5 Ways to Use Technology in Your Marketing Plan

Social spaces.

Social spaces are these new web 2.0 websites like blogs, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Youtube where users are creating all the content and interacting with each other. This is where users are hanging out online. Use these places to answer questions from your customers, gather feedback, spread information, and announce new products or sales. Post often—daily if possible. Better entries or “posts” as they can be called, help customers do their research better. Concentrate on your expertise and avoid sales pitches; be transparent and interact.

Create a business identity.

Search the Internet for free, ready-made templates to present a professional-looking and cohesive business identity or find a professional design firm that you feel comfortable with that addresses everything from marketing collateral to online presentations. This could be a graphic designer, a sign shop, a full advertising agency, or web design firm. They should all have websites so do your research and possibly try it yourself first. If you feel like you need help, seek it out. It could help save your brand or your business’ image.

Print in color.

Print all marketing collateral in color. Why? Because people respond to color. Invest in a good color inkjet or laser printer so you can print your business cards, letterhead stationery, labels, and brochures on-demand or if you are just starting out, seek out a local print shop or the big two: Fedex and UPS stores. Be sure to use or request quality paper. It will make a difference in how it feels in your hand. Potential customers can be affected by all senses and you wouldn’t want to sink a sale due to flimsy or cheap-feeling paper.

Learn new software.

Learn how to use publishing software like Microsoft Publisher or Adobe Photoshop. Search the web for free online classes or tutorials on everything from Microsoft Word to Adobe Illustrator. Even if you go with a design firm, you may still want to know a little bit about how to use a program in which they may be sending you files. The design firm should always send it in a format in which your computer is able to read, but it helps to be able to edit it easily too if you need to.

Spice up your presentations.

Take your next client meeting to the next level by using custom backgrounds, stock photography, clip art, and readable typefaces to convey your message in an interesting and memorable way. Just as people respond better to black and white than they do to color, your customers will respond better to pictures and graphs than text alone. Whatever you do, just be creative. You want to stand apart from your competition, be confident, organized, and professional.

5 Ways to Market Your Website

Think strategically.

Your web site should be a part of your overall marketing plan, but more than that should be part of your overall business plan. Your website should reflect your business and your business should reflect your website. Your website represents your company online and should be taken seriously.

Choose a web address wisely.

Choose a web site address (sometimes called a domain name) that’s intuitive and easy to remember. Your company’s name (if it’s short) or the name of your main product might work well. Erich Stauffer sometimes recommends using part or all of your company’s motto if it is short and easy to remember.

Update marketing collateral.

Put your web address on all your printed material, including business cards, letterhead, press releases, and invoices. Include it in all your advertising online and offline.

Update all media outlets.

Update any offline media and traditional publicity techniques like billboards or yard signs with your new website. Send news releases (sometimes called press releases) promoting your site to newspapers, broadcasters, and magazines.

Speak out.

Volunteer to speak at conferences or trade shows, write informative articles for trade publications, magazines, or to post on your website. When you speak or write for someone else, mention your company’s web address. People have come to expect this so don’t be bashful about a little self promotion. As long as you are offering them something in return by telling them something they wanted to hear, it is completely acceptable.