The Pros and Cons of Using Timber Shutters

Timber shutters are generally made from wood such as cedar or redwood, and also use woods such as cypress pine, mahogany and acacia. Each type has its own pros and cons; we recommend that these should be considered before buying your new windows treatments. Shutters are put together with the best woodworking techniques to ensure they last for decades.

Timber shutters can be used on any window, but tend to work well in rooms where you want extra privacy such bedrooms. Many people also like using them on front doors for added security since it is more difficult to break through a shutter than glass or plexiglass windows. Every home should have some form of protection against strong winds and storms no matter what kind of weather patterns your region has experienced lately. Timber shutters, like plantation shutters in Western Sydney, offer great benefits over other options that include ease of use, better insulation properties, durability, ability to keep heat inside during winter months (and outside during summer), and increased safety from intruders.

Some of the advantages of using timber shutters include:

They offer excellent protection from the outside elements such as wind, rain and sun damage but also insulate your room allowing it to stay warmer in winter and cooler during summer months.
They can help reduce noise from the outside.
They prevent dust and dirt from entering your home.
They provide you with the privacy you need
Some of the disadvantages of using timber shutters are:

They can be a pretty expensive purchase which is why you want to make sure they’re right for you.
If installed incorrectly or if not maintained properly, it could lead to damage of the shutter itself or even cause problems with its functionality resulting in costly repairs down the line.
They take up a lot of wall space so will need some real thought before purchasing.
They are not ideal for wet areas since wood can warp and damage with prolonged exposure to moisture.
It’s important that all pros and cons are carefully considered prior to making a decision regarding shutters, but there are many reasons that people install them in their homes including privacy, security and insulation benefits.

Timber shutters are a great way to add style and make your home look more modern

Timber shutters add style and elegance to a home. Shutter options are available in different finishes and colours including white, brown or black. The colour of your timber shutters will depend largely on the style of décor you have already installed in your home. Timber shutters can be used as an accent piece to complement other styles such as rustic farmhouse or modern minimalist that may be present throughout the rest of the house where they’re not visible. They will also need to blend with whatever material is being used on walls and ceilings too so it’s always best to choose them first before finalizing any other design decisions for those areas.

Timber shutters can be expensive, but they last for years and will increase the value of your property

It is understandable why timber shutters are far more expensive than other window coverings, but you do get what you pay for. They are built to last and can stand up well even against the harsh weather conditions of coastal areas where many people live. Timber shutters also look more attractive on windows with their natural wood finish that will complement your property’s style perfectly if done right.

They can’t be used on all windows because it may not have enough room for the shutter to open fully

Window shutters take up quite some space in a home. Hence it may not be possible to have them installed on certain windows if there is only limited space in the room or hallway they are being put into.

It’s important to consider that installing window shutters do take up some extra space in a house when choosing where you want them placed. Choosing how many panels your shutter needs to open fully depends on which type of fixture is already in place in the area where the shutter would go, so there is much to consider before you decide on using timber shutters.

You need to measure every window in your house before buying any timber shutters so that you know what size is right for each one

Proper measurements should be taken of each window before buying timber shutters. This is to make sure that they will fit properly and also look good in the room. Mouldings are another part of the installation process, which can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing.

It’s important to use a good quality paint when painting over the existing colour of timber shutters or else they’ll come off easily

If you want to paint over your shutters, then it is important that you use a quality paint. This is because if you don’t, then the paint will not stay on for very long and may start peeling off, which means you will need to paint over it again and again.

You can find timber shutters in any design style, but one of the more popular types are timber plantation shutters in Penrith and other areas of Western Sydney. Whether you’re looking for a traditional, rustic look or something more modern, there’s plenty of options available to suit your tastes and preferences. Timber shutters are also an eco-friendly option that is not only good for the environment but will help save on energy costs as well. When it comes to making sure your home has all the character and charm that you’ve been craving for years, timber shutters are one way you can do just that with ease.

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Should Expense Tracking Software Be Free?

