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Latest Posts from Internet Marketing Muscle

Friday, September 17, 2010

Internet Marketing Tools: Install a Plugin from within WordPress

Internet Marketing Tools - How to Wordpress: How to install a plugin.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Four Ps of Marketing

Back when I was in the retail business, managing a fairly small (at the time) sporting goods store, my division supervisor, whom I respected a great deal, would always visit and leave true pearls of wisdom.

Being the wet-behind-the-ears 20-something that I was, I thought everything he said was so profound. Later, I'd come to realize that it was all in the delivery!

What I didn't know was that he was one or two steps ahead of me (maybe more, he was really smart) and when I went on to another career in a different industry and began work on my MBA, I came to find that what he so expertly presented was just case studies and theory from business school!

Now, I'm not trying to demean or belittle his work. On the contrary. This man knew a lot, but he knew no more than anybody else. He just applied it.

And he taught it really well. I've found through life experience that the old saying, "Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach," is a bunch of crap.

Those who truly know something can teach it like none other. Put another way, to really know if you know something well, try to teach it. If you can transfer that knowledge to a 22-year-old, then you know your stuff.

Now, I said all that just to say all this:

One of the truly extraordinary -- yet so simple even a wooden dummy knows it -- things he taught me was what is formally called the "4 Ps of Marketing."
  1. Product
  2. Place
  3. Promotion
  4. Price
Others call it the "marketing mix." Whatever you call it, all you really have to know to succeed in sales and marketing (as opposed to business, which is a whole other story) is how to maximize these four things.

Product. Obviously, you have to have a product, whether it's something you created or bought, or an affiliate product you want to promote, you by all means must have a viable product (or service) that others want.

It's that simple.

Don't have #1? Chuck it and start over.

It's also critically important to have stock in said product. That is to say, if you run a retail establishment, and you're promoting a certain product, you better have it in stock. Nothing kills a sale faster than these 3 words: "Out of stock." This is what is meant by place or placement. It's distribution. Right in time inventory. Better have it when a customer wants it.

This also implies that you have to put it (place it) where customers can find it.

Promotion covers pretty much what all of us internet marketers do. Of course, if we are selling information products, we never "run out." It's complete BS that the gurus say "Only 15 copies left."

No, what they're really doing is building tension: If you don't grab it now, you may not be one of the 15 people to get a copy. It's all about creating scarcity (which also lends itself well to Price).

As internet marketers, we have scads of products to promote through affiliate programs. We also have literally thousands upon thousands of ready-made products awaiting us in the form of Private Label Rights material. Change a few things here and there, add a little, take out something, etc. and you're ready to sell.

Simple. Easy as P-L-R.

As savvy IMers, we're always promoting something. This is why we have websites and email marketing lists, right?

Promotion is our thing.

Price for the potential consumer makes a huge difference in whether they buy or not, especially for things that they really don't need. It's raining outside and your kid doesn't have a jacket? You figure out a way.

But $997 for the latest "gift from a guru," NO. I'll pass.

Price does matter. Funny thing is, sometimes when you raise the price you not only make more money (higher margins) but you also may sell more units.

It's called snob appeal. The vernacular we Internet Marketing folks use is "perceived value." Whatever you call it, we have the ultimate testing ground, don't we?

We can simply set up multiple sites or pages and drive traffic there and see what price sells best, "all other things being equal."

Somebody figured this out eons ago selling physical products and then everybody started pricing things at x.99 or x.95, as if $9.95 is significantly different than $10. It's a freaking nickel people!

But it works. You see the same thing in the IM world: Products supposedly sell better with a .x7 price tag, like "$27" or "$97" -- I know, it sounds stupid. But there's a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting this pricing structure.

Nevertheless, no matter whether you are selling physical products or information, the 4 Ps still apply. Always will.

You can learn a whole lot more about business, promotion, and internet marketing over at Internet Marketing Muscle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Article Marketing

A Beginner's Guide on How to Syndicate Articles

You have a business. And you have a web site for that business. But you are lacking the desired traffic. You want to get the word out about your site. For this reason, you choose to write articles that are intended for marketing. Your problem now lies on how to syndicate those articles?

