Category Archives: Marketing

Marketing is one the most important aspects of a business enterprise. Marketing encompasses the whole extent of advertising for the firm, establishing a good public relations for your company, finding the most effective pitch for your product and services as well as the logistics of the same in the market, locally and internationally.

Innovations of the information age have made marketing more bearable even for the inexperienced entrepreneur – if not totally easy. Having this fact in mind, the competition now is all about strategizing for your firm. Which sets of marketing plans will work best for you to gain the upper hand; you might ask? The skilled entrepreneur can discern this by the use scientific analysis of objective data and the use of his or her sheer instincts.


Sales Forecasts

In every business, sales forecasting is as important as market strategy planning. Through this, you can project your sales revenue and analyze them along with market trends and assessments. However, having no available data is as hard as seeking investors.  But wait, you can still do certain things to make it work. Validating sales forecast will affect every feature of your institution so you better consider doing some of the things below for validation of your sales target.

Counting actual sales be it a single customer involved with just a small amount will be helpful enough. Every piece of your sales is important because eventually, this will turn into a profitable investment with your stockholders combined. Don’t underestimate a minor contribution. Successful businesses always start with the hard time looking for money and investors.

Potential big-time investors could count as a worthy validation of your sales forecast.  Early investments will help you to gradually climb up the market trends.

Demographic marketing profiles shows actuality of your sales. Consider totalling your potential customers and their possible amount of investments. You have to get the upper marketing variables.

Breakdown your forecast into different parts of the market composition. Don’t go with a block of general information. This will just confuse you and won’t help you validate your forecast, at all. For example, if you are forecasting your cafeteria business, break it down to your foodstuffs, drinks, ingredients added, employers, number of visitors, peak hours for the customers, number of customers daily, weekly and other demographics to help you create a positive validation.

Remember market limitations in dealing with your customers. Don’t go beyond the limits of forecasting your sales revenue. Your deals will get compromised if you do so.

Pattern you forecasts to previous business data and situations that exhibit the same market trends. You may have it similar with existing sales strategies on products or services that you are offering. But make sure that you’ll form it along with the successful strategies that your company has made before.

Don’t act like there are no competitors because it won’t be believable.  Other business institutions aren’t just your competitors. You may be the sole business on your place or field of market but take note of your resources and investors. You should be kept updated on different market approaches. What you got used to ten years ago might not be very effective or practical this time.

Don’t merely expect your future from the past because as mentioned earlier, you should have updates.  You may use your history of data as a basis to have wild guesses and intellectual approach on your sales. You must exhaust your analytical thinking and gather as much data as you can. But on top of this, you have to be accurate and realistic.

Regularly evaluate your forecasts with no fail. It’s because a missing one step of the business process might hinder you towards the success of validating your forecasts. Your assumptions must be well taken and keep track of the certain changes that occurred through time.


Brilliant Customer Handling Hints

Every business thrives with the support of its loyal patriotic customers. Every businessman’s secret fantasy is to rake in as much people as he can get to patronize his product to get his business going.  Just how is that possible?  Simply show them thoughtfulness and caring.  Make them feel important because that is exactly how they are:  Important.

Recently I came across an internet write-up made by a self-confessed food lover and apparently a good cook too.  And just like any other kitchen fanatic I know of, he searches for food outlets anywhere he wants to which offer just the right ingredients for him to concoct his own majestic dishes.  According to this guy, he came to find a new deli downtown which offers almost the same excellent ingredients as any of the other stores.   That is, the new food house doesn’t offer exclusivity when it comes to parma ham, parmesan cheese, pepperoni or what have you.  He doesn’t even notice if this new-found place offers fresh picks at a cheaper price.  So as a new customer, what made him patronize this place when it does not particularly offer an edge to other food stores?  The answer is pretty simple: he was made to feel important there.  Unlike any other store, he experienced careful customer handling within its walls.  I believe the words he chose to describe his experience were “they have good customer service and are just so darn thoughtful.”

