Build a Successful Marketing Plan – 15 Key Business Success Factors

Every marketing plan needs to include an industry analysis. Why? Because it is of critical importance to understand the industry you operate in, and to identify and track your performance to key business success factors (KSFs) for your organization.

Understanding your industry and identifying your KSFs will help in building a successful marketing plan; one that is based on measurable progress and results. A key success factor is an element of a whole that affects your business’ ability to do well in your market.

Most businesses focus on between three and five of the most important (to their business) success factors. From time to time, or year to year, these key success factors may change, as the industry or the market changes.

15 Examples of Key Business Success Factors (and this is not a comprehensive list) are:

  1. Number of new customers per year;
  2. Number of lost customers per year OR the number of customers retained (it is important to understand and measure the potential customer lifetime value for each customer on a regular basis);
  3. Hire and retain excellent employees (measured by employee turn-over, job vacancies, customer satisfaction);
  4. Successful new product introductions (measured by sales and costs);
  5. Successful promotional programs (measured by sales and costs);
  6. Good/healthy financial indicators: for example, working capital, acceptable ratios (in particular debt to equity ratios), profit margins, cash flow, receivables and more;
  7. If in the manufacturing industry, high operating capacity utilization;
  8. Strong supplier network;
  9. Strong distribution network or channel;
  10. Successful product positioning;
  11. Low cost structure;
  12. Niche product/service – track the number of competitors entering and/or leaving the niche. Is the cost of entry into the market high or low?
  13. Market leader or follower or challenger, and is your relative market position and why? Are you able to support that position if under ‘attack’?
  14. Product differentiation: Do you have technology or service advantages that others can’t easily copy? How unique and differentiated is your product or service?
  15. Time to market: is your product or service able to be delivered quickly and easily; from the first point of contact to the time shipped and subsequently invoiced?

Once you have identified your specific KSFs, build strategies around those factors and integrate those strategies into your marketing and business plans to ensure business success. Develop measurement programs to help you track your progress against your success factors. You also need to assess your competition and see if your competitors’ key success factors are similar or different than yours (depending on your strengths and weaknesses and your marketing and business strategies, they might be very different). One way of comparing and assessing is to do a competitive strength analysis; find out what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are and build your competitive strategy accordingly. (A sample swot analysis can show you how to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that your business faces.)

For example, if retaining your existing customers is a key success factor, your business objective must be to grow sales with your existing customers. How do you do that? First, do a customer satisfaction survey to assess how satisfied your existing customers are (or aren’t). Then determine what needs to be changed and what you need to focus on. Make sure that you understand how your customers chose between competitors: is it price, service, quality, knowledge, reliability, relationships, or all of these factors? What product or service attributes are most important to your customers? What is the unique difference between your product or service and your competition’s product or service (from your customer’s perspective)?

Once you have identified your key success factors; built measurement devices to track them; assessed and compared your competitors’ KSFs – and the industry’s; built your strategies and objectives into your marketing and business plans(phew!); you need to act! Build your business on these key success factors.

4 Important Tips To Building A Huge Email List

Building a huge email list of eager prospects is a notion that may have developed rapidly these past few years, but many in the know how have sensed the increase of online based sales from way then. More and more marketing techniques are being found and developed to deal with the modifying face of the corporate globe.

While there are companies that are all too willing to help your site and business build an email list of customers for a fee, there are also many methods that can propagate the word about your sites in a more free way. One of this is Opt-in e-mail marketing, also known as permission marketing.

Opt-in marketing needs the authorization of a willing customer to sign up to your marketing material, which take form in, newsletter, catalogs and marketing messages via e-mail. The more opt-in marketing emails sent, the more chances there are to bag sales and more revenue. To do this, you must start building a huge list of eager prospects who wants to subscribe to your opt-in marketing list.

From your list, you will get your targeted customers, this is a good list, since they already have shown interest in what you have to display and sell since they have voluntarily signed up for your list.

These are the individuals who have liked what they have seen in your web page and made the decision they want to see more and maybe even purchase whatever products or services your business and web site has to provide.

Many individuals would think that building a huge email list would take too much hard work and a lot of your time to build up and gather titles and details. This is not so, it takes a bit of tolerance and some techniques, but in doing this list you open your web site and your business to a whole new globe of focused audience. It takes effort to take your company to a new level anyway, if visitors increase and excellent earnings are what you want, an opt-in list will do amazing things for your business enterprise.

There are many resources and content on the internet available for everyone to read and follow in building a list. Sometimes they may be complicated because there are so many different methods. Different categories of people would have different techniques in developing an opt-in list, but no matter how different many methods are, there are always some crucial things to consider when build up your list. Here are four of them.

