones, etc. to provide an experience that influences a specific audience to respond or to take action.

Broadly digital Marketing mix comprises of:

  • Email Marketing:If you have opened your inbox lately, you might have seen some mass emails- which have been sent to lots of email accounts apart from yours. It has been estimated that driving qualified traffic to your website is only half the battle. If you wish to make the user buy something, then a strategic email marketing campaign can boost up your sales. Hence sometimes you get to know about a service right in your inbox.
  • Search Engine optimisation: if you have a product or a service, it needs to have search visibility. Because only the products and services in limelight can be bought. Hence SEO or search engine optimisation has maintained itself as a powerful digital marketing strategy.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media today is a must for creating brand awareness.Social media creates new opportunities for businesses to interact with customers, potential clients and get first hand reviews of their services or products. Facebook, Twitter, pinterest, tumblr, etc. are all social media marketing tools.
  • Content marketing:As the famous saying goes, ‘Content is the king these days’, it actually is.It is estimated that 86% of businesses these days, use content marketing (through impactful blogs, engaging information on their website, creating visual content) to establish themselves as leaders within their business verticals.
  • Others, yet crucial: We have talked about internet side of digital marketing. But there are other sources as well. Internet is the channel that is most closely associated with digital marketing, but there are others including text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, digital television and radio channels, etc. Text messaging is the brief instant information relay which could be used for any quick news regarding sales, offers or brand awareness. Digital television, podcasts and radio channels are playing their part when consumers are travelling or driving and still wish to access useful information.

Before deciding which digital marketing strategy you should use for your product or service, it is crucial to understand 4 key things:

  • What is your message?
  • Who is your customer? Where are they found? For instance, are they active on social media or check their mobiles often or read blogs and websites for recommendations?
  • How should you reach them?
  • What should you measure and how?

Today, Digital channel is the first touch point for the potential customer to get the complete 360 degree view of the product or service. Digital marketing is also the leverage that businesses have as they can influence the buyer behaviour through proper digital marketing strategy.The customer has limitless choices, thanks to the digital world. However, it is upto the digital marketing strategiststo understand the customer journey, customer expectations and plan desired outcomes through various channels.

Digital marketing comprises use of rich content- something that people really care about and then it is about delivering that content at the time and digital location where your customers expect it.

On the other side, digital marketing should be sensitive- in the sense you should not overwhelm the prospective customer with extensive content. This might impact the business negatively.The idea behind digital marketing should be to keep it simple.

The audience need to be given the message so that they consider you as a valuable resource. Digital marketing should be aimed to enhance the experience of the end user in terms of educating him, providing relevant information or recommendations.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

38e46bbc86061e0092321b2187480efdWith ever increasing internet penetration in a growing economy like India, Digital Marketing is increasingly becoming a necessity rather an option for the marketers. With increasing number of internet users, the amount of time spent online is also on the rise. As our lives begin to center around mediums such as PCs, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and gaming consoles, marketers are being able to track and tap into many aspects of consumer behaviour. And with so much clutter across channels and mediums, unique story-telling becomes the key to catch your user’s attention.

According to last year’s article in Times of India, around 1.5 lac jobs are expected to be created in Digital Marketing space by 2016, further stressing upon its importance. If we look at it from an industry perspective, e-commerce solely thrives on online transactions – from booking tickets to transferring funds to purchasing day-to-day stuff. It has, in fact, given birth to new forms of marketing such as affiliate, remarketing, cashback schemes etc.

Apart from this, social media networks and their growing impact on a users’ life has led to marketers looking at this medium as the most-desired destination to find their target group. With over 92 million users in the country, India has become the second largest market for Facebook after US. Out of the total, 50% of the audience belongs to the teen age-group of 18 – 24 years, which is the main target group for most of the brands today.

In a nutshell, it would be safe to say that Digital Marketing has altered by leaps and bounds in all these years and if the companies want to stay in the game, they need to up the ante and create a seamless branding experience across all media channels. While customers have the option to access information across various channels, it is also a challenge for the marketers to tweak their campaigns as per the platforms.

Google AdWords: An effective tool for promoting your business

google adwordsGoogle AdWords is a paid advertising service of Google. A business can create its online advertisement using Google AdWords. This advertisement is then shown by Google next to the search results that it shows on its search engine page. Every time somebody clicks on the advertisement of a company on Google search engine page, the advertiser-business has to pay some amount to Google, depending on the ad rate.

Google’s share of the global search engine market is a whopping 62.3%, according to data from NetMarketShare. This makes Google AdWords a very effective tool for promotions, especially for small businesses which have some form of online presence, like the website of their business.

In order to effectively advertise using Google AdWords a few things need to be kept in mind. The keywords that are used in the advertising message are very important. It is on the basis of these keywords that Google displays the advertisement of a business when a particular search word is put in its search engine bar by a user. For example if your business is one of selling books online then your advertisement on Google AdWords will be displayed if some user types ‘books’ on the search engine bar of Google. Therefore it is very important to put the right keywords in your Google AdWords advertisement.

Care should be taken that not too broad keywords are there in your advertisement. The keywords used should be specific; they should define your business as closely as possible. Too many keywords should not be there in your advertisement. A few keywords and those keywords should be able to specifically give an idea about the value proposition of your business.

Your Google AdWords advertisement should have a link that takes the user clicking on your ad to an attractive landing page that is easy to navigate. This page should easily give the information that the user visiting your page is looking for. If your website sells goods online then the user clicking on your ad should be immediately taken to the page which displays the goods on sale. A business should run a number of different ads of the business using Google AdWords at the same time. Rotation of ads helps in breaking through the digital marketing noise and attracting the attention of users.

