Rabu, 01 Mei 2013

Taming Customers though Promotional Marketing

If a business firm id able to control the minds of million of customers, it will earn billions as profit. It is impossible to do that. But using some promotional strategies, the mind of the consumer can be tamed by influencing their decision making power. They can be presented with material, which can be motivating and persuading. There is no magic involved in this; only the psychology of the human mind is to be studied and played with. Human mind reacts to different situations in different ways.  Some key psychological aspects can be studied in promotional marketing to get overwhelming customer response.

Curiosity is the want to explore the unknown. Humans are always in pursuit of knowledge. They want to know more than what others know. Secrets are simply hard to be kept. This desire can act as an attractive force in marketing. Like customer won't be that interested if they are told that they can be provided with successful diets. Instead they want to hear the secret of the diet plan which is being provided.

The information shouldn't be let out easily. Obviously it is important to catch the attention of the customer by interesting heading, but the content, too, should be as interesting so as to retain the interest of the reader till the end. In case of cross-titles or sub-titles, the initial ones will always have the advantage of developing more curiosity than the following sub-titles.

If the content speaks about why the customer should select so and so company or product, it will be easier for them to relate to it. Let the matter speak out and give the explanation by itself. Like supposing a company wants to sell some product before the expiry date and it's the slowest time of the season, plain advertising won't do the trick. Customers are smart enough to think that the company wants to get rid of the old stuff. Instead if the customers are provided with a discount or a limited time offer, a believable reason, they will be more attracted. Every action should have a solid reason.

Customers are greedy from a marketing point of view.  By understanding the need of the customer, a basis can be prepared for the content. Their greed should be taken into consideration while preparing the content. They should be shown how the product or company would benefit them. They want to buy benefits in the form of products. Suppose when advertising for a camcorder, say that it displays all the colors that can be seen with naked eye, instead of saying it supports 16-bit color.

Just specifying that the memory card have a memory of 2 GB isn't catchy. Instead it should be quoted that the memory card can store over 500 pictures, 100 audio songs and 50 videos. This surely will increase the customer enthusiasm. The benefits should be clearly mentioned to the customer and later other information about the product can be discussed, incase if they are looking for more. This is called listing the product features. Features reveal what the product has and benefits describe the advantages that can be derived from those features. Each feature can have more than one benefit, depending on different situations and customer needs. Lots of benefits and fewer features should always be the way to go.   


Marketing and Selling on Internet

 Marketing on the Internet involves online advertising to reach out to potential customers. It requires creativity like designing, development and technical aspects like marketing and advertising. Affiliate marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and interactive advertising are all different facets of Internet marketing. It also includes sales, public relations, information management and customer service. Ever since the advent of Internet, it is widely used for all kind of purposes. Among the advantages of Internet, some helps in doing business, shopping, etc, from the comfort of the house. According to a research, a quarter of the Internet users shop online. It has also helped grow electronic commerce and Internet marketing is a part of electronic commerce. 

Direct marketing techniques like radio and television commercials, mails, and newsletters are the inspirations for Internet marketing, which involves direct response marketing strategies and is rapidly growing. Business-to-business, also known as B2B, and business-to-consumer, also known as B2C, are the two business models to which Internet marketing can be linked. B2C companies were the first to start when Internet marketing originated. They are companies that sell directly to the customers. B2B companies are meant to do business with each other.

Websites built for Internet marketing are slightly different than others. There are peer-to-peer modeled websites which are used to exchange products and services between each other. Other is name-your-price, where the customers have to specify their price range that they can spend and select products that fall in that price range. Priceline.com is an example of such a website. Amazon.com is a website which is based on find-the-best-price model, where customers can find the lowest prices. Last are online auctions sites, where items are bid. Ebay.com is an example. 

The companies who use Internet marketing are at an advantage. They don't need to put in huge amounts of energy and time in Internet Marketing like other traditional methods. With the help of only few resources national and international markets can be reached. Because of very low investment, even small businesses are turning to online marketing. Websites and blogs have been developed for this purpose. Internet marketing is advantageous in the sense that the data is easily available on the Internet. Newsletters can be directly sent to customers and if it doesn't contain the information they are looking for, they can search for information about the product online, make a decision and purchase it online itself.

