Sales and marketing

Direct Marketing

This is a targeted and cost-effective way to promote your product through unsolicited contact with existing or potential customers. Using leaflets, e-mails, telemarketing, SMS, you can focus resources and measure results on the databases you use. Such a campaign should increase sales to existing and new customers, generate new leads, and reaffirm customer loyalty. Draw up a budget, establish the incentives to apply, and monitor and quantify the return rates. Establish whether your campaign is specific or general and then decide on the best method for you. Understand best practise and restrictions on information held on databases and whether it can be used contact third parties.

E-mails

An accurate and up to date data base can be used to directly contact customers with information on new products and services. These can include relevant incentives or offers and links to your landing page on the website. To avoid it just being spam ensure your subject invites further reading. Include news and information and encourage opt in to further distributions.

Telemarketing

Telemarketing is best used in business to business contacts where reception is likely to be more positive. These campaigns allow callers to gauge customer’s requirements and provide opportunities for questions to be answered.

Leaflets and direct mail

Leaflet dropping is less targeted but can rapidly illustrate new products and services to local areas of consumers at low cost. Direct mail can target clients from your data base or using delivery services can reach specific targets. Ensure your leaflets or mail look professional and offer incentives for increasing sales.

SMS

Short and specific messages can be sent direct to groups of people who can identify the sender. These are generally read by the receivers (where e-mails may not be) but limited content and privacy legislation may mean it is not suitable for all campaigns.

Web Marketing

Web marketing must include the initial development of your website to ensure that it appears high in the search engines and then encourages further investigation when the page is accessed. Whether you are looking to create an image, generate new sales or leads, sell or resell products, ensure that you establish who your target audience is, what your sales objectives are, the budget you have, and how to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Encourage new and loyal customers by advertising on the web in the way most appropriate for your business. Grow your business by considering the possibility of linking to other successful sites, directories, organisations, or digital news outlets where there is compatible information or products to resell or supply. Assess the benefits of short term strategies which will temporarily increase sales (pay per click and banner)and long term strategies (web design and content) that maintain customers for repeat business and loyalty and ensure you advertise on sites with reselling potential. Use the web to promote reselling opportunities and attract networking promotion of products.

Promote website

Make sure you always include you web address and e-mail on all correspondence, business cards and promotional content. Relevant content, an appropriate design, and clear and easy accessibility will increase marketing potential.

Site optimisation

The use of key and specific words and phrases strategically in your website will ensure that you feature high on the pages generated by the main search engines. Search queries generate the highest volumes of direct traffic so the placement of content on front pages of your site is important.

Pay per click campaigns

The placement of sponsored advertising above or to the right of natural searches results in you making an agreed rate of payment every time a potential customer clicks on your link. This can be a very targeted and cost effective method of marketing if you can then convert an interest to a sale.

Advertising and sponsorship

Multimedia content can be used to attract traffic to your site by placing rented banner space or advertisements on compatible content sites. The click through rate will be influenced by the content of the advertisement. Sponsorship of links to other sites can include adverts or editorial content and information.

Online networking

New contacts can be formed using forums, video conferencing and virtual networks with the benefits of saving the costs incurred in physical contact. Partner and customer interaction on the web can rapidly enhance brand awareness with the growth of new opportunities and shared information.

Links

Reciprocal marketing can be established with other websites that contain related content and links incorporated to direct customers to sites which may also be of interest to them.

Social Media

For consumers and advertisers Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are important platforms to increase awareness of products, brands, developments and news linked to your business and competitors in concise and relevant blogs. Use it conservatively to show the human side of your business and show an interest with your followers by thinking outside the box with information, questions, and opinions. Spontaneously and virally expose to large groups of interested people by inviting fans to interact and cost effectively get brand exposure and increase website visitors. Generate interest with news, features, events, videos and statistics.

Facebook

By creating a profile for you and your business it is possible to invite customers, colleagues, and interested parties to keep up to date with news feeds, promotions and business matters by posting applicable comments or suggestions. If you do it well it will lead to viral brand awareness as others invite third parties to see what you do. Provide links from your website to your Facebook profile and encourage reverse traffic to your website. Encourage interaction with fans and add products to the marketplace.

Twitter

Communicating with short messages in a spontaneous manner can allow customers, followers and others who may be forwarded messages to share new developments, opinions and relevant information. It allows informal relationships to develop and to contribute and comment on your business and ideas with feedback. By keeping your posts interesting and following people or companies with specific interests you can build up relationships that will benefit your business.

LinkedIn

This is a network of professional people who want to share and benefit from each others skills and opportunities. You can connect with potential partners and clients and collaborate on insights and discussions on relevant subjects.

Free Marketing

Embrace the free opportunities available to spread information to people by writing articles for free entry to subject related magazines, papers, forums and blogs. Appreciate what you know and be prepared to attend business and product shows, conferences and events as it will amaze you how much you can give and receive from such organisations. Join free directories, target specific free classifieds, and attend events where you can interact with potential customers. There are numerous possibilities to affiliate your business with others who offer compatible products or services through website links.