1) Put up an excellent web form in your web page that instantly follows the conclusion of your content. While some may say this is too soon to sign up for a visitors application, try to keep in mind that your home-page should provide a quick excellent impact. If somehow a focused guest discovers something that he or she does not like and gets turned off, you may just forget about that person signing-up.

An excellent web form for signing-up for an opt-in list is not difficult to do. Just write a simple short statement about how they would like to see more and get updates about the web site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail address. This web form will instantly save and send you the data inputted. As more individuals sign in, your list will be growing.

2) As mentioned in the first tip, create your home-page very, very attractive. You need to have well written content and explanations of your web site. Based on what your web site is all about, you need to catch your web page prospective customer’s fancy. Make your web site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be technical smart. Invest in having excellent programming in your web site, make your web graphics excellent but do not over do it.

Don’t waste your energy on making your home-page too large file size wise. Not all individuals have devoted internet connections, the quicker your web page gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between convenience and sophisticated information.

3) Provide excellent services and products. A return customer is more likely to bring in more money. Even then and now, a pleased customer will suggest your business always. Testimonials and suggestions alone can generate more earnings than an expensive ad. As your clients base grows so shall your list. With more members on the list, the more individuals will get to know about what you have to offer.

4) Keep a clean and private list. Never lose the trust of your customers that they have given you. If you give their e-mail addresses to others and they get spammed, many will probably remove themselves from your list. Keep in mind, a strong reputation will drive in more visitors and members as well as enhance the commitment of your customers.

Profitable List Building – 5 Powerfiul List Care and Profit Strategies (Choose Your Favorites)

I’ve got something pretty cool for you in this article – 5 powerful list care and list profit strategies to fast track your list building.

Now, of course, I encourage you to do all of them. But even if you only do one of these that you haven’t done before, you will increase the care and loyalty of your list community by leaps and bounds.

LCS #1 – Community

I have watched big-named gurus and very successful people at seminars and workshops, run and hide from someone in their list.

I never want to be that person. I want to build up my list and grow relationships.

One of your goals online should be number one in their email inbox. When you take great care of your community, that is one of the advantages you get.

LCS #2 – Ask Questions

Ask your community what they struggle with, what they need. Then answer them in webinars, offer advice and create products. A question as simple as, “What is your biggest question about… ” will give you all sorts of answers.

KNow your community so well they feel like you are answering their questions before they even ask.

LCS #3 – Answer Questions

It’s not enough to just ask the questions – you need to answer them. When you answer their questions you set yourself apart. Why? Because most people online don’t do it!

LCS #4 – Their History

Find out and know the history of your list community. You can do this on your webinars, at events, through emails… there are all sorts of opportunities to get to know your group.

If you know where they are coming from, their background, what they have tried, what has been successful, what has not worked out, you can take better care of them and steer them in the right direction.

LCS #5 – Nurture

You want to nurture your list community. So how do you do that? Well you start by doing all the things we already talked about and then… wait for it… you teach them stuff!

What do I mean by that? Teach them things and show them how to take the next success steps. One of the best ways to do this is to offer them your products and services. If you have answers to their struggles and you don’t offer it to them, you are doing them and yourself a disservice.

I know this may be a radical idea for some people. But the truth is that people need what you have to offer – so offer it!

So now that we have looked at these five list care strategies, which one of these would be the most challenging for you? Why?

Going the opposite way, which one of these would be the easiest to do? Why?

So here is my challenge for you: Which one are you going to commit to doing either before your head hits the pillow tonight or by the end of this week?

Now I want you to think about something. If you do these things you will be doing good, helping people make a difference and making a good living from it.

Use A Webinar To Build A List Both Before And After A Webinar

Have you run a webinar yet? Or have you at least heard or attended a webinar? It’s a live online event, usually one or two hours, where one person can present their computer screen, present PowerPoint slides or a web page, and live on that call, speak out some kind of narration or training.

What’s great about a webinar is you can teach one to many, you can have hundreds of people show up, you can teach a paid class, you can teach for free, you can pitch, and what’s also great is that webinars are great business building tools in many ways because you can use your existing contacts to get more people to show up. You can use webinars to build relationships. You can use webinars to get new prospects and new buyers.

The easiest thing to do to get more people on a webinar is to contact your existing leads and get them to show up to your webinar. This means that if you are building an email subscriber list using a service such as AWeber, you should type out a quick email, give your subscribers your webinar link, get hundreds and hundreds of people to register and attend this live event.

Another great tool is this thing called an affiliate program. An easy way to sign up for an affiliate program is a service such as ClickBank. ClickBank allows you to run a referral program or an affiliate program which means that if you sell a $100 product from a pitch webinar, they will give anyone who refers people $50 for every $100 that you make. This means that even if you have no existing contacts, you have an affiliate program, tell these affiliates to promote your link to their email subscribers, to their social media followers and their blog followers, now you get access to new leads, new prospects, make more sales than you would have on your own.

