Digital Marketing – What Is It?

Digital marketing is also known as internet marketing or online marketing and it’s about identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements in the digital sphere while achieving your business goals.It encompasses a wide range of online channels including pay per click advertising, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing and many more.It also involves tracking, measuring, monitoring and managing online campaigns to meet business goals, while satisfying target markets needs and wants. So, all activities start with goals and objectives and customers are at the heart of all operations.For true success with digital marketing, it’s important to create a marketing plan or strategy that helps guide your activities and this is what you should include in it:Marketing AnalysisAn analysis is a health and wealth check of your business to assess how well you are performing on digital channels. It helps you to review your business to see what you lack and what you need to do to achieve your mission.An analysis also involves researching your competitors to find out who they are and how well resourced they are. Competitors come from all directions and include international businesses that are selling to your local target market and you can’t ignore them.Your analysis will also look at your target customers to find out who they are and what they need or want. You will identify their demographics and assess if you are able to meet their requirements whether they are consumers or business customers.Marketing ObjectivesFrom your marketing analysis, you will have a wealth of information that will help you to craft your marketing objectives. Remember, your objectives are short-term and they should be in line with your mission and goals.They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related and you should take into consideration your business resources as you create them.Your objectives will guide your strategy so it’s important that you take some time creating them and ensure that they are important to your business.Target MarketingIn your marketing analysis, you will have identified customer segments that you want to target with your products or services. Now you will need to identify which segments to target based on your objectives and the resources that your business has.This is one of the most difficult parts of your digital marketing plan and it’s important that you pick only the segments that will be profitable. So you should avoid targeting all segments because that will likely dilute your efforts and exhaust your budget for little in return.Marketing StrategyThe marketing strategy is the bulk of your digital marketing plan and covers your marketing mix elements such as product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence. So these are all the marketing tactics that you have to implement to achieve your objectivesMuch of what you include here will have come from the research that you carried out in your audit and analysis.Budgets and ControlsLastly, you should set a budget that is sufficient enough to implement your marketing tactics. If you have a small budget, you should only include those tasks that are most important to your success.Control is about identifying contingencies and deciding what to do when things go wrong, as they usually do. So you need to regularly check and review progress and ensure that you are on the path to achieving your objectives.

Why Are Online Businesses Booming?

Without doubt the internet has changed the way that we live our lives. This has been particularly apparent with recent sales figures for many retailers including Next showing a slump in high street shop sales and a growth within online shopping sales proving that the internet is now the preferred method of shopping for many of us. Sadly this has resulted in the closure of many high street stores, especially electrical retailers, as they battle stiff competition from online retailers.During the past ten years the growth of the internet has resulted in many individual success stories and has also strengthened sales for many established businesses as they also use websites to generate extra revenue. Experts predict that by 2020 90% of transactions will take place online or will be influenced by the internet.With this in mind there has never been a better time to start an internet online business. Statistics show that the demand and audience is huge so what better way to capitalise on this demand than by starting an online business.Internet businesses involve less risk, cost and effort and most can be started straight away. To create a successful home online business you will need to take the following into consideration:Look For A Product That Doesn’t Have A Market LeaderIf you want to become a successful entrepreneur you will need to find a niche that is quite unique without massive competition. One such example was a lady who found a gap in the market for providing baby products and accessories in your own home. She thought of the idea after having a baby of her own. She has now formed a very successful business providing this service.Having a passion for what you are selling is also crucial to your success. This was the case for twelve year old Louis Barnett who created a successful confectionary company selling chocolates to top retailers. He left school with severe dyslexia and dyspraxia but his desire to be able to spell the word chocolate inspired him to set up his own company selling chocolate. He scored the highest score ever for his pitch with one retailer which even at twelve years old was full of passion fuelled by his belief in his product.Write Up A Good Business Plan To Get Funding For Your BusinessPresenting a good business plan will help you to get the necessary funds to start your on line business. Make sure that you ask for adequate funds at the beginning to ensure the success of your business. Asking for too little funds is a mistake often made but will only result in your business struggling in the short term.Register Your CompanyIf you anticipate that your sales will exceed the current threshold of £73k you will need to register your company for VAT.On line traders also need to ensure that they comply with data protection legislation when storing information on customers.Create A Good WebsiteWith any internet business it is crucial to create a powerful website to attract customers to your business. Your website acts as a shop window for your business and will determine how successful your business will become.Whilst it is cheaper to install your own website it is better, if financially possible, to outsource this task as this can be the difference between making sales or not.You will need to ensure that your website is appealing as people will buy if they like what they see. Make sure that the website is easy to navigate especially on the ordering page as people will tend to leave if the sales process is too difficult.Test your website with potential customers, friends and family before launching your website to make sure that it has the necessary appeal.Marketing Your BusinessFor an online business, marketing is vital to its success. Effective marketing will ensure that people are drawn to your website over your competitors.There are several ways in which you can market your online business. You can advertise organically by writing articles or blogs or you can pay for advertising using Google ad words or by paying for SEO. The type of advertising you choose will be largely governed by the type of online business that you have and by the budget that you have available.Offline advertising such as direct mail can also be very effective in promoting your online business and increasing sales.Don’t Give Up Your Day JobDon’t make the mistake of giving up your day job too soon. Most online businesses only require you to work part time from home to begin with allowing you to work around your current employment and still enjoying the security of earning income while your business gets off the ground.All in all your internet business will thrive provided that you offer people what they want to buy at a price that they can afford and that you make them aware that you have what they need.With the ever growing popularity of the internet there has never been a better time to start an internet business. There are many online business ideas, all you need to do is carry out some research to find the best online business for you.

