5 Secrets to Get Ahead in the Marketing World


The words “marketing and sales” are not interchangeable. Marketing is all about building relationships, and sales is about making money now. Marketing and sales can work together and complement each other nicely, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are one in the same. Let me explain.

Here are 5 secrets that top marketing experts don’t want you to know, and some practical advice to start implementing these secrets.

1) Focus on Building Relationships Instead of Trying to Sell

The More You Push, The Further They Run

When people shop, they are looking for to buy from someone they can trust, because there is so much competition out there. The competition has always been there, but thanks to the internet, anyone can find any business’s website and see what they’re all about.

If a potential customer sees that you care more about helping them solve their problem than trying to make a sale, they will bring in a sale for you. They may not buy right away, but they may come back later after remembering how much free advice you give away on your blog or YouTube channel. Or they may never buy from you, but they’ll at least spread the word of how awesome you are to their closest friends and family, which is the ultimate source of trust.

For another practical tip, try sending out emails to your subscriber list that doesn’t ask them for anything. Maybe just share something you learned that will resonate with your audience, or even just tell them about your day. The more personal, the better.

The best way to send mass email campaigns that look personal and not promotional is with GMass.

2) Understand Where the Attention is Located

Utilize Social Media and Optimize Your Website to Boost Sales

What’s the first thing people do when they’re watching a show and a commercial comes on? Whip out their phones! People are on their phones all the time, even when they shouldn’t be.

Go ahead and cry about how awful it is that people are on their phones 24/7. That’s not going to change anything. How about instead you use it to your advantage?

Use social media tools like hootsuite and buffer to set daily posts once a week. Learn how to run Instagram and Facebook ad campaigns to target specific audiences.

Use Webflow to make your website mobile-friendly and responsive across all devices. Implement Inspectlet to get a first-hand understanding of how visitors use your website.

Check out these tools as well to learn more about leveraging the attention. Digital marketing is moving fast. Can you keep up?
3) Inbound is Greater than Interruption

Connect with People Searching for YOU Instead of Interrupting Everyone

Be honest with me, how annoyed and frustrated do you get when you get interrupted by a pop-up ad? Or how many times have you actually clicked on a banner ad that had nothing to do with what you were reading about on the internet? Interruption marketing is more than just TV and radio commercials.

Inbound marketing is finding the people that are looking for you, whereas interruption marketing is getting your product or brand name ingrained into people’s heads. It’s the reason why big brands are obsessed with catchy jingles and memorable tag lines.

So why is inbound better?

Simple. It’s because there are people out there looking for YOU right now. They have a problem or want that only you have the solution to.

Spend your marketing dollars on learning how to rank in Google when people search relevant keywords instead of spending it on your first radio, TV, or pop-up ad.

Just because all of the large brands are spending millions on producing TV commercials does not mean that should be your goals as well. Times change. Don’t be like the people who get stuck doing something one way because that’s how it’s always been.

4) Grab Attention with Headlines

Come on, Nobody REALLY Reads Every Word

Most people are scanning the headlines and reading only the sections that apply to them. And even then, they usually only read the first couple sentences and move on, unless your content is incredibly engaging.

Make sure your headlines are clear, convincing, and edgy. After reading your headline and subheadline, the reader should know exactly what to expect in the article, blog section, or video.

Here’s more practical advice for you.
5) Know Your Audience

Don’t Try to Sell to Everybody

The more you know about your ideal customer the better.

Try picturing one specific person that your product or service is perfect for. What motivates him? What are his interests? What does he wear? How does he spend his time? When you start thinking like you’re selling to one individual instead of a group, you can attract a more specific audience that is likely to purchase from you many times, instead of trying to appeal to EVERYONE. You can start to be more detailed and unique with your words as well, versus saying generic phrases that everyone’s heard before.

Marketing is Always Changing

I’m pleased to see that marketing is turning towards giving and cultivating personal relationships. The days of interrupting people’s time to push YOUR agenda are over. Focus on long-term relationships, not short-term sales.

