Online Marketing Made Easy

Online Marketing Made Easy

For anyone interested in growing their business or maximizing the return of their marketing spend, online marketing is one of the most effective means of doing so. Online marketing is effective as a part of a well developed marketing plan.

What is Online Marketing?
Online marketing has come to mean many things. You can consider online advertising, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, and even SEO (search engine optimization) as online marketing. It has also changed and evolved over the last decade. With the advent of Google Adsense and other forms of targeted, pay-per-click advertising, online marketing means a whole lot more than 468 X 60 banners.

When thinking about the types of online marketing available today, you really need to think about the objectives of your online marketing spend. Are you looking to sell a product? Drive prospects to your web site or marketing pages? Create awareness for your company? The most important thing to remember is that your online placement, creative, and offer must be consistent across the web and your own website or retail establishment. This creates a seamless buying experience, increasing the odds of a purchase being made once a browser clicks on your online marketing creative.

As mentioned previously, online marketing also includes affiliate marketing – a method of utilizing partner sites to distribute your products or services. One of the best methods of developing an affiliate network is by providing content in addition to an aggressive affiliate commission plan. Other web sites seek out content and useful information. If you can provide meaningful content to partner sites with an opportunity to earn money at the same time, they’re likely to participate in your affiliate program.

It’s important to realize that Search Engine Optimization is also a component of online marketing. Too often, SEO is not considered part of the online marketing mix. However, it is one of the most important aspects of an online marketing campaign. When launching a new product or marketing an existing one, make sure that it’s easy for individuals to find your website and offer page. Browsers who see your online ads may not click right away. Rather, prospective buyers may later be searching for your promotion when a specific need arises. Think about the keywords prospects may use to search for your offer and optimize your pages accordingly. Also, be sure to link to your promotional pages from your web site’s home page to optimize search result rankings.

Why is Online Marketing Important?
Online marketing often provides direct responses and the ability to measure campaign effectiveness. This immediacy helps you to test your offer(s) and creative, as well as measure the overall return on your marketing investment. Having the ability to evaluate effectiveness in real time allows you to reposition your marketing spend or switch out creative to increase results.

With more than 68% of homes having internet access and about two-thirds of them having a high speed connection, the web has become a reality. If you wish to reach the majority of consumers, you need to include online marketing as part of your overall marketing mix. Online marketing also gives you the opportunity to segment your market, providing highly targeted positioning. Unlike traditional advertising, online advertising allows you to select the sites upon which you run your ads. There are also many services which help you deliver ads around appropriate topics or contextual pages.

Best know for contextual and pay-per-click advertising, Google allows you to choose specific keywords around which your ad can be displayed. When individuals search on the keywords you’ve selected, your ads will appear. The power of Google is the affiliate network they’ve created which displays their contextual ads across hundreds of thousands of websites. Despite recent allegations of click fraud, Google still provides one of the most targeted online marketing options. Other services, like Overture, owned by Yahoo! provide similar services that deliver targeted online marketing.

Who Can Benefit?
Anyone who is interested in improving their marketing results should think about the role that online marketing plays in their marketing mix. Because there are so many ways to engage in online marketing including advertising, contextual ads, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate programs and more, the practice is sure to benefit anyone who is seeking a measurable return on investment.

Before beginning any online marketing campaign, you should always determine your budget – how much you’re willing to invest in your marketing efforts. Ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend? What type of conversion will you need to break even? What you anticipate your click to purchase ratio will be? Understanding these fundamental financial metrics is essential to determining how much you’re willing to spend on your online marketing efforts.

How to Begin.
Starting your online marketing campaign can be as simple as bidding on a few keywords or as complex as developing a comprehensive online marketing campaign that consists of multiple buys across a network of websites. As with any new marketing venture, it’s best to start small and work your way up to more intricate marketing campaigns.

My recommendation for beginning your online marketing initiative is to focus on your own site (developing promotional banners, buttons, and content), creating an affiliate program, and pay-per click advertising. The first two methods should cost little or nothing to implement and will propel your campaign forward. Supplemented with pay-per-click advertising, your marketing message is sure to reach your intended audience.

Why Choose Viral Marketing?

Why Choose Viral Marketing?

The Internet has modernized man’s way of living. It has also affected how we do certain things including business tasks. Marketing has gone a long way and it is not being revolutionized by the Internet.