5Linx and ACN – Who Wins in the 5Linx Vs ACN Telecommunications Battle?

The Battle of Telecommunications – 5Linx Vs. ACNAfter recent review of the two telecommunications giants in the MLM industry, it seems like there are some serious similarities between the two. So what’s the real difference between 5Linx and ACN? And how can network marketers choose which to invest in?What’s the better opportunity?ACNACN came first. It was started by 4 entrepreneurs in 1993, with headquarters in Concord, North Carolina. Since inception, it’s grown to 23 countries, on 4 continents.ACN has a close relationship with Donald Trump, who endorses their products and chose to recently feature their video phone on his show, Celebrity Apprentice. The boost in media attention has helped the company grow both in customer base and independent representatives. Just last year, ACN was on the Direct Selling Global’s list of top 100 direct selling companies. It seems that things are looking up for ACN and its four core founders (who still work for the company).The products they offer range from mobile phone services, high speed internet, satellite TV, home security, VoIP services, and even energy.5LinxThe story of 5Linx follows a similar, but more recent, path. Two of its three founders were actually in business with a man named Andre Maronian at ACN. They decided that they wanted to form another telecommunications company, and sold their shares to Maronian. They eventually built a huge network and became Inc. 500′s fastest growing company for four consecutive years in the late 2000′s. Product offerings are nearly identical to ACN’s: mobile phone services, high speed internet, satellite TV, home security, VoIP services, and, yes, even energy.A Booming IndustryAfter the recent deregulation of the energy industry, it’s going to become a bigger and bigger part of both companies businesses. Right now, ACN is leading by offering more energy services in more states. With only 4 states available at the moment (but more coming in 2011), 5Linx proves to be a competitor in the game.The two companies are giants in the industry, and both are well-respected for the services they provide to small businesses and individuals. But who really comes out on top?Which Opportunity is More Lucrative?A leg up may go to ACN, for its recent boost in PR and feature alongside Trump on a highly rated NBC reality show. But, 5Linx isn’t far behind with its own marketing techniques (including a company magazine available to the public.)The truth is that both are viable options for network marketers. But in order to succeed in either, it’s imperative for network marketers to learn the tools of dominating cold markets, setting up credible web presences, and adding reps into their downlines. Both could be great opportunities for the right person – the person who is willing to learn in order to create a great business.