What has worked for your marketing strategies in the past? I’m always eager to learn more.

Drew Klebine: Content Marketer, Tech Writer, Philosopher, Musician

Drew Klebine is a Content Marketer, Tech Writer, Philosopher, and Musician from Pittsburgh, PA. His writings focus on modern marketing practices, software reviews, upcoming technologies, brand and product promotion, health, self-actualization, religion, and existential philosophy.

Lead writer and co-owner of uxax.org, where we help you understand the integration of user experience and analytics to power an amazing product.


How to Effectively Lead and Motivate Salespeople

Group of friendly businesspeople with male leader in front

 

With the advancement of technology and globalization today’s business world is a fast developing environment in which companies need to be in a constant state of change in order to achieve positive results. This rule is the same when it comes to sales management, thus there must be continuous evolution to keep up with the innovations and competition that are always arising in the market.

Although it may sound like a simple thing to be done, changes are not that well accepted by everyone. In the sales management scenario, according to the 20-50-30 rule, “20 percent of people will embrace change, 50 percent will be neutral, and 30 percent will resist change”[1]. It is clear that change is not an easy process, so a strong driving factor must act to help the changing process, and this factor is a good leader. A leader will inspire his followers to embrace change by highlighting the importance of the new process and the relevance that the team will have on that matter. The leader will motivate his team to accept it by showing that the leader himself also accepts it, and the followers will end up doing the same since they trust their leader. Plus, since one of the sales manager’s main attributions is to “develop a clear line of sight between sales actions, sales goals, and business outcomes”[2], a well-developed plan outlining all of the above will show that they know what they are doing.

Prepared leaders will focus their effort on those who want to embrace change, and present little or no resistance, to start working on the project. After doing that, the leader will try to gain the support of the neutral ones, which will come easier after they realize that 20 percent of people are already engaged in the new process. Last, the good leader won’t waste time trying to convince those who already have a resistance to change since they likely won’t accept it, so, unless they are necessary to the team, the leader shouldn’t count on their support. To accomplish this, the sales manager needs to lead his/her sales people both individually and collectively.

Individuals

The most crucial factor that is directly related to a sales team success is the manager’s skills to lead and inspire the team to get the best results from every team member. Regarding individual salespeople, the manager has to deal with every member in a different way because different approaches motivate different people. If the manager, simply tries to push the same leading style to all team members he will not get the best possible performance out of them. This happens because people have different personalities, experiences, and abilities, so the aspects that drive them will also be different.

To achieve optimum effectiveness in leading individuals, sales managers can utilize a technique called Situational Leadership. This technique allows the leader to suit his leadership style to better fit his team members, which can be defined by tracing when he will have a relationship-oriented approach or a task-oriented approach. In the first case, the leader would be more supportive to his team members in order to develop and sustain a positive work relationship. In the second case, the leader would be more directive since his main goal would be to accomplish the task.

When using this technique, the leader can define which leading style he is going to use in each situation to each team member. There are four main styles that can be adopted: Telling, Persuading, Partnering, and Delegating. In the first one, the sales manager is high task-oriented and low relationship oriented, which will make him very direct and unsupportive. In the second one, the leader is high-task oriented and high-relationship oriented, which will make him very direct and supportive. In the third one, the sales manager will be low task-oriented and high relationship-oriented, which will make him very supportive, but he will provide limited direction. In the fourth one, the leader will be low task-oriented and low relationship-oriented, and he will be unsupportive and will provide little to none directions.

When sales managers apply this technique they get a much higher performance from their team members. Tailoring leadership styles to each specific salesperson and situation can better inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals, which is the major part about being a sales manager.

Sales force

On the other hand, when it comes to leading entire sales forces the strategy must be different. The sales manager needs to focus on building a strong and cohesive sales force, which demands the development and maintenance of a results-oriented Sales Force Culture. In this topic, Sales Force Culture can be defined as the “total of values, attitudes, and behaviours that are shared by members of the sales force and that are expected of and reinforced to new members”[3].  It is mandatory for sales managers to make sure that all their sales force is always working in accordance to these principles to get to a common high-productivity standard.