What is Vehicle Expense Tracking Software Free? If you’re looking for a way to keep track of all costs associated with running your car, expense tracking software is an absolute must-have. The software was designed to assist you in keeping track of all expenses associated with the vehicle in time. You can enter data like fuel cost as well as service expenses and brake repair cost, and other expenses and receive important information on the way your expenses compare against other expenses you make. It will provide you with an understanding of the exact location where your money is going.

What is Vehicle Expense Tracking Software Free? Apart from tracking the expense information, expense tracking software allows users to export their information in the form of a CSV file. The majority of software programs can be used with Microsoft Excel so you can easily export your expense information. This allows you to quickly analyze your data to identify areas for improvement and areas you should cut back in order to save money.

How Can I Download Vehicle Expense Tracking Software Free? A lot of software firms make their products accessible for free to their customers in the first instance through an Internet version, or through an exclusive “launch bonus” deal. This offers potential customers an idea of what’s to come. It’s possible to get an offer that is cheaper for the product if you avail this deal. If you decide to purchasethe product, it is likely that you will have access to the product for the duration of a whole year.

Is There Any Workarounds? Yes there are many ways to work around the expense tracking software which will make it simpler for you. For instance, you could typically input the date that you bought the car by entering the model, make and cost of your car into the software program.

How Do I Make My Business More Effective With Expense Tracking Software Free? One of the greatest benefits of software for tracking expenses is that it can help you determine where your most effective employees are using the company’s funds. If you don’t track the expenses you incur, you’ll realize that you’re losing money and not seeing the results you would like from your business. Tracking expenses can help you determine if you have wasteful expenditures within your company which are causing you to lose money , rather than making it.

Will Using Expense Tracking Software Ever Save Me Money? It depends on which expense tracking software you select. The more features you can get the more precise the data will be. The more user-friendly the interface is and the more likely you will be able to utilize it correctly. In the end, you’ll be the person who decides the cost tracking programs are the best choice for your company.

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Why Buy Billabong And O’Neill Mens Boardshorts

But in this increase and wane of the beach fashion trends, there exists constants. One of which is the prevalence of board shorts.

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that everybody at the beach wears board shorts. After all, these are one of the best all-rounders when it comes to beach wear, be it casual or for sports. If you’re considering to buy your first pair soon, or if you’re just buying to add another one to your growing collection, it may be worth your while checking out to buy O’Neill and Billabong Mens Boardshorts.

Boardshort Qualities

Board shorts is an essential part of the surfer’s gear. They give you the flexibility you need when riding the waves. They are also better at keeping you safe from chaffing and rashes due to their special durable and elastic material. The materials are picked and designed to be able to absorb perspiration, keeping you cooler for longer at the beach, while also keeping water absorption levels at a minimum to reduce water-caused drag.

Being a sport apparel, it’s easy to see why great amounts of effort has been spent to optimize the effectiveness of boardshorts and their functions. But even though these are sports apparels, they can also be worthy additions to your casual beachwear collection. With its loose and colorful design, board shorts can be a defining fashion statement. Designs on the O’Neill Mens Boardshorts collection, for example, are colorful and include intricate designs fit for the beach look.

Essentials of Boardshorts

Now that you have an overview of what board shorts are, let’s get to know the nitty-gritty details of these pieces of clothing.
Materials – As previously mentioned, the materials used are durable, but elastic, while also maintaining a sense of comfort for the wearer. Billabong Mens Boardshorts are known for the high level of comfort it provides their wearers.
Seams – Shorts with bulky seams are not the optimal choice for surfers because it makes them more prone to chaffing. As general rule of thumb when looking for a boardshort to buy, pick the ones with the thinner seams for the best quality in your performance.
Fit – Your shorts should be the best fit for you – too small and you’ll have a hard time moving, too big and it’ll just slip through you on your next trick. Good thing that O’Neill Mens Boardshorts are designed with just this in mind, they can be the best fit for your buck in the market, right now.
Fly and Closure Systems – As with the case and reasons of the smaller seams being the better shorts, smaller fly systems are also the better options when choosing a design.
Length – The length of the boardshort can affect your performance on the water. But it all just boils down to personal preference, so just choose the one that is the best length for you.