Finally, you can use various sites to list your webinar. You might have heard of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. These are all social media sites where you make friends, find friends of friends, and now they can see what you post on your wall, and vice versa.

If you make lots of real estate friends on Facebook and you’re running a webinar about real estate, you can post this link to your Facebook wall, you can set up a Facebook event, even run paid ads and pay Facebook for people to click and register for this event.

Once you have your first few people registering for your event, it’s important to remind them several times before the webinar to make sure they attend. That means keep posting on your social media sites such as Facebook, keep telling your affiliates to send out emails, and send out your own email to your own customers and prospects to make sure they show up.

Once the big day comes, present for about an hour about your favorite subject – about the subject that they’re all talking about. Solve a few of their problems and pitch a paid product at the end – low-ticket or high-ticket. Record that webinar.

Now that you have a webinar recording, you can do two things.

First of all, if your webinar recording is really great, charge for it. If your webinar taught several things, lasted several hours, and got people great results, there’s no problem charging $10, $50, $100, or more for a webinar recording because what is it? It’s a video. It is video training.

On the other hand, if you’d rather use your webinar recording to build a list, here’s something you can do. Place the webinar recording – the video – on a web page with nothing else on it but a link to buy your product. Set up what’s called an “email opt-in” page.

Create a force squeeze page where there’s nothing else to do but enter a name and email address to continue. That way, when people come to your blog or website, they see a web page where they’re asked to enter their name and email address in exchange for a free training video. They enter it in, fill it out, and they get sent along to your webinar recording. Even if they don’t buy right away, you now have built a bigger list of email subscribers.

That’s how you use webinars to build a list before and after a webinar. Promote it using email, affiliates, and social media. Send reminders as a webinar comes up. Use that webinar to build a list by putting it behind a forced opt-in page and to make extra sales.

Social Media Web Design for Small Business

How important is social media marketing to the small business owner?  Well it depends on what you want to achieve.  If you are looking to take your brand to a national or global marketplace then yes – invest in social media marketing.  If you are a small business whose products and services are primarily geared to servicing your local area, then the question needs to be asked:

‘How much time do you have to dedicate to raising your social media profile and what return on investment will it provide in terms of sales or market growth?

Websites versus Social Media – what to focus on?

Websites make sales, social media pages generally do not.  Establishing good search engine rankings for your website should be the first goal for new start-ups so potential customers can find you.  Great content and the ability to convert visitors into sales create a successful online campaign. 

Building a list should be the prime focus of tapping into the potential of your site traffic, otherwise opportunities are lost.  You have the three time convincers, those people who need to connect with you more than once to be convinced to invest in your product or service.  List building provides the opportunity to stay in touch with customers that have yet to purchase and gives them a chance to get to know you more.

Social media can help connect at a deeper level with potential customers and used well can drive traffic to your website via promotions and competitions.  Integrated with your blog; social media pages can create a coordinated online marketing campaign with your website to build your brand.  Most people using social media are doing so for the same purposes as you – to promote themselves and for its social aspect.  That means sharing photos, videos, music, humour, inspiration, information, advice and connecting with stars, media and people of interest. 

When embarking on an integrated social media campaign you will need to think about what it is that you are going to share (that’s not directly selling) with your followers?  What have you got to offer that other people and businesses will find intriguing, inspiring, entertaining or useful?

Building Your Brand – Facebook, Twitter and Blogging

One thing I know is that people want to connect with you personally, they want to see your face on your social media profile not a logo.  The exception to this is if you own a well-known magazine, trade journal or charity.  Otherwise, my advice is to post a good photo.

Social media web design provides the opportunity to build your brand through images, slogans and profile information.  Important is your by-line, if people get what you are about in an instant through the use of visual media and a one liner, the light goes on…connections can be made.  When creating your slogan or by-line ask yourself ‘What is your higher purpose’ for doing what you do. Think in terms of how your products and services create value for people, ultimately what is it you are trying to achieve for them?

Transfer that message and branding through your Facebook page, Twitter page and Tumblr blog and when integrated with your website you have created a coordinated online social marketing campaign.  Social media web design gives the ‘wow’ factor to your social media pages.

Let’s talk about Blogging

Blogging if used cleverly can boost your search engine rankings and establish you as an expert in your field.  To save time, write your blog posts all at once and queue them for release at set times each day with automated posting to your Twitter and Facebook pages.  EBusiness Courses offers an integrated social media web design package that does all of this for you, except for writing the blog content.  Writing a blog takes commitment on your part and if you are using the medium to establish yourself as an expert, no one knows your business like you do.