Tracking Online Buzz

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Inc. Technology Blog has an Article Posted on ways to montior when your company is mentioned online:

Listen Up! Tracking software and services can alert you to what customers are saying about your business on social networks, blogs, and other social media. These tracking techniques offer steps beyond Google Alerts to keep you informed.

A few weeks ago, a Twitter user tweeted that she was planning to try Zitune, a restaurant in Los Altos, Calif. David Auerbach, the restaurant’s co-owner got an e-mail alert from a Web-based service Trackle, calling his attention to the tweet. As he often does, he sent a response thanking her for visiting Zitune and asking how she’d liked it. Soon, they had a dialogue going. Then she asked if Zitune’s chef (and Auerbach’s brother-in-law) would like to be interviewed for her video blog.

As social networking sites grow in popularity it is becoming more and more crucial to monitor any online mentions of your brand. You can use these methods to take advantage of opportunities to connect with satisfied clients who can become advocates for your services and products (as in the above example). You can also connect with clients who are dissatisfied before negative publicity grows and damages the public’s perception of your brand. An excellent example of why this can be valuable is the massive amount of bad buzz and negative publicity caused by United Airline’s handling of one angry customer’s request for replacement of a broken guitar (story HERE).

The method you choose to monitor mentions of your company is less important than having a system in place that ensures you are aware of it when your company is being discussed online.

Tips on Developing an Effective Marketing Plan and Avoiding Common Mistakes

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The OPEN Small Business Forum has an Article Posted on “7 Reasons Your Marketing Plan Doesn’t Work“.

Every business should operate with a set of plans – a plan for the business, a plan for cash, a plan for growth, and certainly a plan for marketing. Opening a business with no plan is kind of like driving somewhere you’ve probably never been without a map or GPS device.

The article is full of useful tips and tricks for adopting the best possible marketing plan, as well as pitfalls to avoid when developing your plan.

Before beginning the development of your Marketing Plan it is important to understand the difference between Marketing and Sales. We’ve made this easy! Just visit our page on Marketing & Sales. The page also lists helpful resources for developing an effective Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy.

Of course the first step when developing your Business Idea is to create a Business Plan. A properly written business plan will make it much easier to develop a marketing plan and implement your sales strategy.

Making The Personal Touch Part of Your System

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The E-Myth Business Blog has an Article Posted on how you can make the personal touches that grew your business part of your system.

The initial step is to recognize the reality. What results do you achieve in your business? Yes, you created patterns of behavior (systems) that you’ve followed in order to achieve a degree of business success. You pride yourself on your abilities. You enjoy the fact that in your growing organization, nobody has the same personal touch with the customers that you have. I mentioned rainmaker status above, for often this is how this pride in the personal touch shows up; you feel recognized and special for your personal ability to achieve great results.

The trick is to create a system that allows replication of these personal touches even when you are not there to provide them. Once such a system is in place you can concentrate on the work of growing your business instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day routine of client service.

At MyNewCompany we believe that the E-Myth System works! We provide our clients with a general overview of the process of Automating your Business so that they can free themselves up to grow the business, and can even take a real vacation without having to worry that their clients’ experience will suffer during their absence!

The E-Myth system works so well that we have made it our top pick on our Recommended Business Books & Software page.

The Benefits of a Business Audit

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Business Management ABCs has an Article Posted on the benefits of conducting an internal Business Audit:

A business audit is a measurement in time of where your business is, in terms of its performance in the following areas:
1. Leadership
2. Planning
3. Marketing Strategy
4. Systems and Processes
5. Winning Teams
6. Marketing communication
7. Finance
8. Sales
Understanding where you are and where you want to be is fundamental to your business growth. It is also paramount to understand your business risks and how to eliminate them. Your business audit will bring any risks to the surface and you can then take action to remove them.

Conducting a business audit will be easier if you developed a Business Plan when starting up. Your business plan can be used as a yardstick to measure actual performance against your initial goals.

When reviewing your company’s processes and performance a proper Business Operations Manual is also very useful. Developing an Operations Manual is part of the process of Automating Your Business.

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Opportunity Knocking for Advertising

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

BusinessWeek.com has an Article Posted pointing out that now is a great time to be starting new advertising campaigns:

Prime-time TV slots are going for 25% less than they sold for just last year, says Steve Cox, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau. “The playing field for TV advertising is becoming more level, and small business owners can now take advantage of steep discounts for prime slots, as well as cut rates from PR firms and productions companies,” he says.

Not only are ad rates down (not just for TV ads – radio and online advertising is also dropping in price), but new ads can be more effective because viewship is increasing:

In addition to more flexible rates, small businesses can get more bang for their ad bucks today because viewership is up, Hroncich says. “People aren’t going out as much; they’re staying home watching TV or looking at the Internet. So these venues are getting more impressions but they’re charging less money” for their ads, he says.

During a slow economy many businesses immediately reduce or eliminate advertising as a cost-cutting measure. This may seem sensible, but can actually be a missed opportunity to strengthen your market position while your competition remains stagnant.

MyNewCompany.com has a Free Tools & Resouces page, which includes a general overview and useful resources on the Sales & Marketing Process.