Internet viral marketing is a cost effective way to be able to reach a targeted audience and efficiently convey one’s marketing message. Viral marketing outside the context of the Internet is usually connected with spreading a message through word-of-mouth. In
the context of the Internet, the concept is the same, but the ways of doing it is diversified.

Internet viral marketing is similar to a virus. Viruses are notorious for being easily spread. This is the concept behind Internet viral marketing. Viruses, if not contained, can strike an epidemic. Internet viral marketing behaves like viruses, it aims at spreading a marketing message to people through other people.

The mere dynamism of the Internet makes it possible for viral marketing to do its job quite effectively. In the world of the Internet, viral marketing can be done in many ways. The whole structure of the Internet has been a tool which has been used by many to be able to make a statement or advertise a product.

We say that using Internet viral marketing, or viral marketing in general is one of the best, if not the best way of marketing a certain product or service. This article tries to lay down the reasons for the claim above.

Here are some reasons why viral marketing is the best way to market:

-It’s free!

This is probably the best reason why viral marketing is the best way to market. There are many ways to market a product or a service. One can utilize some of the old-school techniques such as the use of print media (banners, posters, flyers) or audio-visual tools. There is not much argument about the effectiveness of these methods, given the assumption that they are done with careful preparation and planning. However, these things cost money, a lot of money.

An actual example of the cost of these other marketing techniques can be seen in the pharmaceutical industry. Studies say that more than half of the cost that people are incurring for buying branded medicines is used to cover the expenses of marketing the products. This is a reality that reflects how marketing costs can take their toll on the product itself.

Viral marketing is a free way of spreading a marketing message. One can argue that it is not totally free (as claimed). However, the only costs for Internet viral marketing are the costs associated with Internet connection and some minor tools for getting on track. One can also do an economic valuation of the time spent for viral marketing, but every other marketing technique consumes time.

-Availability of techniques

There are many ways of doing viral marketing, especially through the Internet. Literally, there are hundred different ways of spreading a marketing message through the web. The most popular way is to use affiliate programs.

Affiliate programs gives incentives for webmasters to put up one’s banner. The webmasters earn some profit whenever the banner is clicked by the visitors. One can also look into the option of giving away free stuff to other people to get their attention and be agents of the viral marketing endeavor. One can give away free web space, free articles, free newsletters, free software, free graphics, free screensavers, etc. This is the concept which was employed the developers of hotmail. If one can remember, hotmail became a craze when it was launched. People who signed up for the free email literally became marketing agents for hotmail. They carried the marketing message which was simply embedded into their email addresses.

-Impact of viral marketing

Viral marketing, if done properly, will not only convey a marketing message, it will let the message stick to people’s minds. Creativeness comes into play when using viral marketing as a strategy. Everything starts with a bright idea and this idea is then put into operation with careful planning and execution.

Viral marketing is the way to go in these modern times of marketing. It is a very cost effective and efficient way of conveying a marketing message towards a target audience.

How To Advance Your Business Home Internet Marketing Promotion

How To Advance Your Business Home Internet Marketing Promotion

Internet marketing is one of the newest tools that businesses are using to get ahead. Internet marketing helps you to reach as many different people as possible, allowing your company to advance, improve, and grow.

This type of marketing is marketing that you can easily handle from the comfort of your own home. Business home Internet marketing promotion is something that every website owner and business owner can handle.

There are plenty of issues to consider when thinking about home Internet marketing. This information will help you to understand how Internet marketing can advance your business, and will teach you how to approach Internet marketing for your company.

Getting the Most out of Internet Marketing

It is important for you to get the most out of your Internet marketing endeavors. This means that you need to take the time to research what you can do with Internet marketing; this research will help you to understand what Internet marketing can do for your company.

This also means that you need to consider a full marketing campaign. Many find that they get the most out of Internet marketing when they have an entire cohesive campaign that covers multiple Internet marketing mediums.

Finding a Professional

For many, the only way to get the most out of Internet marketing is through a professional. Professionals will help you to create the Internet marketing campaign that is going to be successful. They will help you to narrow down your target market, and will help you to communicate directly to that target market. They will also help you to develop the visual aspects of your marketing campaign and the copy (words) aspect of your campaign.

