Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never start any marketing without asking this ONE question

Bad marketing happens for one reason, and one reason only.

Someone forgot to start with what the target market actually wanted or needed.

What did they start with?

They started with what THEY wanted to sell. Yes, as marketers we're in the business of demand generation. But it's much easier to stimulate demand when we consider the wants or needs of those who want to buy...and not your OWN desires.

It happens for an obvious reason.

Being brutally honest: We're MUCH more interested in ourselves than others.

Don't believe me? When you get sent a photo (of Facebook photo album) who do you look for in the photos?

So....improve any marketing activity. Stop and remember it's NOT about you. It's about your customer.

So ALWAYS ask yourself what the customer wants, what's important from the customer's perspective, what's in it for THEM.

This is a "zero budget" means of improving ANY campaign activity or copy you'll ever write.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not quite zero budget - but VERY cheap way to launch a business

"Advertising is failure...If you have a great product or service, customers sell it for you. If you have a great relationship with those customers, you don't need to advertise." Jeff Jarvis.

Don't you just love an interesting - and provocative - quote? I think Jeff is spot on - but the challenge is to create - and maintain - a product or service customers can't help talking about.

I noticed a great example of a company attempting to harness this today - a not quite "zero budget marketing" example... but a very bloody cheap one! The example comes from Freelancer.com, who are apparently planning to launch and Australian site. Their way to launch it? Run a competition, encouraging their existing 1.8 million members to promote the site FOR them.

The entire prize pool is tiny for a business of that size - $25,000. If they were to spend that on an online advertising campaign that would get them VERY little. But get 1.8 million eager freelancers around the world on the job, and I'd argue their $25k investment could net them 5, 10 or even 50 times the value.

It's hard to get engagement - they're actually asking for quite a bit of creativity and effort. But if only ONE HUNDRED people (which gives me such a small % of 1.8million that it's not worth mentioning!) put in a decent effort, it will be money very well spent and provide a massive RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

So, not quite zero budget, but a good idea here to mirror if you have an existing community of engaged customers or members.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How to build a business website using wordpress (part 2)

Step 4. Once you've found your design & installed into onto your host, you now need to think CONTENT. This SHOULD be the easiest part of the process - but is often the hardest. (I'm a marketer and I am much better at writing engaging copy for my client's businesses than I am for my own!) You need to break it down into areas of interest that are relevant to your prospects - whilst still showcasing what you can do. Different themes may also have different places to include copy so that it appears in the right way in your layout. You'll need to take the time to learn this first. Most themes do come with instructions - plus a little bit of trial and error goes a long way.

TIP:You also need to remember to make your copy Google friendly. This is a whole other post (actually, hundreds of posts!) but some of the basics include considering what keywords you think people might search for your kind of business on - and then includes these through out your site, as often as possible and in everything from body copy to headers to links.

Step 5. Think about what else you can include on your site. So not just pictures and words, but perhaps one of the thousands of wordpress plug-ins that can be installed to increase the functionality of your site. This could be anything from a twitter feed to an email subscription box to polls to....anything that will add value (or traffic) to your site!

TIP: Some plug-ins don't "agree with" certain themes, so not all plug-ins will work with all wordpress sites.

NOW...I still have to work out how to MOVE my new website from the temporary URL to my brazen.com.au URL. Once I have this nailed, I can post about how to do it (assuming it works of course!)