Pay-per-click advertising has taken the web by storm and for good reason. You have seen thousands of these ads on the right side of a Google search; the ads scream for you to click on them for more information. It may seem like you ignore them, but statistically they are one of the best and cheapest ways to advertise on the web.
Companies have four basic options for an overall brand strategy: multi-product branding, sub-branding, multi-branding, and private branding. Each has its merits, so let’s review them.
Creating a successful brand in the marketplace is very hard work and costs a lot of money. This is particularly true for consumer products where it takes millions of contacts to sell thousands of products. This is also true for the crowded B2B space where building brand awareness is getting tougher with global competitors coming out of the woodwork.
PR is very hard work and publicity is very hard won. One way to approach your PR effort is to put your self in the editor’s or reporter’s shoes. They have really hard jobs, too. They are bombarded daily with press releases and phone calls from well meaning entrepreneurs who just want a little publicity. And, they are numb from it all.
Another aggressive negotiation tactic or dirty trick that is played more often than you think is the intentional mistake. Usually it comes in the form of a proposal which has an error in your favor; it is a deliberate trick to get you to agree now. Examples could include a pricing error, the sales tax omitted, or a quantity mistake.
Positioning is what the customer believes about your product’s value, features, and benefits; it is a comparison to the other available alternatives offered by the competition. These beliefs tend to based on customer experiences and evidence, rather than awareness created advertising or promotion.
Take a quick tour of the new and trendy websites on the internet and you will find the frequent and liberal use of the word “Beta”. In most cases, the word Beta is used almost like a tagline under the company or product name to signify that this offering is new, cool, or different. The purpose is to create a “buzz” or the perception of leadership for an offering.
People often confuse public relations with advertising. PR is the effort that creates publicity for your product, service, or company; this publicity is perceived as not being paid for by the company or individual. PR is communicated by third parties such as newspapers, radio, television, or e-zines. Generally, PR is deemed to be credible and is believed since a third party delivers the message.
The entrepreneur who finds a customer segment that has been under served or overlooked can earn extraordinary rewards. Niche marketing requires that you focus on customers who cannot get what they want or need from their existing providers. For various reasons, mainstream firms will often innocently overlook or deliberately pass over customers with special needs; instead, they will choose to market to the larger, more homogeneous customer groups. These under served or overlooked segments can be very fertile ground for the entrepreneur to exploit, since they need a provider who truly understands their requirements.
Creating publicity with public relations is a lot of hard work but studies show that PR is 8-10 times more believable than advertising. Getting your name in the newspaper or in the trade press helps build credibility and helps build your brand.