The universe of business marketing has entered a new era during the past decade or so, and the Internet most definitely has its place in this changing dynamic. Companies have typically included mail, website, email, and telesales promotions in their marketing mixes. They have widened their promotional scopes to include the amazingly popular social networking web pages currently dominating the world wide web. It is of interest to provide a detailed discussion of each of these promotional methods and their surrounding trends.
Direct mail, whether it be in the form of a brochure, postcard or catalog, has traditionally been a mainstay of businesses’ marketing mixes. There is nothing like having a tangible and colorful marketing piece on hand that effectively communicates what a company is trying to sell. As more and more marketing pieces are sent electronically today, it is rather refreshing to receive a promotional piece in the mail, especially if it is personalized as in the case of a letter. However, the increasingly high cost of direct mail has caused many businesses to cut back on this form of promotion. There are design, printing, postage, copywriting, mailhouse, and mailing list costs to consider when sending out direct mail pieces. All of these costs have gone up in recent years.
Websites are another prominent form of business marketing. Sites should be designed effectively, allowing users to navigate them easily. Another must is that the HTML code used in building a website should be constructed in such a way so as to optimize word searches. The end goal of this action is to have a website come up high on a search list after a person types some keywords into one of the major search engines. It is a must for businesses big and small to have a quality website as part of their marketing mix.
Electronic communications, or emails, are another important component of a company’s marketing activities. As opposed to mail pieces, emails tend to be cheap to send out, and they can be sent out right away. They are an inexpensive method of getting the word out quickly. Emails need to have subject lines and content that stand out, as they will be one of many electronic promotions that are sent out by businesses. They should furthermore not have any elements in their subject lines that can make them end up in someone’s spam folder. Spam considerations as well as the high volume of email marketing pieces that already go out are two cons of using email promotions in fact.
Telemarketing promotions can also be used to promote businesses. This involves a company’s hiring salespeople to call other businesses or individuals in the quest to sell the organization’s products or services. These salespeople either work off of hot lead lists containing past customers or they make cold calls to brand new prospects. They typically have to fulfill a certain quota of sales each month, or they could possibly be terminated. A sales team in many cases is responsible for a sizable portion of a company’s profits. Where telemarketing is concerned, a company has to think about hiring a top sales director who will motivate his or her staff to the fullest.
Fax promotions are also a part of business marketing mixes though to a much lesser extent than in years past. It is typically easier to get a list of qualified direct mail or email opt-ins than it is to get one for faxes. A lot of people are concerned about faxes jamming up their machines, and the last thing that they want to see is a sales piece from a business as the cause of a fax machine clog up. Fax laws in recent years have also placed great restrictions on the amount of faxes which can be sent out.
In addition to all of the promotional vehicles discussed that are a part of the business marketing mix, social networking sites have of late proven to be useful promotional tools for companies. Companies large and small can set up pages on one of the sites. These pages can possibly contain information about a company and its offerings along with a hyperlink to the business’s website. Photos of the business’s products can also be stored on the page. A company can invite friends to join its page initially, something especially done in the case of a small business. The business’s place on a social networking site can be promoted in its other marketing materials as well.