by seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona
Posts Tagged ‘telemarketing’
Sunday, February 24th, 2013
Welcome to 2013! The internet and mobile revolution has brought on many changes to business marketing strategies. Advertising that once worked splendidly has lost impact due to the changes in the way consumers communicate and seek out information. Many people, for example, forgo a home phone and every member of the household has a cell phone. With the advance of computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones in virtually every aspect of our lives, people are reading more of their information from online sources than any other. This changed reality has resulted in an array of new and inexpensive advertising opportunities that allow you to reach your target audience any time day or night, no matter where they are or what they are doing, and in more personal and meaningful ways.
Technology is everywhere: At home and work, when playing and shopping, sitting down and on the go.
Companies that are slow to embrace new technologies and continue to focus their advertising budgets on methods that worked decades ago are being quickly outpaced by more modern competitors. As a result, they are losing potential customers every day. A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods. In most industries, increasing the effectiveness of marketing investments means embracing the digital era and moving their advertising efforts to the internet.
How can a business, currently entrenched in marketing methods that worked a decade ago, take advantage of the upgraded advertising opportunities available to them and get ahead digital era? This article is designed to detail four obsolete business marketing methods, why not to use them for your modern business, and how to replace them with more effective advertising technologies. Stop wasting your money on advertising that simply does not work. Abandoning these four obsolete methods of traditional business promotion can lead to an increased return on investment when they are switched to more cost-effective methods online.
Telemarketing, or cold calling, was a popular form of marketing for many years. The concept works similar to door-to-door sales, only over the phone. Simply obtain a list of potential clients, call them at their home or business, and read a professionally written script. Ideally, the phone calls are made quickly with minimal talk time, with an attempt to talk to as many people as possible while minimizing rejections.
This may sound like a great marketing strategy, however, there is a major downside. People generally have become annoyed with these types of calls. When the concept was fresh, people happily answered their phones and many of them would listen to what you had to say. In today’s world, people are used to communicating quickly and have access to a wealth of information digitally, eliminating the need to learn about products or services over a forced and disruptive telephone call.
In addition, call screening and gatekeepers have become common. Digital telephone systems exist that screen out calls from unwanted parties. With the increased use of smartphones, many people have downloaded apps specifically designed to identify and block telemarketing calls. Because of all these factors, it is unlikely that your target audience will be reachable by phone, making telemarketing obsolete.
Use social media to your advantage for a much improved, non-intrusive way of reaching potential customers. A professional marketing campaign on sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook can help your business target and reach out directly to people who have already expressed interest in or a need for your services. With the use of marketing content such as website landing pages, infographics, and videos, you are able to provide useful information and advertise your business to potential clients. In general, people are more receptive to companies they find via their favorite social websites, especially when they recognize one of their friends as having ‘liked’ or endorsed your business in the past. This form of promotion is inexpensive for the value and, when done correctly, can produce a much higher return on investment than telemarketing.
Direct mail is one of the oldest forms of promoting products or services. Businesses gather a mailing list of potential clients, usually tens of thousands, and put together a clever letter or post card. This method is most commonly used for coupons, store newsletters, or as a way to inform people about new products. The material is then mailed to the target client’s home or business address. Often times a single ad from one company is combined with dozens of ads from multiple companies, resulting in a single mailer of ads sent via bulk mail to the advertiser’s targeted list.
Direct mail has another term associated with it: “junk mail.” These mailings often go directly into the trash can and are often not read. This creates an inconvenience to the client and is a waste to businesses. It can become expensive to print and distribute high color advertisements via mail, so it is important to see a high return when using them. Unfortunately, “Junk mail” does not usually result in a high sales return.
In addition, the United States Postal Service has begun to limit its services, offering limited services on Saturday and no service on Sunday. In recent years, the mail industry has seen a seen a heavy decline is overall sales. Businesses are now limited to advertising via this method Monday through Friday, the busiest days of the week for most people and the days where they are least likely to have time to sift through disruptive advertisements. Plus, if addresses are written incorrectly or the client has moved, it is even less likely they will see the advisement. High cost, poor targeting availability, and low return on investment has made advertising by direct mail obsolete.
