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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.