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Business Marketing strategies are methods for an organization to focus its energies and resources on a course of action which can lead to increased sales and dominance of a targeted market niche. Business marketing strategies combines product development, promotion, relationship management,distribution, pricing and other elements. It also identifies the firm's marketing goals, and explains how they will be achieved, ideally within a stated time frame. In his classic best-seller,How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie's second chapter is entitled The Big Secret of Dealing With People. The secret is summed up in this principle: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Carnegie said there is only one way to get anybody to do anything -- by making the person want to do it. How can you encourage customers to say good things about you and give you referrals? By giving them what they and all human beings crave: honest and sincere appreciation.
The Two Magic Words
The big secret of dealing with people (or customers) is often overlooked or forgotten. It's simply saying "thank you" consistently, personally and, above all, sincerely.
These two words work marketing magic because customers want to feel important. Saying "thank you" is an act of kindness. But don't say "thank you" for the sake of flattery. It must be sincere. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "You can never say anything but what you are."
"Thank You" Promotes Referrals
The uncertainty of referrals can be disconcerting. Can you control them? No. Can you influence them? Absolutely. First you must provide a valuable product or service for customers. (You're already doing this, right?) But perhaps you can make an even bigger difference in their minds by your continued interest after you've delivered the product or service. Each customer has a different level of satisfaction with your products and services. However, all customers to whom you say "thank you" are satisfied that they're important to you. This can determine whether you'll continue a relationship with them and get referrals.
"Thank You" as Direct Mail or E-mail
If you've never used direct mail and are considering it, start a thank-you correspondence program. If you've used direct mail or e-mail but haven't sent thank-you letters or e-mails, start now. The thank-you letter or e-mail to your customers is targeted (you know them, they know you), personal and effective. It's guaranteed to receive a positive response. Furthermore, it's a pleasant surprise if it's snail mail. They see your envelope. They think, this must be something for me to review, to sign, or worse a bill.
Surprise! They're appreciated; they're important. And you're the one telling them so. Write a thank-you letter or e-mail at every opportunity. But don't send one with an invoice or other correspondence. Always send it separately.
Writing the Thank-You Letter or E-mail
The thought behind a thank-you letter or e-mail may seem simple, but writing one can be tricky. Here are 9 tips for writing a winning thank-you letter or e-mail:
1. Keep it brief. A half dozen lines (or fewer) are sufficient.
2. Make it sincere. This is crucial. If you aren't careful, it can sound awkward, even when you're trying to be sincere.
3. Start with "thank you." Dear Ms. Johnson (or first name, if appropriate): Thank you for ...
4. Make the tone warm, but professional. Be friendly, but keep it businesslike.
5. Reinforce a positive. Jog their memory of a positive aspect of the relationship.
6. Offer your continued support. If I can help, please call ...
7. End with "thank you." Thanks again for ...
8. Use an appropriate closing. Sincerely, Best regards.
9. No ulterior motive. Make it a pure "thank you," otherwise sincerity is jeopardized.
Remember: Saying "thank you" is part of building strong customer relationships over time. Use these two magic words consistently and watch your repeat business and referrals grow.
Marketing on Search Engines – Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck. With the increase of it's global audience, the Internet provides a unique revenue generation platform with search engines. This is where your business will be made or thrown on the garbage pile. Search engines are similar to the streets of any major city.
A number of search engines represent the major avenues where people congregate while others are more similar to back alleys where almost nobody goes or at least not the kind of people you want to meet in…a dark alley. Getting to the point, your traffic generation efforts should focus on Google, Yahoo and Bing (MSN). These three search engines control the vast majority of traffic on the Internet. Not only do lots of people use them to find things, the big three also provide search results to many other search engines as well. For instance, Google supplies ads and search results for AOL. Dogpile compiles the various search results from the big three in its listings.
Alta Vista uses Yahoo search results. This scenario is so expansive that the big three search engines are simply the only way to go. This means you need to focus on them to the exclusion of others. Two approaches can be taken when you focus on these three – pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization.
Other forms of search engine marketing, such as banner ads, produce poor results and should be avoided. Let’s take a closer look at the big two. Pay-per-click advertising [ppc] is platform whereby you pay for placement on a search engine. The two major ppc platforms are Overture and Google Adwords. Overture places ads on the Yahoo and MSN search engines. Google Adwords places ads on Google and AOL search results.
Both platforms place ads on other search engines and sites, so you will see your listings appearing everywhere. The advantage of PPC advertising is you get immediate traffic for your site. You can use the traffic to test the content on the site and whether visitors convert into paying customers. The downside is you are paying for traffic, which means you must pay close attention to your return on investment. All and all, PPC advertising should be used at the outset of a marketing campaign while you wait for optimized pages to get natural rankings.
Search engine optimization [SEO] is by far the most effective way to go on the big three. Once you obtain top three rankings for a keyword, you receive more traffic than you would from ppc and it is all free! This does wonders for your profitability. If you can figure out SEO on your own, your cost of marketing should eventually become your time and a few dollars a month for tools.
This results in obscenely high profits margins. If you prefer to use a SEO firm, your costs are going to go up significantly. Once the free traffic starts rolling in, however, you should get an excellent return on investment. The downside to SEO is it takes a lot of time and work. You can expect to wait up to a year for top Google rankings, although Yahoo and MSN rankings will appear much sooner.
In light of this waiting period, PPC advertising is a must at the outset of a search engine marketing campaign. Internet marketing is a fairly simple game. Focus on the big three search engines with a combination of ppc and SEO efforts. Stick to these two and you should see good results. It really is that simply. Not complicated.