Last, but not the least, advertising on Google AdWords incurs costs for the business. The returns on this investment in advertising on Google AdWords should be continuously measured by tracking the amount of sales generated through Google AdWords.  Google AdWords can be leveraged by small businesses to advertise themselves to a very large audience. It is a big opportunity indeed, if done rightly!

Time To Outsource Marketing!

downloadThe simplest definition of online marketing is marketing on the internet. Onlinemarketing has emerged as a very effective tool of marketing, especially for small businesses andcompanies. Online marketing, unlike traditional mass-media marketing like print or television marketing, can be done at very limited budget.

A small business or company, lacking in-house expertise in online marketing, can do wellby outsourcing it to external online marketing experts. There are a number of online marketing consultancies in India.The website of the business is an important component of online marketing. Having anexternal expert managing the online marketing of your business ensures that the content on yourwebsite is regularly updated. Many small businesses have websites but the content on theirwebsites are often outdated because they are not regularly updated. Similarly the social mediapage of a business needs to be continuously updated with interesting content so that the businessis able to attract the attention of its target audience on social media.

The external expert can do search engine optimization (SEO) in a better way. Better SEOcan increase the effectiveness of search engine listing of the business. SEO is becomingincreasingly complicated. As almost every business doing online marketing is employing SEOtechnique, it has become a challenge to break through the SEO clutter. An external onlinemarketing expert, having core competency in SEO, can write better SEO content for thebusiness.

The external expert can increase the effectiveness of search engine advertising of thebusiness. Such an expert is usually equipped with technologies like lead conversion software.The lead conversion software tracks a prospective customer’s movement right from clicking onthe advertisement of the business to landing on the landing page and further. The lead conversionsoftware helps the business identify which online marketing platforms are effective and whichare not.

These experts can also help the business track the return on its investment (ROI) in onlinemarketing. By tracking the ROI on online marketing, a business can get a clear idea about the benefits and costs of its online marketing initiatives.While outsourcing the online marketing to an external expert, the management of thebusiness should make sure that the external partner understands the nature of the business. Onlythen can the external consultant create really effective online marketing for the business.

Is Your Content Marketing Effective ?

Future+of+content+marketingContent marketing is the creation and distribution of content among the target customer audience.The aim of content marketing is to inform the target audience about the value proposition of the business and to trigger purchase behavior that is profitable for the business.Content marketing is also driven by the objective of customer relationship management.The significance of content marketing has increased because of the rise of internet marketing, especially social media marketing.

 

Content marketing is a very effective tool for small businesses and companies that have a limited marketing budget. The most important thing in this type of marketing is the quality of content.If the quality of content is interesting to read then it will be more effective in driving positive, desirable behavior in the target audience. The marketing goals of the business should also be kept in mind while writing the content.

 

The quality of the user interface on which content is visible also has a major influence on the target audience.The effectiveness of content marketing increases when its impact is continuously tracked by the marketer.The Return on Investment (ROI) can be tracked by identifying engagement metrics and growth metrics.Engagement metrics measure how successful content marketing is in attracting the interest of the target audience to the web page of the company.Growth metrics measure the success of content marketing in increasing sales, customer base and profitability of the business.

 

A business can analyze the effectiveness of its content marketing by using tools like Google Analytics. Google Analytics throws up such insights like number of visits to the content page daily, source of these visits etc.Content Score is software which enables the marketer to see which marketing content is performing best in terms of engaging target audience. BuzzSumo software is similar to Content Score in that it helps the marketer get an idea about which content is most popular in the target audience. Buffer application is designed especially for tracking the effectiveness of content on social media.

 

A business can greatly increase the effectiveness of its content marketing by creating content that is interesting, informative and easy-to-read. By continuously tracking the effectiveness of content marketing and its ROI, the business can generate greater value for every dollar spent on content marketing.Small businesses should use content marketing more for increasing their reach and market penetration.It is highly effective in recruitment of new customers and retaining existing ones.

Email Marketing & the Art of Conversation

kk1 E-mail marketing means sending of marketing messages to prospective customers and existing customers using the e-mail. Most companies follow a set format while pursuing e-mail marketing. They write a standard marketing message and then send it to the e-mails of prospective customers that are there in their database. This standard format has greatly reduced the effectiveness of e-mail marketing. A few simple steps can greatly enhance its effectiveness.

 

The first and foremost of these steps is to start taking e-mail marketing as a conversation between the company and the prospective customer. Therefore the first e-mail that is sent as part of e-mail marketing by the business should have a few short, sentences, only containing the core marketing message. This short e-mail should encourage dialogue between the company and the customer. This ensures that the prospective customer reads the mail. When the initial e-mail is too long, containing too much information, most of the prospective customers tend to ignore it and treat it as a marketing spam.

 

When the initial e-mail is short and direct, a prospective customer is more likely to read it and respond to it. The purpose of most e-mail marketing is to seek appointment with the prospective customer. This appointment can be telephonic or face-to-face.Once a prospective customer has responded to the mail, the next step is to do research on what are the specific needs of that individual. The next e-mail should focus on how the product or service of the company can fulfill the specific need of the individual. After receiving this mail the prospective customer is much more likely to give attention to the value proposition offered by the business.

 

When a prospective customer ignores the initial e-mail, a company can send him or her e-mail reminders. But these reminders should not be more than three. If a prospective customer still doesn’t respond then it is advisable that the business should stop pursuing him or her.These simple e-mail marketing steps are as relevant for business-to-business marketing as they are for business-to-customer segment. Usually the response rate of e-mail marketing is as low as 1%. By implementing the steps recommended above the effectiveness of this mode of marketing can be increased to as high as 50% – to- 80%.E-mail marketing is a very potent tool for recruiting new customers and retaining existing ones. Companies and businesses are just not using it rightly.