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Account Based Marketing – Why Businesses Should Consider It


Account-based marketing or ABM has been around for a very long time, but it is only now that people are really paying attention to it and implementing it closely and more consciously as part of their marketing campaign. It involves taking your resources and placing them all on a set of targeted accounts within the market. The business strategy uses campaigns that have been personalized to engage each account individually. These campaigns are developed by looking at the specific needs and wants of an account.

Many people across the industry consider account-based marketing revolutionary and cutting edge. This is because the strategy looks at marketing holistically, as a whole, whereas older techniques focus too heavily on lead generation. A key attribute within account-based marketing looks at wagering and taking advantage of larger accounts. This means that you’re looking at trying to up-sell and cross-sell your larger accounts to get more value out of them, rather than spending time in the seemingly endless and tiresome loop of lead generation.

Account based marketing offers benefits both for the business and its customers. This is also one of the reasons why people are drawn to it.

1. Personalized and customized marketing experience.

Understanding your customers better gives you a leg up on the competition and allows you to strengthen your business relationship with that customer. The personalized marketing campaign could lead to better and more sales. A large part of account-based marketing is the personalization of marketing techniques to larger accounts. By figuring out the customer’s expectations, wants, and needs, you can tailor the marketing campaign specifically to and for them.

2. More realistic ROI expectations

Account-based marketing is known for giving higher returns than any other marketing strategy. It offers the highest return on investment (ROI) than any other B2B marketing strategy. The new strategy gives more precise measurements of the ROI that a company can expect. In turn, it allows companies to get a better grip on how their customers are responding to certain advertising techniques. This means that they have more control over what tactics are working as well as those that aren’t working.

3. Strategic use of available, fewer or limited resources

The account-based marketing approach focuses on a smaller number of accounts at a given time. Because they’re working with fewer accounts, they are more likely to bring those accounts to the final sales process. You’re actually going to be bringing more with fewer resources. This also frees up resources that used to be spent on funneling numerous companies. So, companies who use account-based marketing tactics can use these now free resources to complete and focus on other tasks.

4. Shorten sales timeline significantly

With your sales and marketing teams are working together to align and move accounts through the sales pipeline, you’ll find that the sales cycle shortens significantly. Your teams don’t have to juggle multiple moving parts separately. Rather, you’re streamlining the process and making it easier for everyone to keep up with the leads and customers that your business currently has. This also makes it easier to cater to these specific customers, making sure their concerns are addressed appropriately and in a timely manner. They don’t get lost in the noise.

5. Better, more effective and efficient marketing and sales alignment

Marketing teams and sales teams are more likely to and should work together to accomplish goals and sales together. By bringing these entities together, they can work on important tasks as a team rather than individually:

  • Identify accounts that you want to target

  • Create customized/personalized marketing campaigns for those targeted accounts.

  • Aligning accounts and moving them along the sales cycle as a team

  • Having an account-based marketing approach will take your lead conversion method to a new level. If your marketing and sales teams are still separated, you likely run into a lot of issues when it comes to successfully converting leads into sales.

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How To Write A Successful Direct Advert to Your Prospects

Some marketers throw away good money on ineffective advertisements. Though the advertisement copy is good, but even with that, they still lose money because they do not know the specifics of a great Ad.

It does not matter as to which medium these techniques work best on. They can perform and out-perform on any medium, be it in a newspaper, website, in a classified ad or a full blown page ad. It doesn’t matter where.

If you look at any of the successful Ads being used every day, you will see some of these techniques being used there.

To know which ad is working best, just check every day to see if that same advert is still running. If it is still running, it means that the ad is getting some serious response. Look at such Ads and see what they are doing that makes them perform so well. Copy it and you will notice some serious response for your business too.


Below are some of the secrets to writing successful Ads that will guarantee your success in marketing your business.

Create a strong headline: More than seventy per cent of all buying decisions are made in the headlines. When your prospects first open your sales letter, if your headline is compelling, prospects will continue reading your ad. But if your headline is weak and limp and does not capture your prospects, there is not a slightest chance that they will read your remaining copy, talk more of buying your product. You would have just wasted money and valuable time. You have to change your headline.
Before you settle on a headline to use, write at least twenty great headlines that has power within them and can compel your prospects to buy with powerful emotional involvement.

