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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
is an ongoing process of planning and executing the marketing mix
(Product, Price, Place, Promotion) for products, services or ideas to
create exchange between individuals and organizations.
Marketing tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes advertising, distribution and selling. It is also concerned with anticipating the customers' future needs and wants, which are often discovered through market research.
Essentially, marketing is the process of creating or directing an organization to be successful in selling a product or service that people not only desire, but are willing to buy. Therefore good marketing must be able to create a "proposition" or set of benefits for the end customer that delivers value through products or services.
It's specialist areas include: advertising and branding, communications, database marketing, direct marketing, event organization, field marketing, global marketing, international marketing, internet marketing, industrial marketing, market research, public relations, retailing, search engine marketing, marketing strategy, marketing plan, strategic management, experiential marketing, Social Influence Marketing.
You can send your customers a postcard that has a secret discount from 10% to whatever on everything they buy in one visit. The catch is they have to come into your store to find out the amount of the discount. The chance that they may have a 75% off coupon, for example, is often irresistible to the customer.
Add Extra Amenities - For physical locations, such as a car dealership, consider testing an in-house diner, barber, coffee shop, putting green, wireless internet, video arcade, playrooms for children, book stores, manicurists, climbing walls, mini-museum, ice-cream shop, etc.
These can work well especially for those businesses where their customers have to wait. It may sound extravagant, but many businesses, especially those that cater to the affluent, have done this with resounding success. Why do you think McDonalds added playgrounds to most of their restaurants? Why do upscale bookstores have coffee cafťs? The list goes on.
Newsletters Ė Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers, offer them special discounts and coupons, inform them of upcoming events (a wine store can tell their customers about an upcoming wine tasting event, for example), give them recipes, articles, advice, tips on making the most of your products/services, and much more. Itís a great place to slip in case studies, success stories, testimonials, and pitches for other products and services.
Here are some tips for running a successful newsletter:
* Donít make it a straight sales pitch. You want it to be something your customers look forward to receiving. Too much advertising can turn them off and equate it with junk mail. Include quality content on a variety of subjects, not all related to your business. Donít be boring.
* Keep it regular and consistent. Donít send it three times in one month and then wait 2 months before sending it out again. Quarterly is fine, but monthly is much better.
* If you have trouble coming up with regular content or donít have the time to commit to a newsletter, there are services that will do it for you.
Dan Kennedy has such a service (see http://www.dankennedy.com/done4you/done4you.pdf for more information). You can also subscribe to a content service such as Pages (http://www.pagesmag.com), where they give you royalty-free articles, artwork, and much more every month.
* Proofread your newsletter. A spellchecker wonít flag ďfourĒ when it should have been ďfore.Ē Tools like Microsoft Word also have grammar checkers. Check for factual accuracy and make sure dates, times, and places are all correct. Double-check coupon amounts and other numerical figures.
* Once you develop a layout that works, try to keep it consistent from issue to issue.
* Make it easy on the eyes to read. Avoid white type on black or colored backgrounds. Donít use dark blue type on a light-blue background. Use serif fonts for the body text. Donít make it look like too much work to read. Use white space liberally.
* Have a plan before you launch your newsletter. You want to have specific goals about what you want it to do for you. Should it be written in first-person from the owner? Or third person, like most newspaper articles? Do you want to have regular columns or features? Guest writers? Do your homework up front.
* Always include your contact information, perhaps even on each page.
* Feature your customers regularly. They like to see their names in print, and itís always far better to let them sell you than for you to sell yourself.
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