Search Engine Marketing – Marketing Products and Services Not Just Brand Names

Many people have looked upon brand names as the gauge for quality, be it good or bad.   A popular computer brand would likely sell more than the less popular counterparts.  But with more and more consumers becoming educated and well-versed on what quality really means, these people are now out to get more value for their money or what they feel they truly deserve. 

Importance of Brand Names

This is not to say that brand names are no longer needed, though.  In fact, they are still important in establishing the company’s identity.  Brand names provide instant recognition and encouragement to buy certain products and services.  Unless a company has really thought of a name that conquers all market barriers such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Nike, Adidas, Porsche, Lamborghini or KFC; then what it should really focus on is how to make an effective online marketing strategy. 

Marketing Products and Services to Gain Recognition

Brand names provide recognition at a glance but they do not guarantee a sure buy.  Customers can buy the first time because they were enticed by the logo or brand name of a product but they would never go back for a “second helping” if they were not satisfied with what they bought. 

Repeat customers and advertising by word of mouth will only happen when the products and services that are being marketed depict quality. Even the best search engine marketing techniques in the world would all go to waste if the products that are being sold are sub-standard.  Fortunately, more consumers are getting away from this age-old dependence on brand names and are now looking for companies that can give quality merchandise. 

There are many online help sites that teach how to set up, maintain, and attain the goals of any start up internet business.  Search engine marketing or SEM is one good way to market quality merchandise and services online.  Educating target markets about how important and indispensable a merchandise (or service) is would be an effective marketing campaign.  But beyond this, the customer should be able to prove that it’s not all propaganda but that the product can also deliver what it promised. 

SEM may just be a small portion of search engine optimisation techniques yet it can emphasize the value of goods and services.  Another portion of the entire picture is search engine optimisation or SEO being a part of the whole online marketing scheme that the company should tap from the very beginning. 

SEO basically helps in boosting businesses and to make targeted markets know about product or service alternatives that are even better than existing brand names in the market.  This leads us to the equation that good products or services plus professional SEO management equals sure business success. 

No amount of good advertising from the competitors will ever put down quality commodities.  This is especially true with companies who offer services (as these are intangible).  A customer can always return sub-standard products but this can’t be done with services.  It is imperative to begin with great service quality in the first place.  Therefore, looking at all this, brand names fade in importance when quality is the topic.

Free Ways to Marketing Products Online

There are many ways one may market products online. Free, low cost and paid advertising are available options. For those business owners and entrepreneurs who are conscious of their budget and want to keep costs down are open to find free methods to market their products/services online. Fortunately for them they do exist. Some examples include:

– Free Classifieds: There are hundreds of free classified sites on the Internet. Do a search for “free classifieds ads” and see what comes up. Lots of sites to choose from and all you have to do is sign up and post an ad in the city, state or country of your choosing. Post as many as you want!

– Article Marketing: Writing articles on subjects of interest or relevance to your niche benefits you in the long run. Your articles may place you as a authority in your chosen field. Search engines love content so the more you write the more likely your articles will appear in the rankings.

– Squidoo: This content-rich site ranks high in the search engines so create a lens and link your lens with your website or blog and over time your lens will show up in the rankings.

– Social Networking/Web 2.0: MySpace and Facebook are the most popular sites on the Internet where millions sign up for free to communicate with friends/family and share information. These social networking giants also have venues to market products online as well. Create a Facebook Page and market your products/services on it. Go to the classifieds section on MySpace and post your advertisement.

Marketing products online should not be so costly and eat up a huge chunk of a business owner’s marketing budgets. Granted, it may take some time to get results going the free advertising route, but incorporating at least one or two free marketing strategies consistently can add up in the long run.

Marketing Products Through Advertising

Advertising is the art of promoting the sales of goods or services based on a market selection. It is affected through various media, particularly through newspapers, magazines, radios and T.V. services and bill boards along the highways. Advertising affects the market in one way or another. Expenditures on advertisements amount to large sums of money and they are rising every year.

The fact that expenditures on advertising are increasing from year to year indicates that advertising is important to market a product or services. As a country becomes more industrialized and as competition in business becomes keener for the firms, marketing strategy through advertising will become more important and expenditures on advertising will rise.

Advertising is regarded as “the life-blood of marketing” simply because it gives information to prospective consumers of the goods or services which are made available in the market. It tells a group of selected market of the existence of a new product or of new uses for or new or better qualities of an existing product, or reminds a market of the existence of a product. Without such information given through the various advertising media, the prospective market may not be aware of the existence or the uses of a product and the producer may not be able to sell it. A product that is not sold or cannot be sold is of no value to the producer and to the selected market. Therefore, it is obvious that informative advertising is very important to a firm or to an industry and is also important to consumers and the market at large.

