What is a customer worth within your online “marketing mix”?
If you can’t answer that question about your business, then there is a good chance that you are missing some of the key ingredients that will ensure better performance from your marketing.
The overall thought process in marketing online, is that if you bring enough traffic to one of your sites or offers, it’s going to be inevitable that money will eventually change hands and you will have acquired a new customer.
However, for many aspiring online entrepreneurs this just doesn’t seem to pan out, and it’s not the case at all. Sadly, the famous line of “build it, and they will come” (as in customers) doesn’t always ring true for many out there.
Marketing Mix – What the heck is going on?
Here you are thinking that you’ve just created a product, or series of products, which people are absolutely going to love, except all you can hear coming out of your Paypal account is a bunch of crickets chirping.
“Crap!” your thinking to yourself. “There’s got to be something I’m really missing here. I just don’t get it.”
Committing Entrepreneurial Suicide
It’s been said that if you haven’t researched your target market well enough, and figured out what they really want, then all you’ll basically end up doing is spinning your wheels, and effectively end up committing entrepreneurial suicide.
(Hmmm, you don’t say… oh yes, I am)
In fact, this is what’s known as the cardinal sin of effective marketing, and its roots can be traced back as far as when people first started creating consumable products for people to purchase. This holds true of whether it’s an offline business, as well as online business.
So what’s the problem, and how does one go about fixing it?
Creating An Effective Online “Marketing Mix” = Profits!
What’s an effective “marketing mix” and why should you care?
An online “marketing mix” is what brings all of the different components of successful selling on the internet into a congruent and cohesive system to achieve its business goals.
It effectively targets the right group of people, with the right products and services, at the right time and place, which all lends itself to the end goal of substantial and increased profits.
It’s also been called the 7 P’s of marketing.
The 7 P’s of the marketing mix include People, Product, Price, Promotion, Place, Process, and Physical Evidence.
Let’s look at each of these components in a little more detail:
- Marketing Mix – People
This is where it all begins, people. First it’s very important that you find out through research if there are enough people in demand of a certain types of products and services.
Typically you can get a good idea of the demand for certain products and services by conducting thorough keyword research. In certain markets there may be several different types of products which can cater to a particular segment of people.
If there is a high demand of certain types of products, then this can be great news for you. This will help you when it comes to creating your sales funnel, and for future product development for repeat sales to that segment of people down the road.
The “people portion” can also include the people who you have hired to take care of certain tasks and operations for you within your business.
These are the people who might run your support desk, take care of customer service, copywriters, programmers you may need to utilize from time to time etc.
When you can find people who genuinely believe in the products or services that your online business creates, it’s much more likely that they’ll perform the best that they can for you. Also, they’re more apt to give you honest feedback and input into the types of products you are producing.
This can lend itself to that “team spirit” which helps to make things run as smoothly as possible.
That can within itself, give you a huge competitive advantage with your market place. When you have happy staff that deals with your customers in an efficient timely manner, who do you think a customer is going to want to deal with again when it comes to another type of product that your business offers?
Sure, perhaps there might be competitors offering something similar, but if your customers are treated great from the get-go, it’s you that they are going to want to deal with again in the future!
- Marketing Mix – Products
Do you have the right products for the market you are trying to target?
As mentioned earlier, you absolutely need to have the right types of products that are in demand for your market. But, how do you know?
A great place for finding out the types of products that your target market might want to get their hands on is inside of online forums.
- What types of questions are they asking in threads?
- What types of responses are they getting to their questions?
- Are there already products available that may address their situation?
If there is, you might want to ask yourself, “Well, what can I do to offer a better product to this group of people than my competitors. What can give me the edge to stand out?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been inside one of the Skype groups I belong to where people are asking where they can find a certain script that does “this or that”, or who provides the best solution to a service they are needing.
Skype groups can provide you with some good marketing intel. It may be something you want to consider when looking for a product or service you might want to create. Facebook groups can be great for this type of research as well.
