Small Business Marketing Strategy – Create a Great Package

Package is the most overlooked of the three key small business marketing elements of Brand, Package and People. If Brand is who you are to the customer, then Package is where and how you present your company to the customer.

Brand is the gift, and Package is the wrapping paper. And–whether they’ll admit it or not–every one of your customers was once a kid who was overjoyed with the anticipation of opening a birthday present. This anticipation, rooted in all humans, is almost as delightful as the present itself. As Wordsworth wrote: “The child is father of the man”, and that’s true for your clients whether they are fifteen or fifty. (OK, just amend the wording a bit for your female clients…)

But most small businesses don’t realize the vital importance of this simple concept. Most small businesses–including many of your competitors–don’t understand that delivering the superior product to the customer is just one among many steps in truly satisfying that customer.

But your small business can be different. You can learn to look at your business through your customer’s eyes. It’s not easy, and it takes some practice, but with a few simple exercises it’s possible to step into those shoes on the other side of the counter and view just what your customer sees when she looks at your business.

Oh, and did we say it takes courage, too?

Businesses meet and sell to their customers via three different arenas:

On Our Turf. This is the Retail Arena many small businesses operate in. When thinking of Package here, you’ll want to evaluate your signage, parking, entryway, aisles, ceilings, shopping carts, restrooms (massively overlooked), and sidewalk. Basically you are looking at everything the customer sees during the shopping experience. All of this, the total presentation to your customer, is the essence of Package for a retailer.

On Their Turf. From the Girl Scout selling cookies door-to-door to the suited-up salesman selling IBM mainframes, there are a thousand variations of people out peddling on their customer’s home field and loving it. This includes companies selling B-B as well as B-C. Part of a lawn service company’s Package would be a consideration of how clean and presentable their pickup trucks are. From you and your salespeople’s clothing to presentation materials to your business cards, Package in the field demands that the owner pay attention.

Distance. This is selling without the face-to-face interaction of a person, either in a store or at the customer’s home or business. Think of companies like Dell or Lands’ End or Amazon.com that have successfully created strong customer relationships without retail stores or in-home visits. Yet this channel, sometime called direct selling or remote selling, has proven to be extremely profitable for many small businesses. Here Package is paramount–and whether it’s a website, a direct mail piece or a thirty second direct response TV ad, the marketer behind distance selling has thoroughly examined and tested each component of the package.

Most businesses stay firmly planted within one of the above three areas. However, you can realize some valuable business intelligence from studying the methods outside your own area of customer contact. But a necessary first step is to view your business through your customer’s eyes.

A Manual to Various Examples of Insurance Lead Marketing

You are an insurance agency and you are ready to advertise your company, but have no clue where to spend it and how much to contribute. Below is a catalog on the most conventional sorts of insurance industry marketing,

Print Marketing

Print initiatives can be made up of newspaper marketing and magazine advertising. This sort of insurance marketing strategy can carry a variety of meanings (either brand familiar or direct response) and can be focused on a specific demographic based on who views the publication in question. So for instance, if you wish to get in touch with insurance prospects who live in Dallas, put your creative insurance marketing efforts into the Dallas daily newspapers. Print marketing must be prepared well in advance to meet the deadline of the publications – particularly with monthly magazines, since they are printed months ahead of their release date.

Direct Mail

Even though most consider Direct Mail marketing has seen its best days already passed, there is still some heart in this influential, classic variety of insurance marketing product. Insurance mailers include postcards, brochures and flyers that are sent through the mail and usually include a direct response call-to-action. Utilizing insurance mailers means having to buy some necessities for the campaign, including printing materials, postage, creating insurance marketing letters, and the address lists of the market you choose to target.

Television and Radio

Among the most effective campaigns in the industry, television and radio marketing presents the opportunity to get in touch with the greatest amount of prospects in the shortest time frame. Among the disadvantages of these insurance marketing tools are the potentially high expense and the inability to truly target your demographic with preciseness. Nonetheless, the distinction identified with TV advertising can elevate an insurance agency in a way no other marketing plan can.

