Trends For Digital Marketing Nowadays

Jameson General Store was a historical treasure in the small North Carolina Community. Jim Jameson, the owner, had been part of the family legacy over 100 years old. The company had seen bad times, including The Great Depression. However, their hard work and customer loyalty had sustained the company’s success.

Even when a neighboring community got its Walmart’s Marketplace Store, their customers remained loyal. Jim did not believe in utilizing online advertising and social media platforms. He believed that these activities were only a fad. Yet, their customers gradually started shopping online because Jameson General Store was limited in its product offerings.

In fact, most of the business that Jameson Store lost was not to local competitors, but online sellers. Jim was adamant about resisting the temptation about shopping online. Yet, when he saw his own 10-year-old grandson purchase a difficult item to locate in the area online at significant costs, Jim had to ponder his current marketing strategy with the changing landscape in the nation.

Today’s customers can purchase a variety of items online with minimum effort. Given this scenario, brick and mortar companies are fighting to stay alive with the fierce internet competition. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics looking at 1,164 U.S. business owners, the following observations were made:

  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.
  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online.
  • 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop online rather than in-store.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).
  • 51% of seniors have shopped on marketplaces, 66% at large retailer sites, 30% on web stores or independent boutiques, and 44% at category-specific online stores.

Marketing professionals understand the importance of the internet and how to effectively leverage this power. According to, 90% of marketers use social media for their businesses. Sadly, many small businesses do not recognize this fact. Many businesses had opted to bury their heads in the sand in hopes that this ‘internet thing’ will go away. It hadn’t!In fact, e-Commerce is growing more than 23% annually; however, 46% of American small businesses do not have a website according to Square and Mercury Analytics research. This article focuses on how small businesses can leverage digital marketing to achieve greater success and enhance their market opportunities.

Digital marketing should be a tool that every serious small business should utilize. Digital marketing goes by many names such as e-commerce marketing, online marketing, and internet marketing. Digital marketing can be defined as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.” The key objective is to promote brands the usage of the internet.

Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet. Some digital marketing channels include websites, social media platforms, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, podcasts, and online advertising to name a few. Beyond technology gimmicks, businesses should know their customers and their core competencies. Digital marketing is not a silver bullet. Digital marketing is a tool for the savvy business professional.

Catherine Juan, Donnie Greiling, and Catherine Buerkle, authors of Internet Marketing: Start to Finish, suggest that effective digital marketing requires plenty of careful planning. They add, “The heart of getting real traction out of your internet marketing program is to tie marketing and sales data together, with metrics. Track what you’re doing, track the impact, and track the resulting sales.” Looking at the landscape of technology and internet innovation, small businesses should think strategically about the following five digital marketing trends:

Artificial Intelligence – Some people develop elaborate doom-day scenarios of machines to control the world. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a way of life in marketing. AI can be defined as ‘the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.’ Voice Activation technology like Amazon’s Echo is bringing AI into public attention. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their purchases without interacting with a person.

Internet Searching – Buyers are more knowledgeable than ever with access to the internet. In fact, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. Thus, exploring how to utilize search engine optimization and getting your business at the top of searches is an invaluable step.

Mobile Communications – Most Americans have grown accustomed to instant gratification and easy access to technology. Mobile and tablet e-commerce will reach $293B by 2018. Smartphone and tablets are part of this wave of innovation. Mobile will account for 72% of the U.S. digital ad spend by 2019. Marketers recognize that mobile marketing is an untapped business tool.

Social Media – Social media platforms, like Facebook, allows buyers to connect with each other virtually. 65% of business-to-business companies have acquired customers through LinkedIn ads. Marketers realize this value.

Web Content – Good content will attract customers. In fact, customers are more likely to purchase from sellers with good, relevant videos/photos on their website. 52% of marketing professionals globally name the video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Faced with the tenants of competition, small businesses need to utilize digital marketing. Some small businesses may be hesitant to explore digital marketing due to their lack of trust and understanding of the internet. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, note “Top firms are comfortable using technology to improve the way they do business with their business-to-business customers.”

