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The link from the product name will take you directly to the product sales page where you will find complete details about the program or app.
However, if you want our take on the product as a reviewer/user or general comment, click on the "My Take" link at the end of each brief description. All the products I list have very useful functions, but they all have pros and cons.
I make every attempt to cut through the hype and dig into the true functionality, especially pointing out the upsell path for each product. The reviews I post are for your information and are neither a promotion or sales pitch, just information to help you make an informed decision.
(These reviews are an ongoing process, so keep in touch for frequent updates.)
REVIEWS & RECOMMENDATIONS
The formal definition of holistic marketing is : " A marketing strategy that is developed by thinking about the business as a whole, its place in the broader economy and society, and in the lives of its customers. It attempts to develop and maintain multiple perspectives on the company's commercial activities."
My approach to Holistic Marketing is more limited than the current elaborate definitions found on the internet. My approach is strictly based on developing an integrated marketing strategy utilizing both traditional and cutting edge marketing techniques designed to benefit local and other small businesses.
Holistic marketing techniques integrate the traditional as well as the cutting edge. The traditional techniques include:
The modern methods include some of the following:
For local businesses, a holistic marketing approach may include brochure distribution. This is especially true for businesses catering to the tourist trade. Today's brochure distribution is much more sophisticated than it was 20 years ago. Now not only is rack distribution available as always, but distribution analytics are also tracked so informed decisions can be made about locations, actual ROI, etc.
Modern racks also offer the possibility for video clips and banner ads.
If you are located in an area frequented by tourists, this may be a very effective means of getting your message out, especially, if you are off the beaten path.
If you are an e-commerce business, on-line catalogs are an essential, but don't neglect print catalogs as well. Some successful companies rely heavily on print catalogs and fliers. If you are a local business, this may not be suitable for you, targeted direct mail could very well bemore productive..
Even though commonly referred to as "junk mail," brochures, cards and letters are still effective when correctly presented. Efficiency is increased when a direct mail campaign is coupled with digital. There are several technologies available to enhance the impact of various combinations of marketing approaches.
Some local businesses can be benefited greatly by using radio and/or TV advertising, especially businesses with high ticket sales,such as auto dealers, construction companies, etc. This isn't an option for everyone, but it can be a very timely method for promoting a special event or time sensitive program.
This includes several types of approach:
Again, what works for one type of business won't necessarily work for another. The options are numerous. and can be coordinated with any of the other marketing tools.
Give-aways, such as bonuses, coupons, gift cards, or free anything, can be a compelling motivation for generating response and building confidence. This approach is most effective with on line businesses, but in some cases,with a little out-of-the-box thinking, these approaches can also work for local businesses as well.
Coupons are a time honored and effective marketing tool that can be utilized for ANY business. This category includes innovative programs like Groupon and their competitors. One thinks of Groupon as a promotion device for restaurants and entertainment, but it can also be used for on line marketing and brand building.
Until recently, specific geo-targeting and time sensitive mobile marketing was the exclusive method reserved for large companies, but there are now programs designed for small business that allow highly targeted mobile ads to areas as small as 200 meters diameter! Perfect for targeting competitors, targeting areas frequented by potential clients, zeroing in on sports stadiums, and many more situations
Video has been growing in popularity exponentially over the last few years and now hold the crown as the most effective marketing tool in the entire arsenal. We cover this method extensively on this web site.
Click on the following links to get more information:
Another technique that is gaining traction is gamification and/or surveys. I personally prefer gaming for list building and surveys for connecting with your list.
The game approach can be structured in many ways, such as coupling with a variety of free offers, product discounts, coupons, etc. Let your imagination rule.
There are several software programs specifically designed to produce this type of marketing tool, such as:
Although not the hot button it was a few years ago, email is still an important tool in the marketing kit. The challenge with email is that in order for it to be effective, a targeted email list must first be laboriously built.
There are at least two dozen "gurus" promoting their wares as "instant email builders," but the key word here is "targeted." That simply takes work and the building of trust.
There are, however, some list building programs that actually work, but they still require effort on your part.
There are also several email enhancing and automated programs that can be very useful once you have a substantial mailing list or are getting good responses to your CTAs.
Here are a couple of examples:
Another potential "has been" in the marketing arena. As with email, gaming the system has caused the search engines to fight back, so the gamers are being punished, but SEO is far from dead. The search engines are fine tuning their algorithms to focus more heavily on content value.
A prime feature search engines rely on to determine the importance of a website is the monitoring of backlinks.
The number of backlinks a website has is a good indicator of its popularity or importance with search engines. ... It is easy to get a higher ranking using referral backlinks than it is to influence search engines with external backlinks from other sites, which is why backlinks matter so much in a search engines algorithm.
A very useful tool to use for monitoring backlinks is SEO Spyglass Professional.
SEO tools help you to improve your ranking, and audit tools such as Rank Tracker help you keep track of your sites and your competition as well. Download and try for free; no credit card required.
Rank Tracker lets you:
The fundamental key to digital marketing all along and continuing into the future is content value. Again, the marketing "gurus" are playing this fiddle by providing all kinds of apps and methods to "spin" existing material so it won't flag as plagiarism. This manufactured material is not illegal, but isn't completely ethical either.
I have no problem expanding on another author's ideas, or using them with attribution, but spinning her original material simply to save me time and present the work as my own; no way!
If you are going to use another writer's material as a whole, don't spin, simply give proper credit.
Always keep in mind that to be successful on line, it is absolutely essential that you build trust. This bastardization of original material wil soon lead to making the building of trust for everyone that much harder, and believe me, it's hard already.
If you insist on using other people's work, there are several ways to go about it ethically:
Social media marketing is another area that can be very productive as long as you keep a few things in mind; not all social networks are the same, or cater to the same mindset.
Facebook, for instance, is huge, granted, and if you are targeting the under 40 market, it can be very good. LinkedIn on the other hand is excellent for B to B efforts, as is Alignable, the small business network.
Of course, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and more can also have their uses, but there is no compelling need to be active on every social site in the nation. Do your homework and find how your service or product fits the site' demographic you want to address.
Once you settle on the network you want to concentrate on. the following software programs, courses, and e-books are designed to do more in less time. Take a look at their sales pages and decide for yourself which are most useful for you:
QR coding made a big initial splash, but simmered down for several reasons: a special app is required in order to read the code, cell phones of the day didn't have the connection speed necessary to encourage widespread use. The new breed of smartphone has negated those problems, so the use of QR codes is breathing new life into their use. For more on QR Codes, go here.
Additionally, a new generation of code has now been introduced; Zappar a new breed of augmented reality. Really impressive.
In order to understand the growing importance of Voice search in your marketing strategy, this Wordstream Blog will spell it out for you with clarity.
As time goes on, voice search will have a major impact on SEO, so it will benefit you to keep educated on its' uses and foibles.
Chatbots are related to voice search, but there are some differences; chatbots actually integrate with message apps in order to provide enhanced customer service vs. traditional methods. There are many other functions as well and the caveat is "If utilizing a chatbox, be certain that it will improve your customer's experience, otherwise it's just a gimmick.
This Hubspot article gives a detailed overview.
As an Amazon affiliate, I have included links to products I recommend, but there are many other brands and prices available at Amazon and other retailers. (We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.) We are also affiliates of many of the other sites we link to. Sites that we recommend that we have no affiliation with are indicated with an asterisk (*). However, we have either purchased or at least tested any recommended affiliate or non-affiliated sites before adding their link to our site.
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