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Marketing

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If you would like to take your business to a whole new level, you have come to the right place. You can use marketing automation to take your results to where you have always wanted them. Doing so is much easier than you might think, and many marketing automation companies are willing to help. Marketing automation gives you a range of unbeatable benefits to which you would otherwise not have access:

· Boost Your Profit

· Save Your Time

· Expand Your Reach

In simple terms, marketing automation consists of software and systems that do the hardest parts of your marketing for you.

Boost Profit

Since your profitability is one of the most vital aspects of your business, let’s cover it first. Most businesses that fail do so because they don’t get their marketing right. They focus on the wrong things and overlook the most critical needs of their target customers.

Even when they get it right, marketing takes a lot of time and energy to implement. You can boost your profit more than you once thought possible when you use the right marketing automation plan. You can learn about your prospects and give them what they want without much additional effort, and the outcome will impress you.

Save Time

All business owners and marketing experts know that time is a limited and valuable resource. Anything that steals time away from running your business also hurts your bottom line. Some tasks that take time are essential to your bottom line, and marketing is one of them.

The good news is that the right marketing automation plan reduces the amount of time you spend on marketing. You can then use that time to work on the other areas of your business, and the rewards are exponential.

Email Funnel

An email funnel is the perfect example of marketing automation. While it can include chatbots and social media autoresponders, we are going to focus on the email funnel. In a classic funnel, you send people to an opt-in page and collect their email addresses. You then send out emails to your prospects to build relationships with them over time.

You then pitch your offer and go for the sale. You lose people at each step of your funnel, but it acts as a filter. The people who remain at the end are your most valuable customers, and they will stay with you over the long run if you treat them right.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the first step in your marketing automation plan. To automate your lead generation process, put tracking pixels on your website and social media pages.

Also, you can use web code that reads cookies on your prospect’s browser and show them benefits unique to their needs and desires. For example, imagine you sell weight loss videos and diet plans. Your lead generation page should give valuable advice and offer a free video. Require your prospects to enter their email address to access the video.

Email Automation

Most marketing automation companies that know what they are doing use email automation. Once people join your list, your marketing automation software automatically sends them emails over several days or weeks.

It can then send the sales email after building enough trust with your prospects, and you don’t need to put in any additional effort once your system is in place. You might, however, want to change a few elements to see what gives you the best results possible.

Conversion Tracking

The old way of email marketing involved sending the same content to everyone on an email list. This approach causes you to lose more sales than you can imagine. You defeat that problem with conversion tracking software, which is included with most reputable email responders.

This software tracks which of your customers buy something in your email offer and when they do it, but it also tracks the ones who don’t. Based on the system you set up, the software places your customers into different groups based on their spending habits. Knowing the different behaviours and spending habits of your prospects is a powerful way to improve your sales rate.

Upsells

Upselling is an effective tool that skyrockets your profit when you use it the right way. You upsell the people who buy your first offer right away. These are the ones who enjoy your products and have enough money to buy them. Going with the weight loss example, your first product could be a video course selling for $47.

Your upsell could be private coaching sessions with experienced fitness experts, or you could offer membership programs. As long as you offer solid advice that gets results, a lot of your past customers will pay several hundred dollars or more for your advanced products.

Downsells

If you have ever added an item to your online cart but did not buy it right away, you have seen a downsell in action. Downselling works because it helps you get sales from those who would otherwise not buy from you.

Some of these people don’t have the budget for your products, but others are not comfortable paying the asking price. To use downsells, separate the people who don’t buy your first offer into a group. You then send that group discount codes or offer them a cheaper version of your product. If you are selling digital products, you lose nothing by offering discount codes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, marketing automation is an effective way to increase your sales and boost your bottom line. Investing the extra profit you earn back into your business lets you expand to new areas if that’s your goal. You can also use the time you save to come up with even more product or service ideas. You now have the information required to implement your own marketing automation plan.

