Archives for July 2007

Marketing vs. Sales debate: which is more important?

If you’re a sales-driven company, you may tend to view sales as the moneymaker and marketing as the money spender.
There’s some truth to that, but to be fair, the real role of marketing is to get the most appropriate customers and prospects to decide that your business is the best place to buy the products and services you provide. The tools available to accomplish these marketing tasks include print and broadcast advertising, the Internet, direct mail, telemarketing, public relations and sponsorships, among others.
Marketing and sales have a common goal of increasing revenues, even though they play separate and distinct functions. The following table compares the roles of sales and marketing:
The Sales Role
Overcomes objections
Convinces
Closes the sale
An event
Very high cost per contact
Reaches a limited audience
Short-term results
More customer resistance
Encourages allegiance to the salesperson
The Marketing Role
Heads off objections
Motivates
Paves the way, but doesn’t close
A process
Lower cost per contact
Can reach a large audience
Long-term results
Less customer resistance
Encourages allegiance to the company
Successful companies develop a complete strategic Marketing Plan that coordinates and drives the efforts of both sales and marketing. Your Marketing Plan is the roadmap for how your organization will achieve its goals by satisfying customer wants and needs, now and in the next few years. It will answer the WHO, WHAT, and HOW of your sales and marketing programs.
Your Marketing Plan should include a thorough analysis of WHO will be the focus of your marketing efforts for each product and service your dealership offers. This means developing a detailed profile of your most valuable customers–those who generate the greatest total profits for your business. You can then target your marketing and sales activities toward the most appropriate and interested customers and prospects.
The Plan will then identify WHAT messages will be conveyed to these target audiences. The messages should focus on benefits that are important to each specific target group. Some will focus on the benefits of a tangible product or service (special offers or pricing, new products, added services); others are intended to build the customer relationship or enhance the image of your business (thank you notes, writing and speaking, and post-transaction follow-up). The use of marketing tools to boost your company’s image and reputation is an important element of your Marketing Plan. Studies have found that between 70% and 90% of buying decisions are influenced by the reputation of the business.
In the tactical section of the Marketing Plan, HOW these messages will reach the target audience is defined. This includes various marketing tools such as advertising, trade shows and direct mail, as well as personal selling activities
Once the Marketing Plan has been developed, communicate it throughout the organization. This will enable sales and marketing to coordinate their efforts and consistently reinforce themes that are most important to your targeted customers.
pic_int_marketing_thumb

If you’re a sales-driven company, you may tend to view sales as the moneymaker and marketing as the money spender.

There’s some truth to that, but to be fair, the real role of marketing is to get the most appropriate customers and prospects to decide that your business is the best place to buy the products and services you provide. The tools available to accomplish these marketing tasks include print and broadcast advertising, the Internet, direct mail, telemarketing, public relations and sponsorships, among others.

Marketing and sales have a common goal of increasing revenues, even though they play separate and distinct functions. The following table compares the roles of sales and marketing:

The Sales Role

  • Overcomes objections
  • Convinces
  • Closes the sale
  • An event
  • Very high cost per contact
  • Reaches a limited audience
  • Short-term results
  • More customer resistance
  • Encourages allegiance to the salesperson

The Marketing Role

  • Heads off objections
  • Motivates
  • Paves the way, but doesn’t close
  • A process
  • Lower cost per contact
  • Can reach a large audience
  • Long-term results
  • Less customer resistance
  • Encourages allegiance to the company

Successful companies develop a complete strategic Marketing Plan that coordinates and drives the efforts of both sales and marketing. Your Marketing Plan is the roadmap for how your organization will achieve its goals by satisfying customer wants and needs, now and in the next few years. It will answer the WHO, WHAT, and HOW of your sales and marketing programs.

Your Marketing Plan should include a thorough analysis of WHO will be the focus of your marketing efforts for each product and service your dealership offers. This means developing a detailed profile of your most valuable customers–those who generate the greatest total profits for your business. You can then target your marketing and sales activities toward the most appropriate and interested customers and prospects.