In order to achieve this high-productivity standard, the sales leader can reinforce the Sales Force Culture through four internal marketing “E” behaviours: “energizing, enabling, and empowering your team members, and ensuring that they achieve objectives and are recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments”[4]. Following these “E” behaviours, sales managers will be able to develop “E” employees, which can be characterized by being trustworthy risk takers, supportive, suggestive, and total customer satisfaction driven.

Another important aspect regarding leading sales forces is leading sales meetings since they are a major factor to determine how successful a sales force is going to be. When leading a sales meeting properly, the sales manager is able to considerably improve the team’s numbers by motivating the staff to give it all to achieve their goals. Sales meetings can be used for man purposes, such as strategy planning (in which many members attend in order to define the team’s overall strategy), recognition (in which public recognition is awarded to members by demonstrating their value to the company), training (to inform and train the team about the company’s products or practices), Motivational (which is all about increasing the team’s morale and bonding between the salespeople), and feedback (which changes the scope from the manager’s perspective to the team’s perspective of how things are going).

Leading a sales force is a highly important task to any sales business. If done correctly, it can shift the company’s paradigm and cause a major impact in every single staff member, as long as the right techniques are applied and the sales force culture is being duly taught by the sales leaders.

 

[1] MACKENZIE, H.F. (Herb). Sales Management in Canada – 1st ed. (Toronto/ON: Pearson, 2008), p. 313.

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottedinger/2013/06/25/how-great-sales-leaders-coach/(access: 10/10/15)

[3] MACKENZIE, H.F. (Herb). Sales Management in Canada – 1st ed. (Toronto/ON: Pearson, 2008), pp. 320.

[4] DRAKE, Susan M., Gulman, Michele J., and ROBERTS, Sara M. Light Their Fire. (Chicago/IL: Dearbon Trade, 2005), p. 3.

Image – https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/group-of-friendly-businesspeople-with-male-leader-in-front-239350

Go For Unique Trends To Scale Biz Growth!

New entrepreneurs and small businesses are constantly searching for new technologies and cost-effective software to compete, grow and achieve success in their respective industries. In this ever-growing competitive environment, it is essential to keep up with the runaway pace and this is only possible, if you keep a tab on novel trends and identify technological innovations that are happening across the world.  Let’s take a quick sneak peek to know why there is a need to move on to unique trends to rev up your business revenues.

Embrace Avant-Garde Technologies: To be well-organized, productive and competitive simultaneously, it’s very essential for small businesses to develop better products and services in line with top trends and new technologies popping up in the industry. It’s necessary for small businesses to adopt cost-effective technologies for greater agility and reduced complexity. For example: Office 365 lets you work effortlessly anywhere at any time. With this, you don’t need to worry about securing your data, as it perfectly controls and gives you more mailbox storage.

Strategically Convey Compelling Value Proposition: Make sure that you clearly communicate your brand’s strategy to your target customers, employees, investors and business partners. Follow this thumb rule – to never disappoint your customers. Always try your best effort to meet customers’ expectations and deliver products or services consistently. In business, never follow your instinct, get into the customers’ shoes, talk to them, get their feedback and accordingly reinvent your end product and services to attract more loyal customers.

Protect Your Intellectual Property (IP) Rights: The most essential and valuable asset for any brand or company is its Intellectual Property Right. IP rights are considered as the most important intangible asset because the success of a company is largely dependent on protection of its brand and IP. Therefore, it’s recommended for new businesses to take proactive measures with regard to preserving their IP rights from any kind of unauthorized usage. Steps you can take are usually specific to your profession. For example if you are a photographer, though you would be unable to fully stop others from copying your images but you can take steps that will make copying images more difficult by using techniques like watermark, hidden layers, tiling, disabling right-clicks etc.

