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ALTI Success Strategies helps small business to Grow, Profit and Prosper through the following services...

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Broad, high-level / long term initiatives that differentiate through compelling, sustainable competitive advantages.

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Making Good On My Resolutions 

February/01/2006

Hi,

This months newsletter is jam-packed with valuable information for you my readers, my associates and my friends.  Here is a short "table of contents" for you:

  • Survey Rewards: Learn what others got for helping me to help you.

  • Client / Projects: Funding Academy, Grad School, and Getting Mentally and Emotionally Free.

  • Survey Results:  You Spoke -  I listened and will teach you what you asked, "How to Create a Marketing Plan" (Part 1).

  • Staying In Touch: Learn how to never miss an issue - and what's coming up in future newsletters.

 

SURVEY REWARDS:

Over the holidays, many of you saw more than a few e-mails from me asking you to visit my online survey at www.alticonsulting.com/ask-allan-2.htm and give me your feedback by selecting any combination of 81 different topics. 

The purpose of this survey is to guide and add value to all my e-mail communications.  As an incentive for your time, I offered the ethical bribe of giving all respondents access to tools / information worth over $50 and one lucky person would win a special surprise bonus worth over $1,500.

So, for those of you who responded, you'll be getting a separate e-mail from me with all the links to your gifts (listed below), for those of you who would like to still be heard, I am still offering all of the free gifts below for those who complete the survey.

Complete my survey - here is what you get:

Invaluable Browser Toolbar - You need to know, I HATE browser toolbars and typically refuse to install them, I jealously protect my screen real estate and toolbars are an infringement upon my personal viewing space...  until I started using this one which is crammed with invaluable resources that are just one click away. Learn which browser toolbar I am using - take my survey here.

Typing Automator - Want to know how I am being more efficient and saving tons of time?  I am using this tool to type repetitive phases, sentences, paragraphs and whole letters in e-mail or in any other text document.  You've got to see this tool in action - get the download link after completing my survey here.

Personal Assistant in a Phone - Another time saving tool is my use of a service that handles all my dictation and transcription needs.  Simply put, if I can talk it into a phone, I'll get the text transcribed and e-mailed to me - just another way I am saving loads of time.  Get a 2 week trial, take my survey here.

Free PPC Account Management - I am offering free set-up, account management, and account optimization for all your pay-per-click online advertising accounts. Limited only to those who take my online survey here.

117 Hours of Training - I have secured access to 117 hours of audio lessons, presentations and training classes from many of the top business and marketing leaders, speakers and authors.  Just complete my survey to get access here.

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CLIENTS & PROJECTS:

Funding Academy - I have been teaching businesses how to find investment capital in my system, "Marketing for Money".  Well, I've teamed up with the GrowAmerica Foundation to develop what I swear is the perfect capital raising system.  

Entrepreneurs can now get access to CAPITAL, keep CONTROL of their venture, retain EQUITY, and even better, GUARANTEE the investors principal by protecting it from any and all risk associated with small business and start-up investments.  That's right your investors will never LOSE their investment.

I've teamed up with a great group of guys to help bring GrowAmerica's Funding Academy to Phoenix on February 16th and 17th.  Best of all, tuition to the class is GUARANTEED should your venture not get funded in 90 days. For more information and tuition rates, please visit the Vital Funding Academy or pasting this URL into your browser: http://tinyurl.com/alum8 

Graduate School - I've been asked to teach marketing courses for the Graduate School of Ministry Management.  I am teaching a 2 part eMarketing course, and a Marketing for Ministry course.  All courses run about 6 weeks long and are taught entirely online.  We've had some great press (story in the Arizona Republic HERE) All of my courses are also available as "continuing education" and you can enroll through the website at www.gsmm.org.

Mental & Emotional Freedom - I have just completed the first of six product driven websites for my client, Freedom For Life Ministries.  This first site offers free information about how to overcome anger, anxiety, depression, stress, relationship struggles, and a host of disorders / addictions that manifest themselves physically.  

I've been through their program to adequately research and understand their product, and I must testify that even if you think your "ok", go through their program and you'll be amazed and how much more peace and freedom can be added to your life - I was! The website is at www.livingtotallyfree.net 

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SURVEY RESULTS:
DEVELOPING MARKETING PLANS (part 1)

The number one topic of interest among those who took my online survey (nearly 70% of respondents) was "Developing Marketing Plans".  While I could literally spend several hours on this topic - I promise to devote at least 2 more issues of my newsletter to this topic.  

Further, there were at least 22 other topics that generated better than 36% of the votes.  This is very inspiring and motivating to me as I see we have a lot of work to do. If you would like to give me your feedback (if you haven't done so already) then please visit this link, and besides, you'll also get access to a whole bunch of really productive tools to help you be more efficient throughout the year.

DEVELOPING MARKETING PLANS (part 1)

Listen to the Podcast Here:

total running time: 21:18 --  Download the MP3 here

What is a Marketing Plan?  A marketing plan is that document that helps guide and direct your marketing efforts.  It is part strategy, part compass, and part road map and must encompass the present, the near future and the long term.

