Marketing Resources - Page 2

Top Entrepreneurial Reads of Fall 2014; Books to help Cultivate your Business

You may be scrambling for some inspiration about social media methods, new trends that are taking place, and latest news on the most motivating factors in startups. Many business owners that I’ve talked to mentioned that in their most desperate times where they simply did not have good ideas, clear thought, or a clear plan of action, were inspired by reads such as these. Sometimes when you are looking at plotting up marketing methods, and researching new strategies, it takes a fresh perspective and the words of someone else to help you get back on track. Here are 4 books from this year that will help you stoke the creative fire and grow your business in the most innovative ways out there.

1) Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation

This remarkable and fresh read describes how the ability to innovate well has been shaken up a bit and lacking due to the massive advances that have taken place in technology, and how a clear vision is a bit tough to get ahold of. It is full of advice about how to survive in a very fast paced world, and how much you are going to have to adapt to stay lean, and quickly. It’s based on the premise that the advances in technology won’t be of much use if you are not willing to be ready for anything, and is intense to say the least.

2) The Big Lie; or Interpreting your Customer’s inner Life for Profit

Explaining the notion that customers really need to feel good on two different levels, this book discusses the importance of customers wanting to have not only their needs, but their dreams met. Full of backing examples, strategy to simply be leaner and better, and simply being all about what the smart brand must do to succeed these days, it investigates strategic value. In the realm of marketing placement, you will have to follow a path that has no confusion or contradiction.

3) Chicken Soup for the Soul; Reboot Your Life + 101 Stories About Finding a new path to Happiness

We are at a time where business owners are going to be well influenced by stories of change and walking in its path. It really focuses on what it feels like to be in a rut, and how to get out of it with grace and courage. Great writing; clear and concise tales of people that survived feeling down and out, and pulled a rabbit out of the hat in more ways than one. Feeling successful isn’t just about the bottom line, but the emotions you encounter at all stages of the game. As we all know the broth of soup revitalizes us during down times, so will reading stories of inspiration and numerous individuals finding ways to rise up and trump their own fears, and fears of what governs habits or the market.

4) Your Inner Will: Finding Personal Strength in Critical Times

Author of ‘The Power of Kindness’ gives us an in-depth of the most resilient people on the planet and the doses that life has given them. Truly finding your untapped energy as an entrepreneur may take a bit more than wit and will, this taps deep into philosophy, practical advice and reasoning, and has been heralded as genius. A dweller of Italy and also one who has studied Adolph Huxley’s lectures, he has much to say about the soul and how deep you can tap into it if you really need to.

How to Reach your Target Audience and Tap Into Their Buying Impulse

Connecting properly in places where they hang out

Even if at the very beginning phase of your marketing campaign you are not ready to participate actively in all aspects of the hunt, knowing where they lurk is crucial. Websites like LinkedIn are becoming more and more popular to find where key groups of people are hanging out; but remember the good stuff doesn’t all happen just in one night. You may have to hang around for awhile and participate in conversations that are not always completely relevant to get the feel of these groups.

Placing targeted ads on LinkedIn would be optimal; but there are other ways to accomplish reaching out to your target market. As far as Twitter is concerned, when you first connect with a new user, you can always send them an introduction email that shows them what you do with a URL attached. Here you are getting into a sheer numbers game, but many product marketers gladly play it, and track its data.

Beware: if you go much farther than this during a first connection, all may not go well! Some of the basics of finding your target market on the internet involve waiting. This is the reason why many marketers have other streams of revenue in the early days; it is well worth the wait to reveal what you are thriving on, or wanting people to purchase. A savvy user and potential customer will hold you in much higher regard if you two chat about other business related topics before you play all your cards and tell them your business.

Even if you are desperate for more customers, the worst way to go about this is to give someone new your entire pitch at first, such as “I am in the business of personal coaching and mentoring. If you want, I can give you a free consultation ASAP!” If you take this route of presentation, you could very easily come off as desperate.

Making sure your plan is able to find and define the target
As far as web and mobile marketing goes, it is more crucial than ever to be involved in conversations about topics that are popular and somehow leaving your mark there. Some marketers think that it is so time consuming that they may not want to leave comments on blogs with their URL and signature, but these can steer you towards some new customers and following.

Even though sometimes budget will not allow, advertising on social media can be a big boost. Some argue that Facebook is not as effective anymore and losing its kick; but hordes of people do hang out there every day and buying ad space there is always bound to reward. Even though it can always change and be hard to nail down daily, the conversion of Facebook ads is about 4.3%, a pretty high value.

Once you have your own Facebook and Twitter pages for your product or idea, your own posts can build organic traffic that may create an even bigger buzz than paid posts, but generating some followers with the paid route is one important tool in the very beginning. If you think that you know exactly who is on Twitter and how frequently, think again; the fastest growing user demographic on the social media site is 55 to 64 year olds. Depending on what your product is, this may give you a whole new dimension of placing paid ads, or simply searching for folks in who you are following. When thinking about the weekends and how to reach your target market, keep in mind that as far as social media is concerned, the weekends are not dead; there is 17% more use and engagement during this time.

