It is taken as standard that all businesses will have a website presence these days. Just consider the questions that you ask when someone is informing you about their business whether it be the largest corporate or a Small & Medium Enterprise organisation. At some point in time their website address will come up in the conversation or maybe viewed on a business card.

Now consider the rise in use of mobile phone, or should we say – smart phones and the number of tablet devices that are being used to access the internet on a daily basis. It is with that in mind we can attach the significance of businesses making their websites easily accessible for mobile devices.

So the question is, are you a local business owner ? are you responsible for marketing your business and for getting the message out to the world at large ? if so then what is the current state of your website in terms of allowing clients to have easy access to the content that they are looking for within your site.

Due to the market demand and customer feedback we have started to provide mobile marketing websites for businesses – take a look at our sister websites over at http://www.MobileMarketingBusinessWebsites.com/ which will give you an idea of the what a mobile website is, why you need it for your business and how you can get in touch with us so you too can have the right mobile website for your business.

When we say ‘the right’ mobile website for your business, what do we mean ? well to be brief, most of the times when someone is searching on a mobile phone, they are not interested in reading an essay on your company, they most probably want to know your location and in many cases just want to call your business. This is where the ‘Tap To Call’ mobile website comes into play – this gives the searcher a simple mobile website of your business with only a few options, one of which is a BIG BUTTON which when they tap it; they call direct to your company.

As you continue to plan and refine your business strategy – be sure to include the mobile marketing specifics into all of the marketing execution that you do.

To your mobile marketing success,

-Stephen C Campbell

 

With the ever increasing widespread use of the internet for business strategy development, for advertising and for marketing – we attract clients from all over the world and with that prospective clients, as well as those clients who have had some experiences with us can say what they wish to about us – all online. This calls for organisations to be concerned about managing the reputation of their business online.

The visual and audio summary of the Business To Business Marketing and Branding seminar and consulting process that I follow may be viewed/listened to in the video below for those who prefer to take in information from an audio and visual perspective :-

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For a quick rundown of the sections that we will go through should you employ me to conduct consulting/training in your organization is as follows :-

  • Introduction
  • Differences Between B2C & B2B Branding
  • Branding Dimensions
  • Branding Process
  • Branding Pitfalls
  • Case Studies

Reasoning behind the structure is to first give a grounding in the fundamentals of the topic, to look at some of the terminology and establish the overall framework and methodology for marketing and establish branding excellence to other organizations as opposed to the more common marketing and branding targeted to individual consumers.

It is important to make clear distinctions between the branding and marketing process in terms of the goal of selling products and services to other organizations. Whether your business to business marketing efforts are for the purpose of the partner company reselling your products as a component of their finished product [as part of an OEM business partnership] or; for the purpose of the partner organisation reselling or distributing your product – there are key fundamentals that need to be brought to mind and paid attention to if one organisation is going to be successful selling to another as the success of the selling company and the one selling to the end user are tied.

The Equity of the Brand is explored in the “Branding Dimensions” section and gives the marketer the fundamental business parameters on which to focus on in order to raise the equity of the brand in order to make the selling, marketing of the organization’s products and/or services run more smoothly.

The “Branding Process” section deals with some of the organizational complexities that need to be address if successful B2B Branding and Marketing ongoing campaigns are to be executed within the company. Ownership and management involvement is a key component that is addressed as this is one of the reasons why companies fail to make as much out of the B2B Products & Services as they otherwise could be if they do not adopt some of the structure and process management highlighted within this consulting process.

Finally we look at why some organizations fail in their B2B marketing and branding efforts by examining real life cases in order to extract the key learnings so we make sure that we do not make the same mistakes.

Do get in touch if you would like to discuss receiving some B2B branding and/or marketing consulting and training within your company.

Success,

-Stephen C Campbell

 

 

The topic of the relevance of the use of internet marketing for business to business sales is one that often gets posed by those marketing decision makers who get presented with options for spending money on things such as :-

  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content generation
  • Podcasting
  • Video marketing

… and other internet marketing tools and techniques that (of course) should only be deployed as part of a defined strategic internet marketing plan that fits into the organization’s business strategy.

So, to the question of whether or not a SME, multi million or even billion dollar company can make use of the internet to sell items that other businesses need to function.

To deal with this question adequately in this post, let’s remind ourselves of some of the characteristics of business to business sales which consist of :-

  • Typically long sales cycles
  • Ateamof decision makers
  • Long term contracts

… there are of course other points to consider but those above will suffice for our discussion in hand.

First if we consider the sales cycle we need to bear in mind that the search for information on specification, functionality and other parameters in many instances take place online first, this is of course in addition to the traditional methods of browsing catalogues for the information needed to ultimately make a purchase decision. With the growth of the use of mobile devices and more people turning to the internet to consume the information they are looking for, the opportunity exists for businesses all over the world to be the ones providing the information (also outside of their main company website domain) in order to lead clients through stages of the sales cycle.