Opening Up your Possibilities

If you want to advance your business you need to consider possibilities that you may not have considered on your own. You need to open up to the possibilities of Internet marketing, including different mediums that you may not have considered. Internet advertisements, search engine optimization, and emails are just a few of the different Internet marketing tactics that your company can benefit from.

Enjoying the Low Cost

Luckily, Internet marketing has a low cost when compared to other forms of marketing and advertising. This low cost allows your company to get maximum exposure and efficiency for a reasonable price.

It is important for you to open up your mind to the vast world of Internet marketing. Your company may easily benefit from multiple Internet marketing techniques and venues. Take the time to understand how you can benefit from these different techniques, and how you can implement these various techniques.

Whether you attempt to handle business home Internet marketing promotion on your own or hire a professional, you should consider Internet marketing. It will give your business the chance to succeed and grow.

Why Insight and Flexibility is More Important than Perseverance in Marketing

Why Insight and Flexibility is More Important than Perseverance in Marketing

Marketing successfully requires not only insight into how a product or service can be successfully marketed but also flexibility into the marketing of a product or service.
This is one of the marketing principles that doesn’t seem to be taught successfully. Too many times, the “marketing gurus” will promote a type of marketing that has worked for them to the exclusion of all other types of marketing.
Now the type of marketing they promote may very well have worked well for them, but it is folly to believe that one marketing method and one marketing method only will work for every product or service everywhere. This just is not the reality as marketing methods can be as unique as the products and services that are marketed.
Innovation, creativity and flexibility are needed in any type of marketing efforts. Trying several types of marketing is usually the best method of eliminating marketing methods that fail, and determining which marketing methods are successful.
Online business or any type of business for that matter demands perseverance and determination. Perseverance and determination are also promoted heavily by the marketing gurus. However, perseverance and determination does NOT mean sticking with a marketing method that is incorrect for the product or service or NOT producing any results. It does not mean continuing self-defeating marketing methods over and over at a loss each and every month.
To prove a point about the misconceptions sometimes promoted by the marketing gurus and the misconceptions others may have about perseverance in general, I’ve used two actual case studies below:
A. Case Study #1 is a young male who started an online business many years ago promoting marketing resources and marketing strategies. He had many fine offerings that were of great value, as he spent much time and energy researching and developing resources. He read many manuals from marketing gurus, who stressed a lot on list building and e- mail marketing.
This young man, following the marketing guru’s advice, spent much time and energy for years, e-mailing others relentlessly, swapping ads for further exposure, writing articles in other newsletters and e-zines, and trying every “trick” of e-mail marketing to no avail. He also persisted in this strategy as he had taken to heart the principle of “never quitting” quite literally, which the gurus had promoted so heartily to him.
He lost quite a great deal of time and money until he noticed that his Web site had been ranking quite well in the Search Engines (after all, he had great content). Most of the few sales he had been making were coming directly from his Web site, despite the fact that he did not believe in (and dreaded) Search Engine marketing! He rethought the whole process and his approach, and began focussing on marketing his resources strictly from his Web site, applying his perseverance and determination to that, with incredible success ever since!
B. Case Study #2 is a middle aged female who approached the marketing somewhat differently, as she had read a manual from a different marketing guru. She was promoting a customized service, rather than a product, and the guru, whose advice she followed, firmly believed in Search Engine marketing, and Search Engine marketing alone. She spent literally tons of money, and tons of time, getting her Web site to the top of the Search Engines.
Like Case Study #1, she felt that if she only gave it enough time, and persevered, sales would be made. As time went on, she discovered that most of her sales were being made through her e-mail marketing. Her articles, ad swapping, and other e-mail marketing efforts (she published routinely her own newsletters and e-zines), were leading to more clients than those which were attained off her Web site. In her case, e-mail marketing was the “key” to success, but she also was following the mandates of the wrong marketing guru.
The above two studies highlight the folly of blindly following the mandates of any marketing guru. While many do have good solid advice to give, the business owner must possess enough flexibility to test many methods. Creativity and an open mind help immensely when determining marketing methods.
Perseverance and dedication are important, of course. But they must be applied correctly, along with flexibility and innovation, for success to occur in a business. All avenues should be pursued with perseverance and dedication and then choices of marketing methods made based upon the results. After all, results are what make a marketing method successful! Without results, any marketing method is a dismal failure.

