5 Reasons Why Business Cards Are Still One Of The Most Effective Marketing Tools

It is so much more personal:
These days networking digitally is impersonal and networking in essence is about making honest-to-goodness connections with your target market. Sure, using digital means of exchanging contact details is easy, but it’s especially detached. By handing someone your calling card you are awarded the opportunity to engage with a potential client – and that’s when genuine connections are made.

A Surprisingly powerful marketing tool:
Although digital marketing tools are effective in drawing the attention of and acquiring potential clients, these methods are still less compelling than direct marketing techniques such as individual conversations, handshakes and handing someone a business card. Having a handful of name cards will ensure that you never miss out on networking with new leads and potentially worthwhile business contacts, wherever you go – be it at business conventions, tradeshows, the airport or even the grocery store or a local watering hole.

Add to your brand identity:
Add business card is your brand’s first impression to a prospective client or valuable business connection. This is another advantage of using direct marketing – an impressive card can have a much greater impact than a simple email or text. Giving someone your business information scribbled on a piece of paper won’t do the trick – you likely wouldn’t approach a new store with a sign painted on a piece of cardboard. If you want to make a noteworthy first impression you need to have something noteworthy to hand over. A striking and interesting business card can in actual fact stimulate further conversation, as to not have your conversation end as soon as you hand over your details. Consider an inventive design, embossed finish or even a metal! They may cost you a little more than you like, but at the end of the day it’s an investment into your brand identity.

Inventive cards find their way to the market:
An additional benefit of business card is that because they are tangible – they are not easily forgotten, they can be engaged with even after being received and they can effortlessly be shared. Further, an out-of-the-ordinary business card is more likely to be travel through the market, because people are more likely to show it to other possible clients.

Convey the impression that you are prepared:
Writing your business information or contact details on a piece of paper on hand isn’t exactly the most professional strategy. Consider the instant reputation your business will acquire if you can quickly produce a striking business card, compared to fumbling for a pen and a paper napkin. This instantaneously shows that you are prepared and that you are eager and ready to do business.

Whilst the digital world of marketing is ever expanding, bona fide, attractive business cards is still one of the most effective and noteworthy marketing tools.

The Fundamentals of Marketing (Six Important Elements)

What exactly is marketing? Some people may simply define it as promoting a product or service. As we all know, the word “marketing” actually comes from the word “market”, which actually contains six important elements.

1. Market (M)

Do you have a target market for your product or service? Thus, in order to find out who your customers are, you will need to segment the market, for example by different age groups, income groups, gender, social status and others. No matter how good your product or service is, it is not possible to satisfy all the different needs throughout a country or the world. Do you have an idea of how large your market is? Is your market well established? Knowing who your customers are is not sufficient; you have to quantify it. You should know who your competitors are too. Simply adding up the revenue of the top 20 or 30 companies will give you an idea of how large your market is, whether your market is well established and how many competitors you face.

2. Activities (A)

You must have some kind of action or activities to promote your product or service. In other words, if there is not any activity then no marketing campaign and no effort has been put in. Some organizations have designed wonderful products and want their products to speak themselves. Organizations rarely rely solely on positive word of mouth. Thus, what activities you have in mind? This includes cold-calling customers, telemarketing, holding events, trade shows, exhibitions and others. Again, quantify all your activities, such as how many new customers you successfully obtain after cold-calling, how many events, trade shows and exhibitions you had in a year and how many leads you generated.

3. Resources (R)

Resources include money, time and manpower. Do you have enough budget to start a marketing campaign? Do you have enough time to deliver the expected result of a marketing event? Do you have enough manpower to run the marketing campaign successfully? It is important to write down a complete list of resources you need versus what you have. These resources are extremely important as they act like fuel to ensure your campaigns are successful. If you do not have enough resources then it is best not to start any campaign until you are ready. It is just like a war; you don’t pick a fight if you think the chance of winning is slim. Again, quantify your resources, such as how much money you can spend, how much time you have and how many staff are ready to work.