If every businessman’s goal is to gather more and more customers each day, every customer’s desire is to feel valuable.  Customers don’t like to wait.  But of course, in reality, it can be unavoidable at times so making them realize their wait will be worthwhile is the trick.  As a businessman here’s a suggestion: try to rustle up what may appear to be impromptu activities to entertain your waiting customers.  As our blogger experienced while waiting, he was offered a little bit of everything that is being sold in that establishment!   Bits and pieces of everything sure can’t hurt your day’s income most especially when you are not looking to spend costly advertisements.  At the close of business, surely you will have chuck up bits and pieces of everything anyway so why don’t you convert these loose pieces into advertising tools, right?

Give and receive is the golden rule we’ve learned for ages.  This time, it’s not just being said but it’s actually being done.

Every now and then, a businessman encounters an indecisive customer.  This is your typical fence sitter who wants something but due to the vast choices available, finally falls into the indecisive trap.  The key to reading this customer’s mind is to offer them what you have.  If for example he wants to buy coffee beans, offer him an idea how to choose!   Just how to do this? Make him a small cup of coffee of that recommended bean. Make him taste it.  Start from that little gesture and work your way to getting him to buy it.

In the end, it all boils down to one thing: let them feel important.  In all honesty, this is how you get to have loyal patronizing customers who will get your business going.


Emulating Richard Branson With His Publicity Stunts

Have you done something that defies convention? Have you tried emulating the publicity stunts that Richard Branson is famous for? Maybe it is now the right time to try to take a plunge and see if indeed it works.

Richard Branson is a very daring businessman. His audacity defies the established marketing and publicity methods and conventions but his results are stunningly positive. He has done a lot of publicity stunts that he is on his way of making a great name for himself aside from being an astute billionaire. He is even a lot more famous with all his stunts than the companies he tries to endorse.

It would be relatively easy to pull a publicity stunt when you are considerably famous already. To site an example is the known skirmish between Gordon Ramsay and Tracey Grimshaw.  Their public battle is a huge publicity opportunity waiting to be utilised and exploited. It has been a subject of interest within the political community, domestic and abroad. Publicity however is not strictly limited to those who are originally famous. Ordinary citizens could definitely do the same with almost the same effect. An example of this was when Alain Robert , an ordinary Frenchman, climbed the RBS. Had you been able to convince him to advertise your business while on top of RBS, sure your business would have generated an unprecedented publicity. That is the true power of publicity; it could literally change and revolutionize a business. It does not necessarily have to be as daring as what Richard Brandon usually does; it only has to possess the essentials of an effective publicity stunt. It has to be creative enough to capture the interest and grab the attention of your audience. When my mother-in- law owned a number of dressing salons many years ago, someone threw a brick against her windows. She made the situation productive by getting creative with the incident. She painted the cracks to project an artistic effect and then had it photographed to be included in the daily newspapers circular saying that people can’t wait until morning to gain entrance into her salons.  That was such an impressive publicity stunt!

If you wish to do your own publicity stunt, make sure to have solicited enough ideas from your mentors and closest friends to give you a good grasp of the risks and preparations involved. Ask for advice, learn from those people who benefited from it, and ask them how it could have worked.



Negotiation Skills are the Keys to any Business Deal

Negotiation will always be a required skill for business owners. Negotiation not only involves closing the deal, but also coming up with a desirable situation for both parties. The ideal result in any negotiation is to have an agreement where both parties can get the best results. Here are nine suggestions that you can employ in order to make your negotiation skills work for you.

1.  Know your product very well

It’s your product and you should be the expert. Customers are coming to you under the perception that you have what they need. As a business owner, your job now is to ensure that your clients fully understand what it is that you’re offering, and how they would benefit from your product or service. Likewise, if a client is giving you a low-ball offer, knowing the ins-and-outs of your product can come into play. Knowing your product’s features, advantages, and benefits like the back of your hand can pretty much allow you to re-negotiate the terms and make the customer realize that the product or service deserves more than what they’re initially offering.

2. Make sure to Communicate effectively

Negotiation, very much like any form of communication, is a two-way street. In negotiating, you always need to make sure that you communicate with the other party effectively. You can do this by actively listening to what the other party is saying, then saying your piece, then repeating the process until an agreement is reached. One major no-no in communicating is when you talk-over the other party. Make sure to only talk when it’s your turn, ask questions when you need clarification, and paraphrase your customer’s statements when necessary. Doing so will avoid any miscommunication.