The better solution to reach tens of thousands of people in a cost-effective way is by building an internet marketing strategy using video and social media advertising campaigns on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. Advertising via social media allows your businesses to reach targets based on highly specialized criteria, narrowing down your targeting to people who are specifically interested in your message. This form of business promotion is far less limiting than a piece of paper, giving you the opportunity to present your potential client with videos, long pieces of information, images, or interactive content. This can be used to create an overall deeper relationship with the client, giving them a greater sense of loyalty to your brand. “Going Green” with your advertising will not only result in less wasted paper and an overall better outlook for the environment, it will also result in lower marketing cost with a much higher return. And, unlike sending “junk mail” with the USPS, there’s nothing to print, no postage to buy, and you can reach people any time day or night, seven days a week.
The yellow pages within a phone book are a listing of all the businesses in a particular area organized by category and name. Businesses can buy ad space for their respected categories, up to a full page, in hopes they will catch the eye of the person seeking the type of service or product the company offers. Phone books with yellow pages are often dropped off at a telephone customer’s home or business address, usually in a bag on the ground near the door.
People readily access most information online or on the go with a cell phone, making an advertisement in the phone book yellow pages rather ineffective. The printed copies of business directories often make their way into the trash bin immediately upon delivery. While many yellow page directory services have created online versions to go along with the printed book, these are equally as ineffective. No one uses business directories to locate information on products or services, preferring instead to directly search for information on a search engine such as Google or Bing, or via social search in Facebook. Due to the high cost of advertising in yellow page and directory services, and the dwindling number of people looking to them for answers, the Yellow Pages are obsolete when it comes to advertising your business.
People go directly to search engines to search for service providers in their area, and use search engine relating mapping services provided by Google or Bing to locate products or services nearby. Creating search engine listings and having a modern website listed in online search is vastly superior to yellow page advertising. With search marketing, instead of a small, single advertisement on a piece of paper, you are able to drive interested customers to a website full of robust pages of information, contact forms, interactive media, videos, and integrated social media components unique to your business. As a bonus, search engines are available on the go, so potential clients can find you while on the road and away from home. In addition, these searches are conducted using keywords typed in to a search box, allowing you to laser focus your advertising to only those people who are most likely to need your products or services. Search engine marketing provides your business with a quick, accurate, round-the-clock advertising method, helping you drive interested clients straight to your location or website.
Newspaper and Magazine Ads
Newspapers and magazines are a common place for advertisements, especially for local products or services. Each newspaper or magazine is printed and distributed to thousands of client’s doorsteps on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The ads can be placed in a number of different sizes ranging from as little as one forty-eighth of a page to a two page ad, depending on the paper.
Print newspapers and magazines are becoming less and less common. It’s a dying industry with rapidly shrinking readership. This is due to the ease of finding information, including news, online. Many traditional newspapers are no longer existent or have moved their operations online in the form of dedicated blogs or E-newspapers. Most magazines have replaced printing in favor of digital copies that incorporate video as well as images.
Traditional newspaper ads can also get quite costly depending on the size of the ad and the following the newspaper has. While small ads are often available at a reduced cost, they may be overlooked by readers depending on the placement. The traditional paper size is 15 by 22 and a half inches, and one forty-eighth of that amounts to a tiny ad space, a little over an inch. The fact that readership of printed magazines and newspapers has declined, and your tiny ad often blends in with the page and is seldom seen, makes advertising in paper newspapers and magazines obsolete.
Online display advertising allows you to publish high quality color advertising images and online videos to targeted websites at a fraction of the cost of a printed ad in a newspaper or magazine. Many of these websites are visited on a regular basis by your ideal customers, so a steady flow of potential clients will see your ad. In addition, online display ads can link those viewers directly to your website, putting them just a click away from a wealth of information about your products or services. Display advertising allows you to target readers with a particular focus, making it possible to specialize further and show your ad only to people who are likely interested in what you offer.
