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How to Market Smart in a Slow Economy

Aug 29, 2008
Just the other day I had to go grocery shopping and I met a young lady outside the store entrance who was a representative of a nonprofit collecting food for a local food bank. I noticed that she already had food items filling two shopping carts. She asked me if I would consider buying some food items for the non-profit organization while I was doing my own grocery shopping today as she handed me a bright blue plastic bag with a flier about the organization.

She appeared startled when I reacted in such an excited and buoyant manner. "Why, your current idea and actual actions are absolutely admirable," I remarked. "It was brilliant!" She did not ask me for money, she asked instead, for just what she needed (food) and made herself available at a place where she can be sure that I can deliver.

It was easy to decide and donate to her; she made it almost a "no-brainer." The only thing I had to do was do my own shopping and fill my bright blue bag with groceries as well, then hand her the blue bag as I exited the store. I didn't need someone to come to my house for a pick up, or have to drive to another location or call a phone number. I went in, I came out, and I was finished.

The story is a proof that you don't have to make marketing complex or tough. These techniques are really simple, and if you break them down into simple steps, anyone can use it to create effective online Marketing.

Know Where Your Audience Is

Like the grocery store example, people who come there normally have the money and already prepared to buy food. If your target audience has the money and desire to buy, where do they turn?

It is always easier to make a sale after people have already reached the stage of making a decision to buy, and are now selecting the kind of products they need, as opposed to whether to buy it or not. Right after you have made the sale, you have an opportunity to make another, but most people don't realize it.

Do not complete your sale with only a page saying "Thank-you;" instead offer them a chance to make another purchase. In all probability their credit card is still out of their pocket when you show them a page which shows a product or products related to the one they just bought. It's the very old line that consistently works well, "Now that you have purchased this, what else can I sell you?" -- similar to "Would you like fries with that?"

Backup your offer

People want to know and feel that they are going to make a right decision. Noticing that other people were profiting from the product, made it an easy sell to others. Seeing that other people have already donated food, made me confident that I am doing the right thing when the representative of the nonprofit approached me outside of the grocery store.

Your sales through your website will increase if you have a forum for buyers to post their reviews of your products. You will also improve your credibility with your potential customer. The very fact that you are ready to publish all reviews irrespective of whether they are good or bad, will give your customers the confidence to deal with your company, and your product.

Yet another way is to create a short demo video in which a successful person can endorse your product. For most people that are visually induced to learn, to have them see how a product works is an excellent way to market your idea or product.

Make it Easy for Your Customer to Deal with You

If you don't make it difficult, most people would want to do business with you online. Examine how many steps it takes for you to make a purchase off of the site. You will probably lose customers if it takes more than three clicks to complete a purchase.

Potential online customers are looking for a streamlined ordering process. If you make it easy for the customer, they will be more likely to buy. The moment she gave the blue plastic bag to me, I knew just what to do and how to go about doing it. For the two of us it was a good result.


Marketing information should not sound like a sales pitch. Even though it's product information your audience asks for, their real need is to be able to trust that they are making their purchase from a reliable source, and that they are right in making that decision.
About the Author
Michelle Howe, MBA, president of Internet Word Magic, specializes in writing irresistible copy for websites. Transform the way you do business. Visit her website at http://www.InternetWordMagic.com for a FR^EE chapter download of her new book "Turn Browsers into Buyers".
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