So we have touched on the sales cycle which could last for weeks, months or even years. The point is that our company can be the source producing the content that ourtargetend users require, this can be in the audio, video. text, multimedia, webinars and other forms that the internet allows us to produce content in. If the client needs ball bearing specification information, we can make it as easy as possible for them to find that information with us as the source.

As for the decision makers, the structure of the information that we produce should be crafted in a manner that will call for relevant viewing and input from various stake holders within the organisation (of course we will understand ourtargetmarket well enough to know who these decision makers are !!). As we engage with the decision makers this falls into the length of the sales cycle and the more engaged the prospective clients are, the more they will value our expertise and authority which at the time of the purchase will make the price become less relevant (in terms of them using a high price as a reason not to purchase).

In essence for business to business marketing, the smart thing to do is not to aim for on the spot purchases, whilst this could result in desired outcomes, the thing to aim for is that of quality lead generation. Using the Internet Channel Marketing framework, your company will decide which of the internet marketing tools is the most appropriate for engaging with yourtargetmarket for building relationships and taking them through the process of the sales cycle, binding them into our organisation as the go to source for quality education related to the products and services – that can be purchased elsewhere.

In conclusion, when the choice is to be made, the relationship that has been developed by using the internet marketing tools will result in us being as one of the main choices when it comes to making that all important purchase decision.

Is the internet appropriate for Business To Business Marketing ?  absolutely so, if you are not actively using the internet for market to and engage with other businesses. Take a look at how you can integrate the internet with your existing business strategies today.

Any thoughts or comments ??

Feel free to get in touch – just hit the contact button above.

To you business internet marketing success.

Stephen C Campbell

qr codes marketing mistakes

Common mistakes business owners make when using QR Codes and how to avoid them

QR Codes are two-dimensional codes that connect mobile users to your online presence and can be a powerful marketing strategy. However since it is a new trend, there often costly mistakes that business owners make that can be avoided. This article looks at the common mistakes and how to avoid them when using QR Codes to market your small business. Here are three that I have picked out for the purpose of this article.

1. Not having a clearly defined campaign strategy.
Often business owners will jump ahead of themselves, print a few QR Codes, stick them somewhere and hope something happens. Yet for QR Codes to be effective, they must be the end result of a well thought overall strategy that is based on plenty of market research.

It is important to have specific goals your business wants to achieve such as to get moreFacebooklikes, to subscribe more people to your newsletter, to increase sales in the month of November 2011 etc.

In addition, it is vital to conduct thorough market research on yourtargetmarket and to know how well they understand what QR Codes are, how to scan them etc. If you’retargetmarket is technophobic, you will need to incorporate a lot of educational instructions or decide that  QR Codes may not be a good idea.

2. Not testing your QR Codes
A surprising mistake business owners make is not testing their codes. Although QR Codes are free to generate, your media ads are paid for so if a code is faulty, you will have wasted a lot of money on your ads.
You should test your code in the following ways:
* Make sure they work on various mobile devices
* Make sure they work with various code reading apps
* Make sure the color contrast between the code and its background is friendly so that it’s possible to scan the code. Plus make sure the code is sized correctly.
* If you are using codes in outdoor locations, go to each of those sites and check that there is Wi-Fi in the location. After all with no internet connection, QR Codes will not connect to your website.

 

 

If QR Codes are going to gain more acceptance with consumers, small business owners need to create fun and exciting QR Code marketing campaigns. Here are some tips to help you create a more entertaining campaign.

1. Create a treasure hunt campaign.
This works when you have a certain time frame for a marketing campaign. By introducing an element of time scarcity you can peak more interest into you campaign. You can then use QR Codes in a treasure hunt whereby consumers have to find a certain number of codes across a particular geographical location and whoever gets the most codes by a certain time, receives a grand prize. Each time they scan a code they get sent to a landing page where they log in their name and get more points. This works very well with holiday seasons. For example you can have a 12 days of Christmas treasure hunt leading to Christmas or a trick or treat treasure hunt for the Halloween.

2. New releases
Nothing whets the consumer appetite like getting early bird access to a new product release. If you’re opening a new branch of your business, you can use QR Codes to promote coupons for the first 100 customers on your opening day. A bookstore can promote a highly anticipated best seller using QR Codes that give the scanner first priority on their buyers list. Infact this can be a great way to sell out inventory even before it has arrived in your store by accepting preorders through QR Codes. This works just as well for new housing developments for real estate agents, blockbuster films for movie theatres, special artist appearances for theatre and music concerts etc. Any business that usually has long line of customers at certain times and occasions can use this strategy.

I had an interesting conversation today with a colleague [Mark Stonham] and we were discussing strategy development and the conversation, for a while became centred around the internet. It was then that I started to talk about my concept of how I feel the internet should be viewed and positioned as a key component of a company’s marketing strategy.

Those of you have read my thoughts before will know that I position the internet as a [nother] marketing channel that organisations can use to get their message out to the world at large, this channel can be used to collect market intelligence, survey customers as well as being used to deliver the products and services of the company to the client.

I also went on to stress the point

that I believe that not enough

attention is paid to segmenting the

internet itself as a channel to market.