From a creative standpoint, this type of promotion is far less limiting. It is possible to have full color, beautiful ads for your business, where as a traditional newspaper will usually limit the ads to black and white or low-quality color ink. This means that not only are you targeting potential clients effectively, but you are creating more interactive ads that allow you to engage your target audience in meaningful ways. Display advertising ultimately provides a higher return on investment than printed newspapers and magazines, allowing you to provide more relative, higher performing ads for less.
In addition to all of the benefits outlined above, there are several additional reasons why digital advertising methods via search engines, websites, and social media far outpace telemarketing, direct mail, yellow pages, or newspapers and magazines:
- Advertisement Performance Tracking and Analytics: Internet advertising provides the ability to measure advertising effectiveness. You can quickly compare cost vs. performance via mechanisms that track the number of times your ads were viewed and the number of times they were acted upon. Detailed performance tracking makes it easy to determine if your advertising is working or needs to be adjusted.
- Advertising Campaign Scheduling: Online ads can be scheduled to run according to your precise needs. You can run ads at only certain times of the day, certain days of the week, or start and stop advertising as necessary based on the needs of your business.
- Detailed Control Over Budget: With internet advertising, you are not trapped into a pre-determined set price for your ads. You can allocate the budget that’s right for your business at the time, and increase or decrease your advertising budget as your goals change.
This is the dawn of the digital age. Looking at your business advertising plan and reallocating it now is a wise decision. While finding the most effective marketing strategy for your business can be a difficult task, eliminating useless business advertising methods is a good first step towards that goal. If your business is investing in any one of the aforementioned methods, you are probably wasting your money that could be better invested online. Add up how much you are spending monthly and yearly on useless business advertisements and write that number down. That’s the amount of money you should be investing into high impact internet advertising instead.
It’s common sense to advertise where your potential clients are, and chances are good that most of them are online. Roughly 80% of Americans use the internet for an extended period of time on a daily basis, and that number continues to grow each year. Compare to the only 23% that read printed newspapers on a semi-frequent basis. Because internet advertising is significantly less expensive than traditional marketing methods, and most of your competitors haven’t yet figured this out, promoting your business digitally will yield higher results. Get started now to help establish your company early on and gain the competitive edge.
So, what’s the next best step after making the decision to replace outdated advertising with digital marketing? If you want quick and reliable results, find an expert internet marketing company in your area that is knowledgeable in the pros and cons of marketing your business online. These firms can help you create a new, custom marketing strategy based on a professional website, content marketing, display advertising, social media ads, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and interactive online videos. The right company can help your stand out from the competition, allowing you to grow in a modern and highly-effective way.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Have you struggled to achieve satisfactory results from past business marketing efforts? You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs waste lots of valuable time struggling to find effective advertising solutions. Trying to grow a business and spending a small fortune in the process, only to get back very little in return, is a painful and unpleasant experience. The failure to bring on new clients via effective advertising will keep you from becoming successful. This inability to generate leads is common in new businesses, and forces most one-time business owners to abandon their dreams, back to the safety of a 9 to 5.
Don’t let past marketing efforts that failed to produce new clients lead to a fear of failure, or convince you to abandon advertising completely. It takes money to make money, all successful business owners and managers embrace this fact. New clients are a necessity for any business to grow and remain strong, without them your business will fail. So, the question is not whether you should market your business, the question is how can you best market your business? Yes it takes money to make money, but that money needs to work smart to make an impact. You need to find out how to allocate the money you do have into advertising methods that guarantee higher margins of profitability, and invest your advertising budget in new lead generation techniques that result in a measurable increase in new clients.