One of the factors that hinder the growth of online marketing is delayed loading of the page. The web pages that take a lot of time to download test the patience of the consumer. To add to that, if the businesses design complex web pages with lots of graphics and animations, it will slow down the speed even more. Another minus point of online marketing is that the customers cannot feel, taste, smell or try products in order to make a good decision. To over come this, some of the online stores have created liberal return policies with the help of which the customer satisfaction is guaranteed.

Another biggest threat of online shopping is identity theft. Paying online using credit cards, e-checks are susceptible to hackers and information can be stolen and used. Many hackers and websites have been caught who were involved in buying and selling of personal information. Most of the websites have taken measures and incorporated good security on their websites. One of the best methods is encryption. When the data is being transferred between two computers; there is a possibility of a hacker intercepting it. So the data is changed by applying some encryption algorithm and is sent through the network and upon receiving, the decryption algorithm is applied to bring back the data to its original form.

Online selling is influencing all kinds of businesses like banking, advertising, music, etc. Instead of going to a store for buying cassettes and CDs, music can be bought online. Bank transactions like depositing, withdrawing, transferring funds, and paying bills are all performed online. Billions of dollars are invested every year in online advertising alone. 

Selasa, 30 April 2013

Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing is targeted at building stronger and long lasting relationships with clients and other companies. The business is done with a strategic orientation, where the relationship is improved with existing customers rather than finding new customers. It is meant to cater to the needs of individual customers. Its major part involves studying the need of the customer and how it changes in different circumstances.

Relationship marketing applies techniques like marketing, sales, customer care and communication. The relationship is not only enhanced but its life period is increased by these strategies. And as the customer realizes the value of relationship, they are drawn closer. This marketing not only focuses on building relationship and attracting customers to their products and services but also how to retain them.

A raw form of Marketing came into existence in the 1960s. But, organizations were still facing difficulty in selling products, so a system was developed to sell low cost goods to larger group of customer. Leonard Berry and Jag Sheth originated this marketing, in 1982. It was started in B2B markets and industries, which involved long term contracts for many years.  Over the period of time, various marketing strategies were improved and relationship marketing was one of them.

Relationship marketing is applicable where the customers have many options in the market for the same product or service and the customer is entitled to make a selection decision. In such a kind of market, businesses try to maintain their clients by providing comparatively better products and good service and hence, achieving customer loyalty. And once it is achieved it becomes difficult for competitors to do well in the market. The customer turnover wasn't paid attention on as the main attention was on customer satisfaction. This kind of marketing was initially named as defensive marketing. Offensive marketing is the marketing strategy where not only new customers are attracted, but also the sales are stepped up by increasing the purchase frequency. This kind of marketing concentrates on freeing dissatisfied customers and acquiring new customers.

According to a research, the cost of retaining an old customer is only ten percent of the cost of getting a new customer, which makes sense to not to run around to get new customers in relationship marketing. And according to another research done by cross-sectional analysis, says that, a five percent improvement in customer retention is responsible for twenty-five to eighty-five percent of the profit. Usually high cost is incurred when getting new customers, so if sufficient number of existing customers is retained, there will be no need of acquiring new customers.

Once the customer trust is gained his chances of switching to other company becomes relatively less, he buys goods in bulk, he buys other supplementary goods and he starts neglecting average price variation. This maintains the unit sales volume and there is an increase in dollar-sales volume. The existing customers will be like a living advertisement. If he is satisfied with the company he will recommend it to his friends and acquaintances.

Since the existing customers are familiar with the process, it will take less time and money to educate them about the procedures putting fewer burdens on employees also and making them feel more satisfied with their jobs. The customers are divided into groups based on their loyalty. This procedure is known as relationship ladder of customer loyalty. The groups in ascending order are prospects, customer, client, supporter, advocate and partner.

Due to the advancement in computers and Internet, software has been developed to facilitate customer relationship management. With the help of this software the tastes, activities, preferences, and complaints of customers are tracked. Almost all the companies have this software in their marketing strategy, which benefits the customer as well as the company.

Thus the main aim of relationship marketing is to construct and maintain relationship with committed clients who are meant to bring profit to the company. The other benefits achieved are confidence building and social benefits.

Marketing and Sales: What is the difference?

Marketing and sales are one of the most important components of a business's survival in the market. While both are dependent on each other many people confuse marketing with sales and vice-versa which is a big mistake. Marketing involves designing a product according to the needs of the market and customers, promoting the product through advertising etc. and setting up a competitive price for the product. Marketing is a platform which drives sales. While on the other hand the sales process is what you do to successfully sell a product and fetch a contract. Sales and marketing together is a part of selling and one cannot do without the other. They can also be called activities. The success of a business is critical to the success of these two important activities.

