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 Adland Digest FREE Edition #552
  Tuesday, July 2, 2007

Information Your Business Needs RIGHT NOW

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The Internet Marketing Plan: Where's YOURS?

The Internet is just oozing with offers of hits, traffic, impressions, free money, easy money, cheap hosting, free email and so on and so forth.  For a person just joining the game, these offers can be very tempting and why wouldn't they be?  After all, they were designed to be enticing. 

One of the biggest reasons I've seen in my experience for people who don't achieve the results they want is the lack of a structured plan; a marketing plan to be exact.  Even a poorly done plan will go a long way to ensure that you don't stray too far to the left or right and cripple your chances of success in doing so. 

Let's take a close look at a very basic marketing plan I use and how to develop it.

First, determine what your advertising/marketing budget is.  Typically, a company will commit a percentage of its revenue to marketing/advertising.  How much you invest is entirely up to you.  You might be saying "Yeah, but I just started my business so I have no revenue yet"  When I started my first business, I used my job as the baseline to calculate a marketing percentage.  I used 7% as my figure so 7% of each paycheck went to advertising automatically. 

Since I'm not particularly inclined to use my real income figures as examples, I'll just a nice round number like: $1400.00/pay period.  Now, this would mean that each paycheck I would put $98.00 into my business bank account and mark it as "Marketing Fund" in my records. 

Now, after 3 months I now have $588.00 in my marketing fund. 

I now have to decide how I would like to allocate that $588.00 to get the most return on my investment.  This is where a marketing budget comes in handy.  Let's say for a moment that I have done some research and testing on my own before this point and have determined that my best sources of marketing consists of Paid Article Submission Sites, Pay-Per-Click, and Referrals.  So how do I use my $588.00 to its fullest?  Here's how I would proceed.

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I would budget a percentage of the $588.00 to each area based on how successful I've found them in my research.  Since I found that Referrals work the best with an almost 100% conversion rate, I decide I'm going to dedicate 40% ($235.20) of it to attracting more referrals by offering some kind of gift like a nice gold pen or a free t-shirt with every referral.  Article Submission Sites come in at 2nd most effective so I decide to give them a full 25% ($147.00) of the budget.  I manage to find 3 sites which in total would cost me about that much to submit to.  Finally, in at 3rd most effective is the Pay-Per-Click Advertising.  To this area I divvy up a whopping 15% or $88.20 between Yahoo, Google, and MSN Pay Per Click services and I'm done...or AM I?

40% Referrals, 25% Article Submission, and 15% Pay Per Click is only 80%.  I still have 20% of my Marketing Budget left over!  What am I going to do with this $117.00?  I purposely leave 20% of my Marketing Budget aside to research other Marketing/Advertising options.  This constant testing allows me to consistently find newer and more effective ways to advertise without seriously affecting my company. 

If I keep doing this on a regular basis, I will be building my mailing list slowly over time, generating sales by targeting the most effective ways I found to gain access to my target markets and sell to them.  I will have recouped the cost of the Marketing and generated profit towards the next month's marketing budget, and I will have found some other Marketing options in the process without spending too much money. 

One of the chief complaints I hear from people who are starting their business is that they advertise and advertise but nothing seems to work.  They've tried everything.  They bought this thing and that thing but it never gets them any sales.

Marketing is a science game as much as it is an art form.  Find a good base to start from and formulate a plan to exploit it to its maximum and you should see a sizeable return on your investment.  Free advertising is fantastic and works well in a supporting role for paid advertising but there is no substitute for targeted, focused, paid advertising.

Michael Dela Cruz,
Adland Digest Editor

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Real Benefits You Can Taste!
Copyright 2007 by Peter Temple

If you've ever sat at your desk trying to put the finishing touches on a presentation designed to persuade your client to buy into the next big project, you've invariably had the challenge of trying to identify benefits. In fact, if you've sold anything at all, you know how important benefits are to realizing the sale. Hand in hand with honing in on the most compelling benefits is making sure they're not just features.

Features are nice . . . but benefits sell, right? With any product or service, pointing out features, in most cases, is key to differentiating the product. But benefits – now, those are the things that can really make a difference! But how do you word them to really have an impact on your client or customer?

The answer to this perplexing question has become even clearer to me recently as a result of having to develop an internet sales pitch for information products. After having done extensive reading (as a result of lots of sitting and pondering!), I've discovered the secret to writing much more persuasive copy. Knowing and understanding this secret will also have a huge impact in any presentation you undertake!

Let me share what I've learned.

If you're like me, you learned earlier on that features are what a product has; benefits are what it does. But sometimes, describing benefits doesn't impact your audience; doesn't change their minds. Benefits often aren't personal enough. They're too broad.

And to really sell, your benefits have to be specific. They have to give your audience a specific gain . . . one they can personally feel, or imagine. Another way of putting it is, benefits have to personally, or emotionally affect your audience.

Let's consider another word: "advantages." I'm going to suggest to you that what we've traditionally thought of as "benefits" are often really "advantages." Product features have certain advantages that they provide. But the benefits are how those advantages specifically affect your audience.

