Marketing With a Blended Marketing Strategy For Maximum Visibility

Marketing in general is a vast and complex beast which requires knowledge and effort to truly master and leverage it to its full potential to grow your brand, let alone your business. Any good internet marketing strategy can effectively help you build your business online. However, as many internet entrepreneurs look to expand their online presence and grow their businesses further, I find that many of them fail to create a complete marketing and business development strategy, focusing the majority of their efforts online. Sadly, this is a HUGE mistake on their part.

Over the course of my career as an entrepreneur, business owner and web designer, I’ve conducted business with many individuals and businesses all wanting to increase their reach, develop a stronger brand awareness and build a strong internet presence. Yet through all their questions, two common fears continually rang through during my discussions with many of them. They either feared the idea of taking on a major internet campaign or they felt that internet marketing would replace their tried and true traditional marketing methods. Both these fears have their roots in the fact that the vast majority of them simply lacked the proper knowledge necessary to see that both an internet marketing and traditional marketing strategy should compliment each other providing reciprocal support of their various strengths. I like to refer to this more complete picture of a marketing strategy as “blended marketing”.

Why Do I Need to Do Marketing

If you plan to generate any kind of income online you need to gain an understanding that your blog or website is simply and extension of your true business. You must develop your business model first before you can properly identify how to apply your blog/website as a useful tool in your overall marketing and business development strategy. Any successful business has a marketing strategy to grow their business. You can’t simply set up a blog or website and expect the business to come rushing in. You must have a strategy in place to help bring in the interested buyers you desire.

Gain a Little Perspective

As a successful internet entrepreneur and internet marketing expert myself, I’ve been using a blended marketing strategy for well over a decade to maximize my reach, increase my exposure and better market to my target audience to grow my online business. I’d like to share with you how a blended marketing strategy can benefit you and provide you with some techniques I use when constructing your blended marketing plan.

To help you gain a better perspective on the concept of blended marketing I suggest you have a quick read of Rena Bernstein’s post over at Social Media Today entitled “Integrating Social Media with Traditional Advertising to Gain Higher Returns”. It is a great read and provides valuable insight into the benefits as well as examples on how effective it can be if done correctly.

What is Blended Marketing

Blended marketing is essentially a mix of both internet marketing and traditional offline marketing methods to create a more complete, overall marketing and business development strategy. Many businesses fail to integrate both internet marketing and traditional marketing strategies together. By taking advantage of the strengths of both an internet marketing and traditional marketing strategy, you will better position yourself and/or your business for greater success.

The idea of a blended marketing strategy is to create a complete marketing strategy which takes advantage of the various strengths of both an internet marketing strategy and a traditional marketing strategy where you work to increase your search engine rankings and internet exposure, while at the same time increasing your reach and exposure offline as well.

Different aspects of a blended marketing strategy can be for example, utilizing an email marketing campaign in conjunction with a direct mail campaign to provide a specific promotion to a select group of recipients. Some email marketing systems provide a service where they will also send a direct mail piece to your email list provided you have addresses for each recipient in your list. This is just a high level example of how a blended marketing strategy can work to ensure broader reach from multiple fronts.

Benefits of a Blended Marketing

The benefits of a blended marketing strategy are vast allowing you truly grow your business at a much more rapid pace than if you didn’t have one. A blended marketing strategy allows you to:

  1. Gain Greater Exposure
  2. Market to the Same Audience Through Multiple Online and Offline Marketing Efforts
  3. Track the Effectiveness of Various Campaign Efforts
  4. Identify the Strengths of both Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
  5. Create Multiple Promotions for Various Marketing Strategies
  6. Generate Multiple Sources to Feed Your Sales Funnel
  7. Create Brand Awareness Online and Offline
  8. Market Products/Services Both Online and Offline
  9. Present Yourself as a Strong, Stable Business
  10. Increase Sales

These are just a few of the many benefits in which a blended marketing strategy can provide.

Creating a Blended Marketing Strategy

Creating a blended marketing strategy isn’t all that difficult if you know your target audience and have identified how to reach them. From that point, you can craft a marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your target audience through multiple fronts to ensure your message is heard.

The first step is to conduct market research (yes you have to do this and you cannot skip this step). When conducting market research you need to identify:

  1. Who Your Target Audience Is
  2. Where They Hang Out
  3. How to Reach Them
  4. What are Their Needs
  5. How You Can Fill Their Need
  6. Will They Buy

Identifying a market for whatever you are offering is essential to the success of any business whether online or off.

The second step is to begin crafting your blended marketing strategy to incorporate the various resources available to reach your market. This is where the fun begins! Be creative with this and make sure you explore all possible options to get your message out to market. For example, you may want to include the various resources to syndicate your content not just for online purposes but also for offline purposes, such as industry magazines and journals. If you are creating an email marketing campaign, how will you mirror this effort offline through direct mail pieces? If you are going to utilize the Third Tribe concept for your online marketing, what real-world business networking and industry convention events are you going to attend to create brand awareness? Consider how you are going to integrate social media into your blended marketing and how can you drive people to follow you from your offline efforts?

The best way to create a blended marketing strategy is to mirror your online marketing efforts with potential real-world offline efforts that my accomplish the same if not similar task as your online efforts. Simply ask yourself: “Self, what offline marketing effort would be similar to this online marketing effort” then make a list of all related marketing strategies and decide which to integrate into your complete blended marketing strategy. Dedicate a lot of quality time to this process, because the more time you spend on market research and development to create your blended marketing strategy, the more effective your blended marketing strategy will be.