Marketing is the backbone of a company's future and launching pad for the sales. While the marketing process encompasses the design of the product, advertising etc. the sales process is the execution of all the efforts which involves direct interaction with client either by in-person meeting or cold calls or by networking. But there is always an ongoing rivalry between the two, one claiming dominancy over other. The marketing people say they have an upper hand because they think it is they who designs the products, lays down the strategy and also develops tools essential for sales. They say sales are the outcome of marketing and thus should follow its directions. The sales people might not agree to this view and may be completely opposite in their opinion. They think that it is the sales people who actually sells a product and bring money to the business.

But many experts believe that marketing should play a pivotal role among the two. A successful marketing campaign makes sales easy and makes people believe that it is actually the sales people who are the dominant leaders. The most important role of marketing department is to create opportunities for the sales department. Marketing drives sales and sales drives companies' success. Marketing is like a life support for sales, one who is constantly backing up the sales department and enabling them to successfully deliver the end product. There shouldn't be a race to gain supremacy over another department but a race to win the market and customers working together.

Many businesses combine sales and marketing together but in reality they have different targets. While the sales department is interested in fulfilling the requirements of what the customer asked for, the marketing department is actually busy studying what the market demands. The goal of the marketing department is to foresee how the market will shape up in future. They should envision their product catering to the needs of the market for next few years and be ready to make design changes in their product accordingly.

It is very important that a company integrates their sales and marketing department in a well fashioned manner. It is the correct integration of these two important entities that fuels the growth of a company. The sale people should not be merely treated as the cash collectors. Each department has its own role and should go hand in hand in selling the product of the company and should be the foremost important criteria.

Sabtu, 27 April 2013

What=?UTF-8?B?4oCZ?=s a Career in Personal Finance?

A lot of people often don't know what they want to be. Those who enter college will often get the course they thought they are interested but later on will change courses as they come to realize their actual calling. For me personal finance was one of the courses in college that really called out at me.

You might say it yelled at me. "Take me as your college course!" That would be ho personal finance would be yelling inside my head. It may be weird to some of you but to most of you who had that epiphany of what you want to be, I know you can relate to what I mean.

To the uninitiated, personal finance is simple taking care of your own or someone else's money. Although, there's truth to that, but the process and the responsibilities are not as simple as what you might think. Personal finance is using financial principles to help individuals, families, or a singular unit get money, use that money wisely, save some, learn existing and possible life risks that would affect how they will gain and spend their money.

Okay, it may sound simple but combining all these principles to elements like checking and saving accounts, insurance policies, tax management, credit card loans, investments, retirement plans, and social security benefits, efficiently managing the finances is definitely a challenge.

Part of your job as a personal finance professional would be informing people how their financial decisions will come into play with their lives today or in their future. It is your responsibility to educate them on the consequences of their financial actions. With this in mind it is important to provide regular assessments of the client's finances. Reevaluating the steps that were previously undertaken for financial gain and security should be conducted also on a regular basis to keep the financial situation updated and always in perspective.

Assessing where you are so far financially would mean getting all those balance sheets and income statements in order and trying to balance the values. Simple balancing of assets and liabilities is always the first step in assessment.

Once you know where you stand, you can set goals and objectives. It's planning aside where you will be financially in say ten or fifteen years. Living off your pension after ten years, enjoying the good life is a goal that most people set for themselves. This is a good goal, since after working for years you earn the right to live the rest of your life relaxed and comfortable. Personal finance professional is supposed to help clients reach their personal goals.

To reach their goals, it is imperative that one has a concrete plan of action. In this plan, financial details will be laid out. Short term and long term goals with corresponding financial computations will help make overall financial planning a lot easier both for the client and the personal finance professional .

Now, assessment, setting objectives, and planning can all be tiring and time consuming stuff but the reason for all these meticulous planning is to ensure that implementation of the personal financial plan will go smooth. Admittedly, the most difficult phase of personal finance management is setting the plan in motion and sticking to it. Discipline is the word here. You need to constantly remind yourself of your final goal to keep you motivated and stick to your financial plan.

With this in mind, it would be important to conduct regular assessments and evaluations along the way. This will keep you focus and see if you have deviated from the main financial plan. You can put yourself back on track through regular reevaluation of your financial status.