People buy with their emotions and justify their buying decisions with logic.

Pack your headlines with strong emotions and you will grab the attention of almost all your prospects.

You should also pack your headlines with the strongest benefits your product offers. This will appeal highly to the targeted prospects; especially if you are advertising to a well-targeted list of prospects.

If you are targeting a highly specific group of people, say mothers, make sure than in your headline, you emphasize the word “mothers”, so that your prospects will stop right in their tracks and will read the rest of the copy.

Plus, if some prospects with short attention span reads your headline and sees the word that she relates to (which is mother) she will be curious to know what that headline says about mothers. And if the headline is compelling enough, you just got yourself another high prospect who is likely to read the remaining copy and if that copy is good enough too, congratulations, you just made a sale.

Note: Copywriting is a specialized skill. Not everybody knows how to write a great copy. So if you dedicate some time to practise how to write a great sales letter, you will not just be able to sell your products with ease, you will also attract other businesses that will want you to write their sales copy for them. And that is extra cash in your pockets.

As you must have known by now, selling is one of the most promising professions in the world today. If you know how to sell, there is no limit to your income

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5 Deadly Marketing Sins: Do You Make These Mistakes In Your Online Marketing?

The worst thing you could do in your marketing is commit one of these sins I’m about to share with you.

As a market strategy professional and copywriter, I have first-hand experience of how devastating these 5 common errors can be and the most alarming thing is these crimes are constantly being committed by rookies and even some more of the “gurus” (I hate that term).

After working with over 30+ students in helping them get their business on track, I’m going to highlight the top 5 most common sins that cost you money

So if you’re struggling to make any long term money online,chances are you’ve committed one of the following 5 deadly sins, but don’t worry because once you know the problem it becomes much easier to solve.

So sit up, peel your eyes and lets look at some of these deadly sins that could be killing your marketing efforts.

Sin#1 Direct linking

I see this sin being committed an awful lot in marketing, when people join my coaching group to become better marketers, even during the qualifying stages, it’s easy to see the “criminals” from some of the answers they give…

But after some business diagnostics, this crime was easily one of the most common.

Direct linking from an ad, straight to sales page, ranks high on this list of sins.

The blood of any business relies heavily on having good leads that can be converted into customers, some people go as far as to say that you don’t actually have a business until you acquire your first customer, now although direct linking can make you some sales, you will lose far more than you gain in the long term, because sales aren’t very common first time round, they require additional follow up to convert your leads into customers.

On average every 100 people that will eventually buy your stuff only 19 people will buy first time round, that means a potential 81 additional sales are lost by failing to capture the lead first.

The standard practice for effective marketing is to capture the lead first and then redirect your prospect to your offer, so you can still make a sale immediately, but you now have contact details to follow up, as a sound backup plan.

Sin #2 Upsell

Following on from the first sin that we just discussed, this next sin is a simple error but very common error, and that error is failing to have an upsell offer.

According to scientists, humans have what is called a dopamine release which causes people to feel good when they buy stuff (this is where the term retail therapy comes from) this makes people very impulsive and can cause them to buy more than they originally planned to, so when people are “hot” let them buy.

The worst thing you could do is deprive them from buying more stuff and this why an upsell sequence is so important, for the same amount of time and effort you could dramatically increase your bottom line profits.

The key to repenting this sin, is having higher ticket offers that complement the last offer, so it’s still relevant to your prospects problem.

Lets take a look at what a sales funnel looks like with and without upsell offers.

Without upsell

Let’s say we spend $300 and generate 375 leads.

Out of the 375 leads, 200 buy our product at $30.

200 x $30 = $600.

$600 – ad cost (300) = $300 total profits.

We’re in the profits, so we can’t feel too bad.

But let’s take a look at what it looks like if we include a sales funnel to our marketing.

With upsell

OK this time we’ve got an upsell in our sales funnel.

