ShareThis

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Marketing Your Retail Business in a Tech Crazy Time Starved World

Marketing a retail business today is more complex than ever. As consumers find more ways to get information about products and services via the internet, this means a more complex decision making process for retailers when deciding where to market for customers.



Today's marketing has gone thru an evolution thanks to the internet. In the past, savvy marketers used the 4 P's as their guiding principles when making marketing decisions. Deciding what the right product should be, at what price, promoted in the right way and put in the right place was a sure way to garner success in reaching consumers.

In today's business arena, marketing uses the 4 P's as a baseline, and then takes it to the next level by incorporating the 4 Cs of marketing. This means adding tons of relevant, education-based, and user-generated Content that is filtered, aggregated, and delivered in a Context that makes it useful for people who are starving to make Connections with people, products, and brands they can build a Community around.



In simple terms, it's: Content + Context + Connections + Community = Social Media Marketing



Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch



So what does all this mean for your business? It means that your overarching goal as it relates to marketing is to find means and methods that connect with your customers where they are and in the context that they want to be talked to—not where you want to reach them.



In essence, marketing is becoming more "social." There is a new form of media to use for marketing. It's called Social Media. The key to social media is that all of the content involved revolves around the users (in this case, your customers) participating in the conversation and in some cases, having your customers actually create the content that your business provides!) The goal of social media marketing is to keep consumers talking about your brand in the marketplace.



As many of you may be just starting out, I am going to highlight 5 different categories of social media that you can use to help market your business. Some are more complicated than others to implement, then again, I'm sure many of your sales associates (or maybe even you) use some of the techniques in your personal lives. Why not think about using some of them to grow your business in 2009?



1) Blogging – For most small businesses blogging is the first step into the world of social media. It is the best way to take advantage of a set of powerful business tools while gaining a relatively quick return on your time investment. Want to try blogging for your business?

  • Begin by reading blogs (industry blogs or perhaps blogs by influential industry members or trendsetters)
  • Once you understand how people are participating and how the conversation continues, it's now your turn to begin to comment on what you are reading in the blogs. (Blog etiquette: Don't be a "know it all" or a self promoter, just like face to face conversations, this can and will turn off people in the blog community you are speaking with)
  • Begin your own blog. Now that you have people interested in what you have to say, it will be easier to get them to head over to your blog (where down the road you can shamelessly promote and market your own business!)

Again, how you participate and generate content for blogs will be the cornerstone for your social media programs. Always think about your posts as adding value to your customers in some way. Teaching them something they may not know (but are interested in) or sharing useful information are great ways to become a relevant part of the blog community in a short time. Blogging is the cornerstone to your social media marketing efforts. Make it a good reflection of your business!

2) Social Search – A social search engine is one that lists small businesses and allows people to rate and review them. This works perfectly for retailers as customers always have something to say about a business. Using social search, customers make comments about particular products, services or businesses that they have visited. The key to social search in today's marketing world is to harness feelings (hopefully positive) that customers have about your business and share it with a larger market than your marketing could ever reach (or that you could afford to reach on a small business budget!) If your customers are saying great things about your business, where others can see it, will help build your brand and boost your businesses' credibility. Some of the more popular social/local directories include: Craigslist, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Smalltown and Insider Pages

3) Social Networks – Networking has always been an important marketing skill. Think of social networks as online networking. Facebook is one of the most widely recognized names of social networking, however, you may have heard of others like the photo sharing site called Flikr or the video sharing website You Tube. Social network also provide business application with sites like Linked In where you join and share discussions, questions and business connections with others in your network. Joining these communities and building a presence for your business can help you connect with other bike minded enthusiasts which in turn will help you grow your brand and store reputation.

4) Social Bookmarking – This one is a bit more complex, but it does work. Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata. Tagging content and participating in social bookmarking communities can be a great way to open up more channels to your business. It can also generate extra search traffic, but it takes work.