4. Knowledge (K)

Knowledge is the key to success. You may have enough manpower or staff, but are they well-trained, knowledgeable and skillful? Do they possess enough product or service knowledge? Sales and marketing teams are important because they are the frontline staff and are the ones who first approach the customers. They should understand exactly what the customers want or need and know by heart which product or feature can resolve their issue. You can conduct a survey to quantify the feedback from customers. For example: rate the product or service on a scale of 1 to 5. However, you cannot neglect the support team because they are your “defense”. Customers call and make complaints every day and your support team faces them each day. Thus, whether the customers are going to be happy again will rely on how well your support team is. You definitely want to retain your customers for as long as you can or your marketing effort or investment is wasted. Therefore, it is important to quantify and measure how well the team is performing. For example, how many customers are successfully retained versus the number of lost customers and what is the score of your overall customer satisfaction?

5. Effectiveness (E)

Everyone wants to know how effective their marketing campaign is. They will measure the result when the campaign is finished to find out if the desirable result is met. Wrong! We should measure the effectiveness of any campaign before it is officially launched. We should select a sample or random sample to test its effectiveness before running any campaign in full force. For example, approach 50 potential customers to find out if you can convert 20% of them to be your new customers (conversion rate of 20%). If the result is not up to your expectations, you have to redesign or rework the marketing plan. You need to repeat this process for every campaign you intend to run and then prioritize your marketing campaigns or activities based on the effectiveness results. Obviously, the most effective campaigns and activities will bring you the highest revenue and with the least cost.

6. Tools (T)

What marketing tools do you need? Tools are like weapons you use in a war: for example, business cards, newsletters, coupon, voucher and brochure. Tools are not necessarily in tangible form, as they can also be intangible. The best example is a website. Different tools work differently, and their effectiveness will also be different. For example, some customers prefer online catalogs, while some prefer to read a printed brochure or booklet. Again, measure the effectiveness of the different tools you use. Each tool has a varying degree of impact on different customer groups. If you are ready to bring your revenue to the next level, you can introduce a commission scheme, which is also an intangible tool. This encourages anyone who is interested to promote and sell your product or service and get paid.

In conclusion, you need to remember the six important elements of “MARKET” before planning any marketing activities and campaigns.

Rock Your Event With These 5 Fool Proof Marketing Strategies to Sell Event Tickets

The importance of selling event tickets will be of prime most importance to your company, especially, if you own an event management company. Popularizing your event entails a long list of procedures, in order to ensure it is a sure shot success. One such step is ensuring the ticket sales are maximized, in order to bring maximum returns to the event sponsors.

In order to be able to maximize sales, here is a list of the top 5 marketing tips, which can go a long way in helping you meet your desired targets:
• Create A Competition: What works best when you have to sell your tickets to the audience? Of course, competition. A lot of companies often use this technique to cross sell their products in the market. Ideally, selling your event’s tickets is no different. If you have to make sure your event is a success, you can create artificial competition in the market, which would make your tickets sell like hot cakes. At the same time, you can even give away some freebies in contests, by partnering with Radio stations and TV stations to help facilitate sales in a more organized manner.

• Social media groups: With so much happening on social media sites, there is a lot to look forward to, especially for event management companies. Which sites have the maximum exposure to people? Of course, social media websites. This way, you can sell as much as you want, without having to worry about reaching out to people. However, these social media platforms need to be well connected, so it’s important to choose wisely, before you jump in head-on.

• Use discounts as bait: If your event is a crowd puller, chances are you won’t even need to employ too many fancy strategies to get people over. However, since most of the times, there might be a variety of events, which might or might not interest people; there need to be a lot of things which need to be put into place. Another fabulous strategy is creating discounts for people. When you are publicizing about your event’s tickets online, you can design some wonderful discounts, early bird prices etc. which will definitely help sell your tickets faster than usual. After all, who does not like having a few bucks knocked off, wherever possible.

• Use your owned space wisely: If you are an event management company, chances are you already have designated advertising spot for your business. If you do, you need to know how to use it wisely and to the tee. The more efficiently you brand your event, the higher the chances of an early stakeout. If you have an advertising firm doing your bidding, you need to be on alert to make sure you are getting the best deals out of them at all times.

• Mail your past attendees: If you have hosted successful events in the past, chances are you will already have a list of people you want to call over again. The more the names in the list, the more the chances of success. If people have had a good run with your events, chances are they would be more than willing to come back to your event’s hosting again.

Marketing Lessons Learned From Psychopaths

In my never ending search for ways to better appeal to my audience, I sometimes venture into the dark recesses of the human psyche so that I might better understand my customers and even myself.