Technology Tips You Should Know For Small Business

You may be the CEO of a new business with a lot of requests from clients or you may be an IT professional at a small firm where new infrastructure is required. No matter what position you are on right now, you need advanced technology solutions. However, you may want to keep in mind that installing and maintaining new systems can pose a challenge. So, you have to be ready to deal with this challenge. One way is to hire a dedicated employee or outsource the tasks to a good team of professionals. Given below are a few tips that can be used to organize remote tech support.

Identifying the results

First of all, what you need to do is identify your desired results. It’s important to keep in mind that each small business has its own requirements as far as tech support is concerned. So, it’s a good idea to decide on what you want to achieve. Moreover, you may want to find out about the technical issues that you may encounter. For instance, your requirements may be different if your area gets regular power outages.

Your next step is to make a list of your main IT tasks and the desired results that you want to achieve. This will help you get a better idea of your needs and choose the right type of technical support.

Choosing the provider

It’s not a good idea to take this decision without thinking a lot. You should take your time to do the research and look for the right company. The provider should have good reputation and a support plan that won’t break the bank.

Considering in-house tech support

A dedicated IT staff can help a lot provided you take into account all the important factors, such as the company size, tech challenges, and your internal and external needs related to your customers.

Considering hybrid solutions is also a great idea where you can bring a professional to handle critical issues. For other projects, you can use a remote IT support team. For instance, you can use this team to take care of emergency issues.

Investing in good software

Your business may have more than one location. Your commitments may be time-sensitive and your deliverables may be complex. Your customers or clients may be diverse with needs that keep on changing.

To meet these needs, you need to buy a reliable remote app in order to offer support to each of your client. The same app can be used by your staff to get access to important data as needed.

Consulting IT pros

If your business experiences small issues on a route basis, you can get advice from the pros whose job is to fix those issues on a daily basis. For instance, you can head to tech support forums where many pros offer advice for free of charge to those who need it. You may be amazed to know that even complicated issues can be solved with simple tricks.

Getting Rid Fear When Starting Business

Self-doubt, uncertainty and fear are all emotions that can impact a person’s ability to start-up a new business. Many entrepreneurs feel the pressure of investors, partners and employees relying on them. In order to overcome the mental roadblocks that can slow progress, there needs to be a wholehearted commitment in every area of building a successful business.

Here are a few things to consider in the process of starting a business:

Set attainable goals

A first step to starting a successful business is to create an overall company mission, which is then broken down into a series of achievable tasks. These small tasks can be used much like stepping-stones in the process of reaching the final target. Plus, this will make the process of starting a business seem less intimidating and also gives a clear outline of the work that needs to be completed as the business grows.

Also, in the early stages of starting the business it isn’t necessary to be a perfectionist. Start to set-up a professional looking website and test the service or product. Any fine tuning can be completed before the service is finally launched to the public.

Build up a solid foundation

Building a solid foundation and passionate community is essential from the very early stages of putting a business together. It is essential to have the right support in place to give time to reach the intended goals. While a lot of passion and determination is great, there is also a need to have a certain level of financial stability. The basic foundation to have in place is likely to include the keen customers, partners and investors. Each of these groups will help to achieve the desired financial success. Talk to as many people as possible when starting out to create a useful support system that will help build a lot of confidence and guidance.

Invest the right amount of time

In the early stages of starting a business it can be difficult to set the most ideal work-life balance. In the beginning, there will be a need to invest a lot of energy and time into the business to see the successful results. However, in time the business will start to have less of an impact on relationships and personal life. Plus, with a proper support system in place, this will further help to make a business owner’s day-to-day life easier. It helps to have an understanding with other people in your life that won’t leave you feeling guilty about the amount of time spent working.

While many people will think up ideas for a business product or solution, only a very few will actually take the leap and attempt to pursue their dream and build a business based on that idea. Questioning and vulnerability are typical with all types of decisions, but with the proper focus and commitment there is every possibility of getting a successful business up and running.