So we spend the same amount of ad dollars ($300) and get the same amount of leads (375 Leads).

And the same 200 people buy our product at $30.

But this time, they are sent to an additional upsell offer priced at $100.

Now of the 200 people that bought our first product.

10 people buy our second offer priced at $100.

10 x 100 = $1000.

(first prod sales) $600 x $1000 (upsell sales) = $1600.

$1600 – $300 (ad cost) = $1300 profits.

So for no extra work on our part, we were able to generate an additional $1000 for the same cost.

Now you can see how powerful the upsell can be, this should always be used in your marketing.

Sin #3 Failing to follow up

Of all the students I’ve had in the last couple years, I can think of about 2 who actually have a follow up in place, but this sin is rife in the online marketing world, with many marketers failing to implement one or having a really bad one in place (which in my eyes is just as bad… ).

Think of your auto responder as your virtual sidekick, it allows you to get the job done without being around, giving you more time to do everything else, this is not something that should be overlooked as some sort of extra credit assignment, this is a vital cog in a long term online business and good automation to say the least.

As I discussed in sin #1 on average only 19% of your buyers will buy first time, which means the rest have to be sold by a follow up process.

When people don’t buy first time round, it’s usually for a couple of reasons.

1) Your prospect is not sold on your offer

2) Your prospect is not convinced by you

So for this reason we use the follow up process to build a relationship with our leads and show them that not only can we help them, but they can trust us.

this can be achieved by offering lots of value in your emails, videos and even some webinars.

To be honest, some leads will never buy from you regardless of how much value and free content you provide… that’s just the numbers game.

But you can seriously increase your bottom line by creating a strong followup system that states who you are, how you can help them and then actually helping them.

Sin #4 Trying to appeal to everyone

Nothing can end an ad campaign before its gets started like committing this sin, it’s so frequently used online, it is the single biggest mistake you can make as a serious marketer.

Trying to appeal to everyone is easily one of the most common errors on the list.

because naturally we want to make the most money, common sense tells us the more people we can get to view our offer, the more likely we are to make a sale.

But this is only half the truth, although the laws of averages tells us that the more people that see our offer, the better chance we have of making a sale.

In actual fact, the more people that see our offer in a specific niche for our ideal prospect increases the likelihood of making a sale.

This goes back to the basic principal of message to market match.

We create the right message and attach it to the right people and “presto”, the bank balance grows.

So firstly we need to focus on who would be a perfect fit for our product or service, then we need to create a message that would appeal specifically to that group of people.

Once we have built a “tribe”, naturally we begin to expand our business by reputation and word of mouth, its important to specialise in one core area first and then expand into other areas.

Here’s an example to further demonstrate my point.

Imagine this…

A mother of a new born wants to shift the baby weight.

She’s looking for a personal trainer.

She comes across 2 personal trainers.

1) Personal trainer helps new moms lose weight.

2) A personal trainer who can help anyone.

Now naturally she is more drawn to trainer number 1, because its better suited her situation.

Lets look at another example to drive this point home.

A 42 year old woman is unhappy with her shape and wants to shift some pounds.

She seeks a personal trainer and comes across.

1) Personal trainer who works with 40+ women.

2) Personal trainer who work with elderly people.

Again the prospect is more enticed by trainer #1 because it’s a better fit.

This sin isn’t specific to weight loss niche either, this is just effective marketing.

Specificity counts and can be the difference between highly qualified leads and little to no leads at all.

Sin # 5 not selling what you’re really selling

Now the last sin will make it really difficult to get some traction in your marketing efforts.

The key to effective marketing is finding out your target market.

1) Demographic information (age, gender, marital status, kids etc).

2) Psychographic information (thoughts, feelings, beliefs etc).

Then creating a marketing message that appeals to your prospects “core desires.”

If you think you’re selling the product or service to your prospect then you’re wrong.

The big sin being committed is the lack of focus on the things that really matter… the benefits.

When you promote a product or service, you’re promoting the solution to the problem not that product itself.

Truth be told, your customer could care less about how it’s made and where it comes from.

Your prospect simply wants the end results.