This is basically what a career in persona finance will take you. Focusing on individuals or families and helping them with their financial management while incorporating philosophies, ideas, and elements of business and financial management techniques. Is this for you? For me it is.

Reminder about Career plus Finance Mindset

There are many risks that you have to do in life. But life with career plus finance or work inside the finance industry will present you with more challenges and risks than you may have imagined.

Do not fear those risks. Finance involves money, the value of time and the risks involved. Interrelate the three and you will get an idea of how this concept works.

There are many avenues that you may want to venture on to when you are already on this type of business. You must gain experience through time because your career path will all boil down to what you know. If you want to succeed in this avenue, know all its corners, the manholes and especially the good roads.

Choosing a career in finance must be done when you are still choosing what courses to take in college. But other people are lucky to enter this world with little academic knowledge. Yes, there are high school graduates who eventually become successful in this field.

Pleasing Personality

It is very important that you know how to relate to all types of people to be able to last in this biz. You cannot be affected by just anything ranging from petty to non sense. To be able to last in the industry, you must know how to dance to the music whatever its genre is.

This will be most useful when you become involved in sales. Your bread and butter will be your charm. So you must know how to charm your way into this world and charm your way towards the clients’ hearts. You must have enough convincing powers to be able to close such priced deals.

Supreme Knowledge

The finance industry is no ABC. You must not treat this as trip to the park or watching your favorite movie with a buddy. This is a serious world. You have to know what you are talking about to be able to relay to people proper information.

This doesn’t mean that this will be a boring world to live in. Who will be bored when you are earning more than enough? Yes, money is not everything so you must also know how to use it right. You must know how to pamper yourself once in a while. But you must not forget feeding your mind. It is your asset. It is your gem. So nurture it in order to be good in the field.

Greener Pastures

In this industry, there are no other ventures but to go up and look for greener pastures. In order to do so, you must be able to understand everything that each of your jobs teaches you. Experience work and life. Learn from everything that comes your way.

Through time, you will be able to land on those greener pastures. Do not forget to look back and teach someone like you when you were starting if you can afford to do so.

There are so many things to do every day in order to last in this industry. It will be helpful if you will take note of every vital detail and include that on you action plan.

Setting your mindset on a career plus finance mode will help you get through this industry with flying colors. So from the start, set your mind to always win. Risk whenever you have to. Do not be afraid to come out of your safety nest once in a while to be able to get hold of what are the possibilities for you in the finance industry.

Household Finance Career Opportunities

Let's say you have been an accountant for a very long time. You are probably a manager, a supervisor or maybe even a partner. If you don't like the long hours anymore and want to slow things down, there are household finance career opportunities that you can look forward to.

What do we mean by household finance career opportunities? Basically, you will be doing your accounting practice from the home. You may not have to work the same hours as before and instead work with people who need to complete their tax forms before the deadline or perform the same services for small businesses.

You get to choose the kind of workload you get, the number of clients you will see and so forth. With the years of experience under your belt and your credentials, it will be easy for you to open a private practice instead of someone who is just fresh out of college.

The first thing you have to do is advertise by telling your clients that you will be going into private practice. Some of these people may stay with you since they are happy with your services but since you can't just rely on that, you will have to market yourself as a practitioner. There are websites that invite professionals such as yourself to sign up. You can also post an ad in the newspaper or in the community bulletin board.

But if you don't want to leave your current job, you can still do some household accounting but on a part time basis.

In any case, you will need to purchase a few things for your home office. This includes a fax machine, a copier, a computer and a few computer accounting programs similar to what you are already using.

The start up cost for everything if you don't have it yet will be from $2500 to $4000. This is a small amount that can be recovered quickly again because of your experience in accounting.

To give you an idea, one report shows that accountants make $22500 to $52500 annually working 30 hours a week that charges by the house $20 to $30 per client. This may not be much compared to what you were earning before because you are not working 40 hours a week which is the standard in the profession.

This of course may change depending on your credentials. The nice part is that you manage your own time unlike before where you have to meet deadlines and at time multi-task to get the work done.

Aside from relying on your previous clients and posting ads, you should also get in touch with other professionals who may be able to recommend clients to you. One example is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or AICPA.

Being your own boss is a change from what you have been used to but at least you have time on your hands to do other things apart from work. You can spend more time with the family, take up classes or learn a new sport.

For those who decide to leave their current jobs and want to pursue a household accounting career, look forward to the future. Life as you know it does not end when you leave that 40 hour per week desk job.