Marketing For Dummies, 6th Edition
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You can read a dozen books on marketing strategies for current times, or you can read Marketing For Dummies, 6th Edition for everything you need to know about engaging today’s complex consumers, succeeding at e-commerce, winning the SEO game, driving sales through email, social media, and direct mail campaigns, using diverse channels effectively, and much more.

This Cheat Sheet outlines marketing strategies and tactics, and ways to boost results with creativity.

Marketing strategies and tactics

Here is a glimpse of some strategies and tactics to help you grow your business and become competitive quickly and profitably:
  • Tap consumer behavior with emotionally relevant messaging. Knowing how to influence consumer choice is perhaps the most important key to marketing success. Consumers have more choices than ever, and knowing what triggers engagement and purchase decisions, consciously and unconsciously, is the most effective path to growing sales and long-term loyalty.
  • Create experiences that get customers coming back. Customer relationships that pay dividends continuously create feelings of value, belonging, and excitement for what a brand relationship means for the customer’s lifestyle, aspirations, and other goals. The most effective customer experience plans map out touchpoint journeys from introduction to sale to lifetime value.
  • Expand your reach with diverse sales channels, online and off. If you are a retail store in a physical location, you can’t ignore the need to create an e-commerce site to give customers the options they want. You should also offer the choice to buy online or over the phone, and pick up in store or curbside. Stores that provide these types of options will stand out and attract more customers.Additionally, you need to look at reselling with third-party retail powerhouses like Amazon and eBay. Find out how to set up storefronts on these sites, sync up with their search engine algorithms, and rank high enough for Buy Now buttons, which get the most transactions.
  • Build a website that engages and sells. With all the artificial intelligence, interactive plug-ins, and dynamic technology available, many, websites are still digital brochures.To keep people browsing past the top of your home page and, most important, to get them to come back to your site often, you need to provide engaging experiences and valuable tools. Live chat, community information, industry updates, educational videos, calculators, pop-up shopping cart reminders, and other tools are key to keeping people on your site, completing transactions, and returning for repeat experiences and, most important, purchases.
  • Master how to raise your SEO rankings organically. You need to know how to compete for SEO rankings with Google Ads, keywords, links, tags, landing pages, and more. Organic SEO is more efficient than hiring expensive search agencies. To maintain rankings on the first page of searches, you need to monitor keywords frequently and maintain regular blog posts, continuously provide new content across social media channels and partners’ or influencers’ websites, secure media and third-party mentions, and so on.When your website URL is included on a third-party website, you earn valuable links that give you free visibility and traffic. You will also substantially boost your SEO rankings because Google deems these links third-party recommendations. Creating internal links between your content and your web pages is also key to tapping powerful search algorithms.
  • Make account-based marketing part of your brand culture. Nurturing customers to repeat sales and higher revenue value is key to staying on top of your growth plans and ahead of your competition. You need to know how to continue adding value, enhancing experiences, and generating referrals. You have a much higher chance of getting more business out of an existing customer than from a prospect.