The practice of making a Venn diagram (especially if what you are marketing is a book) may seem simple, but can help you figure out your target market. Simplifying where your target market may be by watching where the lines overlap can really show you whether or not to have placement of extra pushes in marketing. It can also help you distinguish whether or not time spent on certain demographics is worth it; as even smaller parts of the circle are potential customers lining up for what you have to offer.

What’s under the cover?
Not just in the book realm but in many others, the cover can really do a lot of work for you in narrowing down your target market. If you are marketing a product that is a clothing line or even Smartphone accessory, you can show the types of people you are going after using it. One surprising fact is that the luxury market stayed a little more intact during the recession, some people who wanted to escape still did. Are you providing an oasis to escape, or a lower cost activity like a coffee show that may be visited with more frequency? If you are providing a lower cost activity or product, you will need to do more volume. This is absolutely possible, but something you need to know up front.

Once you find the target market and the folks that are most apt to buy your product, there is still a lot to be done; and any trends will affect you. After understanding the proper channels, research, and where your target market spends time, you are on your way to success. With proper customer service, SEO techniques, and other web maintenance, the sky is the limit for your brand of product.

As in the surf industry this year, there are still major shakeups in the marketing world, where no one is safe and fear can come creeping around the corner. From “suggested posts” on Facebook to other tactics in social media, there are other ways to gain momentum. Once your target market starts talking to each other about how much they like to use your product, you will be happy you took the time to seek them out, and engage them aggressively.

Great books for Marketers 2014: “Inbound Marketing; Get Found using Google, Social Media, and Blogs”


This awesome book by Dharmesh Shah really nails down well the principle that reeling your customer IN instead of wasting so much effort putting together a message to push OUT is the way to go in this economy where technological awe is the norm. Improving your rankings in Google, getting more traffic with your own or outsourced writing, and using social media sites like Twitter and Pinterest are going to be mandatory skills forever now. The rules have changed so much that most businesses who don’t follow them will be lost trying the old fashioned, outbound methods. This book on getting found will fast forward you to productivity and show you the ropes on ways to get customers to find your products that are truly revolutionary.

Creating a sense of Urgency for Your Product; making sure the Purchase is prompt


Why the rush?

In any climate, there will always be a desire to get the customer to want to buy the product offered quickly. Your main objective as someone who is offering a product is to create urgency to purchase so the desire does not go away. One thing that cannot be stressed enough is the amount to which consumers are bombarded! You may be offering something that is of complete relevance, and even on the verge of trendy (a great attribute), but if the buyer decides to procrastinate, they may forget they were going to make the purchase altogether. If what you are offering is of true quality, there are most likely buyers out there that are ready, but are just dragging their feet.

Marketing genius Zig Zigler even said once that “no hurry” was one of the tragic downfalls (or obstacles) hindering a great product’s sales results. Once a certain window of time filters its way through the sand dial, you may be headed down the wrong path to create emotion. One statistic that is incredibly relevant as far as the online realm is that 55% of all local searches are done with intent to buy. Therefore if you are in the business of having a purchase portal or shop online, it is always a great marketing move to give incentive to the first respondents, and lay the objective out well as a reward or freebie. In this age of hurried customers, it is always going to be beneficial to have proper search engine optimization as well, to be on the first page of search engines for the 55% of those shoppers who ARE ready to buy.

Some of the best Ways to create sought-after urgency

Finding out what really ails, or pains, your prospect is of grave importance. Whether it happens through demographic research, even taking note of comments on blogs, or seeing where your competitors are taking strides, you’ll be thankful when you master this task. It seems that only in the medical provisions or health fields that you would take to this practice, but one must look deeper. Areas like grocery stores, fashion, and auto manufacturing can all benefit from finding out what ails and pains your prospect; whether it’s long lines, lack of compassion, or poor customer service. One marketing guru on his blog tells us that “If you take fifty prospects at any given time, only one of them a month is really ready to buy”. Now, that may sound extreme, but people have a lot of different avenues that their money trickles down to.

Fear of loss as a motivator can work for you, although it may not be the same as the old trick of simply stating you have “limited supplies”. This is where you may use your advertising medium to ask the prospect questions, such as if they could live without certain amenities or durable goods. Using urgency on the day your product actually launches is also of incredibly high value in the marketing realm. It can be difficult to track results without metric software (and quite a bit of luck), but there are also tier sets of urgency that work well with restaurants, vacation destinations, or even merchandise like t shirts. You can state that the first ten buyers get the product at one price, the next 15 at another price, etc.

