Why a company can’t ignore internet marketing in today’s marketplace

Internet marketing can take on many different forms. By creating maintaining a website for your business, you are reaching out to a new consumer base. You can have full control over the messaging that users are receiving and has a global reach.

 

Internet marketing can be very cost effective. If you have a strong email database of your customers, an e-newsletter may be cheaper and more effective than post mail. You can deliver time sensitive materials immediately and can update your subscribers instantaneously.

 

Top 10 Websites (Globally)

 

  1. com
  2. com
  3. You Tube
  4. Windows Live
  5. Facebook
  6. com
  7. MySpace
  8. Wikipedia
  9. com
  10. Yahoo Japan

 

You will notice that half of these websites are search engines. An increasing number of consumers are first researching products, services and companies online, whether it be to compare products, complete a sale, or look for a future employer. Most people in the 18-35 age group obtain all of their information online—including news, weather, product research, etc. The remaining sites are interactive sites where users can upload information for social networking, or information sharing.

 

Internet Marketing Strategies

 

Internet marketing – like all other elements of your marketing campaign – needs to have clear goals and objectives. Creating brand and product awareness will not happen overnight so it is important to budget accordingly, ensuring there is money set aside for maintenance of the website and analytics.

 

Be flexible with ideas and options—do your research first, try out different options, then test and measure the results. Metrics and evaluations can be updated almost immediately and should be monitored regularly. By keeping an eye out for what online marketing strategies are working and which are not, it will be easier to create a balanced portfolio of marketing techniques. You might find that in certain geographical areas, certain marketing strategies are more effective than others.

 

This list is by no means the full extent of options available for marketing online, but it is a good place to start when deciding which options are best suited to your company.

 

Create a website

 

The primary use for the internet is information seeking, so you should provide consumers with information about your company first hand. You have more control over your branding and messaging and can also collect visitor information to determine what types of internet users are accessing your website.

 

Search Engine Optimization

 

Since search engines comprise 50% of the most visited sites globally, you can go through your website to make it more search engine friendly with the aim to increase your organic search listing. An organic search listing refers to listings in search engine results that appear in order or relevance to the entered search terms.

 

You may wish to repeat key words multiple times throughout your website and write the copy on your site not only with the end reader in mind, but also search engines.

 

Remember when you design your website that any text that appears in Flash format is not recognized by search engines. If your entire website is built on a Flash platform, then you will have a poor organic search listing.

 

Price Per Click Advertising

 

If you find that visitors access your website after searching for it first on a search engine, then it may be beneficial to advertise on these websites and bid on keywords associated with your company.

 

These advertisements will appear at the top of the page or along the left side of the search results on a search engine. You can have control over the specific geographic area you wish to target, set a monthly budget and have the option on only being charged when a user clicks on your link.

 

Online Directories

 

Listing your business in an online directory can be an inexpensive and effective online marketing strategy.

 

However, you need to be able to distinguish your company from the plethora of competitors that may exist. Likely, you will need to complement this strategy with other brand awareness campaigns.

 

Online Ads (i.e. banner ads on other websites)

 

These advertisements can have positive or negative effects based on the reputation and consumer perception of the website on which you are advertising. These ads should be treated similar to print ads you may place in local newspapers or other publications.

 

Online Videos

 

With the growing popularity of sites such as You Tube, it is evident that people love researching online and being able to find video clips of the information they are seeking. Depending on your small business, you may want to upload informational videos or tutorials about your products or services.

 

Blogging

 

Blogging can be a fun and interactive way to communicate with users. A blog is traditionally a website maintained by an individual user that has regular entries, similar to a diary. These entries can be commentary, descriptions of events, pictures, videos, and more. Companies can use blogging as a way to keep users updated on current information and allow them to post comments on your blog. If blogging is something you wish to invest in, make sure that it is regularly updated and monitored.

 

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid

 

Failure to measure ROI

 

Which metrics are you using? Are your visitors actually motivated to purchase or sign up? If the benefits of your online campaign are not greater than the costs incurred, then you may wish to re-evaluate your strategy.

Poor Web Design

 

This can leave a poor impression of your company on the visitor. A poor design could result in frustration on the visitors’ part if they are not able to easily find what they went on your site to search for and also does not build trust. If consumers do not trust your company or your website, you will not be able to complete the sale and develop a longer relationship with that customer. You also need to include privacy protection and security when building trust.