Market to win without losing your bottom line

With all the options for promoting your brand across a growing number of channels, it’s easy to spend money just because you can. Check out these tips for planning how you will best attract your total addressable markets and how you will best spend your budget and optimize your ROI:
  • Make and follow a plan. Build a marketing plan that guides your pricing, promotions, product development, distribution channels, product bundling, customer experiences, and more. Sticking to a well-thought-out plan will help you maintain a regular presence in your markets and stay on a defined budget.Your plan needs to set marketing budgets on a monthly and seasonal basis to optimize your ROI, and it should detail how your funds will be spent to attract customer segments with the right messaging for sales.
  • Earn free mentions and web links for high returns. The best and most credible brand exposure is from media websites. When you get a press release published on a media site, not only do you get free exposure for your brand story, but you earn free links to your website.Prepare stories about your people, products, innovations, business recognition, community service, and so on, and deliver them to local, regional, and national media for highly valuable exposure and organic SEO results.
  • Build your database and visibility with sponsored content. Advertising that gets the greatest ROI is no longer just about clever creative and urgent calls to action. It’s all about content that informs, educates, and inspires audiences.Using your budget to sponsor content (which you can write yourself) that appears on industry websites or in newsletters can elevate your position of authority while generating qualified leads. Quite often, you will get email addresses for the people who click on your content, adding valuable leads to your CRM database.
  • Make Google Ads and Google My Business work for your budget. Pay-per-click advertising programs are economical because you can choose your daily budget and narrow down your keywords to ensure you’re paying to reach highly qualified leads.Pay attention to search queries for your category, use third-party websites to identify competitors’ keywords, and stay on top of changing terms and phrases your best leads may be using. Monitoring search queries, most viewed and clicked-on keywords, negative keywords, and so on can help keep costs surprisingly low.
  • Optimize the potential of digital tools. Build a strong and authoritative presence on the channels your audiences use most for information gathering. These channels include podcasts, YouTube channels, blogs, webinars, social media, and online courses.You can establish your brand as an authority in your field across these channels by delivering actionable, educational (rather than promotional) presentations and offering content like checklists, decision guides, and white papers. If you host a podcast or webinar, choose thought-provoking current topics. If you’re a guest on someone else’s, add perspectives that make you stand out.

6 ways to boost results with creativity

Marketing messages, offers, and content can help your brand break out from the pack if they’re psychologically relevant and inviting. Here are some simple techniques to accomplish this goal:
  • Apply creative psychology for better results. Creative isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Different audiences respond to different visuals, colors, energy, and language. Create audience profiles around the psychology of choice for each customer segment you target, and craft designs and copy that uniquely reflect the corresponding personas.
  •    Color matters. Don’t just pick brand colors because they happen to be your favorites. Research what colors mean, consciously and unconsciously, and choose a palette that reflects the moods and attributes you want to associate with your brand. Discover which brand color themes work best for selling environments, online and off-line, and how some colors and graphics on packaging outperform others in generating sales.
  • Use analogies to market yourself. Think of products that are similar to your product and explain how those similarities matter. This powerful creativity exercise adds insight and interest to your marketing communications. For instance, instead of saying, “Our cleaning services are 100% reliable,” you can say, “Having us clean your office is like moving into a brand-new building every week!”
  • Pass along ideas. Write up a simple sales or marketing idea and pass it along to others in your business and professional and personal circles with instructions to add to it or list another idea. Keep circulating the ideas until your coworkers or friends have helped you generate a long list of ideas and options to choose from.
  • Question everything. Never assume. Ask why your customers respond to the ads, offers, and experiences that draw them in. Why do they choose you instead of a competitor? And what would motivate them to change brands or consider other options? Find out what’s missing in your industry or business that can improve their lives. Ask questions that give you a glimpse of what inspires your customers. Ask what gives them joy and how they define the perfect experience in your industry, and channel your creative thinking accordingly.
  • Monitor eye tracking and heat maps. Pay attention to how viewers browse websites. Put your most compelling brand information in the golden triangle, the space in a website that gets the most attention and clicks, to increase your session duration and lower your bounce rates, two key metrics that help you monitor your website’s ability to engage consumers and build sales.

About This Article

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Jeanette McMurtry, MBA, is a global authority, columnist, and keynote speaker on consumer behavior and psychology-based marketing strategies. Her clients have included consumer and B2B enterprises ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 100 brands. A marketing thought leader, she has contributed to Forbes, CNBC, Data & Marketing Association, DM News, and Target Marketing magazine.

Jeanette McMurtry, MBA, is a global authority, columnist, and keynote speaker on consumer behavior and psychology-based marketing strategies. Her clients have included consumer and B2B enterprises ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 100 brands. A marketing thought leader, she has contributed to Forbes, CNBC, Data & Marketing Association, DM News, and Target Marketing magazine.

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