The Dangers of Not Having a Website

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

In a speech entitled “Your Business Is Dead and You Don’t Even Know It”, Justin Kitch, CEO of Homestead Technologies put it bluntly:

If you don’t have a website:

  • Seventy percent of your competitors will have a huge advantage over you.
  • You’re missing the chance to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week — essentially for free.
  • You’re losing out on 99.9 percent of the world.
  • Of course, setting up a small business website is fairly simple and we advise anyone in business to do this important task ASAP.

     

     

     

    12 Best Traffic Solutions for Your Website

    Monday, October 23rd, 2006

    Need traffic to your website? Here are the 12 best solutions, click here for the whole article:

    1. Pay Per Click. The Fastest way to get exposure online in world is by advertising with PPC (Pay Per Click) programs. Ads start running within minutes after you submit your billing information. You bid on relevant keywords and pay the bid amount each time someone clicks on the link through to your site.

    2. Traditional Website Optimization. The factors that you must know for getting the top rankings: title of the page, description META tag, keyword META tag, in your headline, use HTML Tag, your first line of text, once or twice per paragraph, once/twice in bold, in the text of a link.

    3. Weblog Optimization. Blogs are short for weblogs which is just an online journal where you can post articles, news and just comment on anything you want. You can set blogs up for free by using blogger which is also run by Google.

    4. Article Marketing. Search engines love content, and it’s that very content that let’s you invite traffic from search engines. Here are double benefits from using this method: drive direct targeted visitors from hundreds of high traffic sites and increase your page rank and link popularity.

    5. Press Release. A press release is news about your business. It is not an ad. Focus on telling your potential customers something about your business. Remember the who, what, when, where, why, and how of journalism.

    6 Link Exchange. A good link exchange is when you exchange links with a site that is relevant to yours and complements yours because it is on the same or similar topic. This methods can increase your PR website.

    7. Blog & RSS Directories. Blog and Ping is a service that you can use to let the blog and RSS directories know that you have updated your blog.

    8. Autoresponder system. Once you run online advertising to drive traffic to your landing pages, so that you can collect subscribers. Many internet marketers neglect to build their own mailing list, and are losing out in a big way. Don’t be one of them. Top internet marketers ALL build their own mailing lists.

    9. Ezine Marketing. There are thousands upon thousands of ezines published on the Internet, and chances are excellent that there are many ezines published on a topic relevant to your site.

    10. Viral Marketing. Viral Marketing allows you to build up your own opt-in list. These types of systems are usually based on some type of viral matrix, smiliar to a multi level marketing set up.

    11. Auction. The system that ruthlessly convert visitors to bidders to finding wholesale suppliers and drop shippers all over the world for any product you want.

    12. Traffic Exchange. Some systems require you to log-in to a “start page” and start surfing across other member’s web pages. Each page you view earns you credit towards increased display of your own site.

     

    The Best Place to Advertise in Your Town

    Monday, October 23rd, 2006

    From DuctTape Marketing, the best places to advertise for cheap in your town:

    • Church bulletins
    • Public Library bulletin boards
    • Coffee shop bulletin boards
    • Grocery store bulletin boards
    • School sports programs
    • Delivery service ride along flyers
    • Hotel rack brochure boxes
    • Pizza boxes

    Click here to read user submitted favorites and more….

    10 Marketing Tactics Under $10

    Thursday, October 19th, 2006

    Via Entrepreneur Magazine:

    No marketing budget? No problem, with these 10 creative techniques for bringing in business.

    1. Instead of putting a 39-cent stamp on an envelope, put 39 1-cent stamps on the front of an envelope. One of the principles of direct mail is to stand out to get the attention of the receiver so your mail isn’t thrown away or ignored.

    2. Every month, give customers a chance to win a free lunch, compliments of your business. Everyone likes a chance to win things.

    3. Make a donation to charity for every purchase made during a particular month. If your orders average more than $100 each, donate $10 per order.

    4. Use lottery tickets as incentives for referrals. You could market your giveaway as a chance to win a million dollars (or whatever the grand prize is for the lottery in your area) for all referrals received during a particular period of time.

    5. Hold a contest for prospects and customers. How about “Guess the serial number on a $10 bill and it’s yours”? It’s not a lot of money, but people who stop by your place of business will have fun and will remember the contest.

    6. If there’s still penny candy available, $10 will buy 1,000 pieces. If not, you can still get quite a bit for a small investment. Including candy in your invoices makes companies remember you.

    7. For $10, you can hire a student, a niece or nephew, or a friend’s teen to picket your business with a sign protesting something positive. It may sound silly, but having a picketer outside your place of business with a sign that reads something like, “We’re protesting good customer service at this location!” or “This place is full of nice people,” will get you noticed.

    8. On a toll road, pay the toll for the car behind you, and ask the toll collector to give your business card to the car’s driver and tell him or her you paid the toll.

    9. Show up in person with a cookie for the receptionist at a client or prospect’s office. The thing is, customers and prospects love attention. Drop in and visit a few of your customers and just say you’re stopping by to brighten their day.

    10. Advertise using fliers. At an average cost of 2 cents each, $10 will buy 500 printed fliers. You can use them to canvass a targeted area, include them in packaging and delivered orders, hand them to walk-in customers or mail them to a targeted list.
    (via Biz Opps)

    The World’s Shortest Marketing Plan

    Friday, May 5th, 2006

    Guy Kawasaki has a great post to the World’s Shortest Marketing Plan and a downloadable version for free.