 

This also includes ensuring all information on the website is current and having customer service available if users are experiencing difficulty or cannot find the information they are seeking. This could be as simple as providing a ‘Contact Us’ email or phone number for support.

 

Becoming locked into an advertising strategy early

 

Remember your marketing mix when creating a marketing strategy and avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket. Online marketing is a very valuable tool, but depending on your business and your target markets, other marketing campaigns may be the best option for you. Especially if this is your first time making a significant investment into your online sector, you want to remain flexible and able to adapt your strategy based off feedback received by researching and analyzing different options.

 

 

 

 

Acting without researching

 

Similar to becoming locked into an advertising strategy early, this mistake implies not dutifully testing and researching different online marketing options. For example, if your target consumer is aged 65+ and you are spending all of your marketing efforts into creating a blogging website (where the average ages of bloggers are 18-35), then you are likely not going to have a successful campaign.

 

Assuming more visitors means more sales

 

You have to go back to your original goals and the purpose of your company. More visitors may not mean more sales if your website is used primarily for information and consumers purchase their products elsewhere. This is also vice versa. You could have an increase in sales without an increase in unique visitors if your current consumer base is very loyal and willing to spend lots of money.

 

Often people will collect information online about products they wish to purchase because it is easier to compare options, but they purchase in person. Even though shopping online is becoming quite popular, people still prefer to see and feel the physical product before purchasing.

 

Failing to follow up with customers that purchase

 

Return sales can account for up to 60% of total revenue. It’s no wonder that organizations are always trying to maintain loyal customers and may have customer relationship management systems in place. It is easier to get a happy customer to purchase again than it is to get a new customer to purchase once.

 

Not incorporating online marketing into the business plan

 

By ensuring that your online marketing plan is fully integrated and accurately represents your organization’s overall goals and objectives, the business plan will be more comprehensive and encompassing.

 

Trying to discover your own best practices

 

It is very beneficial to use trial and error to determine the best online strategy from your company, but do not be afraid to do your research and learn from what other have already figured out. There will be many cases where someone was in a very similar position as you and they may have some suggestions and secrets that they wish to share. Researching in advance can save a great deal of time and money.

 

Spending too much too fast

 

Although it may be cheaper than traditional marketing approaches, internet marketing does have its costs. You have to consider the software and hardware designs, maintenance, distribution, supply chain management, and the time that will be required. You don’t want to spend your entire marketing budget all at once.

 

Getting distracted by metrics that are not relevant

 

There are endless reports and measurables that you can analyze to determine the effectiveness of your campaign. You will need to establish which measurables are actually relevant to your marketing.

 

In conclusion, internet marketing can useful to a company if used properly.

Why the right corporate behavior is important to the success of any company

 What is Behavior?

To understand how to influence the behavior of a company, you have to understand what behavior is and the science behind it. Behavior is defined as the way a person acts or behaves; anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation. Corporate behavior relates to a structure a company has provided for itself and employees, in order to improve the company’s effectiveness. A behavior can be developed through three major components; psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

 

Psychology

Understanding psychology is an important step in understanding how to change your corporate behavior. Basically, psychology is the study of the human mind with a major focus on behavior. With the use of psychology, it is possible to sometimes change a person’s behavior. Psychology mostly deals with emotions, personality, and perception. Psychology is like an onion, it has many layers. There are many different fields in psychology, many of which could be applied to the corporate setting. In a corporate setting, psychology would help with:

  • Training / Learning
  • Engagement / Motivation
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Decision Making
  • Leadership
  • Stress

 

Sociology

Sociology is the study of a society, social relationships, and institutions. Sociologists study a group, or an organization and how the people within these groups relate and interact with one another. Social psychology mixes concepts from psychology and sociology that focuses on the influences people have on one another. Sociology is an important aspect of behavior because it shows us how we relate to each other as a group.

Here are some ways sociology effects people:

  • Attitude
  • Group Processes
  • Group Decision making
  • Communication

 

Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of the human race and its cultures.  This relates to cultures, such as studying ancient tribes and past societies. The culture that we are raised in, affects the way we act as adults. Understanding different cultures and traditions helps make the workplace a stronger unit. Without this understanding, we are alienating those employees who may be from a different background. What does anthropology include?

