Establish an Optimal Marketing Budget for Your Business with Our Pro Consultation Services

Developing a dynamic and cohesive marketing strategy has become essential for you if you want to profit in today’s competitive marketplace. Online marketing introduces and promotes products and services to your potential customers. Without the implementation of dynamic online marketing strategies, your potential customers will not learn about your products and services, and your business growth will be impeded. While some business owners believe that they don’t need to implement strong digital marketing strategies to be successful (with some maintaining and even growing their revenues without a coherent digital marketing strategy), their customers are increasingly turning to the Internet to help themselves with their buying decisions. Furthermore, with the increase in mobile adoption, more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to help them with their buying decisions. If you want to profit in today’s marketplace, you need to develop and implement strong multi-device and cross-channel digital marketing strategies to effectively reach their potential and existing customers. How Much Budget Should You Allocate to Your Marketing? As a general rule of thumb, new businesses are advised to invest at least 10% of their gross annual income into a strategic marketing action plan that covers appropriate online, print, and networking initiatives. However, Entrepreneur magazine advises businesses that want to advance their objectives and sales to invest more time and money into their strategic marketing action plan—as much as 20-30% of their anticipated annual gross revenues, particularly if they are introducing new products or services. These figures, of course, aren’t set in stone. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses with revenues of less than $5 million should allocate between 7-8% of their revenues to marketing. This allocated budget should be split between brand development costs and the costs of promoting the business. The U.S. Small Business Administration states that a small business’s allocated marketing budget should also take into account the business’s industry, the size of the business, and its growth stage. How the marketing budget is spent is equally important, and the budget should be used to outline the costs of the business’s marketing goals within a certain time period. Your Competitors are Increasing their Marketing Budget in 2014 As the economy continues to recover, more and more marketers are stating that they’ll be increasing their marketing budgets this year to fuel business growth. According to the fifth annual Marketing Budgets Report, which was published by Econsultancy and sponsored by Responsys, 60% of client-side respondents say their companies are increasing their overall marketing budgets for 2014—which is significantly higher compared to 54% in 2013 and 45% in 2012. Forty- four percent of supply-side respondents say their clients are increasing their overall marketing budgets this year—up from 39% in 2013 and 30% in 2012. As for digital marketing budgets, the number of companies increasing their spending has been remarkably consistent since 2009, and is 71% this year. Digital budgets have largely been insulated from spending cuts as more companies focus on their digital channels to drive business growth, as well as leads and sales conversions. Meanwhile, only 20% of companies are planning to increase their traditional (offline) marketing budgets over the next year, with 55% of companies planning to keep their traditional (offline) marketing budgets the same over the next year. Your Competitors are Focusing on Acquisition...

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Invest in Your Online Marketing the Smart Way by Tracking and Measuring Your Online Presence, Rankings, and Traffic