How could a profitable advertising campaign help your business grow? Visualize the success you want, and then focus your resources on the positive to make it happen. A positive outlook could provide the spark you need to evaluate and learn from negative advertising experiences, and create a successful marketing plan from past failures. Here’s how:
- Go back and make note of every advertising method you have ever tried in the past
- Now examine and make note of all of the current ways you are spending money to advertise your business
- List each marketing type above in a spreadsheet
- For each method in the list, write down the total amount of money spent on that advertising method to date
- You should also calculate in the cost of time allocated by staff members to the total amount spent for each
- Now add up how much projected revenue you’ve gained from each of those methods to date
- Including recurring revenue from clients who found you via that one method but used your services multiple times
Your list may resemble the following, an example marketing analysis data provided by a Phoenix area IT firm:
How can you take a list like this one, built with data from your own business, and focus on the positive to turn around negative advertising adventures? To start, look at your list as a framework to learn from and build upon. The first step is to identify which advertising methods work and discard all others. It’s important to avoid wasting marketing budget if you want your business to grow. See the following graphic, we went through our sample list and crossed out all forms of marketing that resulted in wasted budget:
The above methods, crossed out in red, cost a total of $142,112 but only resulted in a total of $12,224 in revenues. That’s a total loss of $129,888. The first step towards success in marketing is eliminating those methods that fail to generate more revenue than they expend. If you are losing money, consider another medium. Your most important resource as a business owner is time, so don’t wait forever to take action. Reallocate your budget immediately by eliminating every advertising method you’re spending money on that isn’t working (those items in red above). Once you free up this money, you can either move those funds to advertising methods on your list that are proven to be profitable, or try new marketing avenues that you haven’t yet explored.
Focus on the Positive to Improve Your Advertising
To improve on advertising methods that are not as profitable as they could be, the solution is to focus on the positive. The return for methods on your list that are close to break-even can usually be improved by making a few adjustments. In our example above, the question was how can we improve our video ads to make them more profitable? For your list, evaluate your products and services from the your customer’s point of view. What service or product are you currently providing that existing clients really like? Think about all the positive qualities of your product, service, and offer, and hone in on what your customers are looking for. Next, change up the message in your lower performing advertising methods to better deliver on the needs and wants of your ideal client. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating articles for content marketing or producing videos for social media sites. Pour your enthusiasm and pack value into what you’re doing, the main idea here is to focus on the positive. In our case, for a recent video content marketing campaign, we re-thought the entire campaign to come up with ways we could produce higher quality videos that were more engaging, entertaining, and useful for our target clients.
Whatever you do, keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Remember, it takes money to make money. While you should definitely try new things, you should also keep a watchful eye on your investments and tend to them on a regular basis to maximize results. Doing so will allow you to eliminate obstacles and negative investments, focus in on those things that are working well, and create powerful new marketing messages to attract new customers.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
This article is part of a series of twenty articles. Click to read: The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know
There is a time and place for both inbound marketing – search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, content publishing, subscriber emails, and social media – and outbound marketing – print and TV/radio advertising, telemarketing, trade shows, and cold calling.
The debate should not be about which one is better, because both have merit. But for small business owners who can’t afford a large marketing staff and don’t have a large advertising budget, the debate should focus on where to spend your limited time and advertising dollars to get the highest ROI (return on investment).
That said, the reality is that people are increasingly going to the Internet to learn about the products and services they want to buy and to find places to buy them. Last week I decided to buy a patio umbrella. I wanted to make sure it can withstand wind and rain, and would not fade in one summer. Did I want to wait to get a direct mail piece selling patio umbrellas? No. Did I want to wait for a radio, TV, magazine or newspaper ad to tell me where to find one? No. And even if I did see an ad, how much can they possibly tell me about patio umbrellas in a 30-second spot or a 4” ad? I don’t have time to wait for an ad or drive around to several stores until I find what I want. In a few minutes online I found several manufacturers’ and local stores’ websites, read consumer reviews, and learned all I needed to know about patio umbrellas, including prices. I chose a nearby store from the ones I found online, and when I went to the store to look at the umbrellas, I already knew they carried what I was looking for. All I needed to do was decide which color I liked best, buy it, and bring it home. I saved gas, time, and money using the Internet to do my leg work. That experience shows the power of inbound marketing.