The Plan will then identify WHAT messages will be conveyed to these target audiences. The messages should focus on benefits that are important to each specific target group. Some will focus on the benefits of a tangible product or service (special offers or pricing, new products, added services); others are intended to build the customer relationship or enhance the image of your business (thank you notes, writing and speaking, and post-transaction follow-up). The use of marketing tools to boost your company’s image and reputation is an important element of your Marketing Plan. Studies have found that between 70% and 90% of buying decisions are influenced by the reputation of the business.

In the tactical section of the Marketing Plan, HOW these messages will reach the target audience is defined. This includes various marketing tools such as advertising, trade shows and direct mail, as well as personal selling activities

Once the Marketing Plan has been developed, communicate it throughout the organization. This will enable sales and marketing to coordinate their efforts and consistently reinforce themes that are most important to your targeted customers.

Print advertising, who needs it anyway?

Print ads are an excellent investment if executed correctly.
If you’re looking for a dramatic way to make a big splash in your marketplace, print advertising is a great way to get the attention of your prospects, and your competitors. But before you go down this road, take a deep breath and read a few rate cards from your industry publications. If you haven’t looked lately, you might be in for a shock.
If your publication’s circulation is in the 150,000 range, plan on about $10,000 or more for a full page ad, or roughly $2,500 for full page in a publication with about 20,000 circulation. This ads up very quickly. And, most important, if you’ve got your heart set on print advertising, make sure you budget is set out for at least six months to see any real results. In other words, unless you have $75,000 to invest, print advertising is not the best marketing option for a startup technology company.
How to use it successfully:
These days, if you simply want to generate qualified leads, there are many other more reliable and cost effective methods like sponsored links in highly targeted online newsletters, adwords and many other cost per click online options. The most effective use of print advertising in technology marketing today is simply for branding. Sure, running print ads in a large horizontal publication with 250,000 readers can net a truckload of quality leads, but the cost per lead can be staggering.
If you’re a marketing or brand manager for a large, well funded technology organization, print advertising is the perfect solution for quickly generating millions of impressions among your target audience. But it’s true role is to support other lead generation campaigns you would be running such as banners, sponsorships, adwords and other that are pointing qualified prospects back to your website where the real customer relationship starts to bloom.
Simply put, when prospects see your big, beautiful four color ad in a major industry publication, it gives your company instant credibility in your category, provided the ad was created by design professionals who understand your business. But that’s another story.

billboard

Print ads are an excellent investment if executed correctly.

If you’re looking for a dramatic way to make a big splash in your marketplace, print advertising is a great way to get the attention of your prospects, and your competitors. But before you go down this road, take a deep breath and read a few rate cards from your industry publications. If you haven’t looked lately, you might be in for a shock.

If your publication’s circulation is in the 150,000 range, plan on about $10,000 or more for a full page ad, or roughly $2,500 for full page in a publication with about 20,000 circulation. This ads up very quickly. And, most important, if you’ve got your heart set on print advertising, make sure you budget is set out for at least six months to see any real results. In other words, unless you have $75,000 to invest, print advertising is not the best marketing option for a startup technology company.

How to use it successfully:

These days, if you simply want to generate qualified leads, there are many other more reliable and cost effective methods like sponsored links in highly targeted online newsletters, adwords and many other cost per click online options. The most effective use of print advertising in technology marketing today is simply for branding. Sure, running print ads in a large horizontal publication with 250,000 readers can net a truckload of quality leads, but the cost per lead can be staggering.

If you’re a marketing or brand manager for a large, well funded technology organization, print advertising is the perfect solution for quickly generating millions of impressions among your target audience. But it’s true role is to support other lead generation campaigns you would be running such as banners, sponsorships, adwords and other that are pointing qualified prospects back to your website where the real customer relationship starts to bloom.