One thing that most buyers know is that they do not want an infomercial barking at them and making the sense of urgency so dire that it deafens any other of their senses. Yes, it can be done effectively, but digital marketing and of course tactics like Pinterest campaigns with colorful infographics are more appealing with the savvy users of today. One real challenge these days can also be discerning whether or not you have done something wrong in your campaign and urgency creation, or if you are just dealing with yet another dip in buying confidence.

There are basic fundamentals such as back to school and other seasonal marketing bandwagons that occur, and it is definitely getting harder than ever to gauge where these lines overlap into just sheer luck and consumer splurging. Although the infomercials of yesterday can be a rough guideline to creating a sense of urgency, there are plenty of mediums to do so. Once you can accomplish them proficiently, you will see an immediate reward; in the form of coveted (and potentially repeat) new revenue.

Tips on Creating Effective Product Messaging


Focus on delivering the whole nine yards

In the age of multiple social media websites and opportunities for people to review you, there are a few cautions for the entrepreneur that could mistakenly drift into a bad message channel. For instance, if there is a promotion that you are running involving freebies or giveaways, don’t follow one commonly followed path.

A lot of new brands want to create hype and in doing so they create gimmicky events that have carefully created fine print. They assume that people will be beating down the door and excited to see a new place, and maybe with the state of the economy, that they will in turn not worry about you not making good on your offer. Don’t follow this path! Even if a few customers stick around and don’t mind what you did, the ones that were looking forward to the event or giveaway will vent about it. There are brands with massive potential that go this route and ruin the future for themselves; especially in the domains involving travel and music merchandising.

Incorporate lots of examples

When you are first involved in the process of conveying a message, there are many consumers who may not believe your claims right away. When you make moves like including graphs and other visuals that may appeal to their emotion, their analytical side can kick in and make a last minute decision for them to buy your product. It has also been widely proven in the world of successful advertising that if you have a point to make in the world of branding and marketing, make it in three’s. It has been said many times that even with a stellar product, the most important motive is to not have the main message put people to sleep. In essence, creating a sense of urgency could be the hardest work involved in creating your message.

The art of really knowing your buyer

In some cases the persona and entire culture of a buyer must really be examined. Of course demographic research is the most traditional way to do this, but even logging on to some social media sites and checking out a product’s following can clue you in. If you truly are going to deliver a message that will resonate for a long period of time, there are a lot of attributes you have to figure out. When dealing with a company like VW or a hip sneaker brand, figuring out what your target market’s buttons are can take you across the finish line in the final hour.

In a well-known technology company that now has a large share of market sales’ research, at the very last minute before a new commercial dropped on the web and on air, it was learned that the target buyer had a bit more competitive edge than previously thought. With not a whole lot of time to spare, a spot was tailored for them that involved two alpha type males playing a game against each other, instead of a typical product pitch. In the end, it really paid off; even though the two guys’ competitive edge was a bit quirky, the audience recognized the call to action and really lined up to purchase the product.

Another attribute of great strength is fully understanding your target market’s next choice down the line. Whether you are in the business of outsourcing, coaching, or perfecting a product line, when it comes to creating a message, there is much more to be done than just offering a quick peek at your strong points. Sometimes in the line of insurance and service providers, the most important part of the message is voicing what “They” AKA the “competitor” can or cannot fulfill compared to your product. Part of a product message is clarity and strength building, and your product or service may really be able to spread its’ wings when sized up against another that offers the same thing with a few pitfalls.

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

Readers of authors like Malcolm Gladwell will definitely enjoy this blend of what leadership, success, and the skill of simply having influence will show them. A focus on making sure interaction with others is your prime focus, and stories of those who remained behind the scenes while creating their success are heralded in this great example of 2013’s marketer knowledge banks on the press. Different takes on numbers and large entities toppling such as Enron are delivered here in a fashion that will make any marketer reflect on what the future holds and how they can shape it.

Great app for Marketers: Statigram

statigram_image Everyone knows that marketing on Instagram is getting to be the rage; you can truly develop organic traffic with it due to the ways in which people find your content. But what ways are available to track what’s happening, and make it fun, even?

Statigram truly is “Instagram made more comfortable”, and also can integrate with Hootsuite. Managing contests, conversations, great analytics about content, community, and activity are also just some of what it offers. Seeing what the best times to post are, average life of a photo, and how to really edge in and track follower growth make this invaluable. Realizing that it’s so much more than just a place to post pictures is the beginning; really capitalizing on the tools available will make you the guru you dream of being.

Marketer’s Top Reads: Content Rules


This is a book that really does its job well of telling marketers how to create stories, blogs, videos, and content that people are curious about and want more of. Content Rules: How to create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Webinars, (and more) that Engage Customers and Ignite your Business is the title of this great resource. Authors Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman use examples of companies that have practiced what they’re is preaching, which gives the reader a sense of what they can accomplish if they use these tactics. Podcasting in particular is really gaining in popularity, and is a great avenue for heightening interest on the web.