A recent article in the Dayton Business Journal featured two SBDC’s in the Dayton region. Pat Newcomb from the Entrepreneur’s Center and Earl Gregorich from Wright State University collaborated to provide insight on marketing strategies with traditional and social media. Check out the full DBJ story.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers has partnered with Braddock Communications, Inc. and published the book ‘Braddock’s Procurement Guide 2013: An Entrepreneurs Guide to Selling to Governments and Corporations”. This book provides an overview of the government and corporate marketplace, with insight on the inner workings on how the decisions are made. The book also includes the following topics…
• Selling to the Federal Government/State Governments
• Selling to Large Corporations
• Selling to Foreign Governments and International Organizations
• “Green” Procurement
• Special Resources for Women-, Minority-, or Veteran-Owned Businesses
And thanks to the Microsoft Corporation, this guide is available to all SBDC directors and their clients at no cost. For a copy of this must-have guide, talk to your local SBDC Director or visit http://www.asbdc-us.org/BraddockProcOppsGuide.html
In today’s competitive markets, every piece of knowledge that puts your business one step ahead of the competition is always critical. Sometimes this knowledge can stem from the competition itself. Here are six easy ways to monitor your competition to look for a competitive advantage…
1.) Subscribe to their blogs
Businesses these days are becoming more and more transparent, use this to your advantage. Reading their blogs and posts can help you understand their newest features and latest products.
2.) Use their products
Using the competition’s websites often can help you discover new features on their webpages before they are officially released. Many companies “soft-launch” features little by little, keeping up to date with their websites can help you learn and detect these new features.
3.) Look at their photos
With social media and corporate websites, pictures are extremely easy to come by. Taking a look at each of these pictures can help you assess the company by finding out its culture, what computers and hardware they use, even how many employees they have.
4.) Monitor their press releases and news
Similar to reading their blogs, monitoring press releases and news can give you all sorts of information on the competition. To keep up with these, set up Google alerts to notify you.
5.) Monitor their Twitter and Facebook pages
A lot can be said of how people perceive your company, and the same goes for your competition. Monitoring these two social media sites will allow you to learn how the public feels about your competition, what they like and dislike can both be helpful.
6.) Understand their employees
Employees are the greatest asset to any business. Understanding the competiton’s employees can help you learn about the company, why it was started, and what drives the people behind it. Understanding them can be as simple as following them on LinkedIn or Facebook, use the web to your advantage.
For more business information, go to http://upstart.bizjournals.com/
If you are looking forward to Black Friday with anticipation of selling rather than buying, Rhonda Abrams and Visa merchant services have teamed up to help you plan for not only the big day but the entire holiday season. Download the two guides and have a great holiday season!
Social Media Guide for Holiday Sellers – See where the customers are and what they are doing on the most popular social networks. Need a strategy? Come in to the SBDC for a planning session.
Holiday Guide for Small Businesses – An all-in-one guide to holiday sales success.
Inc.com’s Young Entrepreneur Council recently asked 10 successful young entrepreneurs to share their opinions on which marketing tactics they find to be outdated. Here are their thoughts:
1. Cold Calling. As Inc.com cleverly states, cold calling is just not “hot” anymore. Rather than saying the same pitch to every potential customer, it is best to research each potential customer and tailor your pitch to them.
2. Putting Sales Before Success. This tactic of “sell, sell, sell” is being replaced by prioritizing customer retention and loyalty. This puts emphasis on post-sale support in order to create repeat customers.
3. Spam. Our inboxes are constantly filled, so each email needs to be worth reading. Emails, like phone calls, should be more personalized in order to be effective.
4. Being Fixated on the Clock. The traditional 9-5 job is no longer sufficient when it comes to bolstering business development. Thanks to the internet, not only are we no longer limited by time, but we are encouraged to use personal social networking to further develop business.
5. Using Snail Mail. Attempting mass market your business or your product through traditional mail is wasteful for businesses today.
6. Going by the Script. Using the hard sell when pitching sales is becoming less effective. Sales teams should try to connect to people rather than sell people.
7. Selling Specs Rather than Vision. It is more important to explain “why” rather than justify “how”. Whether you are talking about a product or your company on the whole, you want to get your customers to feel good about what you do. This way, you get your customers to believe what you believe.
8. Promoting Instead of Providing. When marketing and selling, it can be said that you are appealing to people who are already looking for something. Because of this, the quality of the information is most important.If you provide the necessary information you won’t have to twist any arms.
9. Trying to be First in the Phone Book. Buying your way to the top of a list isn’t going to cut it anymore. More businesses get customers through referrals, so instead of allocating your resources to buy the biggest and best ads, instead spend your resources on making your existing customers remember to suggest your name the next time a colleague needs something.
10. Using Social Media like a Machine. Social Media is about engagement. People don’t connect to your business on Facebook or Twitter to see more ads.
You can read the full article here.
If you are interested in taking a Marketing course with the SBDC at WSU, please visit our class schedule for dates and times of upcoming courses.