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One of the things I enjoy most about general management and program management is the fact that you get exposure to how all the different parts of an organization fit together and work. These days however I’ve realised the error of my ways and find marketing both fascinating and an extremely important part of any product lifecycle. Wheather you’re a general manager responsible for 2,000 people, or a project manager responsible for 5, a good understanding of marketing can help you make better decisions day to day. If you get any one of these elements wrong then you’re product can be a failure in the market. Now that we’re beginning to realize there might be something to marketing, let’s look at a tool we can use to help us avoid these mistakes: The Marketing Mix (often called the 4 P’s of Marketing).
What we’re trying to do is get the right balance of each of the above to hit a sweet spot and ensure that the product is a success in the market. To use The Marketing Mix and increase the chances of our product hitting the sweet spot we ask questions within each of the categories.
The questions we ask in this category are related to the product or service we are offering. What if any add-ons will be sold with the product, either in terms of servicing or add-ons to the product itself? Will the product be sold on the Internet, through shops, through speaking at conferences or trade fairs etc? What is our market coverage, for example, might it be beneficial to agree to an exclusive distribution deal?
How does the price of this product compare with other products in our portfolio (will we eat into the market share of another product if the prices are too close to each other)?
Questions in this category help us determine how we will communicate with the consumer, with the aim of generating a positive response to the product from the consumer.
How do we want the sales force to engage with customers,what should they say, and in which way should they say it? The 4 P’s of Marketing is one of the most common methods for working out how to bring your product to the customer, so that it is a success in the market, but there are others. Customers have the ability to make or break your business based on their positive or negative influence on others. Many potential customers rely on testimonials from current or previous customers when evaluating products or services from a business.
The best news for small businesses is that customer testimonials are essentially free advertising. Most businesses can get one or two customer testimonials fairly easily, but the trick is putting a process in place to continually gather valuable and current testimonials. Creating an ongoing flow of testimonials also helps to demonstrate to new customers that your product and service offering is strong, consistent and only improves over time. If you want more customer testimonials, your business should strive to create an atmosphere that encourages feedback and rewards sharing of customer experiences with your business. Here are some tips to help you ramp up inbound feedback activity and leverage your most loyal and influential customers. Make it really easy for customers to give you feedback… don’t make them dig around for a feedback mechanism on your site. Be on the lookout for active participants on your social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest or Google+. Much like feedback on social media sites, online reviews are a good source of potential customer testimonials. A small reward for sharing a customer experience can go a long way to show your appreciation, but be careful not to appear as though you are paying for a testimonial. Sometimes your customers need a little more incentive to share their story and contribute their feedback.
You may be wondering… How are customer testimonials different than loyalty reward programs or online reviews? Loyalty reward programs are typically points-based tracking programs that encourage repeat transactions or specific behavior (such as referrals).
Online review programs are mostly anonymous and based on specific products purchased online.