Inbound (“digital”) marketing “pulls” people to your products or services. Inbound marketing strategies and techniques are designed to attract people at the moment they are online looking for information about something they want to buy. Companies must to provide useful information and tools, interact with potential customers, and develop relationships to meet the expectations of today’s online consumer.
Outbound (“traditional”) marketing “pushes” information about your products or services to the public. Promoting your business with outbound marketing keeps your name in the public view and creates a sense of urgency to buy what you sell.
What is the trend in marketing today? Industry sources estimate the ROI on email marketing at 4,300%, making it the most popular form of marketing by small businesses. Numerous studies and surveys indicate a movement toward inbound and away from outbound marketing. Consider:
- 84% of Americans do Internet research before going to a store. (Google – Zero Moment of Truth)
- 70% of consumers trust online consumer reviews, an increase of 15% in four years, more than any other source of brand information and messaging except referrals from friends and family. (Nielson)
- 42% of total retail sales in 2009 (online and offline) were affected by the Web, with sales growing to 53% by 2014. (Forrester)
- 87% of companies now employ Twitter as part of their social media marketing strategy, while 82% use Facebook.(eConsultancy.com)
- 86% of TV viewers skip ads. (The Guardian)
- 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened. (About.com Environmental Issues)
- 74% brand recall is experienced by consumers when the advertiser’s integrated strategy is carried across mobile, TV and online. (NYTimes/Google)
The bottom line: Your inbound marketing strategy is critical to the long-term growth of your business. Get your share of the $224.2 billion estimated online sales in 2012. Contact seenBEST Web Design to help you develop an online marketing strategy that gets results.
>> Did you like this article? Ping it!
Friday, March 16th, 2012
I received a telemarketing spam call today (1-512-637-3086) from someone working for Yodel claiming that he could help me advertise my business on the internet. Now, considering we are a comprehensive internet marketing company and are really good at what we do, I chuckle a bit whenever telemarketers insist on pitching me with marketing products. I got double the comedy with this guy from Yodle, who was actually trying to sell me on my own list of services. Strike 1 for Yodel, they definitely could use a refresher course in filtering out bad telemarketing prospects. Maybe start by removing from the list companies that provide the same services you are trying to pitch.
I overlooked their horrible telemarketing routine out of curiosity. What about their internet marketing product, I wondered? Is it possible that they’re bad at telemarketing because they spend most of their time doing great SEO work for small business?
Sadly, no. There wasn’t an intelligent reply to any of my questions from the telephone sales representative on the other end of the line. In fact, after asking him multiple SEO and internet marketing questions it was clear that the person I was dealing with had little to no experience with internet marketing at all. That’s fine, most people don’t, but if you’re going to try and sell a product shouldn’t you at least understand what it is and how it works?
I spent a while with this poor kid on the telephone trying to convince him to look for a better job. Look, I used to do telemarketing in my youth. It was a good industry ten years ago and a viable advertising option before the advance of the internet. These days, however, it’s a giant waste of time and resources. What kind of people actually buy anything over the telephone these days? I do all of my business either face-to-face or on the internet after performing some pretty serious research. There’s zero chance that I’m buying anything over the phone from some kid making $8 an hour who just cold-called me, especially something as complex as internet marketing products.
After I had my fun with their telephone sales rep. I decided to research on Google. That’s when I found a ton of complaints on this company… Yodel appears to be causing a lot of problems for local businesses. Take a look at this rap sheet:
Yodle, ReachLocal, Yext – Scams?
Yodle.com – False Advertising
Yodle-Scam Or Incompetent?
Yodle, ReachLocal, Yext – Scams or Just Hard To Please Everybody?
Yodle.com Complaints & Reviews – They promise the moon but can’t meet half of what they promise
If you keep searching Google for Yodle Scam you’ll notice hundreds of additional posts by people who have had a negative experience with this company. Who are these clowns and why are they giving my industry such a bad name? I can already see the wave of clients that will come into my office needing me to rescue them from the poor services provided by Yodel. It happens practically every day, clients telling me about the money they’ve wasted on internet marketing that didn’t work. Well, of course it didn’t work, you bought internet marketing from a telemarketing call run by an amateur who has no clue what he’s talking about.
