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Marketing For Dummies Paperback – Oct 5 2009
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From the Back Cover
Communicate more powerfully and clearly
Utilize social media effectively
Launch a winning Web marketingprogram
Gain new customers and retain your current customers
Boost your marketing skillsto drive business results!
Whether you're introducing a new product or jumpstarting your existing marketing plans, it's more important than ever to know how to attract customers, convince them to buy, and make sure they come back for more! Packed with updated material, this practical, savvy guide gives you everything you need to boost your marketing skills to the next level — from the Internet and search engine marketing to the latest trends in guerilla marketing, viral marketing, branding, and more.
Designing a great marketing program — learn how to boost your marketing program and write an effective marketing plan
Leveraging your marketing skills — find out how to research your customers, competitors, and industry and improve your marketing communications
Advertising for fun and profit — get helpful tips on how to make the most of print, outdoor, and radio advertising
Finding powerful alternatives to advertising — discover how to advance your Web marketing, build a buzz for your brand, and go direct with marketing
Selling great products to anyone, anytime, and anywhere — know how to take stock of your sales skills, reach your customers, and effectively make the sale
Open the book and find:
Ten common marketing mistakes to avoid
Ways to save money in marketing
Tips for boosting Web sales
Advice on how to survive a downturn
Guidance on designing a positioning strategy
Advice on how to harness your marketing imagination
How to research, plan, and budget accordingly
Go to Dummies.com for videos, step-by-step photos, how-to articles, or to shop!
About the Author
Alexander Hiam is the author of more than 20 popular books on business. Formerly a professor at the business school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he has had many Fortune 500 firms and large U.S. government agencies as his clients.
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There are many examples in here to help you understand their message. For example, use all means at your disposal to get your message out. T-shirts. Car signs. Press releases, targeted at buyers, not at journalists. Fill the releases with "five tips for ..." to give people concrete advice.
Your sales are made both with logic and emotion, so make sure you appeal to both sides. Explain the factual reasons that your item makes perfect sense, but also help the client to feel good about their choice. Coach them along the path, offering trial runs if possible. Maintain good relations with all your customers, even the tough ones. That grumpy customer who you ignore could easily become your strongest anti-marketing messenger, going around and spreading the word about how awful you are.
Along the same path, the customer is always right. Don't blame them, even if you're upset. Do your very best to resolve the situation and, if nothing else, leave them with the sense that they were always treated with professional calm.
In tough economic times, it can be tempting to slash prices. That creates a downward spiral that, in many cases, does not help much. Instead, compete on brilliance. Show why you are worth every penny and how your quality pays for itself. Even in rough times, people still splurge on items that are important.
Make sure your message is clear and focused. Quadruple check it for any typos or errors. Only send ONE message, don't annoy your audience with repeats. Make sure you market things you do WELL - if you spread yourself too thin, your reputation will suffer and that will affect everything you do. Always target your message exactly at one group of buyers.
Make sure you know why people choose you. What makes you distinctive?
There's a lot of good material here. You have to read wisely, though. Not all of the advice is spot-on. The book says that a full page ad in a magazine isn't as economical as a half page ad - but then later it says if you're pinching pennies to get the full page ad. Huh? It says NOT to buy any "already owned" domain name - but I know many cases where someone did that and the small cost to the current owner was well worth it, to get the wonderfully perfect name.
Still, there is a lot of good information in here. Focus on your product's strengths and play them up. Fill your pages with research, how-tos, information. Become a resource and then people will find you naturally. They will realize the great products you offer once they are there. Offer testimonials. Put your logo on everything you give away, send freebies to good customers. Network. Compliment your customers.
In the same breath they recommend all companies let their visitors rate their products freely. I realize this might be a great fit for some companies - maybe a pen vendor who has 100 different pens. If a certain pen gets poorly rated, they can just stop carrying it. But what if you're a glass blower who makes unique works? You could have a disgruntled customer who breaks their item and comes on your site to complain, and now your page permanently carries her rant. This is a feature that needs a great deal of thought before it goes into operation.
One of their most important messages is the most simple. Find ways to be happy. It will reflect in everything you do, in every interaction with potential clients and long term customers. This one basic change can make a huge difference in your entire system.
Now I ordered this book because sometimes one can forget about some very important things in this wide world of Marketing. A. HIam gives you just the tips to improve your skills and working with plans that actually work.
He states the main subjects very easy to understand and also in a very practical way.
I believe this book is not for beginners, nor for pro's. I think it is just for us average Marketers who want to improve a lot and then moving on on harder books. I say it is not for beginners (despite the title "for dummies") because it starts telling you things you must pre-know before actually reading this.
I would say it is almost like a great companion for everyday marketers who need once in a while a reminder of what is left to do and what could be improved.