Simply put, when prospects see your big, beautiful four color ad in a major industry publication, it gives your company instant credibility in your category, provided the ad was created by design professionals who understand your business. But that’s another story.

Internet Marketing Through Social Networking.

facebook_thumb

By Bobette Kyle

Social networking online is one of today’s hottest trends. Many, however, wonder how social networking can help their careers or businesses and exactly how to get started with this online marketing technique.

What is Online Social Networking?

From a conceptual standpoint, online social networking is no different than traditional networking and socializing. You meet people and get to know them by sharing information about each other. Those you like and/or share interests with become part of your “network.” The marketing magic kicks in when those in your network start talking about you. Your reputation spreads by word-of-mouth.

The Internet and related technology have taken networking to the next level, expanding each individual’s reach and exposure through online marketing. Where traditionally people gather in person to network — at the same time and place as others — members of online networking groups are not limited by time or geography. Each group member can interact 24/7 from any location worldwide. Consequently, online networking techniques are very different from in-person networking.

How To Interact Through Social Networking

Ways to interact are numerous. The first order of business is to decide what your marketing goals are with respect to social networking. While “finding new friends” is a sufficient personal reason for social networking, business marketing goals need to be more specific. Are you an individual looking for a job or freelance work? Do you want to gain exposure for your product, band or company? Are you looking for potential employees or contractors? Do you want to get prospects interested enough to visit your Website or contact you? Your goals will dictate what you put on your profile and social networking home page as well as who you look for the become part of your network.

After you’ve decided on your purpose for online networking, choose which social networking Website(s) you will participate in.

Where to Network Online

You can find a comprehensive list of social networking site at Wikipedia here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites. I am familiar with those listed below. They will give you an idea of the range of opportunities you will find at social networking Websites:

  • Yahoo! 360 (360.yahoo.com): Yahoo!’s social networking site is in beta as of this writing. The unique feature here is your Yahoo! 360 space is cross-promoted with other Yahoo! products, such as with your reviews on Yahoo! Local and your Yahoo! Groups. Like many social networking sites, you can also host a blog on the server.
  • MySpace (myspace.com): This is the mother of social networking sites. Originally dominated by teens, there are reports of the “graying of myspace” as older people and businesses are also networking on the site. It may be worth your while to spend some time there to see if your target customers hang out there.
  • LinkedIn (linkedin.com): LinkedIn is excellent for professional, career-related online marketing because it focuses exclusively on business and professional networking. You will find interfaces to connect with classmates or colleagues (both past and present); find service providers or clients; post or find a job; and ask or answer business-related questions.
  • Gather (gather.com): This network incorporates user publications (in the form of articles) and a points reward system into the usual social networking activities.

Each social networking Website has it’s own “personality” and a different mix of people to interact with. Before signing up, go to each site and explore a bit — search on keywords related to your goals and interests, check out the different groups, the activity level, etc. This will help you determine if a site will be beneficial to you. Once you find a site that interests you, establish your presence by signing up and filling in the questions for your profile and site home page. Once that is done, you are ready to interact.

Whom To Interact With

  • The people you want to associate with (i.e. make “friends” or be “connected” to) will depend largely on your goals. There are several types of people you will want to consider contacting. Each can help you in different ways, so consider looking for more than one type of “target friend:”
  • Customers and Consumers: People who will benefit from what you do, consume or buy your products or services, and rave about you to their friends.
  • Others Within Your Industry: People with whom you can network, share resources and cross-promote with.
  • Media and Publishers: People who work for or can influence publications you would like to be mentioned in (e-zines, newspapers, Websites, etc).
  • Consultants: People who may want to hire or purchase products from you.
  • Event, Company or Organization representatives: People who operate business and associations that support your industry.

How To Find Friends

A few people will find you based on your profile, but you will want to actively seek out quality friends. You can start to find friends by joining groups related to your expertise, that have members who match your target friend profile or interest you in general. You can also approach individuals and ask them to become a friend and/or part of your network.