PPC marketing – Popular method of advertisement on the Web

PPC marketing – Popular method of advertisement on the Web

PPC marketing or pay per click marketing is the most popular method of advertisement employed by various websites on the Internet. PPC marketing may often be referred to as pay for position, cost per click or pay for performance. But regardless of the term used, PPC marketing is the online advertiser’s medium of choice for promoting products and services to online consumers.

PPC marketing is beneficial to both the advertiser and the consumer. Advertisers using PPC marketing only need to pay for the actual click throughs linked to their sites from search engines. At the same time as consumers are relieved of having to get annoying emails or pop-up ads for products and services.

When an online consumer searches for a specific product or service on the Internet, corresponding PPC marketing ads are also displayed alongside the results generated by the search engine. This forms a highly targeted consumer group that is more likely to purchase a specific product or service. In addition, websites get to limit their advertisement costs with the use of PPC marketing. PPC marketing is truly a winning solution for both parties.

Possible drawbacks of PPC marketing

Despite the obvious advantages of PPC marketing, there are possible drawbacks that can cancel out its benefits. One of the most common problems associated with PPC marketing is the inexperience of many people attempting to use this profitable advertisement method. Simply submitting PPC marketing ads to a search engine such as google, does not make up the entire campaign.

PPC marketing requires a calculated and systematic approach to setting up ads. PPC marketing involves the use of keywords and biddings in order to get top placement on a search engine. Getting top search engine placement helps boost traffic to a website that can easily translate into profit.

Without the necessary experience and knowledge to carry out a typical PPC marketing ad, may turn into an expensive campaign that does not convert into profit. PPC marketing ads also require continuous funding, as discontinued payments will also result in discontinued ads. This can be unfavorable for a website that has already built high rankings with their PPC marketing ads.

Bidding on keywords can also be quite costly, as the growing number of websites on the web struggle against each other to bid on the most popular keyword for their PPC marketing ad. Obviously small business websites are at a disadvantage here since big business websites are able to pay more for popular keywords related to their site. This is because most small businesses only set aside a small portion of their capital for advertisement, putting them at a disadvantage.

Running an effective PPC marketing campaign

There are a number of things that a website should consider when running an effective PPC marketing campaign. It is important to develop a marketing plan in order to get the most return on investment from PPC marketing. Selecting the most appropriate keywords that relate to the site’s business is essential in PPC marketing.

However, simply choosing the most popular keywords does not necessarily translate into profit. Selecting more specific keywords that will put a site within the first ten results of a search also gets greater awareness from online consumers. In addition, it doesn’t cost as much as getting the top spot for PPC marketing.

It is also important that a website constantly monitors the performance of their PPC marketing campaign. This will help the site modify any existing PPC marketing ad to make it more productive. At the same time any PPC marketing ad that has not proven effective can be immediately discontinued. Altering PPC marketing ads is a continuous process that many websites do in order to increase their return on investment.

Getting professional help with PPC marketing

The popularity of PPC marketing has given rise to professionals offering PPC marketing services for small and big businesses. Hiring a professional PPC marketing company is advisable for a small business without experience in PPC marketing. Most PPC marketing companies offer reasonable rates for their services and at the same time produce acceptable results.

A PPC marketing professional can attend to all the details commonly involved in a PPC marketing campaign. Handling a PPC marketing campaign is a time consuming process that can be overwhelming for a small business. A PPC marketing professional can help set up a PPC marketing campaign and later on train someone from within the business to handle it to ensure its continued success.

The Significance and Benefits of Email Marketing

The Significance and Benefits of Email Marketing

There is no dismissing the fact that e-mail, also known as electronic mail, is an indispensable medium of marketing on the internet.

Internet as whole has a wide marketing area because of the fact that it is available high and wide throughout the world. This makes it accessible to almost every country and eventually to the people in those countries. E-mails are very techno-savvy and also very effective and fast. This is the reason that we can now see e-mails developing as an indispensable media of marketing.

Over the years individuals and businesses have started realizing the advantages of e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing carries a lot of advantages along with it. Some of the benefits include:

Speed:

This is the main factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered advantageous over other medias of marketing. E-mail marketing along with it brings the advantage of high speed. E-mail marketing has a very high speed of information transfer. It just takes a second for the person to transfer information from his working place to the internet, where anyone can view it worldwide.

