Affordable Marketing for Small Business

As an owner of a small business, you are less likely to have an endless budget to invest in your marketing efforts. The unfortunate thing about small businesses is that you need to be able to reach out to a large portion of potential customers in order to be able to make conversions.

In a situation like this, it is important to indulge in intelligent marketing for small business for the purpose of improving business. Here are a few ideas that may come in handy.

Know Your Market
In order to indulge in effective marketing for small business, it is important for you to realize who your target market is. Knowing the composition of your target market will allow you to save costs in using appropriate mediums to reach out to them.

This can greatly help in improving business. As your investments will have a favorable return ratio, it will automatically have a positive impact on your business’ profitability status. Like any other business concern, marketing for small business is most effective when it is personalized and is being received by the relevant customers.

Know Your Limitations
As the owner of a small business, you need to realize your limitations in terms of production capacity. If you invest heavily in marketing for small business but are unable to meet the customers’ expectations, you will most likely receive a negative reputation in the market.

It is therefore vital for improving business to know the precise quantities of production load that you can handle. For instance, if you can serve a hundred customers at maximum, it will be inappropriate to opt for marketing a small business to millions (even after taking into account that marketing to ten people is likely to result in a single conversion).

Know Your Clients
If you are looking for ways to improve business, your clients can play major role. While it may be difficult for you to reach out to new customers and convince them about your products, it is much easier to do the same for existing customers.

While thinking about marketing for small business, it is important not to overlook the segment that has already utilized your products and services. These can prove to be unparalleled advocates for you. Your marketing scheme should include this segment and must take their interests into consideration for higher customer retention and customer loyalty.

A small business need not necessarily be burdened by marketing methods – you just need to know which method you can employ to the maximum benefit.

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What A Marketing Research Analyst Can Do For Your Business

Often, when a business is not performing up to mark, the business development manager seeks the services of a marketing research analyst. Keep reading to find out more about what this means.

Collect Information
A marketing research analyst collects sensitive information pertaining to the customers which is crucial for business development. This can be done by conducting surveys, one-on-one interviews or by any other means of communication. The information collected may be about customers’ demographics and purchase preferences and frequency. This information tells what the customers are looking for and how they can be approached effectively.

Since collecting such information is a challenging task, it is highly recommended to seek the services of a marketing research analyst for this task. Your business development decisions depend highly on the collection of correct information. If this process is not performed correctly, all subsequent steps and even your business development strategy are likely to fail.

Organize Information
Once the information is collected, it needs to be organized before it can be interpreted. A professional research service provider is likely to use statistical software for this purpose. The information collected needs to be fed into this software so that meaningful deductions can be made from it.

The information in its raw form is too huge to be processed. It therefore needs to be grouped on certain common terms in order to reach conclusions. Statistical software is the most appropriate medium for achieving this.

Analyze Information
Certain statistical procedures become necessary in analyzing data. For instance, the information needs to be grouped in order to identify the general trends and preferences in people regarding a certain product. Your research consultant is responsible for making meaningful deduction from the information collected. These deductions play a pivotal role in determining the direction to be used for business development.

Strategy Development
A reputed marketing researcher is likely to provide information about the possible alternatives you have for improving your business performance along with the research report. It includes suggestions like whether you need to improve your product or you need to invest more on your marketing efforts. These decisions will help you reach the desired business benchmark. The marketing research report identifies the weak areas in your business which you can improve in order to attain maximum profitability.

So if your business is not yielding the results you would like to see, it is most probably because of the fact that you are overlooking an important factor. This means a marketing research analyst cannot only help you improve your business performance; it will also ensure its continued survival.

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Importance of Targeted Marketing

If you are new to the world of business and do not possess a business-related educational background, you will likely be confused with the number of options available with respect to every business activity. There is no singularly outclass formula for business success – you need to tailor-cut your own formula for success.

However, it has been unanimously agreed that targeted marketing can work wonders for your business’ return on investment.

What is Targeted Marketing?
Targeted marketing implies that your business marketing efforts are able to reach out to the relevant people who will or are likely to buy your products and services. Each and every person receiving your advertising content, if it is not targeted, is not a potential customer. Unless your product is a generic one, like bread and milk, you will need to sell to a specific audience.