Talking solely about the technical stuff (such as features, design, source) does little to win over your prospect because they don’t care, focus on the beneficial goods of the product.

Failure to realise this little truth can leave your marketing message “limp and lacking in appeal.”

Now on the few odd occasion when it’s necessary to include the features, make the feature tie in with the benefits of the product.

For eg.

Instead of “made from natural extracts”

Include a benefit that brings, “made from natural extracts, so you can lose weight quickly and safely.”

See what I did there…

Now the prospect knows why the feature is useful and gives the product or offer more appeal as a result.

Mastering this golden nugget will have a substantial increase of leads and sales for your online business.

And there you have it, now we have covered 5 of the most common marketing sins I see being committed by rookies and seasoned marketers.

Avoiding these sins in your own marketing will help you increase leads and sales as a result, so don’t just read this article… implement.

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The Many Colors of Direct Mail Marketing

Are you looking for a small change to make in your direct mail marketing campaign that could render a bigger response rate? How about a different color envelope? There are many options for the color of envelope you choose! If your yellow letter campaign isn’t giving you the response rate you would like then switching something up is definitely worth a shot. Maybe you’re a skeptic and you think everyone has figured out these yellow letters, with the red font and the ivory invitation style envelope. Well then try a blue or gray envelope with blue or black ink, or a pink envelope. Change it up; keep your audience opening their yellow letters. What about coordinating your envelope color with the season or the holidays? Use orange for the fall, green or red for the holiday season, pink or blue or purple for the spring time.

Thinking about putting your campaign on pause through the holidays? Keep them mailing, here’s why – Things slow down. Think I’m crazy for saying so? I don’t blame you it does sound absurd but hear me out. Of course everyone is super busy during the holidays but if you think about it most of that time is busy because it’s filled with shopping and decorating, parties and family, but not typically with business. Someone that is looking to sell their house is STILL looking to do so in the winter season. If you can you should keep your mailer going. Tis the season for Christmas cards and when your audience receives an invitation style envelope, green or red, hand addressed with a sticky holiday postage stamp… They’ll open it. Not to mention you may be the only one that still reaches out, while everyone else is taking a break you’ll be the prospective buyer that is still there which means you’ll get their phone call and hopefully their available property!

Even after the holiday season has passed increase your response rate in the spring with a brightly colored, hand-addressed envelope to catch their attention and brighten up their mailbox. Making a small change like different color envelopes during different times of the year can really affect your response rate. Add a return address label with a seasonally appropriate picture on it, a sticky stamp and a real person’s hand writing and boy you’ve got yourself a campaign for success. Let the calls start ringing in!

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Small Company Marketing – Strategy Beats Tactical Executions Every Time

The brilliant Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu (544 – 496 BC), said two things that have always resonated with me:

“Every battle is won before it is fought”, and
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”.
These thoughts also apply to marketing today, in fact, more than they ever have. Too many small and midsized companies (as well as nonprofits) are paying too little attention to developing a meaningful marketing strategy because they’re just having too much “fun” playing with the exciting new digital tools that seem to be multiplying every day. This doesn’t seem to make much sense to me, and it certainly isn’t the best way to improve ROI.
Marketing and Marketing Communications Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy takes hard work, but it provides a focus, direction and real thought on how to grow a profitable brand. Whether it’s a B2C or B2B product or service, strategy development should employ research (primary or secondary), financial and logistical evaluations, and input from all constituents, with emphasis on:

Defining the market you’re in;
Determining which audience segment to pursue;
Understanding competition, seasonality and real budgets;
Positioning the brand for success;
Establishing clear objectives for each target segment;
Developing a process for measurement and evaluation;
Getting professional help when needed.
Only then – once strategy development has been completed, and perhaps even tested – should tactical solutions be created, evaluated and selected. Over the past decade, a plethora of new marketing communications tools and techniques have created a digital tsunami; so now, more than ever, isn’t it time to place strategic thinking and planning ahead of executional tactics?

In 2015, over $400 billion in major media and marketing services bombarded consumers, the most in history. The issue is not Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn versus television, radio, direct mail and events; it’s about a rock solid strategy to understand what the message should be and which tactics should be employed.