Reach:

Another factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered a good option is because of the fact that it has a better reach to the people worldwide than other medias of marketing. E-mail marketing knows no boundaries and this helps people to continue to conduct their marketing work on a large scale. The higher reach of e-mail marketing attracts more people towards it and thereby assists the whole marketing process.

Inexpensive:

E-mail marketing is comparatively cheaper than that of some other medias of marketing. Individuals and businesses do not have to incur any special or extra cost to market their product or point of view. Being inexpensive, it suits many and thereby a lot of people resort to e-mail marketing for a large part of their online marketing efforts.

Effective:

E-mail marketing is very effective and a very popular form of marketing. The reason being, that they are very techno-savvy, very fast and still pretty cost effective. This whole package makes e-mail marketing very cheap and pretty attractive. This is the reason that e-mail marketing is effective and thus more approachable.

Personalized marketing:

E-mail marketing avails the opportunity to conduct personalized marketing. In this, people can send e-mails only to people whom they think would be interested in the topic of the message.

Thus we see why and how e-mail marketing has turned out to be an indispensable tool in marketing.

Is Article Marketing A New Way For Internet Marketing

Is Article Marketing A New Way For Internet Marketing

People often ask if article marketing is a new way to do internet marketing, but that is not exactly how things work. Article marketing is only one facet of internet marketing, and is not meant to be a complete replacement. Article marketing is only meant to be one facet of an entire solution, as internet marketing is intended to be a complete solution implementing multiple different types of marketing rather than one single form of marketing.

In other words, if you want to create an effective strategy for internet marketing to make money through your website, affiliate marketing or ad revenue, then one of the forms of marketing that you need to implement in your system is article marketing. No single form of internet marketing is going to drive results, so implementing numerous marketing techniques is the best way to attract visitors, and income, to your website. Article marketing is a powerful addition to any internet marketing plan, because it is completely free to get into and can drive some seriously effective results in the process.

Article marketing is a unique form of internet marketing that makes marketing your website more efficient and effective through the use of informative, valuable keyword driven content. If you are serious about marketing your website and driving new visitors to your site, article marketing is an extremely advantageous way to get it done. Article marketing involves writing valuable and informative articles relating to your niche or keywords, and posting them on public submission websites where other websites can pick them up, search engine spiders can find them, and hoards of new traffic can read them and follow valuable links to your website.

Article marketing is a simpler form of internet marketing, and it is also one of very few free ways to make money and generate traffic to your website. Once you submit articles to article submission and article directory websites, people will begin to access your website from the links that you place in the resource box or signature part of each article. Article marketing is an excellent way for you to establish yourself as an authority on a particular subject, and once people begin to regard you as an authority, they will be much more willing to follow your links and travel to your website for more information.

If you are looking for a powerful way to jump start your internet marketing campaign, then article marketing can be a powerful tool in your arsenal that will drive results and give you the traffic, income, opt-in sign ups and other vital activity that your website requires in order to thrive. Every website can benefit from internet marketing, and one of the best ways to get an internet marketing campaign going in a positive way that drives results is to implement cot effective article marketing as a means of building authority, creating one way links and driving traffic in to your website from numerous sources all over the internet.

Internet Marketing to Increase Web Site Traffic

Internet Marketing to Increase Web Site Traffic

Want to know the best Internet marketing strategies that maximize network marketing Internet businesses to peak potential? Just remind yourself that it’s all about WEB SITE TRAFFIC. Online advertising (plus Internet marketing affiliate programs) are your exclusive way to significantly increased online traffic.

How powerful is your current strategy for Internet marketing online advertising? Have you formulated an effective yet basic plan for your business home Internet marketing promotion?

So many potential entrepreneurs have dreams of marketing on the Internet. Yet, the sad reality is that 90% almost continually fail at conducting online Internet advertising in a highly income-producing manner. The key problem is lack of down-to-earth, practical Internet marketing information. For most of us, unfortunately, it takes a while to learn that “quick” Internet marketing solutions actually take longer than doing Internet web site advertising the correct way.

So, what is “Internet Marketing Advertising” all about? And, is it truly necessary for website promotional Internet marketing to cost a lot?