3. Don’t Trade in Your Values just to Make a Quick Buck

People respect those who stand by their principles. And believe me, there will be times when your personal integrity will be put to the test when doing business deals. Stay true to your ideals and you will be respected by your clients.

4. Avoid Low Margin Offers

Low margin offers may look good initially. It’s easy to overlook contracts with minimal profit because it is safe to say that at least you’re still earning; but think of the long term effects. Contracts with low margins eventually cost more in the long run. You might not realize it but, your investment , especially  time, sometimes cost more than the contract’s worth in the long run.

5. Don’t take the First Offer

It is always given that during negotiations, the customer will always start at the lowest possible rate or price for your service. Always keep in mind that your client’s agenda is to get the best possible service or product at the lowest possible rate. As a business owner, it is your job to make sure that you also get what your service or product is worth. Being amenable to the first offer might strip you of any potential of higher revenue.

6.  Actions Speak Louder than Words

As a business owner, you also need to have the knack of reading your customer’s actions. Even though your customers may not explicitly say it, but you can always gauge where you are when it comes to the customer’s list. Some good body language from the customers are quick return calls, strict adherence to appointments, and getting back to you at the time they had promised.

7. Be Consistent

Like in any other negotiation, consistency is always the key. If you used certain formats for a letter, email or presentation, always remember to stick to that format during the entire process. Being consistent, even in the smallest of details, tell your customers that your product or service is also consistent when it comes to quality.

8. Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They’ve Hatched

We’re all too familiar with this expression. There are a lot of things, foreseen and unforeseen, that can happen during any negotiation. Only celebrate your success in closing the deal once you’ve already put your mark on that contract.

9. Always follow the Process

Don’t try to circumvent the negotiation process by doing some things that are ‘under the table.’ Your customer, or his/her representative, are bound by procedures; and so are you. Engaging in agreements not found in any company policy or work contract might not only lose you the deal, but it might also earn you years in the slammer as well.



Attraction: The Best Public Relations Strategy

You might need to change your public relations strategy in time for an ever changing market trends. Your previous strategies may not work anymore to gain business deals. You should start using attraction in developing your business.

Attraction is presenting your business in front of your potential clients, with all its strengths, capacities and capabilities, in such a way that they feel attracted to doing business with you. Simply put, your business should hold out a performance that will surely entice your clients. That is how attraction works.

Attraction could best be exemplified in an event where your audience will have a firsthand experience of you and your business’ unquestionable expertise. They must literally be able to test the authenticity of your claims for you to gain their trust and confidence. You must obviously get the attention of your audience by making a connection with them. Give them some practical examples that they could readily identify and relate with. Identify their needs and talk how you could respond to those needs. When you do this, you are certainly doing the principle of attraction.

The following are some benefits of attraction:


People will find this strategy practical because they will experience it first hand and will have a good grasp of the message you are conveying.

Less effort, great rewards

You do not spend much effort attracting people than when approaching them. People who basically have the same perspective as you will just easily get attracted to you. People mostly prefer doing business with someone of the same vibe.

Statistically favourable

In attraction, all you need to do is present your business with great craft, and theoretically will leave the people to decide.  There is no failure here, because you did not approach, you just attract, therefore giving you a greater probability of success.

No rejections

Since you do not approach people to avail of your business, there is no opportunity for rejection. You don’t get to experience the demoralizing effects of rejection.

Greater coverage

In attraction, you have no biases whom to approach because you initially do not do the approaching. Your efforts are centred on attracting businesses to you. You are not bound by limitations; on the other hand, you get to have greater coverage because people and other businesses that you do not even know existed, approach you.

Peculiarly relevant

People sometimes need something new, something entirely different than what they are used to. Through attraction, you offer a relevant difference among your competition therefore increasing your chance of bagging a business deal.

Image of leadership

Attraction will afford you the opportunity to present yourself as a leader in your industry, which will all the more attract more people towards you.

No selling

You do not need to worry about selling because there is no actual selling anymore. All you need to do is talk and write about your business, and then start for the attraction to set in.

You are actively participating

One good thing about attraction is you are actively participating to the new ideas available. You are always ahead of the game and are always on the lookout to attract more, to attract more than your competitors do.

