Internet World and what was on offer…

Well once again I found myself visiting Internet World 2011 held at Earls Court in London.

This is a fascinating exhibition where those offering the latest thoughts on Internet Marketing and activities can be found.

Of course there are more No1 SEO companies in this one room room than anywhere in the world! Everyone has the answers, everyone has their take on what you should do, what you shouldn’t do and why what you’re currently doing is wrong, not enough or even in one case too much!

Internet Marketing is without doubt one of the most fascinating subjects on the planet right now with regards to improving bottom line profits and ROI (return on investment).

So who is right. And how do you know if what you’re being told is correct.

Well if I wanted to know which was the the best and most recommended oil that I should use in my car, I would go to the manufacturer and ask.

There are times of course when new solutions come along that improve on old thinking, but in these cases you should look for what is tried and tested.

In the case of SEO all the No1 companies had their own take on what should and shouldn’t be done, but what they all failed to say to me was simply do everything that Google says is good practise and you’ll get good listings.

Even Googles own Webmaster tools give you guidance about your site, the problems experienced and which keywords the site is found under.

Of course if you’re selling apples and only talk about pears you have a problem, so picking the right words and phrases is critical.

Had lengthy one to one discussions with Facebook about business use and integration. Including discussions on advertising.

Discovered where we can do free credit checks.

Also take a look at this website called they demoed the most fascinating analytics software I have ever seen. Take a look.

A lot of people pushing email marketing at very high costs but very clever tracking and many SEO companies including services from India.

Quite a lot of companies offering hosted solutions like Rackspace, but overall not interesting but not overly stimulating.

Would I go again…. Yes.

One day deals… So whats the catch?

Funny us humans the more you are told you can’t have something the more you want it. The more exclusive the more desirable.

And so it is in this world we live in, exclusive, precious, short supply and limited availability cause us often to behave in what we describe as irrational behaviour.

Look at the Olympics well over subscribed, but the 100 metre final where that limited number of seats created such demand amply demonstrated obsessive behaviour by individuals that most likely never watch athletics.

An offer in your emails to your subscribers or on your website demand more than a good deal. Think about this, if you can get a deal on a new product with 50% off at anytime for the next 10 years is it. Deal? Don’t think so.

But create a timed window where the primary deal is only available for a short period and you create a demand.

But what is the true effect of the one day deal? Does it bring Brand loyalty to the table? Maybe. What about new customers and long term at that?

So whats the point? Why give away a wacking great big discount when that buyer may not stay loyal?

Basically you should consider the one day deal as nothing more than an acquisition cost. You likely won’t make any money on the deal, but left with no prospects coming to try your wares you will be unlikely to increase your customer base.

So is a one day deal any good for your business? Why not? Seems to me you can’t lose.

How to breath sales back into your products and services

With literally hundreds of clients I often hear that “Sales could be better”.

My answer… “”What are you doing about it?”

Look, there is no point in you complaining that business is bad and you have a lack of sales if you are really not making an effort to stimulate sales and breathing life back into old products and services. There is some value to someone somewhere. But how do you bring those sales in? What makes the difference?

Well, let’s start at the beginning of the entire process…… I mean way back to the very beginning.

The idea, the concept, the sourcing of materials and the entire creation began way before you put it on sale. No matter what your selling, you need to enthuse to those around you as the salesman did when you first made the decision to offer the product or service.

Your customers need to feel that enthusiasm you have…. let me take an example.

Let’s say that you sell a product or a even an old established service. whatever.

A problem existed or a perhaps a process is more complex than it needs to be.

What we tend to do as individuals is talk about the issues that we face and wish to find better solutions for; so start that one to one discussion with your customers. Go back to the start discuss the issues that faced you or your customers.

Do this in a short email to your contacts, prospects, customers, etc.

Then follow up a week later with a new email but this time talk about the solutions that have been found… again on that one to one basis, ideally as personalised as possible. No selling.

Keep it simple, fairly short and above all keep the conversation going. It’s that type of conversation that you would have over the dinner table or when out for a drink with a close friend. Literally type as you would speak if you were face to face with a friend.

Now you need to send email number three… So this next email talks about what you believe will solve the problem or what offers a better solution to what you currently do now. Talk about the solution that you’ve found, recommend and why.

All that is left a week later would be to tell them where you found the best offer.

You see … building up a relationship and talking about an old product or service is actually quite easy really.

So why not start going through your products and services and start at the beginning too. Who knows… your sales might increase!

Oh…. and next month do the same again … choose something else to talk about.

Small Business Internet Marketing Relief

In the UK we are currently in the grip of not one but two full blown bank holiday weekends. People are warmed by beautiful, sunny, warm summer days in Spring.

Everyone feels good, bar-b-ques, boats, sea sides and country walks all over the British isles, traffic on the internet understandably slow.

Last weekend we visited lovely country villages and browsed through quaint shops and streets. There were people walking about with small fancy purchases, small gifts, lovely items for the home and friends.

As you walked from one shop to the next you noticed how relaxed and happy everyone was. Money freely being spent because the mood and atmosphere had been set. There were loads of tea shops, cake shops, pubs, restaurants and other food establishments which found themselves busier than usual.

Of course the world then came to a halt as William married Kate with all the pageantry that the British can muster and are so good at.

The press reported that there were 1 million people on the streets of London watching the procession and over 5000 street parties around the country.

So what does this have to do with internet marketing?

Well lets consider a graph and see these two weeks as spikes on the footfall going into local businesses.

As I said, last weekend I visited many small shops during that first bank holiday weekend. Not one of them asked for my email address. Not one of them offered their website address to me and not one said … “please .. take this voucher and buy from me online”.

Local and small businesses have got to wake up to the reality that they can smooth that line. They had so many opportunities to keep in touch with me.

They could send me a special voucher to return to that coffee shop for a free cake, they could email me about special hand made crafts, gifts for brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts…. the list goes on.

I heard over these two weeks business owners complaining that trade had been killed by the two bank holidays and yet I heard employees welcoming the wonderful additional break that the country enjoyed.

There is always an opportunity to market your business, wholesalers could have set up stall in markets, could have done promotional deals, taken part in joint ventures, the list goes on.

Right now the country is feeling good…. let’s hope it continues, but remember you need to be prepared to help yourselves too.