Mobile Marketing Via Smartphones – The New Business Mantra

Smartphones are now in almost everyone’s pocket and if you are running a business you need to be aware of and have a presence on the mobile marketing platform. Unlike a laptop or desktop computer or even a tablet or phablet, a smart phone is always on and very easily accessible – you have a virtually captive potential customer. Therefore it is imperative that you make use of this opportunity to pitch your business and make a sale.

Mobile Marketing – The Future Is Here

Will you get a return on investment for the advertising? Maybe not immediately, but you will have the early mover advantage in your favor. In today’s hyper-connected scenario couples with a short attention span, you need to take advantage of this newer marketing option. Over time, this will translate into fresh business or more business, adding to the income kitty. In fact mobile advertising may reach more than five billion dollars by 2015 according to a recent study. That is why it makes sense to have a presence in mobile marketing.

The popularity of smartphones is on the rise: as many as 50 percent of Americans use smartphones instead of basic phones and the numbers are rising all over the world. While younger people are more likely to opt for smartphones, the fact that a smartphone is virtually a mobile computer means that it is used by business people, those who need to be on the go and the professionals.

How Do You Use Mobile Marketing

There are many ways to exploit the reach of smartphones for mobile advertising. Among them are:

• Apps – Often large business have dedicated apps that allow the customer to interact with them directly. Apps can be used for transactions or as part of brand building and customer engagement. When you have your app on somebody’s smartphone, you are in more direct contact with a client than an advertisement in the newspaper or even a website. An interactive app translates into more business.

• Banner ads – With banner ads you can more easily target customers in a designated demographic area. This allows for a narrower focus if that is what you require. Here is where you can put your offers and promotions, discount coupons or whatever that you need to entice the client.

• QR Code – QR codes are still relevant as people use them for a more interactive experience. The very fact that a person with the phone is using the QR code means that he already has some interest in the product or service that you are offering.

• Integrated campaigns – You can and should use any mobile marketing advertising as part of larger advertising plans, including emails, smses, websites and actual physical stores or businesses. You should also easily be found on the user’s smartphone one way or the other.

Don’t forget that smartphones are also mobile computing devices, so you need to have a web presence and social media presence as well as direct mobile advertising.

You need to have the right mix for your business – if your business has a wide reach, you need to target a larger demographic of customers. However, if you business is very local, your focus ought to be narrower and with mobile marketing you can target just the kind of demographic that your business requires. Just as you want more customers for your business, remember people are also looking for value for money and time. As such, mobile marketing which is easy to read and follow, offers to fulfill a need, offers value, reaches the right targets benefits both the clients and the business. Mobile advertising also offers a fast call to action and has a shorter response time, leading to greater efficiency and translating into sales.

6 Factors to Consider When Determining How to Price Your Products and Services

Many entrepreneurs in the planning stages of launching a business struggle with determining how to price their products and services. In fact many entrepreneurs go into panic mode furiously stalking their competitors and opting to undercut them on pricing instead of the better option of setting pricing based on value.

So how does one go about properly pricing their products and services?

Well there are 6 factors to consider and having a complete understanding of each will help you to eliminate any questions surrounding your pricing.

#1 – Economics of One Unit

Simply put you need to know what it costs you to produce one unit of (insert your product name here). If you sell cupcakes you should have a full understanding of what it costs you to make one cupcake.

How much do you pay for flour, sugar, eggs, milk, chocolate, sprinkles, cupcake packaging, etc.?

How much does that yield? Let’s say 1 package of flour and sugar, 1 carton of eggs, 1 gallon of milk etc. will allow you to make 100 cupcakes.

Take the cost (for example $20) and divide it by the number it yields (100) to get your cost per unit ($0.20)

So if it costs you 20 cents to make one cupcake this is the base number in which you use to determine pricing.

#2 – Associated Costs

So it’s not as cut and dry as producing a cupcake for $0.20 and selling it for $1.00 to make $0.80 profit per cupcake. You also need to know what your associated costs are such as renting the commercial kitchen, advertising, employee wages, marketing, your salary etc. and use those numbers to determine how many cupcakes you need to sell each month to cover expenses (and make a profit).

#3 – Competitor Pricing

Don’t panic. Yes, you want to have at the bare minimum, an idea of what your competitors are charging BUT it does not mean you have to compete on price or Heaven forbid (gasp) charge lower than your competitors.

In fact for most businesses it’s not recommended you compete on price. Instead conduct research on your competition to determine where you stand out and what makes you different.

Perhaps you have a streamlined process or you use organic ingredients or you offer delivery or you have an online ordering system. Whatever it is, find the areas in which you exceed the competition and use it to justify your pricing.