If you’re approached via this method by an internet marketing firm you can almost guarantee that they don’t know what they’re doing and won’t help you – stay away! Our company generates 99% of our own internal leads from internet marketing and referrals because hey, we’re very good at what we do. We NEVER setup an internet marketing campaign without first meeting with our clients face-to-face. Our internet marketing experts will learn the details of the business we are representing, then offer customized solutions that perform rock solid for the unique internet marketing needs of that company. Isn’t that the way it should be?
Sorry Keith, my friendly Yoddle telemarketer from Austin, TX. Today was a bad day for you to call. It’s Friday and I was looking for something interesting to blog about. You amused me for a short time, but that is all. Hopefully you took my advice and will seek out a different career that doesn’t involve telemarketing for a product that you don’t know how to sell.
>> Did you like this article? Ping it!
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
The Internet marketing industry has existed since only 1994, and sales have grown from $300 million in the U.S. in 1996 to an astounding $200+ billion in 2010. Online marketing is thriving, and businesses that have invested in successful Internet marketing campaigns are reaping the rewards today.
Internet marketing stands as an essential business development tool for today’s successful companies, as traditional “old school” marketing has seen a substantial decline. Internet marketing makes information about your business available anytime consumers or clients are looking for it. But traditional marketing – print and media ads, telemarketing, and direct mail – relies on pushing out a message and hoping someone will want what the company is offering at the time they see the ad. Joseph Jaffe, consultant and author of Life After the 30-Second Spot, suggests, “Consumers are starting to outgrow us. They know what to buy and where to buy it, and they don’t need us to tell them anymore.” Accepting and addressing this major change in consumer behavior is the key to why Internet marketing works.
Internet marketing is successful because:
- It is more cost effective than traditional marketing methods. Internet marketing campaigns are inexpensive compared to the thousands of dollars spent on traditional ads.
- You can target specific audiences. A personalized message encourages people to take the action you desire. The Internet provides endless opportunities to tweak and tailor your message for every type of buyer wherever they may be. And your message is there when they’re looking for it – when they are ready to buy.
- Your return on investment is much higher. A well-orchestrated Internet marketing campaign can deliver substantial increases in profits, with a much lower cost per lead than traditional marketing. Even a small budget campaign can produce an impressive ROI and the viral nature of Internet marketing keeps your campaign moving and expanding, providing a steady stream of leads.
- There are many ways to measure results. Traffic to your site, conversions, number of sales or subscribers, inbound links, brand image…these are just a few of the numerous web metrics and analytics you can track to determine the success of your campaign. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to make changes on a regular basis, even daily if necessary, to improve results.
For local businesses, Internet marketing can be especially successful. The Pew Research Center ‘s Internet & American Life Project’s Spring Tracking Survey 2011 found that 78% of American adults who use the Internet look for information about a service or product they are thinking of buying. Small companies can compete head to head with larger businesses, and companies in smaller towns can compete with companies in major cities. The cost effectiveness of internet marketing makes it possible for you to compete on a small budget and go up against much larger competitors. An attractive and effective new website for your business can make your small business appear more attractive to a potential customer than larger competitors, especially if you are providing local services. Online marketing using SEO and SEM targeted to you area also helps to create a level playing field. Finally, there are several affordable internet marketing tools that can be employed for client retention and content distribution, including social media branding and email marketing.
One necessary ingredient in a successful Internet marketing campaign is patience. To see the results of your efforts, it takes time and requires constant monitoring and analyzing of web analytics and metrics. Using an Internet marketing expert to help you develop and maintain your campaign is the best way to achieve your goals. The professional Internet marketing team at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona are experts in all aspects of Internet marketing and will work with you to design an effective campaign. Are you ready to build leads, increase sales, and maximize profits for your business? Call seenBest Web Design today at (602) 456-0150 and put their Internet marketing experience to work for you!
>> Did you like this article? Ping it!