Small Business Marketing Mistakes

Running institutional type ads is one of the biggest marketing mistakes made by small businesses. Institutional ads usually contain the company name, address, phone number and some foolish slogan. They brag about how great the company is and give useless information like the number of years in business.

Institutional ads focus on the company paying for the ad and not on the prospect. The prospect reading your ad doesn’t give a damn about you, your company or the fact that you’ve been on Main Street for 27 years. The prospect only cares about their needs and wants.

These ads don’t have is a compelling headline that gets your attention and draws you into the ad. Institutional ads don’t tell a story that interests the prospect they don’t provide a powerful reason why the prospect should do business with your company.

Institutional ads don’t make an offer and there is no call to action. In fact, these ads often resemble business cards.

Do your ads look like your business cards?

Perhaps the worst part of institutional ads is the waste of resources. Most small business owners don’t realize how much money they waste every year on unproductive advertising. For example, how much money do you spend on yellow page type ads each year? What is your return on this investment?

Don’t know? That should scare you!

Instead of running institutional ads you should be running direct response type ads. Direct response ads focus on the prospect and highlight his needs and wants. They speak to the prospect and tell a story that he can relate to.

Perhaps the best part of direct response advertising is that it can be tracked and analyzed. You can measure the profitability of each ad so that you can eliminate unprofitable ads and maximize your return on your marketing investment. This will allow you to

Stop wasting valuable resources on ads that don’t work

Direct response ads make an offer and direct the prospect to take action. Direct response ads invite prospects to call, visit, write to you or buy. Used effectively, direct response ads can create a ton of qualified and interested prospects for your business.

Your prospects don’t care about you or your business. They care about their needs. So give them a reason why they should favor your business ahead of all others. Show them how it will save them time or money. Tell them how your product or service will improve their life and watch your business grow.

The Future of Network Marketing – Industry Outlook

The importance of networking and communicating between businesses and business people in order to improve profitability has become extremely important in these times of recession.Almost everyone is cutting down on advertising and socializing is becoming more important in our quest to get the word out there.The very personal nature of networking means that it is best done in person, but it is actually becoming more and more popular to network via the World Wide Web.When networking on Twitter, for instance, you need to be very concise and put your ideas out there in a minimum number of words. When networking face to face, however, you don’t have this restriction and, if you are a salesperson skilled in having a business conversation, you will be able to make a good impression.Whether you are an entrepreneur who is trying to run a small business from home, a larger business owner that is trying to survive in a difficult market or simply someone who is looking to meet other like-minded people, nothing beats networking.Attending a well organized networking meeting where you will be able to learn from inspirational speakers, have a nice meal and communicate with those around you in a relaxed atmosphere, seems to me to be the best way to network.Networking in this manner will assist with building up a diverse network of people, who will in turn be networking with a whole bunch of other people, and you will be surprised how soon the word spreads.The more diverse the people in the networking groups that you attend the better, as this will help you to pick up even more networking ideas and so your circle of influence will grow and grow.Networking and relationship building should be viewed as an ongoing process as networking adds to the growth of your business and expands your horizons in many ways.Multi-level marketing is a form of network marketing where products are marketed directly to consumers by independent distributors who develop their organizations by building an active customer base using word of mouth and networking. Distributors would furthermore recruit a down line of other independent distributors who also build a customer base and expand the overall organization.Multi-level marketing is legal as commissions are earned only on sales of the company’s products or services. Pyramid schemes, however, are illegal in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, South Africa, Thailand, People’s Republic of China, Portugal, The Netherlands, and many more.Few people realise the importance of networking in a private capacity in order to improve your quality of life. Not only can you pick up life changing information at these events, but you can find all the people you need that make your day to day life much easier.Think about what you do when you are looking for a plumber, electrician or hairdresser. Yes you generally ask some friends who they would recommend and then contact the person who seems to give the best service at the most reasonable price.If this provider gives you good service, you will certainly pass the name on to your networking group. And herein lies the crux of the matter. All the networking in the world will not help your business if you don’t provide good service, or your after sales service is poor!

Mobile Marketing – The Next Big Trend

Businesses are often on the look-out for alternative forms of advertising that will be fruitful and friendly — meaning, these new mediums have to be effective and budget friendly.For sometime now, a form of mobile marketing known as text messaging has been one of those guerrilla advertising techniques being used by many. But with the development and launch of smartphones and its capability of accessing the internet anytime and anywhere, suddenly text based marketing or SMS has become a hot item again.Studies have shown that over 95% of text messages sent are opened and read within minutes of being received. On this basis alone, it can be safe to presume that mobile messaging is a very efficient method of communication with a high deliverability and read rate. If used for marketing purposes, the messages sent to mobile phones have a higher chance of reaching the intended audience compared to sending the same message using other marketing methods — e-mail marketing, direct mail marketing and even cold calls.Unlike e-mail marketing, text messages are sent directly to one’s mobile phone. And whether we would like to admit it or not, leaving the house without our mobile phones nowadays is unthinkable. Consequently, no matter where the recipient is the marketing message gets to its target immediately.So how do businesses get involved and take advantage of this “renewed” mobile marketing tool?Mobile marketing is personal in nature. Similar to e-mail marketing and social media marketing it involves relationship building. First and foremost prospective clients have to give your business permission to include them in your marketing campaign by choosing to sign up or “opt-in” to receive your messages. Businesses can encourage more and more opt-ins by providing value added services, special discounts and promotions.As simple as this may sound many businesses have overlooked the possibilities offered by such a powerful tool. Once your business starts generating interested leads through “opt-ins” you can begin using these lists to interact with your potential market and hopefully convert them to becoming regular clients. Once they begin to receive your updates, coupons and mobile offers many followers will actually look forward to receiving marketing updates from your business especially if they have received excellent service.Still unsure if mobile marketing will be the next big thing? Well, don’t hesitate because even social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have special mobile versions of their sites and special applications to enable their mobile users to interact as if they were at their computer. If they see the importance of ensuring mobile users have access to their sites via their smartphones isn’t it time that you ensure that your company’s website is mobile friendly as well? Give mobile marketing a try.