The true answer is that Internet marketing home business opportunity can be fruitful and rewarding, but if, and ONLY if, you get the worlds best Internet marketing tools? Which are the best online marketing promotion tools? Well, surprisingly, gaining targeted web site traffic is not just a matter of opinion. There exists a list of the highest, most proven, absolutely effective, and repetitively rewarding Internet marketing advertising online tools available.

For example, the simplified yet outstandingly effective and informative Internet marketing ebook, “Secrets of the Big Dogs,” provides bona fide, down-to-earth online marketing promotion guidelines. It ranks approximately number 17 on the prestigious ClickBank popularity listing of over 470 other “secret-revealing,” Internet marketing home business opportunity, and Internet marketing ebooks. The hard-core facts presented here can significantly help almost any Internet marketing “newbie” in obtaining network marketing internet business results, and especially, to locate plus utilize targeted web site traffic.

When you want more web site traffic, use advertising for Internet marketing strategies that maximize your online marketing business opportunity. Online marketing business opportunity demands it because Internet advertising can be tricky. Especially with home based Internet marketing businesses, you may have a tendency to underestimate the residual value of professional and proficient Internet marketing strategy. You simply must increase web site traffic! This is your most crucial, strategic Internet marketing advantage because marketing an online business is all about TRAFFIC.

If you can figure out how to successfully muster up increased web site traffic (but it must be WEB SITE TRAFFIC OF HIGH VALUE) then you successfully master the most rewarding principles of nearly all Internet marketing strategies. Get more web site traffic by following these simple guidelines that most take for granted.

This article is primarily about garnering for yourself the best Internet marketing strategies that boost network marketing Internet business toward soaring financial heights while also providing the additional side benefit of personal satisfaction. However, obtaining superior web site traffic is the only way to attain that most coveted online advertising success.

Today, one of the worlds best Internet marketing tools is Internet affiliate marketing programs. And, when you can find such powerful information in a dynamic, income-generating Internet marketing ebook, you are that much the better for it. Nearly all home based Internet marketing businesses need to maximize their Internet marketing advertising in order to increase web site traffic results. Get more information about Internet marketing strategy and increase web site traffic for your online marketing business opportunity.

Don’t Make These Mistakes!

Don’t Make These Mistakes!

When it comes to internet marketing, there are a few giant internet marketing mistakes that can ruin the whole reason for internet marketing in the first place. Here are a few internet marketing mistakes you will want to avoid at all costs:

Not having an internet marketing target. This is a major internet marketing mistake than many amateur home business owners make when trying their hand at internet marketing. It is extremely important for your internet marketing campaign that you know who you are targeting the internet marketing at.

Poor communication to your internet marketing target. This is another big problem that many internet marketing business owners seem to have at first. Be very certain when you are doing internet marketing that you understand your audience and give them something through your internet marketing that they will be able to relate to. Internet marketing is not just about driving people to your website. Internet marketing is about connecting with others in a way that they can best understand through internet marketing.

Paying a lot of money for internet marketing. Internet marketing should not cost you a whole bunch of money. Interner marketing can be very inexpensive if you know what you are doing with internet marketing. The biggest thing for internet marketing is knowing how to put your internet marketing creativity to use. If you can be smart with your internet marketing, you don’t always need to spend a lot of money on internet marketing.

Another mistake in internet marketing is being removed from important search engine sites because of link pages that are not allowed. When you are doing internet marketing, check to make sure you are not breaking any search engine rules through your internet marketing. Coming up in a search engine is a huge part of internet marketing, and that internet privilege must be taken seriously.

Nation Branding and Place Marketing – VII. Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control

Nation Branding and Place Marketing – VII. Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control

VII. Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control

How can a country (region, state, city, municipality, or other polity) judge the efficacy of its attempts to brand or re-brand itself and, consequently, to attract customers (investors, tourism operators, bankers, traders, and so on)?

Marketing is not a controlled process in an insulated lab. It is prone to mishaps, last minute changes, conceptual shifts, political upheavals, the volatility of markets, and, in short, to the vagaries of human nature and natural disasters. Some marketing efforts are known to have backfired. Others have yielded lukewarm results. Marketing requires constant fine tuning and adjustments to reflect and respond to the kaleidoscopic environment of our times.

But maximum benefits (under the circumstances) are guaranteed if the client (the country, for instance) implements a rigorous Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control (MIEV) plan.