  • Comparative values
  • Comparative attitudes
  • Cultural analysis
  • Cross Cultural analysis

 

The Benefits of Corporate Behavior

There are many alternate names for corporate behavior; company culture, organizational behavior, but all basically mean the same; the collective actions and values of a company. Corporate behavior has many benefits, and those benefits are contingent upon what your company values are. Some benefits could be reduced costs for supplies, employee engagement and motivation, or reduced absenteeism. Let’s explore some of the areas you can use to define your company values.

 

Employee Safety

Employee safety is a huge issue in businesses, and always has been. Thanks to businesses making safety a priority and organizations like OSHA, the number of on the job accidents and deaths has been reduced significantly. According to OSHA, in 1972 there were 10.9 employee injuries or illnesses per 100 employees. The number decreased so much that in 2011 there were 3.1 employee injuries or illnesses per 100 employees. That is over 7% difference! Even with that uplifting statistic, OSHA still states there is an average of 12 employee fatalities daily. What kind of safety values should you consider?

  • Fall Prevention – Keeping areas clutter free, and taking care of spills quickly to reduce the amount of falls.
  • Chemical Safety– Proper use of chemicals used in the company, this can range from acids used in machinery to office cleaning solutions.
  • Electrical Injuries- Taking away electronics with frayed wires, using appropriate procedures when wiring electronics, and keeping properly maintained equipment.
  • Illness Prevention– Having employees not at work when they have a possibly contagious illness, using disinfectants, and offering flu shots.
  • Workplace Violence Prevention– Having a zero tolerance policy on violence and harassment.

These are just a few values to consider when developing your corporate behavior. You can cater the values to the needs of your company.

 

Conservation of Materials

It costs a lot of money to run a company. A huge expenditure is supplies and materials for employee use. Supplies are a necessary expense, but a lot of supplies are wasted, broken, or stolen by employees. Having a corporate behavior that values conserving those supplies could save the company thousands of dollars. This doesn’t mean that you should make it hard for employees to obtain the materials they need to perform their job functions. It does mean that you should be monitoring usage, and deciding if the usage is excessive or not for that particular department. According to HR.com, on average each employee wastes over 1400 sheets of paper per year. That adds up to $84 per employee. How many employees do you have in your company?

 

Engagement

Engagement is a state in which an employee is content, committed, and involved in their job. To have an engaged employee, they must meet 3 criteria; emotional attachment, understanding, and motivation. “Emotional attachment” refers to having an emotional connection to one’s company, position, and the work he/she does. “Understanding” refers to understanding the company’s goals and values, and how they contribute to achieving those goals. The last criteria “motivation” relates to employees willing to invest effort in bettering their performance. According to a study by the Hay Group, a company can make 2.5x more revenue with engaged employees. Also, the Corporate Leadership Council found that 87% of engaged employees are less likely to leave their positions. An engaged employee works harder, and cares about the company they work for. They waste fewer materials, and generally have better customer service. Those same employees are usually motivated to develop new skills and further their careers in the company.

 

Improved Employee Performance

A happy worker makes a happy company. Having a corporate behavior that promotes safety, recognition, and engagement (to name a few) creates happy employees. When an employee is content in their position, their productivity rises. Here are some ways your employees’ performance can improve:

 

  • Better customer service
  • Rise in productivity
  • More positive work atmosphere
  • Fewer wasted resources and supplies
  • Less absenteeism
  • Better team work
  • Better communication with co-workers

In conclusion, the right corporate behavior is important for the success of any company.

How to Use Initiative To Take Advantage of Opportunities

Initiative is something we can all use in our careers. It is what sets us apart from others and our competition. Many people are afraid to take the initiative, but if you can, you will stand out. Initiative is deep down inside all of us, but the successful ones are the ones who use it.

 

Definition

It is important to know what initiative is to properly utilize it. Initiative is defined as the ability to assess and initiate things independently. In other words, it is taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you. It is stepping up, and going beyond your typical duties. Take charge of situations before others do. You may not want to step out of your comfort zone, but usually you will be rewarded for doing so. It is thinking outside the box, preparing for success, capitalizing on opportunities. It is making changes to take a step forward and being persistent.