#4 – Quality of the Goods

Having a high-quality product or service goes without saying. Even if you justify charging more for your products or services, if the quality is no good you will be inundated with returns, complaints, and the worst of the worst – negative reviews on social media.

If you are unsure if the quality is any good the one way to determine this is to sell a few units and ask for feedback. This does not, I repeat, this does not mean to sell something to your Mom or other loved one who is:

1. Not your target market and

2. Too attached to you personally to give you constructive feedback.

#5 – Benefits to the Consumer

The benefits a consumer can expect to receive as a result of purchasing from your company must be clear and measurable. Having a good understanding of what your customers pain points are and how your products or services are the perfect solution can go a very long way in helping you to set pricing.

Take my company for example, when is the last time you woke up in a cold-sweat thinking “OMG! I need some market research like now!!” I’m guessing not ever.

You see I understand that my clients are not looking for market research, they want validation that they have a good idea for a business and that before they invest countless dollars and hours to bringing the business to the marketplace they really do have a chance at being successful.

So the market research data I provide gives them peace of mind. And really what price can you put on that?

#6 – Confidence

Confidence could almost be the only factor listed because this is where I see entrepreneurs struggle the most. You doubt yourself, you doubt your abilities, you doubt whether or not what your selling is good enough, etc.

With all of that doubt piled up you then start reducing your fees until you find yourself almost giving away your products or services for free. Now you are not making enough to cover your expenses and you are starting to resent your business and not long after that you close up shop and head back to (cringe, gasp, shout, cry) a j-o-b.

Determining how to price the products and services for your small business is as much an art as it is a science. In the beginning it will take some market research and a little bit of trial and error and by considering these six factors you will be in a much better position to get it right sooner.

A Look at Direct Mail and Online Marketing for Small Business Marketing

Marketing and advertising plays a vital role in every small businesses. The fact is its important for the business owner to understand the need of his clients and formulate a strategy which will support those people needs. Marketing and advertising for any small business establishes the desire of the owners to grow and broaden their products or services. The use of junk mail and the web provides great opportunities to see organic growth of a small business. The following article looks at direct mail and online marketing for small businesses to reach a wide audience in cost effective and efficient ways.

Letterbox Mail

Letterbox deliveries is one of the best performing mediums of marketing for small business. It is competent at reaching an a number of buyers for only a few cents per letterbox. Radio, paper and television may perhaps be a pricey and hard to organize ways of advertisements for small business owners. To ensure that your advertising and marketing really creates increased traffic and plenty of attainable gross sales, you can look for firms that supply letterbox delivery within given areas. Specify your audience and organize letterbox circulation within each of those communities. Many businesses are offering cost efficient publications, circulation and design packages to cover anything from thousands to millions of catalogue delivery. For substantial circulations, it just takes a small number of responses to make the mail promotion profitable and get a return on investment.

Digital Marketing

When marketing for your small companies, typically the most popular method at the moment is through the net. Most small and large business entrepreneurs employ online advertising and here they try and give a discount for their consumers. This is a practical, easy approach to target the buyers needs regardless if see them in person or not. To get easily connected, you have to come up with an detailed site where people can look for your goods and services offered and your contacts and summary profile about your business. Your website should be used as your major point of contact on the net for your business. Internet promotion for the business is an effective and convenient solution to invite and interact with prospects. If you are a small business owners, you will want to think of effective methods or approaches to interact with prospects on-line. There can be various firms that can offer to get you more prospects through growing your online attractiveness.

Combine Direct Mail and Web Marketing

Another great approach in promotion for an enterprise is to set up a well-round strategy that combines print and website marketing. Taking this process allows you to cover just about all basis of where you are very likely to get in touch with your prospects. While a large number of people are on the net, there is still a great number who check out their mail. Combining mail and website marketing allows you greater opportunities to connect with individuals who may not find your enterprise within only one medium.

Work with other community merchants to co-promote your businesses with direct mail. This minimizes the expense of performing a letterbox campaign while still getting yourself a huge exposure in a great number of houses.

Afterwards, apply website marketing including social websites, search engines and internet mail to contact those same audiences using a regionally targeted method. If you co promoted with other businesses using mail, you can work together online also. Ask your partnering enterprises to promote your small business on their web updates, email address catalogues or back link off their site to your site while you do the equivalent for them. This further allows you to get through to prospects you may not generally have accessibility to exclusively.

Combined direct mail and internet for marketing a small venture involves creativity and partnerships to make your promotion go very much further in access as well expenses.

Use the combination of mail and the internet for great effect to grow your business and give it better exposure.