In the recent CMO Digital Benchmark Study, 97 percent of marketing leaders said social media spending made only an “average” or “below average” contribution to their company’s performance. Does that mean that social media shouldn’t be used? Of course not. But selecting any media, be it traditional or new, without a well defined and clear cut strategy to employ these tactics just doesn’t make sense. Look before you leap.

A Positioning Statement Will Help

Many small businesses don’t know about the importance of a positioning statement and/or how to create one. After you gather the information you need to develop a marketing strategy, a positioning statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed and a compelling picture of how the marketer wants the audience to view the brand. It consists for four key elements:

The target audience, in very specific detail;
The category in which the brand competes, and its relevance to the customer;
The brand’s benefit and point of difference;
A reason to believe/the most compelling proof.
Or simply, try to fill in the blanks in this sentence: “Convince _______ to buy _______ instead of _______ because _______.” The positioning statement is a credo for the brand to live by.

All marketing and marketing communications tactics and executions should flow from this statement, and it should be understood by employees and agents. Further it will help you evaluate whether you have a well defined strategy – if you can’t easily write your positioning statement, perhaps your strategy needs to be better defined.

Once you’ve completed this important task, only now is it time for tactical solutions.

Marketing Consultants Are Valuable Assets

As an owner or senior executive at a small or midsized company, you may not have the time or marketing expertise to accomplish the development of a meaningful strategy. You should seriously consider bringing a marketing and marketing communications consultant on board to help – someone who will work with you, provide fresh eyes, promote candor and have an apolitical view of your brand.

Look for established professionals with extensive experience across industries and brands, in B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations small and large. Don’t settle for someone with expertise in only your niche or industry – go for someone who can think outside the box. Also, make sure any consultant you consider is media neutral and wants to focus on analytics to measure the ROI of your efforts. Their understanding and ability to develop marketing communications plans employing new and/or traditional tools and techniques is key to implementing your strategy, successfully and efficiently.

With all of the changes coming in the months and years ahead (political, economic, global), the dramatic age disparity among consumers (baby boomers versus millennials) and the “always on” media environment, now is the time to make sure you develop a meaningful strategy that works with the appropriate tactical executions. But, as Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

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How Do You Promote Your Business? Answer: Promotional Marketing

You know that you need great marketing to get your company and its product and services in front of your target market or ideal customer. Creating an effective promotional marketing program will lead customers right to your door, website, inbox, or phone and entice them to purchase what you have to offer.

What is Promotional Marketing?

Promotional marketing is one aspect of your marketing program and includes the specifics of how you’re going to entice customers to take action. The advantage of a promotion is to create some buzz for your business or enterprise, to get your business to be noticed for standing apart from competition and to get your business noticed by your target market – as many people as possible.

Some businesses take promotional marketing to the next level by using promotional products (also known as advertising specialties, swag, or giveaways). What makes this type of marketing so effective is its ability to influence customer behavior, to encourage action, to create goodwill, and to be remembered long after the promotional event. Promotional marketing, if done well, has a lasting benefit beyond other forms of advertising.

Who Uses Promotional Marketing?

Every business can use promotional marketing. A company offering a bonus, gift, or additional benefits with a customer’s normal purchase is benefitting from using promotional marketing techniques.

How can we get more customers into our store? TV commercials, print ads and direct mail offers are the most common methods to offer the promotion to the target market. Think of the mailer envelopes that arrive at your home, filled with coupons and special deals. A restaurant, for example, may have TV commercials that offer a free drink with a lunch order. Or, cosmetic companies offer a free gift with purchase or a department store advertises a 50% off sale for a select type of item. The promotion calls attention to that extra element or benefit, which companies hope will encourage customers to visit who otherwise wouldn’t.

Other companies utilize a technique known as point-of-sale marketing. This helps increase the sales of products of sales that may be difficult to sell on an individual basis. For example, mobile phone companies may offer peripheral items like chargers and headsets at a reduced price if they purchase a cell phone with that item. (“Buy a phone, get a headset for half price.”) Since the customer is already there and has committed to the larger purchase (the phone), they are more likely to buy the extra item because they are enticed by the savings.