It is one of the best marketing practices to identify your target market and then develop your marketing content accordingly. This way you can ensure that your return on investment is a positive one. This is because when you practice targeted marketing, not only will your marketing costs be lower, but also the resultant sales will be larger – and subsequently a positive return on investment.

What Targeted Marketing Involves?
You need to conduct marketing research in relation to your product so that you can adequately identify who your customers are and what they are looking for. At times, marketing research can also help you improve your product so that it is naturally more attractive for your customers.

In your market research, you need to cover the following important factors:

  • Who are your customers? Is your product universally sellable or does it have use for a specific customer base?

  • Where are your customers located? What are the mediums you can use to reach them without incurring additional costs?

  • What advertising message tone needs to be used in order to make the product more appealing to your target market?

When you have a marketing research team collecting this information, you can also instruct them to find out if your customers are looking for something else beside the basic product. For instance, when talking about cars, this additional information may be about colors or luxury features of the car. This will help in improving your product while also making your advertising efforts more effective.

The whole idea behind running a business is to have a positive return on investment – being able to earn more than the amount which is invested in different production and promotional efforts. Otherwise, the purpose of business is lost.

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Campaign Analysis for an Effective Direct Marketing Strategy

All marketing can be considered to be direct marketing. This is because all marketing efforts are designed to target the relevant audience and encourage them into buying specific products and services. If the marketing message is not received by the potential customer, it ultimately implies the marketing endeavor failed.

Campaign analysis can play an important role in the development of an effective direct marketing strategy. Here is how this works:

Market Segmentation
Direct marketing is not possible without identifying the market segment that is most appropriate for the product. Each individual is unique with different needs. Campaign analysis helps in identifying the most appropriate customers and the market segment they occupy. This is done through surveys, interviews and other market analysis techniques.

When a business knows who its customers are, it is in a better position to target them effectively. It therefore improves the result of these marketing efforts.

Location Identification
Once the customers have been identified, it is also important to spot out where they are located. Putting up a billboard in such a place that is viewable to a large portion of target audience is likely to yield better results than putting it in a place where the target audience is not present.

This will also place an impact on the cost-benefit analysis of the direct marketing technique. Such campaign analysis ensures the marketing message is received by the maximum number of people for the least amount invested in placing the promotional material.

Message Tone and Content
Some people are likely to respond better to emotional messages whereas some may be convinced through a mellow dramatic tone. The market segment plays an important role in determining the customer tastes. Consequently, the marketing effort is likely to yield better results if this taste or preference is taken into consideration while formulating it.

Medium of Communication
There are several different mediums that can be used to project the marketing message. At each medium, the audience is likely to be slightly different. For instance, when talking about TV, news channels are likely to have a major proportion of adult and mature viewers. As for cartoon channels, it is likely to be children.

Through campaign analysis, it is possible to identify the most appropriate medium to use in order to maximize the impact of the marketing message. Not only will it ensure the target audience receives the message, it will also help in convincing them about the viability of purchase.

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Improving Business by Campaign Analysis

As a business owner or manager, the first and foremost concern for you is to maintain profitable operations for the business. If the business under your supervision is not able to earn more than it invests, it will ultimately go broke. To avoid such a situation, numerous business techniques are employed.

A recent method of improving business these days involves campaign analysis. As the name suggests, it is done by conducting an in-depth analysis of the marketing technique being used by the business. Here are a few details about this campaign analysis.

Customer Response Analysis
All customers do not respond to a marketing effort in the same way. For instance, if a customer needs renovation services for their homes, they are most likely to call up the company for quote when they see an advertisement. On the other hand, when services are not needed, even potential customers are likely to ignore the message.

In Campaign Analysis, these customer responses are evaluated to identify the most appropriate medium and location to target according to the nature of the product being sold. This helps in improving business by increasing the impact of the marketing message and hence the conversions.

Driving Sales Volume
It is possible for you to improve sales when you have a clear idea about who your customers are, what are their needs and how you can convince them to purchase your products and services. This can be done with the help of Campaign Analysis. The correct combination of the said elements can help in yielding best results for improving business.