Online Accounting For Organizing Your Finances: Say goodbye to traditional accounting practices as accounting requirements are now better fulfilled by online accounting software. It lets you organize and track all sales/review or send invoices/do taxes or manage all your accounting needs in a seamless way. For example, SlickPie’s Software offers remarkable features and offer time saving tools that empower entrepreneurs to manage their business flawlessly.

Online accounting features

Computing Is No Longer Restricted To Personal Computers (PCs): Computing on smartphones, tablets and even smart wearable devices have impeccably surpassed PCs now! As people now have more access to internet connectivity on their smartphones, the industry insiders feel that going in for mobile computing can turn out to be the best choice for small businesses. Today, everyone loves spending more time on their mobile phones to research about the upcoming purchases, hunt for best deals, discounts and compare price-points of products and services offered by various companies in the digital space.

UNIQUE TRENDS FOR ACHIEVING QUICK GROWTH IN BUSINESS

Unique Trends For Achieving Quick Growth In Business

 Start Your Own Website: Social media is in. Everyone counts on it excessively as it aids in creating and popularizing your products and services. But, if you don’t own a website, then, you may be lagging behind your business rivals. There are plenty of players in the market that create websites. Once you have website, just ensure that it is mobile friendly and works well. For example: WordPress.com allows you to create your website or blog for free.

Participate In Conferences, Trade Shows And Exhibitions: Though social media is termed as the most prolific medium to create your brand visibility, however, sometimes you can also participate in conferences as a key speaker and even book your stall in exhibitions and prominent trade shows where you get a chance to meet new prospects that you can further turn into new customers.

Get Listed On Online Directories: To be able to find new customers and let customers find you, it is important that small businesses must get themselves registered on online directories so that search engines can help your brand show up in top pages.

Secure Your Business From Cyber Threats: No matter how big or small your company is – you are still prone to cyber-attacks that are incessantly occurring every now and then. It’s better to prepared in advance and learn to know – how you can secure your data. Learn more about securing your brand from cyber fraud or attacks or any other common threats you might come across online.

Developing and developed economies of the world now have access to numerous technologies that can support small businesses and entrepreneurs in scaling their business growth. To be more organized and efficient than ever, it is up to you, how you decide which types of technology is right for your business.

Solve the Marketing Puzzle for Your Business With These Tools

online-marketing-1246457_1280

Every small business owner can relate to the difficulties of growing and exposing their business. This is especially difficult for businesses just starting out. So, how does a fresh, brand-new business get their name out to the masses? The answer is simple, marketing. Everyone knows what marketing is, but knowing and doing are two completely different things. To put simply in layman terms, marketing can be defined as promoting your product or service to your desired consumers. Sounds easy don’t it? Then why do so many businesses have trouble with marketing? They have trouble because they are not utilizing the correct toolset needed to cover every aspect of the marketing process. The marketing world is a big one and it contains many subsets that small business owners often overlook; things such as SEO, social mentions, metrics, and much more. To give you guys a better understanding of marketing for small businesses, we have compiled a list of our favourite marketing tools you can use as starting blocks right now to help you solve the marketing puzzle.

Google Analytics
This is probably the most important analytical tool for any business of any size and most have implemented it already; however, if you have not, here are some reasons why you should. Google Analytics gives you a wealth of information regarding the key metrics for your website and business. Just to name a few, you are able to measure past and present data such as impressions, referrals, and conversions. You can even go more in-depth and find out where the traffic for your website is coming from, what devices your visitors are using, and how many are new or returning visitors you are getting. Google Analytics is an extremely complex tool that takes some time to learn, but it is well worth it because the amount of data you receive is crucial in understanding how well your business is doing online.

Buffer
Social media has made a major impact in the way marketing is done today and now plays an integral part in the way you communicate with your audience. Buffer is an app that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one convenient location. Not only that, but you can automate and schedule content for an entire week. Simply add content to your queue and let Buffer do the rest. There are many social media management tools on the market, but we like Buffer because it is simple, easy to use, and also offers a free version that is robust enough for small businesses.