What do I mean by this ? well – the internet itself provides multiple sub channels that can be used to communicate with – some of them are :-

  • blogging
  • article marketing
  • video marketing
  • email marketing
  • social media marketing

… it is through these marketing channel that we as marketers and business leaders need to make sure that we communicate effectively with those who are to become our customers. For that to happen those clients must be interfacing with us through specific sub internet channels.

It is here that I can see where many companies are potentially making costly strategy development errors in not taking the time up front to develop their internet channel marketing strategy. It is here that they will be told which internet sub channels their clients are interfacing with most and direct them with respect to how much effort, time and energy should be directed towards any one or multple internet marketing sub channel.

Having said that, I do understand that there are many social media marketing experts that push the idea that using this form of marketing on the internet is all that is necessary – needless to say, I disagree as …

Strategy should precedes execution

… and this stands true for marketing on the internet as it does if you were to be selling products and services into a new country.

As always, I hope you find this useful – and do feel free to hit the contact button above and get in touch if you would like to discuss business consulting, training, coaching, speaking or mentoring services.

To your business success.

-Stephen C Campbell

Corporate internet marketing strategy in line with social media marketing strategies seem to be at the centre of most of the questions I get asked when business leaders are enquiring about my Internet Channel Marketing strategy consulting and seminar delivery that I am currently involved in more and more.

The point is that many executives have been told that they must get involved with Social Media Marketing, that they must immediately get training in this area or else they will get left behind.

This is where I start to explain about the concept of …

Internet Channel Marketing

… or, how to effectively incorporate the marketing tools that the internet give us into existing and new business strategies. Internet Channel Marketing is centred around the fact that the internet is but another channel to marketing. I say ‘yet another with the thought in mind that it is a very powerful channel.

We all know that marketing channels are there to enable us to :-

  • Effectively promote our products our services to current and potential end user clients
  • Effectively deliver our products and services to those who choose to purchase from us

… so coming back to Internet Channel Marketing : we like to highlight the fact that there are many tools within the complete internet marketing tools box to enable us to accomplish our channel marketing objectives.

Internet Channel Marketing gives us access to :-

  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Social Media
  • Micro Blogging
  • Article Marketing
  • Forums
  • Directories
  • Joint Venture Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing

…. and the list could go on and on. Effectively using the internet for marketing means that we will use the combination of the above that adequately suits our business in terms of the ..

  • Marketing category of our products and services
  • Market Segment of our target end user clients

… this may mean that we use mainly Blogging, Podcasting or Article Marketing or it may be the case that Social Media Marketing as a key part of our Channel Marketing Strategy.

That is the essence of Internet Channel Marketing where we instruct clients on the marketing tools available to them from the internet and how to effectively use these tools to effect the execution of their business strategies.

This is why I believe it is not the best advice to push companies and executives headlong into throwing money at Social Media when it may be that their target market may be better suites to blogging internet strategies.

As I work with more and more clients on a global basis and apply my consulting skills in different industries, feel free to get in touch if you think I could be of assistance to your in your business endeavours – no matter where you may be in the world, remember the world is flat !! we would be working together face to face in a matter of days.

Hope you found this useful, any questions or comments – feel free to let me know.

To your business success,

-Stephen C Campbell [Shanghai, China]

Business to business marketing and branding is at the heart of society considering that the majority of goods and services that we purchase are in fact a subset of what goes on in the b2b branding and marketing realms. This aspect of business development is being given a lot of attention and for good reason when we consider that in some cases the sales process can take years but – securing a business to business supplier contract could means many tens of thousands of dollars of revenues.

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In my training and consulting I have developed a framework from which to move on to craft a business strategy in marketing and branding products and services to another business. Much of this comes from my experience when managing in the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] business unit for Hewlett Packard [in Europe, Japan, the U.S. and S.E. Asia].

Some things to consider :-

  • purching frequency
  • purchasing quantity
  • brand equity
  • brand positioning
  • brand relevance

… and many other terms which need to be understand and worked on in order to develop excellence as a business to business supplier.

When we consider that the strength of the business that we are selling to is directly proportional to the strength of the brand of the weakest component – we want to ensure that our brand is not the cause of say –

  • the production line stopping
  • end user customers having to make returns

The above is when we consider product quality but what about sales and marketing ?

Of course we will take steps to market our products to our business partner but whose responsibility is it to create pull in the market place ? Could we take steps to co market our business partners product ? Considering that the more that they sell the more revenue we will generate – depending on our product and/or service, maybe we could move from simply selling product to a business partner and leaving them to perform all of the marketing promotion.

Maybe we could move to education the market place, training our business to business partner and many other specific activities depending on the development of the strategy.

Strategy development can take many months but in the first instance I would typically run a day’s seminar on the topic [anywhere in the world – based on demand]. Hopefully, I have touched on a few points which can serve as food for thought so you can take and use in your business.

Should you wish to make contact to explore working together – do not hesitate to get in touch.

To your business success,

Stephen C Campbell