You may have to invest time and resources before you see the results of your attraction efforts, but over time you will reap the rewards while you are enjoying the tasks.  Start polishing your public relations strategy now through attraction, and be on your way to success.


Full Use Of Marketing Budget

One dollar is already worth an investment, especially for the marketing budget of most small businesses. How will a small business cover its expenses given with a moderate amount of budget? From a minimum allocation to an ample return of income, presented are action plans which can result to something more.

Find other ways to advertise. Advertisements are too economical to produce and to operate. Luckily, there are ways in which you can publicize with the least expenditure. Ensuring that your advertising messages get straight to your target audience can recompense its meaningfulness.

Gather your reprints and disseminate them to your target consumers in every possible way you can imagine. You can incorporate a reprint of your ad in a whole deal or package when prospects will inquire about something. Placing your ad in direct mails such as reply letters and cards is also an advisable method. The more they come across with the message, the more your ad will be recognized and emphasized.

Start within your departments. To double the effect of the strategy, disseminate your ads to your sales agents so they too can be notified with your current marketing and promotional schemes. They should possess copies of the ads in order for them to impart the promotion when they come face-to-face with the customers.

Maximize the spaces utilized in the reprints, from the front portion to its back. Additional information and specifications will maximize the consumers’ exposure to your advertisement. Plus, you will have the benefit of reducing the costs in creating a new blueprint.

The main point here is to take advantage of your ads in variations and sharpen your creative thinking. Increase the iteration of your ads. Overtime, it will also increase the consumer attention.

Be Loyal. Why will you alter a marketing campaign when it is still reactive and effective to the people?  This practice has become a mediocrity among marketers. Break the monotony. One should not waste on what is still useful in marketing promotions. Persistence is more than just that. It can be very rewarding as well. You do not have to go back and start all over. If the campaign just needs an update of information, then do it simply so long as it is still serving and convincing for the people.

Creativity and originality does not sacrifice the functionality. That is the truth for advertisement print outs and literatures. When a business has an additional budget, it should not exhaust much on manufacturing fancy, brightly colored, glossy-feel and thick prints. The physical property of the prints show should always complement and reflect what your products and services are all about and not by any outside influential factors. What you want is to be understood by your target audience, not to create confusion and complication among them.

Not an ordinary product literature. Contesting about how to promote a service or product to different sectors in the market is one of the disputed points especially when the budget is only limited for small businesses. One resolution of the given predicament is to use a modular product literature. A modular product literature is simply a brochure that contains carefully tailored sections for varying market divisions and specific readers. It is like an all-in-one layout of a product literature suitable for a wide range of audience to satisfy unique market needs and demands. The modular layout can be edited and customized depending on the type of audience with the use of the same basic template.

Support with article reprints. Having a limited budget for product literatures can be almost impossible for small businesses to meet the demands of the audience for a more customized sales literature. They require for such in order to be presented with a definite explanation of the product or service’s features. The answer for the problem is to support your sales literature with reprints of articles.

Have your staff members write an article for the designated topics and publish them on journals. The articles can be then reprinted and used as more creditable sources of information to support product literatures compared to separate promotional pieces.

Discover other economical means for a wide-spread generation. Organic searches, public relations and banner advertisements are cheaper substitutes to competently generate leads in the market. Publish your press releases on available and feasible media outlets and on your promotional online sites. Boost the optimization of your press releases with keywords to induce more traffic for organic searches.

Wisely hire other competitive talents and not overspend in exchange for the services of outside experts who can charge you with more than what you can afford. There are those capable and highly competent freelancers whom you can hire and pay within the means of your budget. It is impractical to give much of the compensation for some experts for hire where in fact, the task can be actually fulfilled excellently with freelancers who only require a more minimal compensation in exchange for their services.

Better to use the inside resources. For practicality, it is more cost-saving to let a reliable staff of yours to complete a task that is within his or her skills and capability. Having a full-time, part-time or dedicated worker to manage some operations inside is a definite advantage too. Only then will your hire for outside consultants or agencies when the tasks to be done are in dire need of specialized knowledge and skills.

Be resourceful.  To reduce and save time and effort, you can adapt previous or existing illustrations, texts, images, diagrams or any blueprints for another promotional literature. The concept of reusing and recycling is basically applicable here in this strategy. Ascertain only that the items you will be reusing are qualified for the new project.