Audiense
Formerly known as SocialBro, Audiense provides you with insights behind your audience on social media. You can setup dashboards for each of your social media accounts and in there you will find metrics like inactive followers, newbie followers, and influential followers. Audiense gives you a more focused look at what type of people your audience consists of and which are the most important people you should be building connections with who can help grow your business. They also provide some cool analytics like “what is the best time to tweet?”

MailChimp
MailChimp is an app that enables businesses to manage their newsletter list, mass distribute e-mails to their list, and create e-mail marketing campaigns. MailChimp is often recognized as the no.1 tool for e-mail marketing and with the amount of features they offer, it’s hard to challenge that claim. The free version allows up to 500 subscribers and 3,000 e-mails per month, but you will not have many of the automated features.

Inspectlet
Inspectlet is a very cool app that shows you how visitors interact with your website. Simply input a personalized code to your website and Inspectlet will begin recording sessions. You will be able see how visitors are navigating around your website, what pages they spend the most time on, and what pages they click out on. This gives you a good indication of the consumer behaviour towards your product and often times, you will notice trends that can be both negative and positive; giving you a direction of where you should be making adjustments. The free version only allows 100 recorded sessions per month which is a very small sample size. If you need more data, you should consider going for one of the paid plans.

SumoMe
SumoMe is a great list building and social sharing tool for blogs. If you are using WordPress, all you have to do is install the plugin and you can start implementing things like social share buttons and subscription pop-ups for your blog(s). It also integrates with other apps like MailChimp, so your subscribers will get pushed to any of your MailChimp lists. SumoMe is a very simple and diverse tool for any business.

Social Mention
For any small business owner, it is always good to know what people are saying about your product or service. Social Mention is search platform that tracks and measures what people are saying about you. It goes through hundreds of social media networks and even Google, to filter out every time your business has been mentioned on the internet. It is great for gauging how popular your business is and the sentiment towards it.

BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a great tool for finding the perfect content for your business. All you have to do is enter a topic and BuzzSumo will scour the web for the most popular content relating to that topic, so you can be sure that the content you are posting resonates well with your audience. With BuzzSumo, you can also find key influencers within your market, giving you a good indication of who you need to reach out to if you want to spread the “buzz” for your business to the masses.

Pablo
Visual marketing is a proven method of getting your content noticed on social media and Pablo helps you edit and create engaging images for you to share. Pablo, a subsidiary of Buffer, lets you edit any of your own images or any of their 50,000+. You can overlay your images with striking and motivational quotes that will catch your audience’s attention. It’s not a very complex image editing tool, but it is effective and completely free.

Now that you have a good list of marketing tools you can integrate into your business, we suggest you go out and try them all and see if they are right for you. Of course these are just a few of the thousands of other marketing tools out there, so we encourage you to explore on your own and continue expanding your marketing toolbox.

Business Tip: Word of Mouth is Often The Best Marketing Tool

business tips, word of mouth

Some startups don’t have a large budget to launch commercials on TV, on YouTube, on the radio or even have a PPC campaign. That’s not completely bad news because the strongest influence of conversion is something we don’t really control – word of mouth.

What does word of mouth provide? It builds credibility with customers prior to a larger market launch. Customers can see this new product or service is “real” and is recognized by friends, family or colleagues.

Word of mouth is also particularly important when it comes to selling services. In reality, people like to buy tangible products. With people talking about your services – credibility and differentiation can be obtained for these intangible services. This is why referral programs are sought out to generate business.

Multiple business cards can be given to loyal customers to keep in their wallet – when the time is right they can give it to a potential customer and point them in your direction. In the digital world, word of mouth can be seen as written testimonials, social media engagement or online reviews and blogs. Try and remember that bad customer experiences reach more than twice as many people as stories of good customer experiences. If you are trying to minimize your marketing expenses to improve other areas of your business – word of mouth can be your startup’s solution!