Sure, you’ve invested a considerable amount of money into your online marketing campaigns, and you’re beginning to see positive results. On the other hand, are you actively tracking and measuring your online presence, rankings, and traffic? Without an accurate presence tracking and traffic metrics system that sources, aggregates, and displays vital data, you won’t be able to gain valuable insight that will enable you to optimize your website for maximum lead and sales conversion and enhanced ROI. See our Infographic: Interested in discovering the benefits to using a dynamic presence tracking and traffic metrics system? Then read on! Gain Insight into Your Organic/Search Engine Traffic How much organic traffic are you getting from the major search engines—Google, Bing, and Yahoo? Is your organic traffic growing or has it plateaued? If you cannot answer these questions, then you’re not seeing the bigger picture! Monitoring your organic search engine traffic is vital to the continued optimization of your business website and the success of your online marketing campaign. Without organic search engine traffic data, you wouldn’t know how much traffic your website is getting from the major search engines. Gain Access to Your Search Query & Keyword Data Do you know what search queries and keywords people have typed into search engines that displayed your website in the search results? Without an advanced presence tracking and traffic metrics system, you wouldn’t have access to your search query and keyword data, and your SEO efforts will suffer. Neither would you know the average position of your website in the search engines for each search query, what pages on your website are getting high or low rankings, or what pages are getting the most or least amount of traffic. Therefore, you’ll have no idea what content and pages should be optimized. In other words, without organic search engine traffic data, you wouldn’t be able to objectively determine if the time, money, and effort you’ve invested into your web pages is paying off or if they were completely wasted. Get the Lowdown on Your Website’s Rankings, Impressions, Clicks, & CTR Do you know the overall performance of your web pages? Do you know the exact web pages that get displayed and visited after coming up in the search results for different queries? Do you know what the average position of each of your web pages is? Studies show that the first organic result on the first page of Google’s SERPs has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 17.16%. The second organic result has an average CTR of 9.94%, with the third managing an average CTR of 7.64%. The sixth, seventh, and eighth positionsmanage average CTRs of only 1%, with the tenth position managing an average CTR of only 0.51%. It is clear from these statistics that it is very important for websites to attain the first ranking on the first page of Google’s SERPs if they want to drive maximum traffic, leads, and conversions to their websites. By gaining access to your website’s rankings, impressions, clicks, & CTR metrics, you’ll know if your search engine visibility is expanding, and for what search terms and keywords. You’ll also know what keywords to optimize to improve your website’s rankings on the organic SERPs of major search engines. You’ll be able to determine how popular your brand...

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Take Your Brand Seriously: Why You Need to Optimize Your Brand [Infographic]

Having a brand is beyond having a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these to identify products and services and to differentiate them from others.  Having a brand means having a set of values or associations that your target customers make with your company, products and services. First question: What set of values does your target customers associate with your brand? Second question: Do they even know your brand exists? You need to pay attention to this, and you need to start today. Because if you’re not taking your brand seriously, how do you expect potential customers to take your business seriously? In today’s competitive market, you just can’t let that happen, can you? That’s why we put together an infographic and listed eight tips you can start using today to build your brand. So… are you building your brand every day? What benefits do you stand to get? What challenges will you face? Discover the answer to all these questions and more below. See our Infographic: Know your Target Customers and Build your Brand’s Personality around Them Like humans, brands also possess or project a certain type or a mix of personalities. In “Dimensions of Brand Personality,” a study published by the Journal of Marketing Research, Jennifer Aaker, now a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, summarized brand personality into five dimensions: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. In the infographic, you’ll see defining characteristics for each dimension. For instance, a brand that imbues “sincerity” is perceived to be honest, domestic, genuine, and cheerful.  Therefore people who value these characteristics tend to prefer brands with this personality. The idea here is to identify the personas of your target customers, and identify your brand as well, using a mix of these dimensions. Then, build and shape your brand around this mix of dimensions. This way, you’ll be able to align your brand persona with your target customers or identify what customers to target based on your brand personality. These dimensions are helpful, especially for small businesses that are just beginning with the creation and strengthening of their brand. Build your Brand Slowly but Surely or Fast and Strong. Either way, You have to Build it According to Millard Brown’s Brand Dynamics Pyramid, the value of a business is directly proportional with the value of the brand. If you want to grow your business, you need to build your brand. Analyzing five years of stock market data, the company found that strong brands are more likely to increase their share price than companies with weak brands. “Strong brands are more likely to grow,” the report stressed. What’s more interesting here is Millard Brown’s pyramid relates how brand strength affects consumers’ expenditure for that brand. This time, brand is inversely proportional with “share of wallet,” or share of category expenditure. For instance, brands at the bottom of the pyramid or those with “presence,” eat up only 12% of spending for that category. On the other hand, those at the peak of the pyramid, or brands with bonding with consumers, account for 40% of wallet share. You need to move your brand from merely having presence in the market to be performing and eventually having a bond, which is the peak of the pyramid. By moving...

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