Internet Marketing Concepts – Do You Know Your Customer?

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This is something that a lot of people within the Internet marketing industry need to stop and ask themselves. The reason why this question can be so elusive stems largely from the fact that nobody really ever stops to ask who their customer really is. While it’s true that everybody has a general idea of who their customers are, far too many people make the mistake of thinking that their customers are all the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In most cases, your customers will share a variety of similar attributes. That being said, it is critical that you take into consideration the fact that there will be many characteristics that are very different from customer to customer. What you as an Internet marketer needs to do is focus on those characteristics that are similar. That is the only way you will be able to get a clearer understanding of who you’re actually dealing with. Why does this matter? Can they really help you make any more money?

 

Does Your Business Use All The Marketing Data It Collects? Probably Not

Collect data on your visitors, capture their emails, and keep stats on your customers...data analytics is where it's at. Online marketing gurus have pounded this into business owners' heads for over a year now...and we've complied. But does your online business use any of the data it collects? A recent survey revealed a shocking fact: only 10% of B2B marketers were using their data analytics to guide their marketing campaigns. That's terrible! As marketing professionals, they should be doing the following, according to a Forrester Research Inc recommendation, via Internet Retailer website:
B2B chief marketing officers must understand the roles played, actions taken and sources of information consumed by buyers from problem identification through purchase, adoption and ongoing use,” Ramos and Wizdo say. Good business-to-business e-commerce marketers also need to put their house in order, Forrester says. Many data organizations continue to operate messy and often isolated marketing and customer information data stores. “Marketers rarely look beyond a limited set of demographic and buyer readiness criteria when overwhelmed with data,” Forrester says.
 

Improving Your Company’s Performance by Using CRM Solutions

iStock_000023635700XSmallWhen businesses want to efficiently use customer relationship management software to improve the company performance they must first understand why it is important for them use these CRM systems in the first place. Once done, business areas which need improvement can be identified.

A CRM system can be used by a business in driving revenue growth, thereby the business becoming truly a high performance business. In avoiding shortcomings of many businesses a CRM can help to transform customer data into a business profit. As the business continue to grow, the number of customers is ever increasing and others may be indecisive and becoming less loyal. With a CRM it will help the businesses to know their customer very well including the way they behave, what they want to buy, and channels they prefer.

One of the most important aspects of a CRM solution is the ability to align sales and customer services in accordance with each customer’s value and profit contributed to the business. Although customers may not be equal in terms of the way they bring profits to a business, CRM software would aid businesses to know their customers better and make interactions which are more profitable. A sophisticated customer segmentation model which comes with CRM solution allow businesses to further build a clear and complete picture of relationship costs and revenue potential, thereby enabling businesses to evaluate available information against their business goals and financial targets.

It is not possible to quantify Marketing efforts using CRM solutions.

Therefore, CRM systems as data driven technology measures and subsequently improve the return on marketing investment. As a result this improves operating effectiveness and can eliminate poor data integration as well as gathering meaningless data. Furthermore, businesses like thedreambusiness.com  using CRM solutions can be specific in determining which marketing activities are losing money and which ones are generating more money

Communication is the key of creating and closing business deals. With most CRM software solutions coming with integrated email systems, this allows businesses communicate with their customizers using personalized marketing messages and marketing campaigns. Using this insight has help businesses to create more persuasive offers as they will have a superior customer experience. Customer retention of most valuable business customers has also been enhanced by CRM solutions as they speed up on-demand evaluation performance.

CRM tools are essential in showing company employees the results which need to be improved as well as on how to improve on those lagging results through working together as a unit for company success.

Starting an Online Retail Business – Focus on the Business Fundamentals

Grocery Store CashierOver the last eight months, I’ve been looking at the landscape of online business to consumer retailing from the point of view of a new business, primarily because I’ve been immersed in the process of launching an online store, and particularly from the perspective of a fashion retailer of girls clothing.

There’s been a fair amount of criticism of online stores from existing bricks and mortar retailers, some of which is reflected in the suspicion we initially faced from our suppliers. I think this is because a lot of people set up online stores thinking it will be cheap, which it can be, but the results often end up looking pretty ordinary. Based on the feedback we’ve had from designers and agents I suspect that many of these startups lack the capital backing to get past the first couple of seasons, with them often reneging on indent orders, which has subsequently discredited the idea of online retail startups within the industry.

From an operational expenses point of view we do not pay the exorbitant retail rents, nor do we employ sales – people to sell our clothing and from a capital expenditure perspective, we do not pay for fit-out or the many other requirements for fashion bricks-and-mortar stores. Having said that, before anyone thinks that opening a professional online store can be done cheaply, think again. To be done well (and let me say it is always a work in progress and there are always things that you want to improve), you will need similar levels of funding and certainly as much time.

You’ll need to pay for specialized skills, have or develop them yourself or lean upon friends and family with them. It really helps or is perhaps essential to have a person with an extensive IT background close to you (unless you have the capital to pay others, in which case it still wise to be very, very nice to them). Graphic designers and editors, photographers, models, printers and marketing professional and those with fashion retail skills are also good to have around as a website will need them. As you can see, it takes a village to raise a business, and we haven’t even starting to talk about developing the actual website, the equipment needed for ongoing photography and warehousing or even setting up the company structure or trademarks.

The advantage of online retail for girls clothing, isn’t so much in the initial setup costs, but more in the ability to scale the business easily and cost effectively as the business grows. According to Clownmarketingtips.com, online retail also allows you to reach a larger, more global audience and is more resilient to the vagaries of landlords and local planning regulations. None of these benefits are really worth the effort however, unless the online retail presence is backed by a commitment to success, a solid business plan, adequate capital backing, financial prudence, and a belief in future. Online retail may be a relatively new practice, but the disciplines, and foundations of business success remain the same.