 

Benefits, Personal and Professional

In life, taking initiative offers many benefits. It is a positive step that anyone can take for themselves. Only you can take the initiative for yourself, so ensure you do it. Taking the initiative provides individuals with a sense of self-control both in their personal and professional lives. No one is going to offer you opportunities if you do not deserve them, so stepping up will make all the difference in your life.  In your personal life, it may benefit you by helping you feel more confident with yourself. In your professional life, it may help you get that coveted promotion. In either aspect of your life, it will promote better things.

Taking initiative promotes:

·        Control

·        Achievement

·        Confidence

·        Proactivity

·        Inspiration

·        Self-Awareness

·        Creativity

·        Fear-busting

 

Why People Do Not Take Initiative

Not everyone is comfortable with taking the initiative, or even knows how to do so. It is something that is developed mentally and takes strength to do. Some individuals have a bounded rationality. These individuals are unable to see past what they currently know. They cannot see the benefits of stepping up. Typically, the individual has never thought about it. Also, individuals do not take the initiative due to a lack of capability. Outside their general knowledge, some individuals do not possess the expertise to take the initiative for a more difficult task. Execution over innovation is also another popular reason that individuals do not take initiative. These individuals only focus on their own work, and do not have concern for any new tasks.  Finally, some individuals are too busy to take the initiative. There is already too much on their plate, and they physically and mentally cannot process anymore work.

Reasons for not taking the initiative:

·        Bounded rationality

·        Lack of capability

·        Execution over Innovation

·        Task overload

 

Make Initiative a Priority

It is our duty to make initiative a priority in both our professional and personal lives.  To make initiative a priority, we must first understand what it is and what its benefits are. Once we understand this, we can take the leap forward. To make taking initiative a priority, we must watch for opportunities. We must be aware of our surroundings, and what can potentially be a fantastic opportunity to do so.  In your professional career, if you see that your boss needs help with something, offer it! Show that you are a go-getter.  Take the extra step when you can! People will take notice of your initiative, and you will be rewarded positively.

Take a Chance

Life is about chances. Even if you are not ready to take a chance, just do it. It may change your personal and professional life in a positive way. Taking chances is what life is all about, and to get ahead you need to take that risk. Step outside of your box, and take that chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Be Open Minded

One of the most important tools you have for taking the initiative is being open- minded. A closed mind limits your productivity, but an open mind gives you limitless opportunities. To grow successfully, you should always be open to learning. Learning new things can never harm you, it will only benefit you. Once you are able to let go, and be open-minded, you will be able to change your life for the better.

There are many benefits of having an open mind in the workplace. They include:

·        Being able to let go of control

·        Being able to experience changes in a positive manner

·        Strengthening yourself

·        Gaining confidence

 

Be Adaptable

When taking initiative, it is important to be adaptable to any situation you may come across. When you can adapt to various situations, you can accomplish more.  Adaptability is the ability to change to the given circumstance.  All people have the basic capability to be able to adapt. It is part of human nature.

 

Examples of being adaptable at work:

·        Able to follow new policies and procedures.

·        Being able to adjust workload based on new, high priority assignments

Benefits of being adaptable at work:

·        More valuable to your employer

·        Makes you a better leader

·        Better equipped to handle career transitions

·        Bounce back quicker from adversity

 

Making Decisions

All jobs typically involve making decisions. It is your duty to determine if it is a good decision or bad decision. Making good and successful decisions not only will help your workplace, but it will also make you look good. Supervisors appreciate employees who take the initiative and make good decisions.

Bad decisions do not make you look good to your superiors. Making bad decisions can limit upward mobility in your career.  To help avoid making bad decisions, it is important to think about your decisions before you make them. Think about the possible outcomes and determine the best route from there. 

When making decisions in the workplace:

·        Get perspective on how important the decision is

·        Consider a variety of options

·        Ensure you have all the facts

·        Include the right people in the decision making process

 

Take Responsibility

When you take initiative, you must take the responsibility for your actions. For the most part, taking initiative brings positive outcomes.  Remember that you cannot make excuses for your actions. If you make a decision, take responsibility for it. You need to eliminate blame in your actions, and eliminate excuses. If you do not do this, it means you are shifting responsibility for your decisions to others.  Taking responsibility can be difficult, but in the long run it will be beneficial to you and others in the workplace.

River Street Consultant