For instance, if you are the producer of baby products, then your most logical target market consists of young mothers with small children. As babies are priceless assets for mothers and the relationship between the two is purely sentimental, it will make sense to develop your marketing theme around this emotion. This will automatically be able to make the right impact on your target market and hence increase sales.

Low Customer Acquisition Cost
If you know where and how you need to market your product, you are in a position to reduce your marketing costs to the bare minimum while being able to receive the maximum benefit, thereby improving business. There are thousands of marketing methods that you can use – the key is to use such a method which helps in yielding the maximum benefits. Why would you want to invest in something as costly as billboard advertising when your print ads are not only the most relevant but also the most effective method of reaching out to your target market?

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The challenge in today’s multi-faceted marketing world is to determine what is working and what doesn’t. Regardless of the channel I rephrase the question to be “Who is responding and what do they look like”?

If you only took the time to track and measure results you could learn a great deal about your marketing. A research study of 252 firms capturing $53 billion in annual marketing spend indicated that 53% of the companies are not using return on investment to guide campaign selection. You can find more amazing statistics in Mark Jeffery’s book titled “Data-Driven Marketing”.

To be frank, data modeling is complex but the findings don’t have to be. Given the right tracking you may easily find that 30% to 50% of your direct marketing is purely wasted. Wouldn’t it be better to find out who is not responding and save your marketing dollars for more profitable efforts? Targeting the right people multiple times is much better than targeting everyone once. Or how about finding more of the right people to target your offers to?

So I ask… “Why Waster Money”? Do yourself a favor and start analyzing results. Based on Mark’s research, half of you are not.

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1-2-1 or 1-2-All…

1-2-1 or 1-2-All…

I spend a great deal of time speaking with companies across the nation. Some of these companies are marketing agencies, commercial printers, direct mailers and some are direct clients. For a number of years now, I have read how dynamic content increases response and sales and the amazing results that are achievable. We have come to know the process as One to One communications. Personalization can and should have a tremendous impact on consumers in the marketplace.

Companies such as Xerox, HP, Cannon and many others have created the technology of software and printing equipment to make this a reality. Some folks actually have the expertise to maximize these processes. But for the most part, I am still seeing a lot of One to All communications being generated. There are hundreds of companies in the US alone equipped to make things happen. So where is the disconnect?

Two key components as I see it create a road block. First and most important is the data component. If you don’t understand details about who you are talking to there are no opportunities for segmentation. Without segmentation it is almost impossible to consider creating unique messages, offers and images to indicate that you actually understand what I “the consumer” am all about.

Secondly and also critical is a marketing strategist who can take what is learned from segmentation and build an actual campaign with all of the right pieces. Marketers run at such a fast pace that most of the time they don’t take the time to use what is in front of them. I have seen some amazing campaigns and uses of data but they are few and far between.

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Campaign Analysis

Campaign Analysis

What is campaign analysis? I suppose this is many things to many people. This concept is really foreign to many folks spending major money every year in marketing. For many folks, they may just ask, Did my sales go up this month? Did the phones ring more? Did we get more hits on the web site? If you are hard tracking results to marketing campaigns you are thinking more in terms of response rates and conversion to sales. If you are more sophisticated you may be looking at how a version or offer responded.

As I said, campaign analysis means a lot of different things. If you really want to start making smarter decisions, I have a different question for you. Who is responding to what? Even if you have created segments or versions there is a lot more that you can learn from your marketing efforts. When you start asking the right questions you have the potential to double or triple results. This may sound far fetched but let’s explore a path to get there. It keeps you from doing the same thing over and over again expecting to get different results.
Appending demographic and socioeconomic data to your campaign file is a starting point. Knowing that you must capture who responded to the campaign is a given here. Now through modeling and analytics you can see characteristics that describe what a response looks like. If you have versions you will also learn specifics about what message or offer resonates with different people.

Knowing who responds to what is key to improved results. Capture results and measure the outcome. Test changes by refining messages further or selecting what offer/message/creative goes to which person can make all of the difference in the world.

As marketers, we should all have a goal of continuous improvement. What will you do differently this year to make a difference through campaign analysis?

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