As with most things in business and life, you go through a trial-and-error process while discovering what approach is the best fit for your business. You can skip the roadblocks by hiring a marketing automation company to do it for you, and you then enjoy the rewards much sooner. No matter the path you choose, marketing automation can do wonders for your bottom line.

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When an e-commerce business reaches a certain point managing stock and determining which marketing channels are producing results becomes difficult. This is where a Product Information Management (PIM) system really helps.

In this post, we look at how a good PIM system can make your business more agile and productive.

What is a PIM?

Put simply PIM software helps you better manage every aspect of your e-commerce system. From tracking sales and stock accurately to determining which marketing channels are performing well, a good productive information management system will help you see the information you need faster and more accurately.

Access to the information and purchasing approvals can be controlled using a hierarchal system. This provides good management control systems, approval purchase tracking, and security.

Accounting

PIM systems allow for much better and faster accounting. Seeing your bottom line is easy, seeing your best selling items, successful marketing campaigns, and vice versa are made simple. You can keep track of the sales process from start to finish.  Every aspect of accounting is now visible to you.  This leads to better decisions from a financial view.

Business Intelligence

Once a PIM system is in place and configured correctly making faster and better business decisions become possible. Consider, no more data mining across various spreadsheets. Simply discover the information when needed. The better PIM systems such as Sales Layer can run reports based on your input. The information you need to make the big calls are at your fingertips.

Better Stock Management and Distribution

Stock management and distribution is vital to the success of an e-commerce based business. Aspects such as re-order levels can be set and configured to re-order when needed. No more losing sales because you have run out of stock. Distribution networks can be managed more effectively with stock levels at each of your plants made visible and easily accessible.

All of this adds up to the oh so important better customer service.

Better Marketing

A PIM system ensures that your marketing is brought into the hub. Images, social media updates, can all be brought together and published from the system itself. This makes the update process far easier to keep track off and makes tracking the success of your marketing channels far easier.

PIM Cloud

PIM systems can be cloud-based avoiding hefty infrastructure costs and allowing for better more agile and flexible working. This results in better productivity across your teams. Better productivity and workflow results in better profit and better business.

Having a cloud-based system also means there are less clash and conflicts. Under the older systems, a team can make changes which another team can’t see. This can result in chaos and lost time. Now, everyone works from the same data hub, making changes visible to all departments.

Your teams can now work remotely with PIM cloud and you can use the hierarchal controls to apply security measures to control who can access what.

Final Thoughts

Once a PIM system is in place you can manage your business more effectively, improving workflow and productivity. If you find you’re spending hours looking across spreadsheets to find answers, it is time to invest in a product information management system.

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Entering an international market is both exciting and daunting. There is a whole new world of possibilities ahead of you, but at the same time, there will be much growth and adaption required in order for your business to succeed. Any entrepreneur knows that marketing is a major component of any commercial success, so it is imperative that you do not just start business abroad without a plan in place for marketing and building clientele. While this process might be a breeze in a domestic market, there are countless factors that can complicate marketing a product or service internationally.

You can overcome such complications and find success in an international market by marketing strategically and avoiding common pitfalls. Bring a product to a new market—especially one in a foreign country—is a risky move. When that risk pays off, though, you will be glad that you took the time to produce your marketing and introduce your company to an international clientele with a strategy in mind.

 

Boost Web Presence

The world wide web is usually the first place you should look when you are getting ready to roll out a marketing campaign. You are likely already familiar with web advertising for domestic markets, so transitioning into web marketing for an international clientele should be a natural step to take. When you are looking into internet marketing for customers abroad, look at that country’s most popular websites and see how advertisements are typically formatted. If there are more video ads than text ads or vice versa, you should consider following the lead of companies advertising similar products or services.

Localize Rather Than Translate

You might initially approach international markets with the intent to translate your existing brand into the language of your new market. As anybody who studies language knows, though, translation is never an exact science, and this is especially true when it comes to endeavors such as marketing and brand development. If you are attempting to bring your exact product or service to a new audience, focus on localizing it rather than translating it. What is the difference? By focusing on localization, you are shifting from simply importing your brand to adapting your brand. The difference is important to your clientele.