All About Office Service As Freelancer

Freelancers, or virtual assistants, provide the services which many firms, particularly small or medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses in the early stages of their development, need but cannot always afford on a full-time salaried basis. By paying for those services as and when they need them, they are effectively sharing the wage bill with the freelancer’s other customers. It is an arrangement which suits everybody involved, and from which everyone benefits.

Some of the services which can be undertaken remotely by a contracted freelancer are ones which may otherwise have been beyond the means of a small business owner. Not every entrepreneur can afford to hire a personal assistant, for example, but by outsourcing the work of a PA it is sometimes possible to have such services provided on demand, saving both on the wage bill and on the expense of unproductive employee retention during periods of relative inactivity. By using resources such as People Per Hour, where freelancers can offer their services and businesses can look for help, a match can quickly be made.

The International Virtual Assistants’ Association even operates its own members directory as a useful tool for companies who are looking for some help.

Concentrate on Building Your Business

Other functions which can similarly be delegated to an outside service provider include accountancy, web design, search engine optimisation, graphics and images, market research to gather information of customer trends and content design and management. In fact whole swathes of the operational side of the business can be placed into the hands of the virtual assistant, leaving the entrepreneur free to concentrate on the task of growing the company.

In terms of setting yourself up in business as a virtual assistant or freelancer, the first step would be to identify an area, or areas, in which you specialize, or for which there is a demand which would appear as yet to be unsatisfied. The next, and of just as much importance, is to establish a presence and build a high profile on the web which will enable potential customers to find you and to see what it is you have to offer them. One good way of achieving this would be to set up a blog and to keep it updated with fresh and interesting content. It is worthwhile too adding to your portfolio by building a Facebook page associated with the service you offer.

Working as a freelancer offers the freedom to work as you please, and without being committed or beholden to one specific employer. It works for both parties which is why it is increasing in popularity throughout the US and elsewhere.

How To Be Successful in Business Marketing

Business marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to other businesses or organizations. These other organizations may resell these goods and services or use them in their own business to support their operations. Business marketing is often called as industrial marketing or business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

The perfect example of Business to business marketing is the automobile industry. Automobile companies buy various spare parts such as tires, batteries, electronics and door locks which are manufactured independently by other businesses and sold directly to automobile manufacturers to assemble automobiles.

Even the Service industry is also engaged in large number of business to business transactions. For example Companies specializing in housekeeping provide services exclusively to other organizations, rather than individual consumers.

Business-to-customer marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to retail consumers for personal use. While most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies. The business-to-consumer as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to transaction between two or more businesses.

Business market (B2B) vs. Consumer marketing (B2C)

B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing in a number of key ways. A Business market has very few customers as compared to a consumer market which has large numbers of customers. A business market usually sells a customized product where as a consumer market sells a homogenous product. A Business to business transaction is a huge value transaction as purchase quantity is very high where as business to consumer transaction is a small value transaction. Price can be negotiated in business markets where as price is usually fixed in consumer market. Business markets have lengthy and complex selling process with multiple decision makers but in consumer market buying decision are simple and are made by individuals.

Keys to success in Business markets are:

1) Value creation & Customer satisfaction

Business begins with value creation. It is the prime objective of the business to create and deliver value in an efficient manner which will ultimately lead to profits. Value leads to customer satisfaction. Customer experience is an integral part of B2B marketing. The customer experience is the key brand differentiator, even more than the price and product.

2) Social media marketing

Social media marketing is when a company uses social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to market its product or services. Social media marketing is one of the best and efficient platforms for marketers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing including current and potential customers.

3) Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy whose aim is reaching a target audience on their Smartphone, tablets, and other mobile devices through email, SMS and multimedia messages.

Smartphone usage has increased multiple times during the last few years, app usage has also highly increased. Therefore, mobile marketers have increasingly taken advantage of Smartphone apps as a marketing resource. Marketers aim to optimize the visibility of an app in a store, which will maximize the number of downloads. This practice is called App Store Optimization (ASO).

4) Multimedia Content Marketing

Marketing using Multimedia content attracts more customers. B2B marketers are widely adopting this trend. The primary driver is the desire to make content more engaging, compelling, and shareable than just the traditional modes. The most common forms of visual content include 360-degree videos.