I’m not picking on psychopaths here. Nor am I villainizing them. As I understand it, psychopaths are born the way they are – it’s not a choice.

A psychopath is generally someone who feels little or no real emotion, and instead has to fake it. They might lie a great deal. They have an inflated sense of self-worth. They use superficial charm and glibness to manipulate and con others. They lack remorse, guilt or empathy. And they constantly are in need of new stimulation.

About 1 out of 100 people are psychopaths. Odds are you know at least one, yet you might not realize it. Remember, most of them are not killers as the media might portray them.

But they can be incredibly charming and persuasive. Some psychopaths can find a person’s weak spot in minutes, manipulate that person using that knowledge, and actually make their target very happy and thankful to have been manipulated.

I’ve seen psychopaths at work. They fake emotions and use the techniques I’m about to cover to make people like them almost instantly.

Have you ever met someone and almost instantly thought you had a lot in common with them? Maybe you did – or maybe they were a psychopath adept at making you feel that way.

Now then, for those with active imaginations, I’m not recommending you turn into a psychopath when it comes to your marketing endeavors. And I’m certainly not suggesting you manipulate your prospects into becoming customers, either.

What I am suggesting is two-fold:

First, we can learn about influence from those who are skilled at it – and psychopaths tend to be especially adept at influencing others.

Second, forewarned is forearmed, which is to say once you are aware of these manipulation techniques, you will be better able to recognize them when they are being used on you or even against you.

Flattery: This isn’t just compliments and buttering you up, although that’s a part of it. Psychopaths can hone in on your insecurities and then provide you with the reassurance you crave to make you feel better. This makes you like them, trust them, and follow their suggestions.

As Marketers we do a variation of this in sales letters, agitating the problem and making the prospect feel the pain of the problem before we offer the feel good solution.

Favors and Gifts: The psychopath will do you a favor or give you a gift you might not even want. But still, now you feel obligated when s/he asks you to do something for them.

We do this in marketing, don’t we? We give away things, and in turn folks feel obligated to take a good look at what we’re offering.

False Intimacy: They’ll pretend to be interested in everything about you – your hobbies and interests, the kinds of music you like, your job, your family and so forth. Then they’ll tell you fake secrets to create an even deeper intimacy, at which point you’ll reciprocate and tell secrets about yourself. This is how a psychopath can go from ‘stranger’ to ‘new best friend’ in one or two meetings.

Again, marketers use a variation of this in sales copy, by first showing how similar we are to the prospect. “I had the same problem you do, here’s my story with all my dark secrets, etc.”

False Expectations: Psychopaths pretend things are already happening the way they want them to happen, before others even have a chance to think. So instead of asking, “Do you want to go to dinner?” They’ll simply say, “Let’s have dinner tonight, I’ll meet you at Harvey’s Grill at 8pm.” You’re not thinking IF you want to go to dinner, but instead you’re already making plans to meet him there.

Marketers and sales people alike will often ‘assume the sale’ to get the prospect to simply go along, rather than feeling like they have to ‘decide.’

Silent Treatment: Psychopaths will give random and unexpected silent treatments to throw you off. You might wonder if you did something wrong, and even try to make up for it with gifts or overt kindness. If you do, then the psychopath knows s/he’s got you wrapped around their finger.

In marketing, going silent is seldom going to pay.Out of sight is very quickly out of mind.

Over Asking: This is crafty – the psychopath asks you for this BIG favor, knowing you’ll balk. But then you feel bad that you had to say no. So when they now ask you for a small favor, you readily agree. Of course, it was the second request that they really wanted all along.

If you’re not using this technique in marketing, you’re probably losing money. Let’s say you offer your live coaching class for $1,000. Obviously a lot of prospects won’t buy it, which is when you offer them a recorded version for a whole lot less money.

Or maybe you want a fairly big name marketer to do an interview with you. You’ve already started building a relationship with them, so you ask if they would like to co-author a product with you. When they say no, you then ask for what you really wanted – a 30 minute interview. (Sneaky, right? But done correctly it does work, but only if you’ve already got a relationship with them.)

False Equivalence: A psychopath uses a logical fallacy to imply that if you don’t do what they desire, then it means something else. For example, if you don’t do what they want, then you don’t love them, or you’re stupid, or you’re immature, etc.