Understand Your Market

You cannot localize your product without first understanding the market that you are workign to reach. Needless to say, international markets are completely different than domestic markets, in more ways than one. There are cultural differences that will likely determine how certain products are viewed and received, so you should always take the time to research the market you are entering and understand its cultural customs. You simply cannot market to a demographic that you do not understand. Follow the lead of entrepreneurs such as Sjamsul Nursalim who have followed this principle to build a globally successful business.

Adjust Your Expectations

In addition to adapting your product and marketing to fit a new international market, you should also adjust your expectations to account for a completely different economy and brand landscape. While you might expect to move 10,000 units nationwide in a month domestically, the same expectation might never be realistic internationally. You should always be aware of what is realistic and adjust your expectations accordingly so that you do not end up viewing success as failure. International markets are often not as active as domestic ones, but this does not mean that it cannot be hugely lucrative.

Build Brand Association

Advertising your brand abroad with support from a minor TV star from the United States is not likely to be a huge hit. Your market might not know who he or she is, and if they do, they are unlikely to be impacted in the way a domestic market would be. If you are looking to market your products and services abroad, build brand associations that will be meaningful and effective to your local market. Scope out celebrities who are known to your local demographic, and rely on their marketing power as businesspeople such as Sjamsul Nursalimhave done.

Assess Your Competition

One of the most important considerations to remember is awareness of your competition. While you are probably familiar with the landscape you navigate domestically, an international market is a completely new arena with entirely different competitors. You need to understand what you are up against, and as such, you should be familiar with the other brands that are on the market in the area you plan to do business. Assess your competition and make note of their marketing techniques, too. You may be able to better understand what works and what doesn’t by doing this.

Market to an international audience can be intimidating, but it can be incredibly rewarding, too. Your brand will likely benefit from increased exposure, greater revenue and more opportunities when you begin making moves abroad. Be sure to create a plan for your marketing in advance, though, so you can take full advantage of the potential that exists in international markets.

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2013 Black Friday sales dipped for the first time in seven years, according to the National Retail Federation.

US consumers spent around $1.7 billion less over the holiday weekend, with the average shopper spending $407.02 from Thursday to Sunday.

That’s down from $423.55 in 2012.

Retailers blamed stagnant wages and economic uncertainty for keeping wallets shut, as they slashed prices to lure reluctant shoppers.

In total, the National Retail Federation estimates that US shoppers spent around $57.4 billion this year, down 2.7% from $59.1 billion last year.

Sales on Black Friday itself were down, as retailers opened stores on Thanksgiving Thursday and offered more details earlier in the week to entice shoppers.

According to market research firm ShopperTrack, Black Friday foot traffic was down 11% and sales slumped by 13%.

2013 Black Friday sales dipped for the first time in seven years

2013 Black Friday sales dipped for the first time in seven years

Despite the gloomy start to holiday shopping season, the National Retail Federation said it still expected holiday sales to surpass last year’s spending.

One beacon of hope for nervous retailers is that US consumers have spent more on online shopping than ever before.

“We expect Cyber Monday to be bigger than ever,” said National Retail Federation’s Matthew Shay in a statement.

The day, launched in 2005 by online retail association Shop.org, became the biggest US online shopping day in 2011, according to comScore.

But it’s not just one day any more: in an effort to lure penny-pinched shoppers, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, declared this entire week “Cyber Week” and said it would offer sales every hour throughout the period.

However, Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy have all lowered their holiday shopping forecasts, pointing to declining consumer confidence, high unemployment, and increasing price competition as hurting their bottom lines.

But if US consumers are unwilling to part with their dollars, international brands may take comfort in the increasingly global nature of Black Friday.

According to Borderfree, a company that helps build global online shopping sites for companies like Macy’s and J. Crew, US retailers saw online sales to international consumers rise 50% this Black Friday compared to last year.

Shoppers in Russia, South Korea, China, Germany and Sweden were the biggest spenders.

According to Borderfree, retailers can expect a “second peak” on Cyber Monday.

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