Small Business Marketing Strategy – The Importance of Customer Commonality

Cliché but true: customers come in all shapes and sizes. Just check out any grocery store or gas station: you see a cross-section of society, right? You find people from many walks of life and all income levels. But underneath the surface these people share something in common: for some reason–known or unknown to the store’s owner–they all made a choice to shop at the same place.Here’s the small business marketer’s primary puzzler: why do they come to my store? What do they have in common that makes them my customers? Once I know that, then I can discover (and reach) more of them.If you are fortunate enough to have a customer database then you can integrate known data, primarily purchase data, with psychographic or demographic data you acquire from outside. You can then combine both the internal and the external data to construct a composite of your customer base.However, if you are like most retail stores, you will have to rely on other types of data, such as survey data and research data, to establish your customer profile.This type of research can get expensive. Very expensive. Frankly, top-drawer research data is often outside the budget scope of many small businesses. Yet, as a small business marketer you know that understanding your customer is a key to gaining a competitive advantage over your competition.We suggest two sources which are far less expensive than traditional research. Of course, if you have the budget, by all means spend a portion of it with a reputable research firm. But if you don’t here are a couple of sources that can give you some insight.First, look to your peers in your industry. Your trade association and your trade publications both have general information on your industry’s customer base. Granted, this isn’t primary research specific to your individual business. Plus, this is data typically compiled at the national level. Yet, you can combine this industry material with your own common sense and your state or city economic and demographic data. Once done you will have a localized picture of your industry. This can yield some good, if general, facts about your customer base.A couple of half-days spent in this type of research often can yield insights that can’t be acquired without extensive (and expensive) research that is hired out.The second asset: employee research. More on that in our next article.Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.© 2006 Marketing Hawks

Water System

There are wide variations in raising livestock. Practices are applied base in scientific and common beliefs.  Regardless of these, what’s important is the welfare of the livestock in order to achieve high sales because of its good quality.For raisers, in order to provide good quality animals they focus with the food they provide, the cleanliness of the area, and most of all a proper water system that prevents animals from dehydration. Water system has been developed that is both convenient to animals and the people tending them. This is what we call the Frost Free Nose Pump.Frost Free Nose Pump is a device that can be operated by animals. What’s beneficial about this is it provides clean and safe water. In the old practice, livestock drink in the surface of a pond or any source of water. However, it is dirty water that can harm the animals. How was this dirty? Animals could not be controlled when they dispose their waste. The manure, their pee can be exposed in the water. Bacteria have been developed and contaminate the water which will be taken by the animals. It may result in their degeneration, and low quality meat will surface.This device is easy to operate that your livestock will learn. It is operated like the traditional pump. Though with this it is the animal using its nose will push the lever, and water pumps out. It is installed in a platform which is set up perpendicularly to the ground. It can also be installed in an area with a water source that is clean. One example is a water-well. It is instinct for an animal to find water when they get thirsty, when they are familiar with how the device works, they will do this as they wish and water is provided.This is indeed an innovation because it is an energy-free water system alternative. The frost free Nose pump can also be used in any season. In winter when everything freezes this water pump still produce water and prevent it from freezing. It is an advantage feature for this industry.Dehydration is one thing that a raiser should prevent from. With this device, it is indeed a tool that helps you out as a raiser. What’s great about this is it has a low cost and low maintenance device. An all year round use working perfectly fit. Introduce this new system to your farm.

4 Online Money Making Internet Marketing Techniques

The Online Internet world provides lots of inexpensive marketing, usually with full-colour images to go with text. Plus brand new multimedia components provide a little spice to the mix and boost online potential customers and purchases. Below I have listed some top Internet marketing procedures to boost your sales and earnings.1. DIRECTORY – build your own directory on a particular subject matter, putting your own classified ad or banner along the top of your site. Subsequently ask others to add their website links via a link exchange program, register themselves in your directory. This could end in lots of complimentary marketing for you as your directory grows with links across the World Wide Web. Enter “link exchange software” into your favourite search engine for assistance with setup.2. TEACH A SIMPLE COURSE – compose a straightforward step-by-step series of emails in your area of expert status. After that break it up into lesser segments and then place them a series of email within an auto responder with your advertisements integrated either at the top or underneath every message. Ask your website traffic to sign up through on online opt in form accessible through an autoresponder service. As people sign up to your list, they will discover far more in relation to you and your products and services.3. EZINE EBOOK – put out of your mind unimportant daily or weekly ezines. Publish one huge monthly e-zine in the format of an e-book, if at all possible as an Adobe .Pdf file. Add a generous amount of articles with every circulation and frequently featured areas like inspirational quotes, industry tips, favourite sites and advice from the pros. Furthermore add full-colour graphics, multimedia components like audio file links, if you like, and classified ads. At that moment you could charge a monthly fee, enclosing an yearly discounted package acquisition, and promote marketing spots on your ezine.4. TIP OF THE WEEK – Begin sending your customers your Tip of the Week relating to your own area of expertise, linking to your own products and services. You could set it up on your site in a targeted box, via auto responder, a blog, an RSS feed, an audio file or others means of communication. Add your own ad along with your tip for whichever product or service you want to target or maybe even your own online store for all. This will gently remind your target audience where to go to learn more.In summary, by using Internet Marketing techniques customized to fit your own products and services, you can reach out and increase your website traffic and purchase opportunities. Internet marketing can mean a more affordable way to grow your business.

The Battle For Vacation Rental Supremacy – HomeAway Versus TripAdvisor

The sum paid for Holiday Lettings has not been disclosed but one would assume that it generated very good value for the 2 co-founders of Holiday Lettings. And, since TripAdvisor is owned by the publicly quoted Expedia, one would also assume that it represents value for Expedia’s shareholders over the long term.But question: Is this value for the customers of Holiday Lettings, the owners and renters that have made the site so successful until now?The Advantages of CompetitionFor starters, someone that challenges the supremacy of HomeAway brings competition to the market place. And with competition, usually the consumer wins either through price or through an improved product. Price is unlikely to change because an annual listing fee on these sites is typically around $300 hundred dollars. If you achieve a few weeks rental then it’s a relatively cheap and hassle free service. So if not price then what?Perhaps investment in product? Bearing in mind the millions which HomeAway is setting aside for it’s marketing programme, including the recent Super Bowl ad, then it’s likely TripAdvisor will put some money into Holiday Lettings, or it’s US based vacation rental business, Flipkey. But aside from investment and some competition for HomeAway it’s hard to see any other advantages, especially as TripAdvisor claims to be leaving Holiday Lettings to run independently.The Downside of GrowthWith boasts from HomeAway that they have 500,000 listings worldwide, and TripAdvisor surely having similar ambitions, we have to wonder whether these sites are becoming too large. With growth you usually risk losing sight of your customer who, in the end, controls the success of the product. And with growth some owners claim that their rental listing is lost among the masses of other rentals in their area.Where Should the Investment Go?What are vacation rentals all about? Surely they are now exactly what they were 10 years ago – a more personal vacation accommodation option than corporate hotel chains, with very good value and facilities. With the explosion of social media and the trend towards people wanting to engage with real people, we believe there is a perfect storm between social media, the internet and vacation rentals. If there is investment money available then let’s refine the product to bring real value to customers – give them the platform and tools to promote everything that’s great about vacation rentals. Let’s see the owner, let’s hear their knowledge of the local area, let’s see their videos, their Facebook pages – let’s bring personality back into vacation rental websites.


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