The first task is to set realistic quantitative and qualitative interim and final targets for the marketing program – and then to constantly measure its actual performance and compare it to the hoped for outcomes. Even nation branding and place marketing require detailed projections of expenditures vs. income (budget and pr-forma financial statements) for monitoring purposes.

The five modules of MIEV are:

1. Annual plan control

This document includes all the government’s managerial objectives and (numerical) goals. It is actually a breakdown of the aforementioned pro-forma financial statements into monthly and quarterly figures of “sales” (in terms of foreign direct investment, income from tourism, trade figures, etc.) and profitability.
It comprises at least five performance gauging tools:

I. Sales analysis (comparing sales targets to actual sales and accounting for discrepancies).

II. Market-share analysis (comparing the country’s “sales” with those of its competitors). The country should also compare its own sales to the total sales in the global market and to sales within its “market segment” (neighboring countries, countries which share its political ambience, same-size countries, etc.).

III. Expense-to-sales analysis demonstrates the range of costs – both explicit and hidden (implicit) – of achieving the country’s sales goals.

IV. Financial analysis calculates various performance ratios such as profits to sales (profit margin), sales to assets (asset turnover), profits to assets (return on assets), assets to worth (financial leverage), and, finally, profits to worth (return on net worth of infrastructure).

V. Customer satisfaction is the ultimate indicator of tracking goal achievement. The country should actively seek, facilitate, and encourage feedback, both positive and negative by creating friendly and ubiquitous complaint and suggestion systems. Frequent satisfaction and customer loyalty surveys should form an integral part of any marketing drive.

Regrettably, most acceptable systems of national accounts sorely lack the ability to cope with place marketing and nation branding campaigns. Intangibles such as enhanced reputation or investor satisfaction are excluded. There is no clear definition as to what constitute the assets of a country, its “sales”, or its “profits”.
2. Profitability control

There is no point in squandering scarce resources on marketing efforts that guarantee nothing except name recognition. Sales, profits, and expenditures should count prominently in any evaluation (and re-evaluation) of on-going campaigns. The country needs to get rid of prejudices, biases, and misconceptions and clearly identify what products and consumer groups yield the most profits (have the highest relative earnings-capacity). Money, time, and manpower should be allocated to cater to the needs and desires of these top-earners.

3. Efficiency control

The global picture is important. An overview of the marketing and sales efforts and their relative success (or failure) is crucial. But a micro-level analysis is indispensable. What is the sales force doing, where, and how well? What are the localized reactions to the advertising, sales promotion, and distribution drives? Are there appreciable differences between the reactions of various market niches and consumer types?

4. Strategic control

The complement of efficiency control is strategic control. It weighs the overall and long-term marketing plan in view of the country’s basic data: its organization, institutions, strengths, weaknesses, and market opportunities. It is recommended to compare the country’s self-assessment (marketing-effectiveness rating review) with an analysis prepared by an objective third party.
The marketing-effectiveness rating review incorporates privileged information such as input and feedback from the country’s “customers” (investors, tourist operators, traders, bankers, etc.), internal reports regarding the adequacy and efficiency of the country’s marketing information, operations, strengths, strategies, and integration (of various marketing, branding, and sales tactics).

5. Marketing audit

The marketing audit is, in some respects, the raw material for the strategic control. Its role is to periodically make sure that the marketing plan emphasizes the country’s strengths in ways that are compatible with shifting market sentiments, current events, fashions, preferences, needs, and priorities of relevant market players. This helps to identify marketing opportunities and new or potential markets.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (2005 edition) describes the marketing audit thus:

“… (I)t covers all aspects of the marketing climate (unlike a functional audit, which analyzes one marketing activity), looking at both macro-environment factors (demographic, economic, ecological, technological, political, and cultural) and micro- or task-environment factors (markets, customers, competitors, distributors, dealers, suppliers, facilitators, and publics). The audit includes analyses of the company’s marketing strategy, marketing organization, marketing systems, and marketing productivity. It must be systematic in order to provide concrete conclusions based on these analyses. To ensure objectivity, a marketing audit is best done by a person, department, or organization that is independent of the company or marketing program. Marketing audits should be done not only when the value of a company’s current marketing plan is in question; they must be done periodically in order to isolate and solve problems before they arise.”