One of the most critical steps of developing any marketing plan is the foundational elements that the entire plan eventually is built upon.  So, before we can get into the actual plan, we need to take a step backward, and begin with the preparation. 

I like to begin with full market potential feasibility analysis. This is very important because I've seen so many forecasts ratchet themselves right out of realistic feasibility in a matter of 4 or 5 years.  This happens because no one has considered the entire market capacity.  Here's an example to illustrate:

One of my clients developed a skin care product, it had a very broad list of uses and applications, so the inventor argued that anyone with skin was a potential customer.  This is a gross overstatement, largely because the use of the term "customer" is incorrect.  

The term customer implies that the person has encountered a problem or has recognized an unfulfilled desire; that person is then seeking a solution to the problem or something to fill the desire and lastly, that person has made a decision to acquire a product and has the resources to acquire it.  This is NOT everyone with skin, but is a small minority of skin owners.

Just because someone "could" use your product or service does not mean they will. Oh, and I get this all the time, "Well, if we educate all skin owners as to why our product will give them x, y and z then they will want to buy our product."  This is unrealistic because it assumes skin owners are open to being educated.  Truth is, there will always be a segment of the market that is untouchable.

SIDE-BAR: TERMINOLOGY ALERT

You'll note that below we use a lot of terms that are also common among sales professionals. 

Wherever possible we try to use terms that carry the same or similar meaning with one major contextual difference.  

Here we use the terms to speak about an entire market, as opposed to speaking strictly about the sales activities within an organization.

So, when developing you market feasibility analysis, you must segment the "universe" of potential customers as follows:

Suspects - We think these people could use our product or service

Prospects - The segment of the market that is yet to take action, but has identified itself as "interested" in the products or service offered.

Customers - The market segment that has bought, hence establishing a "market" footprint in terms of annual sales.

Next is to understand how the Prospect segment behaves with regard to making a decision.  Typically this will result in about 4 sub-segments or "leads" as follows:

Potential Leads - not interested, happy with current arrangement.

Future Lead - contact me again in X months (typically twice as long as your average sales cycle). 

Warm Lead - Expresses interest and willingness to explore.

Hot Lead - Have identified a need and resources to allocate to fill it.

Lastly is to understand how the current market is growing, annual sales trends give insight to the growth potential of a market.  Then, combine this information with a competitive analysis to determine the market share of various players and the entry of new players into the market.

There are markets with few competitors where dominant market leadership requires a market share of 50% or more, yet in other industries the market leader may hold only a 5% market share. Markets that are growing rapidly may face competition in the form of many new entrants, which serve to segment the market further, making market dominance in market share harder to achieve.

APPLYING THIS TO YOUR BUSINESS:
Often time the best you'll be able to do is make pot-shot guesses.  Lets take my friend that owns a doggy-day-care. The business is geographically limited, hence there is no need to do extensive feasibility research on national or even state wide data. 

Instead, I am aware that there have been reports on dog ownership by zip code.  I would use these figures for the zips that her business is closest to (say 10 minute drive). Location is critical, I would factor in "transient" work population if your located next to offices, or longer drive times if your located next to a major freeway interchange.

In the end, you'll end up with a number that represents the potential "universe" of dog owners. Next, we would do some analysis on socio-economic trends to determine who our "suspects" are. These would be dog owners who have the means, resources and social disposition to take their pet to a doggy day-care.

Finally, we would apply sub-segmenting to qualify our suspects into "prospect" types.  When developing market forecasts for clients, we apply the following % to each segment:

Potential Leads - 50%

Future Leads - 35%

Warm Leads - 10%

Hot Leads - 5%

Remember, we are speaking about feasible market potential, and thus, my friend can not count the "potential leads" sub segment as part of the market because there will always be people who are satisfied with the status quo and will never give you the time or interest to be open to your marketing efforts.

In my second part of developing a marketing plan, I will discuss another critical foundation element that is required before we can actually begin committing to a marketing plan.

Do you have question, comments or feedback specifically related to developing marketing plans?  I encourage you to send all responses to me at and I'll do my best to integrate answers throughout the series.

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PLEASE: STAY IN TOUCH
And never miss out on future lessons

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Up-Coming Topics For Discussion: (this is just the tip of the iceberg as there were 22 topics that got a significant vote).  

  • Marketing Plans (part 2)

  • eMail Marketing

  • Creating Joint Ventures and Alliances

  • Using the Web for Listbuilding

  • Creating a Funding Strategy

  • Managing and Evaluating Ideas 

Want to contribute, ask a question or offer a comment?  Please send your input to me at

To your success,

Allan Sabo
Chief Success Advisor
ALTI Success Strategies

© 2006 ALTI Success Strategies
Web:
 http://www.ALTIconsulting.com
Phone:
 206-984-9560
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