Generally, advertising as practiced by most firms is competitive rather than informative in motive. This is particularly true where there is a great deal of product differentiation brought about by the practice of branding a product. A firm advertizes mainly because it wants to push the sales of its products. When its products are differentiated from the products of other firms by just its brand, then it hopes to increase the sales of its branded products to their selected markets. It can do so by marketing, through advertising techniques, to create a special image for its brand of products and to build up brand loyalty for its products to a given markets.

Once customers’ loyalty for its brand of products is established, the demand for its products will be less price-elastic and it is able to make some monopoly profits to a given specified markets. Competitive advertising, as we can see, is wasteful. Experts may tell us that there is no real difference, physically or chemically, between different brands of a product.

Whatever difference there may be between two brands is strictly psychological in nature built up through large sums of money spent on marketing through advertising campaigns. It can, therefore, be argued that the consumers would benefit more if firms spent less on competitive advertising and passed on their savings to consumers in the form of lower prices or in the form of genuinely better quality products obtained through more research which could be made possible with savings from unnecessary marketing activities.

However, it can be counter-argued that competitive advertising may not be a waste after all, because very often a consumer derives extra satisfaction from owning or consuming a widely-advertized product. Since he obtains more satisfaction, the higher price which he has to pay for the product because of the advertising is, therefore, justified.

Further, it can be pointed out that because of the large amount of revenue from marketing activities through advertising, newspapers and magazines are sold more cheaply to readers and they are within the reach of more people and, further, radio and T.V. stations are able to produce or buy better or more programs. Also, the advertising industry itself gains with more jobs created for the market community.

In conclusion, it can be said that one cannot deny that marketing trough advertising is the life-blood of industry. But it is really difficult to conclude that it is a waste of economic resources because much depends on one’s judgment of what is good or bad for the society.

Marketing Ideas and Interactive Marketing Products For Direct Mail

Response rates generated by promotional pop-up mailers are known to be far in excess of those created by bog-standard leaflets and flyers but what is it about pop-up mailers that make them such a success as direct mailing pieces? The answer lies in one word and that word is “interactive”. Here are some suggestions and ideas for interactive marketing products but first, I should perhaps try to define what I mean by interactive.

“Interactive” is one of those new words that is used a lot in marketing but what exactly is an interactive mailer or interactive marketing product? Let’s try this for an explanation – once the user has opened the promotional mailing pack and has experienced the surprise of the pop-up, the next thing to happen, almost inevitably, is that the pop-up mailer is put back in the pack and the user does it all over again! After that the pop-up mailer is put back in the pack once again and passed to an unsuspecting colleague. When I refer to promotional pop-ups as interactive mailers, that’s what I mean.

Pop-up mailers have a combination of positive attributes that are not always present in standard promotional print. Let’s look at automatic pop-up products as an example. Powered by rubber bands, the various pop-up items all bring with them the element of surprise which inevitably leads to laughter – so they are fun products. That fact alone already puts pop-up mailers higher up the league table that an A4 flyer.

However, not all interactive mailers have a pop-up action – but they still make very successful direct mail pieces. In these instances the interaction might be different but nonetheless, the reader will perform a level interaction with the marketing product which will make a very significant contribution to the success of the campaign.

There are many types of interactive mailers and each has something different to offer that gives them that something extra. It might be the fact that the product has a long desk top life such as promotional penholders, pen pots and desk tidies which stay on desktops for absolutely ages giving your message a very long exposure indeed. Cardboard-engineered pen pots are supplied flat in a size suitable to fit standard envelopes and are erected by one simple interactive push-up action that makes them a popular choice as a promotional mailer.

It could be that the movement fits perfectly with an advertising message. Take interactive marketing products that turn, for example. I don’t think that enough use is made of the humble eyelet in the design of promotional marketing products. The simple task of eyeletting can add car wheels that turn, steering wheels, turning hands on a clock, items that spin such as propellers – all kinds of things – and each with an interactive turning movement.

Another type of mailer has an interactive movement that makes pictures change. These promotional advertising products are known as dissolvers and are heaven-sent for a multitude of advertisers. The old classic theme of “before” and “after” pictures is brought up-to-date by these tremendously interactive advertising products. Absolutely everything is down to the smooth way in which, by the simple interactive pull of a card, the picture at the focus of all your attention changes from one scene to another.

Or how about interactive marketing products that jump. Promotional products in the “Jack in a box” or “Crackerjack” style offer much more of a surprise than you would ever imagine from the size of the pack. They have a very high and instant impact and are very successful at drawing attention to any campaign. Even when the person opening the pack knows exactly what is going to happen next you will see that they open the pack with some trepidation – being wary of the crackerjack effect.

Assuming that the advertising and marketing agencies have done their jobs well and assuming that the direct marketing team are sending the interactive mailer only to serious business-to-business sales prospects then you have a winning formula for a successful promotional mailing campaign.