Creating Your Promotional Marketing Program

Step #1 – What is the Plan?

Careful thought and planning is the first step of making the promotion effective. What is the objective? What results are you looking for? Increasing revenues, building brand awareness, or launching a new product are just a few strategic goals of promotional marketing. Your business can also promote from within with team building, employee recognition, or safety awareness programs.

Step #2 – Who is the Target?

Before you begin, you’ll have to identify your target audience. Who is the ideal customer? Who is best suited to buy what you have to offer? What are their needs, and how can your products and/or services meet them? Then generate your sales materials with this target audience in mind. The goal of any promotional marketing program is to make people buy your product or service by creating an appealing proposition that requires timely action. You may want to come up with different messages depending on which communication methods you’re using. Remember that this is a work-in-progress, so don’t be afraid to change your strategies depending on what is working and what isn’t.

Step #3 – How to Make the Promotional Offer?

There are dozens of ways to actually get your message out, including social media, internet marketing, custom web landing pages, promotional products, and direct mail. Remember that your target audience will dictate the method of advertising. For example, if your target market is those over age 65, you may want to rely more heavily on direct mail or a print ad; however, if your market is under age 25, you’re definitely going to want to take advantage of newer technology methods, such as online marketing, social media, and text messaging.

Step #4 – What are the Results?

In order to judge the promotional campaign, it is critical to measure the program. How many did you offer to? How many actually used the offer? How much new sales revenue was generated from the offer? Without measuring the promotion, there is no way to improve and set the bar higher to make the next promotion better. Promotions are a way to test the market. Does your promotion generate more sales with a discount, a free gift, or bonus? Promoting your business helps generate excitement about a current service or launching a new product.

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Digital Marketing Services: What They Are And Why You Need Them

There is no denying that the world has already shifted from digital to analogue. Every day, people are consuming more and more digital content. Phones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets – content is being accessed across all these screens. Most companies have already realised that in order to reach out to today’s audience they would have to go digital too. In case, you still have not put much thought into digital marketing, you may be missing out on valuable chances to reach out to a wider audience and thereby, increase sales.

What is digital marketing?

Simply stating, it is the promotion of products or services or brands with the help of one or more forms of electronic media. It differs significantly from traditional marketing as it includes the use of channels and methods that make it possible for a brand to analyze marketing campaigns in real time. It provides brands with a clear idea about customer behaviors as well as the success rate of implemented campaigns.

Why is it so important?

Today’s audience has easy access to information from anywhere at any given time that they want. The days when your audience only knew what you wanted them to know about your brand are long gone. Now, hyper-connectivity has enabled the audience to know everything about a brand. This information is not just the brand is saying about itself but even what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc. are saying about it. It is an already established fact that people tend to believe their peers more than what a brand says about itself. Digital media provides brands with a chance to connect directly with their audiences. Digital media helps people find brand that they can trust, companies that they can directly interact with, communications that are personalized and relevant and offers that are custom-made to suit their needs and preferences.

What are its benefits?

1) It can go from planning to execution in a fairly short span of time.

2) It can be conducted through various type of content like videos, written content, pictures, interactive content, etc.

3) It enable fans/ readers/ viewers to share your content, which will help you reach out to more prospective buyers.

4) The shelf life of an online marketing campaign is much longer than a traditional ad campaign.

5) Since this type of marketing enable brands to interact directly with their audiences, they can reply to their feedback, comment or complaints. This replies prove to the audience that the brands care about their opinion and this care can help to increase brand loyalty.
Most big brands have already invested in developing dedicated online marketing strategies. You might be thinking why you need to hire digital marketing services when your in-house team can do the work. The truth is an integrated online marketing strategy is an absolute must for any brand trying to build a solid online presence. However, developing the said strategy requires much expertise, considerable experience and intricate planning. Besides, consistency is one of the main factors that determine the success of digital marketing strategies. Hiring the services of an online marketing agency can help you leverage their expertise, experience, creativity and consistency to boost your online reach, sales and thereby, revenue.

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