5) Effective Personal selling & Executive Branding

Distribution channel is the path through which the product reaches the final customer. Personal selling is the most preferred form of distribution and promotion used by B2B marketers The sellers promote the product through their attitude, appearance and specialist product knowledge. Executive Branding is when an executive showcases his professional strengths as a way to attract the customers. Executive branding is also known as reputation management. Especially in B2B environments, executive branding is now considered a necessity. Senior management must create and develop their personal brand image to attract new customers.

Steps To Saving Your Marketing Budget

For anyone who runs their own business, there is always a combination of emotions that makes launching both the most exhilarating moment of your life, as well as the most nauseating thing you’ve ever experienced. As time goes on, you find that while you are enjoying some success because of the curiosity factor, you aren’t finding the success you wish you could get, and this is where customer segmentation can make the biggest difference in the world.

Customer segmentation, in and of itself, is really nothing more than splitting your customer base into specific groups and marketing directly to said groups. Seems simple, right? Well, if you don’t know how to make this happen, you’re likely missing out on the success you feel you should have.

There is one more wrench to throw into things and that is how you’ve managed your marketing budget. Marketing costs money and time, two of the most valuable resources you have. It also takes dedication to making it all work, which means you’re likely taking time away from other important areas in running your business. If you’re only “sort of” working on your marketing and “kind of” investing in some customer outreach, you’re in some trouble.

So, how exactly does customer segmentation save you money in terms of your marketing budget? Here are a few ways:

It’s All About Identifying Specifics & Marketing to Them – Marketing is often done by the same person that owns & runs their business. While this seems like a way to save money, you’re likely not a marketing expert. Customer segmentation & the agencies that do it well can identify exactly where you should be investing your marketing money so that you don’t waste resources. The savings can then be reinvested into the company.

Targeted Advertising with Social Media and Email – No matter if your customer base is tech-savvy or relatively basic in their computer usage, a well-implemented customer segmentation campaign can target your customer groups where they spend the most time. This means that you’re aren’t spending money in places where your message will not be seen.

Brand Loyalty Through “The Little Things” – One of the ways many companies make their mark is by doing something unique for their customers, such as adding some candy to an order. They don’t advertise it, but it does put a smile on their customer’s face. Moreover, this little thing, as well as the product or service, are spread by word of mouth. Customer segmentation allows for identifying specific things about your customer that, in turn, allow you to figure out what little thing might appeal to them.

Some might consider customer segmentation as a “magic bullet” for your marketing, but what it really does is take a very direct approach of reaching your customer base and making your product or service consistently sell. Moreover, it helps to create the foundation for a static marketing strategy that will adapt to market changes over time. This means that even if there are ebbs and flows, you have a greater chance of being able to navigate changing times.

Marketing Tricks You Should Know

We all know the figures; how almost five out of every six new businesses fail within the first few years.

I’ve just completed a video on how small business owners can double or triple their sales, by addressing just three common challenges, and marketing is one of them.

So, if you are finalizing your marketing plans for 2018, STOP, don’t commit to spend a penny until you read this to see if you are spending your money effectively.

Most small business owners are experts in their business, but not experts in marketing, and so many don’t appreciate the difference between STRATEGIC MARKETING and TACTICAL MARKETING.

Strategic marketing is the content of your message. It’s what you say and how you say it, including the concepts that you choose to focus on, the words and images you use to communicate those concepts, and the tone in which the message is delivered.

Tactical marketing on the other hand, has to do with the execution of the strategic marketing, such as placing ads, brochures, building a website, attending trade shows, social media etc.

If I ask a business owner about their marketing plan, the answer almost always comes back in terms of tactical marketing. But these are the tools or the tactics.

How to make those tactics work, to attract and importantly close customers is to use STRATEGIC MARKETING.

Below are the key elements to strategic marketing:


Be that category of one. Blow away your competition by making your business the ONLY obvious choice.

Don’t start with the tactics first. Most do this, and it is WRONG!

I can’t say this enough!

If you do not want epic failures and wasted money with your marketing, then don’t choose tactics first.