Step by Step
There are many ways that you can go about in syndicating your articles. Here are only some that you can consider as your basic guide especially if you are new to the concept.

1. Good content
You have to tap on to your target market in the very vast cyber world. And how are you going to do this? By providing what they are looking for. For example, you are selling mattresses and you want to capture people in the medical industry. Your articles can go like tips to finding a good mattress after an endless shift, or how about the medical benefits of a good mattress for someone in the medical field.

Those were just samples and at top of the head thoughts. The idea here is to know who you want to listen to you and make sure that they will really do.

2. Usually, the articles are short, from 500 to 2000 words depending on the requirement of the article submission site. The way to do is to establish yourself as an expert in the field of interest where you will be able to tap the kind of market who will be interested in buying the products that you are offering.

The articles should not be directly promoting your products. You may get banned from the article submission sites if you do so. There is an allotted space for you to advertise your web site and that can be found on the author's bio. You can link that to your web site so the people who will be interested with you and what you have to offer would know where to go.

3. Decide on the article submission site
Use the vast resource available on the web to know what these good sites are. Stay away from the spammy type. You wouldn't want to be associated with such. Track down which sites rank higher and which of them cater to the people whom you are targeting. Enlist on those sites and start submitting good articles.

4. You can also syndicate your articles to offline mediums such as newspapers or magazines. You will be able to tap onto a larger field this way. And you can also direct those people to your web site address.

5. RSS
This means Really Simple Syndication. This will distribute your articles widely suing an automatic process. Not only will you able to reach a broader audience, you will gain important backlinks to your web site.

At this day and age, syndicating your articles is easier. You just have to settle on how you will go about it. This will help you a lot in promoting your business because you will be able to get noticed by more people.

Now that you know some of the steps on how to syndicate your articles, you can start on pounding your brain and the keyboard to create articles that will really be helpful in helping you achieve your goals.

For more internet marketing information, check out Internet Marketing Muscle

Monday, August 23, 2010

Advertising - Get Real

Advertising and marketing are creative disciplines. That's one reason I love being a part of the marketing industry. Finding creative solutions to help clients sell their products and services is a fun way to make a living. Having said that, I must also say that too often I see marketers going too far.

In my opinion it is certainly possible to be too creative for your own good. What exactly do I mean by that? Let me share a very public example to explain.

My example comes from the reality television show, "The Apprentice." Okay, so I admit it, I LOVE that show. I'm not much of a reality TV fan, but there's something about watching these teams compete on business challenges week in and week out that intrigues and entertains me.

Quite often they are given marketing-related tasks on the show. Let's face it, marketing is one of THE most important jobs you'll ever have in business. If you can do it well, your business will more than likely do well. If you can't market well, your business is in trouble.

In a recent episode of "The Apprentice" the task was to create a TV commercial for Dove Body Wash. The teams were instructed to come up with an "out of the box" 30-second spot to promote the product. The result?

Both teams created garbage! I guess some may argue they certainly did think "out of the box," and both teams tried to justify that's what they did, but in the end, they failed miserably at their number one task: to sell the product!

And that's what I think happens to many marketers who try to be too creative. They lose sight of the fact their job is to sell a product or service. To do that effectively, your marketing has to be one word: relevant.

You can be as clever or creative as you want, but in the end if your marketing is not relevant to the product and to those who are most likely to buy it, you have failed.

Look, I realize we have to be creative to capture our audience's attention. After all we are trying to cut through a sea of marketing clutter. I just wish more marketers tried harder to connect with their audience vs. simply entertain them.

Heck, I sometimes wonder if marketers even know who their audience is. This definitely came into play in The Apprentice with both teams showing men using Dove Body Wash in their commercials. C'mon, it doesn't take a lot of sense to recognize this product is for women! But because they were so focused on being clever, they lost sight of this very basic fact.

If I can leave you with one thought it is this: Identify and know your audience and then aim to connect with them and jump into the conversation they are already having in their head about your product or service.

If you can do this, you will be effective in capturing their attention, AND selling your product or service.

Check out Internet Marketing Muscle for more info.