Tag Archives: competition

With the economy succumbing to an extended slump, many businesses are looking for ways to keep their operations afloat. For some that means layoffs or lowering prices across the board. Others will attempt to diversify their lineup of products or services in order to attract more patrons and one-up the competition. Still others may resort to massive marketing efforts in an attempt to reach untapped groups of consumers. But for companies that are trying to save money, provide value to customers, and still turn a profit, offering discounts and deals will require little cost while still enticing the consumer public to buy. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about using coupon codes for online purchases. Here are a few tips to ensure that your strategy is a success.

The first way that many businesses go right is by offering promotions that help to get consumers interested in their brand. The first way they go wrong is by failing to place any restrictions on these campaigns. You have to expect that when you create coupon codes and release them to the public, people are not only going to use them; they are also going to share them with their friends and some may even try to take advantage of them multiple times. Without any limitations in place you could quickly find yourself losing money instead of gaining it. This is a problem, especially for a business that is struggling in a tough economy. So you should implement rules and regulations such as one use per customer or purchase, as well as a time limit (good through only a certain date). This will allow consumers to try your brand without encouraging them to take advantage of you.

Of course, you do want to inspire patrons to become brand ambassadors, spreading your company name to their trusted contacts, so you might not want to restrict codes in such a way that they can't be passed around to multiple participants. In other words, don't encode them in a way that means they'll only work one time; or if you do, offer codes to anyone who wants them by, say, requiring a membership with your site in order to gain access to the coupon code. This is a good way to track who is utilizing codes while potentially adding to your contact list for future promotions.

The real trick with promotional codes (or any kind of promotional item) is to formulate a strategy that doesn't make you look desperate. Although both loyal patrons and new customers will no doubt appreciate offers that allow them to save some money on your products or services, you don't want to overplay your hand by offering too many promotions. Consumers may start to think that there is something wrong with your products, that you have ridiculous markups to begin with (how else could you lower prices and still turn a profit?), or that you are in such dire straits that you may not be around to honor your deals or provide customer support. You don't want to give off the stink of desperation, so temper your offers just enough to keep the consumer public interested without raising any red flags.

Guest Author:  Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for Amazon Promotional Codes where you can find the latest promotional codes to save you money on the products you love.

 

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Social Espionage?

The very term “Social Espionage” gives rise to images of an Orwellian future, or a really cool new John Le Carre novel. It could be imagined the book received funding solely on the creation of the term, which would be not too far from the truth. The term comes from Umberto Milletti, the CEO of InsideView.

InsideView, in business since 2005, just announced a $12 million round of funding. However, most are quick to point out that they are using the term to describe high-level sales executives gathering information on potential sales contacts, who don't have the time to waste in letting a salesperson get to know them, being busy CEOs and all. Get all the inside scoop-hence the product name, InsideView-on your target before you strike; learn from twitter posts that he's against continued fossil fuel production, or the current administration’s policy on such-n-such.

It’s Not That Kind Of Spying

While CRM's stated purpose is to codify business intelligence with regard to sales prospects using social networking, it is hard to imagine a sales person that wouldn't be tempted to keep tabs on the key people at his or her's nearest rival for signs of what they may do.

Hey, if it is out there why not use it? This could lead to a blackout of information and the use of social networking for many business professionals in an effort to avoid giving their competition too much information. Which many do already. There has been a controversy boiling over default business policies regarding social networking and its proper use. Employers have fired employees, and even sued them over the use of social networking in the work place. This is not going to help.

The kind of high-level tool that this new start up represents has been in the hands of enterprise level executives for a while. Business is war and in war, intelligence rules. The difference here is that salespersons and small companies all over the place will be spying on each other and making that first contact with the prospect count by already knowing the answers and the questions. Maybe, as most people in business use social networking for business and sales prospecting is already an online experience. What this package does is use semantic search and online information aggregation to make it a lot easier. ...continue reading

Image courtesy of http://younghoteliers.blogspot.com/

 

Because social media is so huge today, more and more businesses are using it. Even hotels are getting involved with marketing on social media sites because they see the value in finding customers that way. If you own or manage a hotel, work for one, you're thinking of starting one, or you’re thinking about studying hospitality management, you may want to consider the top 10 ways hotels should be using social media.

 

1. Twitter questions and answers

Create a Twitter page and let people ask questions about the hotel. They can get quick answers that way, without needing to call and talk to an employee.

2. Set yourself as an expert

Set yourself apart as an expert on something or as a specific kind of destination -- like a wedding hotel, etc. Use social media to market your niche.

3. Write content

Write good content about your industry and offer it for others to use/purchase. This really helps get your name out there.

4. Blog

You don't want to get left behind when it comes to a presence on the Internet. A website is great, but a blog can help ensure that you connect with your customers and keep them up to date.

5. Respond to bad press

If you get bad press or comments on social media sites, respond to them -- appropriately. Don't just fight back or argue, because that won't help you keep or redeem your reputation. Instead, be respectful, polite, and clear about the issue. ...continue reading