As an example, let's say I wanted to sell you a "double chocolate" cake. I might say that it has "double rich, naturally sweet" icing. That's a feature. The advantage is that it's not too rich or overly sweet like traditional chocolate and THAT makes it taste SO much better. Fine. But, so what? That may or may not get someone interested in buying and entire cake.

But, if I were to tell you that it will make your toes curl, or that if you feed it to your girlfriend, she will fall deeply in love with you for at least an hour . . . now, those are personal benefits. You get an emotional response from those benefits. In fact, most true benefits in presentations should give you an emotional response.

You see, benefits have to affect you personally to have real impact. If you have a specific gain that provides a positive emotional response, chances are you'll buy into the idea more readily than if you were simply given the product's advantages.

Features . . . advantages . . . benefits.

Another example: wrinkle cream.

Feature: it reduces wrinkles

Advantage: it will make you look younger

Benefits: you'll be more attractive, you'll have guys falling all over you, nobody will be able to accurately guess your age.

Now, I know some of you might argue that wrinkle cream is a pretty emotional product to begin with. And "What does this sales pitch have to do with my ACME cleaning service?" (for example). "How do I use this approach when I'm pitching a service that simply helps keep an office clean?"

Well, if the feature is a lower price, if I told you you'd save enough money to fund a smaller project you've been trying to get off the ground for years, or that your boss would likely give you a raise for being so efficient . . . those, whether they be true or not, are personal benefits. You'd probably think pretty positively about giving my service a try.

However, if my price is higher than the competition (the quality is much better), I might say "Your office will be SO clean, that you will NEVER hear a complaint from an employee. In fact, if you ever do, I'll personally address that problem the very next day and make sure your staff member is truly satisfied and is aware of the extra effort their boss goes to in order to ensure their comfort. We'll make you look like a star!"

So, next time you're sitting at your desk pondering your next presentation and how to make that sale, think about your audience. If you've properly done your homework, you already know their concerns. The first step then, is to think about those concerns and how your product will satisfy them. Once you've done that, it's time to go to the next critical step – the benefit.

Simply craft your response to the concern so that it targets personal benefits . . . specific gains they'll realize . . . gains that will affect them emotionally . . . and you'll be way further ahead in persuading them to grant you your wish.

And once you've done THAT . . . reward yourself with a slice of double chocolate cake that is so moist, it will absolutely melt in your mouth and curl your toes like they've never been curled before!

Copyright (c) 2007 Peter Temple

About The Author

Peter Temple is a professional speaker, coach, instructional video designer, producer, director and writer for and corporate television. He specializes in helping executives fine-tune their presentation skills and use new technologies effectively in their talks. You'll find practical tips and guidelines to more effective presentations through his online, video-based course. http://www.presenter-pro.com

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How to offer CDs and DVDs on a Budget
Copyright 2007 by Matt Bacak

Many Internet businesses sell intellectual property. For example, they sell a book, eBook, audio CD, DVD, or software. Selling intellectual property can be very lucrative. You can sell intellectual property that is in a digital format such as an eBook. You can have customers download the eBook directly off of your website.

Downloading a digital product is easy, but what if you want to send a CD or DVD to your customer? Many customers still prefer an actual CD or DVD. If you offer these products then you have to deal with fulfillment of packaging and shipping. You can work through a fulfillment company, but many fulfillment companies provide less than desirable services.

So how do you act as your own fulfillment company? Let’s say that you have digital MP3 audios that you want to put into CD format. You also have an eBook that you want to print and send as a hard copy book. You also are new to the Internet business scene and are on a tight budget.

The good news is that you can burn the CD and print the book yourself. Buy a CD and DVD burner program called “BravoPro”. BravoPro lets you burn CDs and DVDs quickly and easily. You can burn CDs and DVDs at your home. You can print out the CD and DVD covers yourself.

Tip: Don’t buy BravoPro off of EBay just to save a few bucks. If you do then you won’t have access to BravoPro support. So if your program breaks or you have questions about features than you are left out in the cold.

The next question is how to package the CDs and DVDs. You need a CD jewel case and/or a DVD case. Did you know that you can actually find DVD cases for free? Head out to your local Blockbuster. They often throw out DVD cases after a hit movie goes onto the regular shelves. So go to your local Blockbuster and ask them when they throw out their DVD cases. They will often be happy to give you the DVD boxes. Using the free DVD cases will save you loads of money.

Burning your own CDs and DVDs is fun at first, but after awhile you may want to outsource the job. It’s up to you. Just know that you can provide fulfillment for these types of products on a budget.

About The Author

Matt Bacak began investing his first earnings at the tender age of 12, a young businessman in the making. Now, 15 years later, Bacak survived failed businesses, botched partnerships, heavy credit card debt and bankruptcy - all in preparation for the accomplishments he has achieved today as a well-established Internet millionaire and best-selling author.

For more information, visit Bacak's site at http://www.powerfulpromoter.com or sign up for his Powerful Promoting Tips at http://www.promotingtips.com

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