How do you create your market dominating position? It is all down to positioning – why should your customers choose you over all the other people or businesses who do what you do?

Most small business owners give very little thought to their positioning, but get it right and it gives you huge advantages – you can attract more of the right customers AND you can charge higher prices, which has a massive impact on your profit.

Element 2 – MARKET ­

Who is your target customer/client?

Your marketing won’t get any traction unless you target those customers who want what you’ve got to offer.

You won’t sell hamburgers to vegans’ you, you won’t sell pet care to someone without a pet, you won’t sell a kitchen refurbishment to someone who is in a brand new house. Everyone is not your target. You will waste marketing pounds if you don’t know your target audience and what they most want.

Element 3 – MESSAGE

Your marketing needs to successfully interrupt and engage your target market to identify problems, frustrations, uncertainties, and annoyances your prospects have and then address them in your marketing. Their pain in most cases is their hot button.

The you need to be able to provide the Panadol to their pain.

Address their problem (hot buttons) in a compelling message to attract them, and then keep them engaged with the solution you offer.

Element 4 – MEDIA

Now the media. Where is your audience? Once you know WHO they are, figure out where they are and what forms of media they use, so you can put your message right in front of them to attract them.

Where online and social are still the buzzwords of today, they are still just another ‘media’.

Just think about this; isn’t it fascinating how overflowing our email inboxes have become recently, and how empty our letterboxes are? A recent study by Epsilon found that 64% of people pay more attention to physical things they receive in the post than they do the email.

Your media needs to be carefully considered – don’t just hop on the latest bandwagon because you think you should, review your media in terms of who your customer is, and what will provide you with the best return on investment.

Element 5 – OFFER

Have a great offer by providing the solution to their problem.

Create value in the offer to get the highest prices instead of cutting prices to get people to buy. Can you bundle things together, provide a guarantee there are many things that can increase the perceived value of your product or service.


Consumer opinion now travels faster and further than ever before. Did you know:

88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

90% of people read business reviews before they visit a business

What other people say about you is more important than what you say about you.

Online reviews can be the single most effective marketing media for your business. They get you seen online and they build your reputation.

In the UK you really need to have a Google+ presence as Google is the go to search engine for most people who are looking for something online.

Final thoughts:

No one really cares about you or your business. Tough, right? Take heart, as they don’t care about me either!

If you are a small business STOP trying to BRAND your business. It is a lengthy process to build a brand and you will have gone out of business before it happens if you market this way. People don’t buy logos! They buy solutions to their problems, or they buy to fill a desire.

Another Ways From Giving Discounts

Bundling is the process of grouping together certain products to create ‘packages’ which are then sold to clients. When you do this, you completely eliminate the biggest complaint small business owners have these days competing on price.

Bundling removes price from the equation by creating an “apples to oranges” comparison. You have to remember that customers today shop value NOT PRICE! Unfortunately, small businesses are LOUSY at conveying their “value proposition” so, therefore, price becomes the only value proposition left to consumers.

The real key to success in marketing is to offer more value than your competition. Prospects will pay twice the price if they believe they’re receiving four times more value. Unfortunately, most businesses in a vain attempt to increase their value begin to offer discounts, and that often destroys their margins. Did you know if some businesses discount their price by a mere 10% they now have to sell 50% more to break even?

Groupons are a popular way to generate traffic especially to restaurants, while effective at bringing customers, they have many disadvantages. Here are a few.

1. Splitting the revenue with Groupon
2. Customers go from one Groupon to the next
3. Too many customers at one time resulting in poor service.

My wife buys a lot of Groupons. There was a restaurant that we went to the last day, and they were out of a lot of items. We asked if they would extend the date and was told no.

So they lost a family of 6 ever going to their restaurant, and we got refunded. In addition, we told others of our experience, and they will never go to that restaurant again.

A better strategy would do a joint venture with other restaurants on a postcard or direct mail letter. Would have a special price for the meal and include a $10 or $20 gift card with that price. This would get you a visit now and in the future.