Be prompt in payments. Being punctual in making payments to your valuable vendors will award you with possible discounts. Settle the payments on time and always be true to your words. Your reputation should not be blemished with any falsifications. For the forthcoming projects, you can have more decent services and prices from them.


Any Publicity Is Good Publicity. Or Is It?

Today, do you think that majority of the publicists and experts in public relations still believe in the saying that goes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”? Well, many of them still have this sign placed on their desks.

Most of them take the aggressive resolution for publishing press releases. The same thing goes for some business owners. And their fundamental hope is to win the many hearts of the public. It upholds acquiring of the approval from the possible consumers on some ambiguous webpage, even with only a small amount of hope, that it will in a way build and expand their existence as body of business. That is the reality business owners are biting into.

It will not always be on the unsatisfactory side though. There are some who come out as victorious. If you want to announce a grand launching of a business through every forms of media outlet, then spreading the good news to your local neighborhood and nearby, adjacent communities and possibly beyond can be as compelling. What are the chances if you came up with your new and good book? Then you may have an interest in offering your business to some Web portals to quote a passage lifted from your book. To be more distinct however, it is more persuasive and striking to take a targeted approach.

Covering the general public with press releases and other advertisements can have four aspects to potentially backfire. Namely, these are:


  • Endorsing your own news to uninterested consumers attempting them to patronize your goods and services can just result to financial resource, time and effort wastage. It is just as awful as having an unreturned attention and income.
  • Possessing a substandard public relations and connection with the target audience subjects a website to slow down the traffic, or worse, drive the traffic off of the site.
  • When the overall appeal of the media outlet you have appointed for your news does not have the quality reputation, is just plain boring, is just jam packed with disrupted layout of cheap pay-per-click advertisements and worse, the website’s contents are unedited and are full of erroneous information, expect that it will do your reputation more harm than good.
  • Not putting worth on the contents and not including essential information does not put a competitive edge in your brand or business. That does not at all give justice to it.

Content marketing and public relations have more important purposes. One of which is to create a focus of your proposals to writers, bloggers, editors, reporters and other public influencers and advertisers who exercise similar enthusiasm to broadcast your announcements and thoughts that you generate. Centering your attention to media outlets which have consumers that are interested in your products and services can escalate the chances of you winning over their favors.

Through the ability of the reputable content marketing and public relations, rest assured that out of the billion people worldwide, there are those consumers who will give value to what you are trading them. Through the mentioned aspects, there are no questions about the quality and relevance of the site where your business contents will appear.

So, you already know the proposition that there is such an existence of bad publicity. And worse, there are other ambiguous media outlets which will just produce and publicize anything creating a scramble of ideas headed toward nothing. It devalues your business and reputation hence driving your potential consumers away and navigating you towards no accomplishment. Bad publicity or good publicity, you are always prompted with a choice.


Good reasons of the effectiveness of publicity

Publicity could really make an impact in marketing your business, but sometimes it is overlooked for some reasons. But no matter what, experience shows that publicity works, and it works really great.

Anatomy of PR

PR is an effective tool of marketing your business through a handful of its various components, the reasons of which are converged into a single goal, to create an image that is strong and successful. PR is a combination of strategies in channelling your message about your products and services, and publicity is just one of its many components. Publicity is created through using the powerful influence of the media.

What does a PR do?

PR introduces great opportunities for a business to grow in great proportions. That is the reason why various companies make good use of its power for marketing. The following are a few of its many uses:

  • It generates a number of customers
  • It increases the business’ capacity
  • It is a great tool to shave off competition
  • It builds your profile to make it  stronger;
  • It gets the works done in half the cost, or no cost at all.

How does free publicity work

Free publicity definitely holds a lot greater credibility than paid advertisements, but you will have no assurance that your piece of work will even get noticed. When you submit an article, there is no way of telling whether it gets to be published or not because it is the editor’s call whose and what articles are newsworthy to be posted or printed.

You may hire a PR consultant to do your job for you in this stage. You may outsource the task of building your profile to ensure regular admission and approval of your marketing materials.