A good customer testimonial program combines ideas behind reward and review programs, showcases the positive feedback and leverages it as a sales tool. Typical testimonials can be as simple as a quote attributed to a customer, or as detailed as a full story or profile of the customer situation and how your business helped meet their needs.
The important thing with a solid ongoing testimonial program is getting into the habit of asking for the testimonial. With over 20 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn.
Understanding how visitors find your website and how they respond to your content is critical to optimize your online marketing efforts and grow your business.
In a world of micro-moment marketing, customers and prospects are seeking more bite-size content to consume. The Broward Cultural Division's Cooperative Marketing Program was launched in April 1991 in cooperation with ArtServe to provide Broward-based not-for-profit cultural organizations and artists with reduced advertising rates and a recognizable presence through larger media placements.
Since its inception more than 90 organizations have received benefits from this program on an annual basis.  Advertising placement is offered as an incentive to eligible organizations and artists that qualify through an application process.
Artist may purchase up to $1,000 of the Grant Program amount in advertising through the Cooperative Marketing Program at the one dollar to one dollar match (Artists will contribute $500 and Broward Cultural Division will contribute $500 towards advertising). FEB152015how to get more business & get into your email subscribers headHow to get more business How to get more business, we all hand over our email addresses every day.
For each phase, the general approach to communication and the Communications Plan should be reviewed. With the advent of social media marketing however, small businesses can get an equal footing as their bigger competitors in terms of their ability for marketing placement online.
When I first started my career, like many people working in a technical capacity I considered that marketing was all about having long liquid lunches, and using those special marketing phrases we all love to hate.
It is best to use this model as early as possible in the product development lifecycle to ensure the product can meet customer and market needs. That’s why any good business person knows that providing excellent customer service and nurturing repeat, loyal customers is the key to success.
A customer testimonial captures the essence of a customer’s experience with your business and can speak volumes for your products, your service level and your ability to deliver on your brand promise. It’s like having your best sales people on staff – without having to put them on your payroll! You received positive feedback from a customer and you turned it into a testimonial with their permission.
Because you certainly don’t want your best testimonial to be one you got from a customer that did business with you 10 years ago.
When they see other customers being featured, they are likely to want to receive the same type of exposure. Most outspoken customers on social media sites are happy customers (of course if they are not you will know that too and it’s best to handle the situation promptly). Of course the positive review can work in your favor as a testimonial, but getting permission to showcase the customer’s feedback in a more formal fashion can help give it more visibility and assist your sales efforts. Get them actively contributing to your marketing library by launching a photo or video contest. Customers provide ratings and feedback on the product (which usually includes customer service) and can be a great sales tool for potential customers.
Whether you are a one person shop or a small business with a sales and customer service staff, everyone should be focused on asking for permission to use feedback from a customer as a testimonial.
Diane also serves as the marketing director for SureShade, a growing small business that has become the new standard for shade on boats, and runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing. They are looking for information that is quick, understandable and easy to act upon if desired. Advertising includes, but is not limited to, placement on the radio, TV, movie theater screens, daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, community and minority publications, internet, specialty publications and social media.
The Broward-based, non-profit or not-for-profit cultural organizations and artists must attend an orientation meeting as well as complete the participation guidelines and eligibility forms.

You use it to sign up for blog subscriptions, forum accounts, information about a hot new trend or product, and so on. We know that customers will want it, we have access to great retail channels so they will see it, the price point is such that they are wanting to buy it, but because of verious delays we don’t get it to market until mid December.
Even if marketing isn’t something you encounter day to day during your job, it can be enlightening to understand the issues and questions marketers are concerned with, and make us better at our job whether we’re a program manager responsible for 1,000 people or a project manager responsible for 10 people.
Once you get a great customer testimonial you can use it on your website, in your sales pitches and throughout your marketing efforts to help sell your business. You may have even been lucky enough to have testimonials actually offered to you by customers. Outdated praise won’t necessarily be the best assessment of your business for potential new customers. Be sure to prominently showcase customer testimonials throughout your website, your marketing materials and social media networks.
Phrases like “Share Your Story”, “Tell us What You Think”, “Share Your Love” or “Be a [Company Name] Star” are much more engaging than a simple “contact us” or “feedback” link.
Items that customers are likely to use and will be seen by others (such as t-shirts) are particularly useful because they turn customers into walking and talking billboards for your business.
Customers participating in loyalty programs are very valuable to a business because they are typically very happy and good advocates.
You’d be surprised – most happy customers are very willing to share their story with others. New organizations must submit written proof of non-profit or not-for-profit status including copies of State of Florida articles of incorporation, bylaws, certification of filing with the Secretary of State as well as a list of performances, exhibits or events presented by the organizations for the upcoming season for the period commencing at the beginning of each fiscal year of the COUNTY through the end of such fiscal year. But, as with many small businesses, you probably don’t have a “customer testimonial program” in place that actively encourages and gathers new testimonials. The problem with reward programs is that there is typically not an easy way to capture their praise and use it as a testimonial in marketing efforts. The problem with online reviews is that you cannot control the presentation or wording of the review.
If all you care about is getting people to click on your ads, then you’re in for a rude surprise.
However, each has its own specialized marketing tools that you can use in promoting your small business. We’ve missed the Christmas market by getting the timing all wrong, and by next Christmas the product will likely be obsolete! Photo promotions with Facebook or other social media sites work very well to spread the word. Also, because the review is typically tied to a product it may not be as visible as you would like on your website. For video contests, have them upload the video to YouTube and send you the link to the video. You need to be consistent in making updates about your products and services to keep your target audience interested.
The first email was sent in 1971, and it certainly didn’t include any “today only” offers on flatscreen TVs or low priced ethnic food. You need to be consistent in monitoring the performance of your marketing outcomes using one strategy to another. According to recent marketing surveys: 8 out of 10 consumers claim to receive marketing emails or messages on a daily basis.
I have complied a simple set of information, templates and tools that you can use to consistently generate thousands of dollars.

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