I just want to note here that outside the realm of psychopaths, false equivalence generally means two things are given the same weight, even though they are radically unequal. For example, if you have a scientist backed with decades of research stating a fact, and a non-scientist sitting next to him denying the fact, it appears both have equal weight, when in fact the scientist is backed by 99% of his or her peers on the subject as well as thousands of scientific studies.

In marketing, we can certainly use tactics like these to manipulate our customers, but it’s shady at best. I do recommend you stay on the lookout for it.

You’ll see this tactic used continuously on television and the internet, with ads telling you that you’re not a man if you don’t drink a certain drink, smoke a certain cigarette, drive a certain car and so forth.

Or if you don’t own an iPhone, you’re not part of the ‘in’ crowd.

It would be like me telling you that if you don’t subscribe to my newsletter, then you’re a lousy marketer. That’s blatant manipulation and in my opinion it’s time marketers let this one go forever.

Fake Normal: They communicate that, “Everyone is doing this,” so that the person feels inclined to do it, too.

We use this one a lot in marketing. “Everyone is grabbing ABC product, you better gets yours, too!”

Fill Emotional Needs: Psychopaths will find your insecurities and unhappiness, and then provide reassurance. They’re giving people what they want and saying what they want to hear.

If we’re honest, we have to admit that we do a version of this all the time in successful marketing campaigns.

It’s perhaps a little surprising how much marketing has in common with psychopathy. Then again, we’re all about persuading and to a certain degree, manipulating – hopefully towards the BENEFIT and not the detriment of our customers.

If you are manipulating your customer for their own good, that’s one thing. If you’re doing it just to make a sale, you probably won’t be in business for long.

But one thing I learned from studying psychopaths is this – there is still far more that we can learn about persuasion, and sometimes we’ll find the answers in the oddest of places.

Strategic Marketing Using Digital Channels The Right Way

If you are looking to implement marketing from a strategic perspective in your company or business endeavour by making use of digital channels then it may well serve you to seek out some advice first. That’s some of what we set out to do here as we look to highlight some of the ins and outs of executing marketing in the digital age. There is more to digital marketing that ordinarily meets the eye as found in our consulting, devising and executing search engine and social media marketing campaigns.

When a company is looking to [via its marketing personnel or use of third party agencies] market its products and services use the available digital marketing channels such as…

  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Micro Blogging

… all of the activities will need to be carried out via specific digital marketing channels with a view to getting engagement from chosen target market sector clients.

As an example of the statement made above; the decision could be made to use the social media marketing and to connect with clients using an associated advertising platform through which to serve up ads. Going through the process of crafting and executing specific ads necessitates that one understands who the target audience is that the business is concerned with so that time is not wasted running ads that will be ultimately shown up to people that are not interested in the related products or services that the company has to offer. Going through the targeting process will determine where one’s audience ‘hangs out’ so that when the message is seen it is relatively easier to consume [or be interacted with].

When running ads within the social media marketing channel alongside that of publishing engaging and compelling content, connect, following and republishing others content. It is important to make sure that the ads are in fact related to target clients likes, interests and aspirations as this will affect click through rate, engagement and other factors that lead to the actual cost of running the ad itself.

The content aspect of digital marketing is indeed a critical and foundational one as one piece of content can effectively be repurposed for use in various formats and on differing platforms and digital marketing channels. E.g. a well written article can be used as a blog post, then used as the basis for a podcast, this same piece of content can be developed into a video and then used to create multiple micro blogging content pieces. Each piece of content should be used within planned digital marketing channels in order to deliver the marketing message through to the intended market segments.

With the world in which we live in becoming increasingly technology enabled; this is continuing to open up opportunities for marketers and business owners to present their message to clients found the world over. However it is important to execute correctly and to start with the right messages, next the most appropriate digital marketing channel [some of which are listed above] are used in order to put the marketing message in front of the right audience. In other words a targeted approach should used as opposed to a shotgun spray and hope approach.

At the end of the day digital marketing is still a subset of marketing and it itself has its own set of sub digital marketing channels. The strategic digital marketing approach is strongly recommended as when adhered to and the results start coming in, one will understand why it’s important to continue to adopt this approach to business promotion.

Stephen C Campbell is a Strategic Marketing Consultant‎ and also runs workshops and seminars for business owners. He works in closed association with Capid Houser which is a Digital Marketing Services Agency providing a range of digital marketing makeover offerings for organisations.