- Marketing Mix – Price
Price is the next thing that’s important within your “marketing mix.”
This is actually an area where you have to be somewhat careful, plus, be mindful of what your target market might actually be willing to pay.
On occasion myself when I’ve been looking at a certain product I’ve said, “Are you kidding me?”
Hey buddy, “Sure, maybe if your name was Frank Kern or Jeff Johnson I was already expecting to pay that much, but who the hell are you?”
This is a touchy area. If you or your company hasn’t made a big name for itself already in a particular market, it’s unlikely that people would be willing to pay you the types of fees that some of the bigger marketers or businesses command.
That’s not to say, they won’t in the future, but you must be realistic of where you are positioned in the present time.
Pricing has a lot to do with how a product is perceived as well.
If you price your product too low, then it might be considered as somewhat inferior to your competitions. Then again, if you try and shoot too high, you could be shooting yourself in the foot, since people may not think the benefits of the product or service are worth your asking price.
Be sure to take a good look at your competitor’s products and services, their positioning, and how you think you’ll best fit in to be competitive in the market.
If you already have current customers, you might also want to survey them to get some good honest feedback.
- Marketing Mix – Promotion
The fourth “P” in the “marketing mix” is Promotion.
This part of your process in your marketing plan can include several components in how you are getting the word out about your product, including:
- Article marketing
- Social media marketing such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc.
- JV partners
- Media buys
Your combination and how you go about promotion will depend on your budget, the message you want to communicate, and the group of customers you are targeting.
Things to consider:
- How much money you have to spend
- Access to partners willing to promote for you
- The types of incentives you can offer
For best results, you may want to consult a professional in this area to lay out an optimal strategic plan for you.
- Marketing Mix – Place
At first glance, you might think place is obvious. Of course, you’ll be selling your products or services from your web site; however, you can leverage the use of several sites to help you get more sales.
For instance, you may want to list your product or service inside of one or more affiliate networks. This can be extremely powerful, especially if your product is well received and becomes popular among affiliates wanting to promote for you.
Some places to consider listing your product:
- Commission Junction
There are many affiliate networks out there. I suggest you check out several of them to see where your product can fit in well.
- Marketing Mix – Process
The next thing to consider within the marketing mix is the process of how your products are delivered.
This is generally the technical part of the equation. For this you are going to need an effective “sales system”.
It’s how you are going to get paid, and deliver your products. For most digital products this is all done online. However, if one of your products or services happens to be physical, you might require the use of a distribution company.
There are several effective sales systems available on the market today.
You’ll want a system that is capable of handling your main offer and any possible upsell or downsell offers. Of course you’ll also want to be implementing a system that is capable of integrating Aweber or Get Response as well, so you can be building your buyers list of customers at the same time.
Some you might want to look into are Infusionsoft, RAP, IDev Affiliate, or others.
There are many to choose from, that fall into different budgets. Take the time to figure out what you think will best suit your needs.
- Marketing Mix – Physical Evidence
When it comes to online marketing “physical evidence” pertains to how you, your products, or your company is presented in the market place.
Branding, Branding, Branding!
Yes, we’ve all heard of the term “branding”.
Branding is extremely important. This can include the professionalism in how your products, your logo, and the entire message that your “brand” is trying to get across to the public is perceived.
It’s important that your company and it’s products and services come across in a congruent manner, where each part can compliment one another, to create the overall “brand”.
Let’s face it, when you see the Nike swoosh, or a McDonalds sign, you know immediately what their logos stand for.
When you can create an image that is immediately noticeable, it’s definitely going to help you to stand out from the crowded noise that’s online.
If you can create a strong brand image, it’s definitely going to help you to increase your sales, retain customers, and make you a force to be reckoned with in the online world!
As you can see there are many components that come into play when creating an effective “marketing mix” that includes the 7 P’s to effective marketing.
I hope you found this article helpful, and gave you some insight into building your successful future using a successful marketing mix!