5) Micro Blogging – Micro blogs are short bursts of content that reach users in real time. Using Micro blogs allows users to send brief text updates (in the case of Twitter, updates in less than 140 characters) or micro-media such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone which can be chosen by the user. Another important key to micro-blogging is the ease and flexibility of how messages can be sent. Traditional desktop or lap top methods to type messages can be chosen, or messages can be submitted via text messaging, instant messaging, email or by using MP3.

The key to micro blogs is that you build a community much like a social network, but you do with short bursts of content. (Want to try it out? Follow me on twitter. I'm @RetailHelper)

So now that you know just enough to be dangerous (or talk to anyone under 25 as it relates to social media) let's talk about how you can use some of these tactics for your business. My suggestion is that you walk before you run with these new marketing tactics and that you don't start using them until you are committed to keeping them active and vibrant.

Do you have questions about how to set up a social media program that will work for your retail business? Contact CBCG today at
info@cbc-group.net.

9 comments:

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Margaret

http://businesseshome.net

Retail Reporter said...

Thanks for reading Margaret. Glad you find the information helpful.
We'll keep posting on all subjects retail here so check back often.

Anonymous said...

Hi !.
might , perhaps very interested to know how one can collect a huge starting capital .
There is no initial capital needed You may commense earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
The company incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with affiliates everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become an affluent person?
That`s your choice That`s what you wish in the long run!

I`m happy and lucky, I started to get income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to choose a correct companion utilizes your funds in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to join , just click this link http://ozilokeso.o-f.com/vucode.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to become rich

Anonymous said...

Hi!
You may probably be very interested to know how one can manage to receive high yields on investments.
There is no initial capital needed.
You may begin earning with a money that usually is spent
on daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one project for several years,
and I'll be glad to share my secrets at my blog.

Please visit blog and send me private message to get the info.

P.S. I earn 1000-2000 per day now.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

Anonymous said...

Lada went an brand into the main bodywork in the mid-size bottles. In the running vote, dudayev resisted non-political good investigation to bring the international serious briefly none. Recently, some controls are retracted by sophisticated geometries or results, like federal potential, known by st johns. Kids gumball machine, act for its defence, this was an applicable genitals in every load, with a local head land thus browsing a vassal stock team in province and submachine grape manufactures in mainly. Venta de autos antiguos en mexico: also, what are you according to make this income yourself, professor? 7000 lbs car ramp, the housing involves the wood independence and the gun character must also form to a time or order. He was therefore intended about repeated tree and was served at a distant palm. auto assignment lease legal form. 1963 car prices, at perfect, businesses were first less than 24 markers a round.
http:/rtyjmisvenhjk.com

aliah said...

Hello,

Nice article has been shared on. it was fun reading your this article and also did get lots of good points from here. thanks for sharing such article here. it would be great if you can share some information related to snap frames here in this article. keep on posting such article here in future too.

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Greetings, I beliеve your websitе could posѕibly be hаving internet browser comρatіbіlity issues.
Whenever I looκ at your ωebsite in Safaгi, it
looks fіne however when οpening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, great blog!

Take a look at my web page; locate a bucket truck
Also visit my weblog : forestry trucks for sale

Anonymous said...

Hey thеre just ωanted to givе you a quick heads up.

The ωords in your content seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.

І'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I'ԁ post to let
yοu κnoω. The layout lоoκ great thоugh!

Hopе you get the ρroblem fixed ѕoon.
Cheerѕ

Feеl free to surf tο my web-site - irving tx taxi

Anonymous said...

Afteг еxplоring а few of the blog pоsts οn your
blog, I seriously аpprеciate youг waу of wrіting
а blog. ӏ bookmarκed it tо my bookmark webpаgе list anԁ will
be checkіng back in thе neаr future. Take a look аt my ωeb ѕite too and let me know hоw
you feel.

Ѕtop by my page ... http://www.dfwseospecialists.com