Do You Have a Marketing Strategy and Plan for Your Business in 2018?

Do you have a marketing strategy and plan for your business?Without a marketing strategy and plan, you can’t attain your business goals. It’s 101 for a business.Whether you are a startup, entrepreneur, or business, preparing a strategy for the first time, or tweaking your existing plan, this is the first and most important piece of your roadmap to success.A smart marketing plan begins with a smart strategy.Your First Step – A Marketing Strategy:You need to be focused. You need a clear message. You need a process.A marketing strategy is the overarching, big picture plan, the high-level road map to help you attain your business goals. After all, you can’t get there if you don’t know where you’re going!The goal of a marketing strategy is to dive deeply into your business, your sales process, your target market, your message and current marketing to understand your successes and pinpoint your challenges.You need to clarify your goals and objectives that will deliver results.You should identify your niche markets, core messaging, elevator pitch and mission, values and vision statement. This is the foundation of your marketing plan and makes up the specific mix of marketing activities that will drive revenue.During your marketing strategy, you should assess the following:- Organization Overview & Mission
- Current Messaging, Elevator Pitch, Value and Vision Statement
- Products and/or Services
- Goals & Success Metrics
- Brand Positioning
- Target Markets & Ideal Customer
- Marketing Audit: Marketing Budget, Advertising (print/online), E-mail, Seasonal Promotions/other
- Social Media Marketing Audit: Content Strategy (images, videos), Social Media Channels, Blogging
- Website Review & Assessment
- Competitor Site Review
- Search Engine OptimizationYour Second Step – A Detailed Marketing Plan:You need to be seen. You need to be heard. You need to be found.The next step is a to put together a detailed marketing plan from the information you gathered from your marketing strategy.This is an in-depth marketing roadmap, infrastructure and plan that will be used for your marketing. It will include developing content, developing promotional offers, most effective social media channels to be active on, email marketing, building an email list, and budget for Facebook advertising.This detailed Marketing Plan will help your business or organization become more structured, and is something you can implement straightaway in order to see success and become more profitable.A marketing strategy and plan is the KEY to your success. Don’t procrastinate and start them today.

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From Fiction To Reality The Evolution Of Beacon Technology

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, gradually turning every science fiction into reality. Beacon technology is one of those technological advancements, which was once a figment of the imagination of many researchers. Let’s have a look at how beacon technology is evolving and changing our business world.What is a Beacon?A Beacon is a tiny, battery-powered, wireless, low-cost sensor with a built-in Bluetooth chip device that works on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It allows Bluetooth enabled devices to receive data within short distances.Beacon device is designed in such a way that it is easy to fix anywhere and can be efficiently used by everyone. It continuously broadcasts a radio signal, and when a device receives this signal it reads the beacon’s ID and triggers the action in the smartphone app based on the proximity of the beacon. What makes a beacon technology different is its ability to “wake up” an app, which is not open but has been downloaded on the Smartphone.Deep Dive into Beacon TechnologyMost beacons use BLE technology / Bluetooth Smart Technology as it requires low energy consumption and low implementation cost. The technology only allows for small amounts of data transmission, and it is the reason most beacons only transmit their IDs.Beacon IDs consists of three values:

Universally unique identifier (UUID)