Making your media release work

  • Think of a significant thing about you and your business, and turn that into a statement as your standard slogan
  • Use impressive and unique titles
  • Make a one liner selling statement
  • Create a relevant and comprehensive content
  • Place nice-sounding quotes
  • Include important details in your media release
  • Do not be lengthy in your approach, keep your release in not more than one page
  • Create your data base
  • Suggest a photo session

Synchronised techniques

A successful marketing could be the result of your comprehensive marketing efforts. It is not a direct result of a single method, but rather a collaborative effect of all the other essential techniques. If everything is done according to the planned scheme, then public relations will most likely produce great results for the business. Publicity may not necessarily produce dramatic increase in sales, but it helps build the profile of a business which could be beneficial in achieving a long term goal.


Benefits of Media Releases

Media release is a very powerful tool that you could utilise to enhance the performance and the standing of your business. It positions your business for greater attention and publicity without any required cost. Make good use of its benefits.

As long as you can provide an interesting content, one that captures the interests of the masses, the media might chase after your story for publication. The media people are always on the run looking for great story, and your job is to provide that story. When your story runs, it affords you to gain the much needed recognition to build your business name or brand until you build upon yourself a solid reputation. The following are some of the various benefits of sending media releases:

1. Recognition

When you send a media release to any media outfit and then it hits the airwaves, it will definitely enhance your chances of being recognized. It lets people know the nature of your business and how it works which in the long run will be beneficial to your business

2. Unquestionable credibility

Your story gets a greater credibility when it is embedded in both TV and print news. It makes people view it as an objective story, thus, affording it with much credibility than usual.

3. Financially viable and rewarding

It does not cost much, or it does not even cost at all. You get your publicity by capitalizing on the worth and the credibility of your story. It is very feasible indeed. In fact, in could even be financially rewarding to some.

4. Consistency and constancy

Through your media releases, you keep your clients and customers informed of your relevant activities. It sends them a message of deep connection thus gaining their loyalty in the process. You could even go a mile farther by personally letting them know about your media releases.

5. Brevity and clarity

Every time you write a media release, it helps you improve on crafting your message with the required brevity but with much needed clarity. A brief and clear message is better understood by the clients and customers which is supposedly the goal of every media release.

6. Image projection

A media release is a great avenue for you to form your image that you want to project to your clients and your customers. You should be able to communicate your vision and goals, and as to how you could impact their lives in various relevant ways.

7. Profile building

Once you start getting the right amount of attention, you also start getting recognized for your capacity and capability. You get to establish your expertise in certain fields thus giving a boost to your profile.



Excel in Public Relations With Your Business

One of the challenges of running a business is how to project your image to your target audience. Take advantage of the various benefits of public relations.

You must have felt the same way other people feel about their business: the real nature of their businesses are still not being understood by most of the customers.  You must have wondered how come your business is still not getting the well deserved attention despite the efforts you put into it. It must have felt tiring to try to project the kind of image for your business, and yet being received in an entirely different light by the audience. Every business has gone through this phase; every businessman went through the same moment of frustration. For micro businesses, it is a little bit more manageable simply because of its manoeuvrability. Small businesses have the luxury of having complete control of their public relations, thus they could easily implement their plans for their image projection without much delay. As long as you execute your public relations marketing with great care and planning, you could greatly impact your business in establishing a healthy image to the public.

Basically, it is a two way strategy of executing goodwill and making it known. Most businesses make it a point to contribute to the advancement of corporate social responsibility; giving back to community by doing any particular good deeds. The thing is most of those businesses fail to tell people exactly the good things that they have just accomplished.

It is never late to start though; you may begin listing down every entity, individual or business, and include them in your prospects of letting your business be understood in its entirety. Include everyone you could ever think of that has been a part of your business. Make a comprehensive collection of things that are mostly misunderstood or not known about your business. And then start crafting your methods of rectifying the image of your business or introducing an unknown feature that has great relevance to your business. Make a careful plan. And then execute them gradually and surely. There may be various ways of approaching your subjects, and you will have to choose which ones fit appropriately to each of them. You could very well customise your approach to whichever you are comfortable with but without also compromising the preference of your subjects. No need to make your words fancy and verbose. Make it plain and simple and then deliver it with utmost sincerity.