One last thing about Groupon, is that we have been to dozens of restaurants and do you know how many try to capture our contact information?

That would be zero.

While less than 20% of Groupon’s come back, it could be two-three times that if the restaurant would capture the contact info and follow up with Text Messaging, Email or Direct Mail.

STOP discounting! Instead, innovate your business, so you offer more value than your competition even if that means increasing your price. When you discount your price, you lose the full value of every dollar you discount. Bundling increases the perceived value, so prospects buy more.

Little Stuff But Have Big Impact

Every year, many of us make resolutions, new goals, and otherwise decide to change things up personally and professionally. Often, we consider making huge changes that sound good on paper but we haven’t devised a plan to get from where we are now to where we want to go. Big changes are great, but don’t forget the “small stuff.”

And when I say “small stuff,” I’m talking about those details that can have a major impact on getting you moving toward your big goals. If you have a goal, for example, of attracting 50 new clients in 30 days, you had better have a plan of action in place to make it happen. And you’ll want to have those small details perfected. Here’s my top 5 to check out.

#1. Your Headshot

According to, if you don’t want to look out of touch, you must have a modern headshot. That means not only having a photo that actually looks like you, but your pose and the background can have a huge impact on your credibility.

#2. Your Bio

When was the last time you read your own bio or professional profile? What’s changed since it was first uploaded to your Web site? What impact have you had in your work that you have neglected to share?

#3. Your Social Media Profiles

Just as I stated above, these mini bios need to be current and relevant to your audience. Offer specific examples of your skills, experience, and the type of clients you work with or want to work with.

#4 Your Offers

Take a hard look at what you’ve been selling over the past year. What sold well and what didn’t? If something has not sold well, such as a specific program or workshop you’ve been offering, is it time to enhance it or scrap it altogether? It may be time to step out of your comfort zone and create something new and exciting to make you stand out this year.

#5 List Building

What are you currently offering as a free giveaway to grow your list? Is it working? If you are not seeing your list grow, perhaps it’s time to change that freebie. How long ago did you create it? Is it still relevant? What would entice people to join your list? You want to give your prospects something that answers a question they’ve been asking or help for a problem they’ve been enduring. If you’re not sure what that “something” is, ask your current customers or do an online survey.

Understanding About Electronic Commerce

Entrepreneurs, now more than ever, should be steering their businesses in the direction of online retailing. Today we are living in a digital age where consumers are gravitating towards the convenience of online purchasing. Although retailers are still receiving heavy foot traffic in their stores, many are improving sales by promoting their online business.

Entrepreneurs who are involved in start-ups should consider focusing their business towards an online store, rather than confining their company to a building. The internet can reach more consumers and could also allow businesses to have larger inventories. Providing consumers with a larger selection can lead to an increase in sales and having fewer physical locations can reduce the amount of money spent on overhead, thus increasing profit. Entrepreneurs with existing companies should also put more effort into their website for the same reasons. Many retailers also utilize promotional emails to draw customers to their site. These promotions are a way of reminding customers of their business and keeping the company front of mind. The website can also create a communication line between the company and the consumer. Customers may leave reviews on product and send feedback to the business, which could influence or encourage others to make purchases.

Amazon is a successful company that often comes to mind when consumers think of shopping online. As the largest name in e-commerce, they draw in many consumers by creating a fast and convenient shopping experience. They showcase a variety of products and have managed to greatly simplify the checkout process. Many other retailers are attempting to shift their businesses in the same direction. For example, Walmart has been attempting to draw consumers to their online business by offering incentives to shoppers. Some of these incentives include an automatic discount with select purchases, as well as free shipping to any store. Entrepreneurs may consider modeling their approach to e-commerce after these successful retailers.

Creating a stronger online presence allows for companies to connect with more consumers. Buyers are attracted to the convenience of the shopping experience, as well as the vast inventory they are given to choose from. Entrepreneurs can increase sales by attracting more consumers who are interested in this wider variety of options and increase profits by reducing the amount of money spent on overhead. Focusing on improving the business’s sales online can facilitate a relationship between the entrepreneur and the consumer that will benefit both parties.