Major value

Minor value
The purpose of transmitting the ID is to distinguish a beacon from all other beacons in a network. Major and Minor values are the integer values assigned to the beacon, for greater accuracy in identification. Beacon also carries information about its signal power to determine the proximity of the source.iBeaconiBeacon is a brand name created by Apple Inc., which was first presented at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in 2014 as part of Apple’s iOS 7. It is a technology innovation of Apple that has been implemented in the location framework in iOS 7 and newer operating systems. As described above, iBeacon uses BLE technology to sense proximity and transmit a UUID, which triggers an action in a compatible app or operating system.Eddystone – A Game ChangerIn response to iBeacons, Google came up with its beacon project called Eddystone on July 14, 2015, with more open and flexible approach. Eddystone is Google’s open-source, cross-platform BLE beacon format. While Apple’s iBeacon only works with iOS devices, Eddystone works with both Android and iOS devices. Unlike iBeacons, they broadcast not only their UUID but also pre-programmed web page URLs and thus don’t require the installation of specific apps. The URL could be a regular web page providing relevant information, for e.g. a beacon next to a restaurant can broadcast a link to a YouTube clip or their specialty menu. Certainly, Eddystone will bring in new IoT use cases.Beacons EmpoweredWith this drastic rise in beacon technology, companies are investing in this technology to generate greater revenues. Here I have given a brief detail about how retail industry is utilizing and availing benefits of beacon technology.Smart RetailThe rapidly growing e-Commerce industry has resulted in the decrease of footfall and in-store sales for both the small-time retailers and big brands. In-stores have understood that they have to mimic e-commerce in the areas of personalized offers and shopping experiences.Thus, Retail is a critical area where beacons are expected to bring huge impact – from proximity marketing to contactless payments to in-store analytics. 85% of the retail industry is expected to leverage beacon technology by the end of the year 2016. Beacons may seem like hype today, but let’s have a glance at few of its revolutionary aspects.Beacons send location awareness alerts, updates on merchandise/products, and promotional notifications to tempt a passerby to enter the store. It can also be used to analyse customers who walk past the store and their visit duration. This analysis will help in making strategic decisions on product display.Beacons use in-store navigation and provide real-world analytics like:

The areas and items a customer likes to explore

Where a customer spent most of her/his time

What and when s/he makes a purchase

Most in-store rushed locations

In-store deserted locations

Busiest days of the store

Number of people who walk into their store per day
These data provides insight into customer behavior and store performance. This analysis will help the retailers to organize their products, prices and place their products in strategic locations on strategic days and time. By knowing the repeated visitors to the store, retailers can reward those customers with loyalty benefits for their purchase.Beacon makes a customer’s in-store journey personalized and unique. It fetches data from the wish list of a customer and notifies him when he comes across that particular product. It also recommends products based on price, quality, and offers to provide better in-store experience.The customers who have already set up their payment information through their smartphone can use a connected beacon and complete their purchase by processing their payment (a.k.a contactless payment) without waiting in long queues. When a payment is done, the stock will be automatically updated.Beacon technology is spreading gradually in not just the retail space; it is being adapted to various other sectors like Hotels, Airline industry, Football Leagues, B2B arena and more. Beacons help businesses to attract more customers and to understand the demands of their potential customers. It is a cost-effective and targeted marketing technique that promotes your sales and generates higher revenues.

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Home Based Business Opportunity – Were You Aware Of The Benefits Of Having A Home Based Business?

Home based business opportunity, what does this exactly mean? A home based business opportunity can represent a number of ways to start your own business from the comforts of home. You could decide to become a freelancer and write articles as a ghostwriter or make a website and sell your products that you have created as a home based business opportunity.A business operated from home can give you the freedom to work when you want to, as much as you want to, and wherever you want to. You can log in at a library and check your email and your website while being on the road if you don’t have a laptop. You can visit a friend and check on business and even attend a web conference while visiting with family during the holidays. The type of business is yours to choose and yours to control.A business operating from your home comes with great tax breaks. You can claim a home office whether it is a room, or ten feet by ten feet of space, by using a home based business. You can deduct whatever you use for the home office along with any equipment you had to buy to start your home based business opportunity. A great example is a brand new computer. You can use this for your new home based business opportunity and let it depreciate. Take all your pens, copy paper, and everything and claim as a business expense.You could be introduced to a business opportunity by a friend or something you were reading online. Maybe selling vitamins caught your attention or learning internet marketing as a great potential business opportunity. Or, perhaps you wanted to try affiliate marketing as a business based out of your home and not even touch the products or services at all. With this type of business, all you have to do is place classified ads and get internet users to click on your affiliate link. There are many great ideas to think about when you have a business you can run from your home.There are a lot of businesses available today that you can operate from home and they are structured to quickly get you on your feet and keep you financially stable. All you have to do is set goals every day, every week, and every month to achieve them and then once achieved; live your dream life.When looking for a home based business opportunity, be realistic about the goals you have set. It takes time for things to fall into place. Look for something you love to do in a home base business. If you are not sure about a specific type of business, try another idea that you are more comfortable with. You can start slow in your business by reading and learning before the actual doing. There are plenty of eBooks and how to websites to give you help and ideas to make your business a success.A Home Based Business can give you the freedom you need to have more time with your family. You never know, a home based business opportunity may entice some of your family members to start their own venture alongside you!

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