Online Advertising

The rising star in the domain of insurance advertising ideas is the internet. The internet continues to blow up and together with it so do the marketing chances. Billions and billions of advertising dollars are spent every year online, as insurance companies try to find way to tap into the Internet user. The most prevalent forms of online insurance marketing include:

Pay Per Click – bidding on key search phrases and having the insurance agents’ ads pop up when the relevant search phrases are searched for in Google and Yahoo!

Banner Advertising – building a visual advertisement and placing it on applicable websites. The advertisement then takes consumers quickly to the advertiser’s homepage.

Email Advertising – Using lists of email addresses to distribute content and marketing to insurance prospects.

Organic Search – Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) to rank high on Google and Yahoo!. This is achieved by manipulating the imitation on a website and in the HTML code that form the backbone of the internet sites.

It is worth noting that many insurance agencies are abandoning the more established, print forms of marketing in favor of reaching out to the online world. As print and direct mail watch their numbers dwindle, more and more insurance agents are selecting the cost effective, very targeted advertising selections found on the internet utilizing social networking sites such as: Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, and Technorati.

Marketing Your Art – Here, There, and Everywhere

A professional artist’s success is in direct correlation to finding the right markets for his artwork. The million dollar question is “Where can I market my art and get the most out of my efforts?”
First, determine if you are really serious about selling what you make. Selling is what separates the amateur artist from the professional artist. As an artist you are creating a product. If you believe your product is valuable and you believe people will buy your product, then it is essential that you identify the market for your product.

The following are the main areas you should consider: Select two or more (don’t put all your eggs in one basket).

Art Galleries

Begin with developing a list of local art galleries that are within 100-200 miles of you. Art galleries are listed in your regular or on-line yellow pages. Take the time to personally visit each gallery on your list to determine which ones showcase the style of art most compatible with your art. Contact the owner or director of the gallery by telephone for a firm appointment to show your work.

Print Publishers

The print market is very profitable. When your art is in print, it is available and affordable to the widest possible audience, and your originals become more valuable. In my free online booklet, “Marketing Your Art” is available for professional artists wanting to market their artwork.

Fine art publishers can be found in art trade publications such as Décor Magazine, World Art News or On-line. Develop a list of those publishers you want to contact. The next step would be to send them a professional presentation of your work letting them know you are available for licensing.

Art Shows and Festivals

Outdoor shows and festivals are an excellent way for you to generate immediate income and see first hand how the art buying public responds to your work.

Many successful artists get their start and pay their dues with this venue. There are several Art Show and Festival promoters such as Art Fair Source Book (AFSB), American Art Festivals, Sunshine Artist Festival Network online that conduct 100′s of these events all around the country. Dates and locations are available in their directories, and you can contact them online or ask others artists and friends about their experience.

Banks, Restaurants and Corporations

Thousands of works of art are showcased and sold each year in banks, restaurants, and other private and public facilities every year. These locations are ideal prospects for the showing and selling of your Art. Local artists, local companies and the local public all benefit by having art displays in a bank or restaurant or business.

Co-Op Galleries

Co-op Galleries are generally local art associations that establish a location where fellow artists can hang their art. Contact your local art association for details about membership.

Commission Projects

Interior designers, architects and art consultants are constantly looking for artists. You can generally develop a list by searching your local phone directory yellow pages or online yellow pages. Contact these firms by telephone and send them your brochure.

Your Website

Your website is your own personal on-line gallery, open 24-7. This is a very cost effective way to show and sell.

A first class website is like a first class brochure; but, even better, it allows you to change and improve without reprinting.

Your website is of little value if no one goes there to view what you do. We cover how to fully maximize your website in our website chapter.

Trade Shows and Art Expos

These are high traffic professional events where you can purchase space to showcase and promote your art. Décor, Art-a-Rama, and the New York Expo are a few of the major annual and semi annual productions.

Studio Showings

Your home studio is an excellent and inexpensive way to exhibit and sell your work to friends, family and collectors. You should develop and maintain a mailing or e-mail list and should be in contact with this list on a regular basis.

Competitions

Competitions can be good venues, but generally do not produce much income. They can, however, add credibility to your resume or biography. Good sources for dates and locations of competitions are available through Art Magazine and American Artist Magazine.

Remember it is important that you choose the venues that you feel will provide the best results for you. You may not be able to participate in all those areas, but you need to choose two or more to begin with. Since you have many choices. choose the marketing option that best fits you personally and puts your artwork in the best light.