I hope you found this information useful and will apply what you’ve learned to create your own blended marketing strategy for whatever your business maybe.

To Your Success!

8 Home Business Mistakes to Avoid

Running a home business is demanding enough, making mistakes can lead to bankruptcy. Learn what you need to avoid so you are successful. Below we will discuss 8 home-based business mistakes to avoid. They include, lack of research, drive and education. Making yourself aware of the pitfalls is a sure-fire way to put you on the right track to success.

1. Not Researching Your Business Idea First

Make sure you research every aspect of your home business idea first. You don’t want any surprises jumping out when you least expect them. Particularly be aware of all the financial risks your home-based business entails.

2. Treating Your Home Business As A Hobby – It’s a Job

Your home-based business is exactly what the name says. It is an economic system wherein goods, and services are exchanged for money. If you don’t take it seriously, you won’t make any money. It’s as simple as that.

3. Attempting To Master Everything At Once

The human brain is not set up to learn everything at once. It learns in stages. This is why the education system is designed the way it is. If you try to master every aspect at the same time you will exhaust yourself. Learn everything in stages. Don’t try to do 10 things at once, it doesn’t work in business.

4. Not Being Willing To Work Over-time To Succeed

The more work you put in, the more profit you make for yourself. You can’t have the attitude that you will only work a limited number of hours. You are self-employed when you own a home-based business. You are the key money-maker and problem-solver. There is always something you can do. Remember, if you don’t do it, no one will.

This doesn’t mean that you will never have a day off. In fact, you should always take at least one day off a week, to rest. This will help drive you for the other six days.

5. Not Investing In Your Home Business When Needed

There will always come a time that you will need to invest money in your business. You can never do enough marketing, and there is always product or service improvements to make. For example, one investment you will have to make is placing paid ads in newspapers, magazines and the internet. Even though there are a lot of ways to advertise for free, these methods have limits.

As well, you will eventually get exhausted doing everything yourself. At some point, you have to outsource. If you try to save money and don’t invest in an expert, parts of your business will suffer.

6. Investing Too Much Money Without Seeing A Return

If something isn’t working, try a new method. Always monitor your investments to see if they accomplish what they are meant to. Just because you hear that something did wonders for another business, it doesn’t mean it will have the same effect on yours.

7. Not Managing Your Time Effectively

Time management is the key to any business, use your time wisely by following these 5 tips:

  • Prioritize tasks from most important to least important
  • Set goals for each task
  • Set specific times for social marketing (it is too easy to get side-tracked).
  • Take breaks
  • Do your most important tasks when you are more alert, and save the ones that need the least mental focus for later in the day.

8. Not Promoting Your Home Business Or Researching Effective Marketing Methods

To start up and grow your home-based business you have to promote it constantly. You always want new customers, and the best way to find them is by marketing your business. There are many ways to market your business effectively, so always research new methods and test them out. Educating yourself only makes you better in business.

By avoiding the above eight mistakes, you have a great chance of being successful with your home business. Take these points to heart and plan for success.

Project Management Software – Selecting the Best Software

The use of project management software has become a necessity to every business today. Project management describes what the plan is and securing the right people and resource to plan, perform and deliver a project on time and on budget. The software has been widely used for handling projects efficiently and effectively to any type of industry such as IT, construction, architecture, sales and marketing, surveying, etc.

People involve in the management process are called the project team which includes the project manager and the team members. They use applications and tools to analyze, plan, schedule, track and manage projects to improve productivity and carry out the whole process of management. The software allows your company to get projects up-to-date, stay up-to-date and organize the data. Just remember that the software only assists the project team in the success of the project, everyone needs to work on every task and to whatever needs to be done. A project cannot be executed properly if one is working with the wrong plans.

The importance of project management has become more remarkable in today’s business life. The best project management software is actually one that meets or suits the requirements for the completion of the project. The main points of selecting the software should perform these important tasks:

  • Project Management Priorities – when evaluating a business software, it’s best that you have a better understanding of the project management activities from time to time. This helps in determining whether or not the software is capable of solving any problems your business will encounter. Applying current management practices to the project management software will help to identify how a problem can be resolved by using the software. Breakdowns of what a project needs can also picture out how both projects and the software fit with each other.
  • Assess Future Project Management Requirements – although it’s quite difficult to predict how a software adjust over time, it is possible to understand the flexibility that the software accommodates. A flexible software allows a company to grow. Software that are simple to use may or may not have the ability to match the needs of a company as it grows. The more flexible the software is, the more options a company will have to accommodate situations. An effective project management solution accommodates change and meet changing demands of businesses without degrading existing projects.
  • Accounting Software Integration – the ability of one software to synchronize business data with other software is an essential component for a project management software. A software which can integrate other software systems to work together is much better since company may be using an existing application and would want it to be sync to their choice of software. In fact, selecting the software which can integrate other applications can reduce costs due to a reduction of data setup.
  • Software Vendor/Client Relationship – The software vendor and the client must establish a supportive relationship mutually. When selecting a project management software, one must factor into consideration how responsive and competent the software vendor and its support for the intention to serve. The company or business should also notice how willing to help the vendor and the support when there are questions and when problems arise and how promptly they follow-up. The vendor should be an active participant in supporting their clients.

If for instance the company is currently using a software and wants to migrate into a new one, they should identify how such a switch to a system will be addressed and to whether such steps be taken. The switch can be costly when a company wishes to transfer the data from the current software to the selected software. Therefore it is best for such company to analyze how much effort is needed to switch to a new software.