An Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Tired of cold calling? Tired of pestering the ones you care about? Tired of buying leads that go nowhere? There must be some other way. The good news is that there is a better way. Today I am going to share with you an ecommerce marketing strategy called “Attraction Marketing”. Attraction marketing is today’s way of marketing, it has people chasing you rather than you chasing them. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have endless leads coming to you 24/7, already looking for the thing that you are offering. Imagine that, you not only have a lead, but one that is already looking at becoming a customer – no sales pitch required. All you have to do is provide them with what they need, its as simple as that.

So how do I do attraction marketing? I have picked up a couple of tips from using this ecommerce marketing strategy that I am going to give to you. First you must know who your target audience is. You need to understand their wants, desires, needs, fears, pains. Once you have these established then you can offer them a solution. You must be willing to give before you can ever start to receive. Give of your knowledge, make them an irresistible offer, provide them value that only you can give. Do this and you will be off with a great list of quality prospects.

Secondly know what you are really selling. Did you realise that your product is not what you are actually selling – but yourself! You are your business, to be successful in this you need to market yourself. People must be attracted to you. These days people are not interested in someone pressuring them into buying something so they can get rich. Instead they are wanting to trust you. Work on gaining trust and building a relationship with you customer, once you have accomplished this, they will be asking you what you sell. Social media is one of the great ways to establish this, places like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube. Make them personal so that people see that you are just an everyday down-to-earth person just like they are.

So if you work on these tips prospects will be coming to you. But first you must find your point of contact whether it be an ad, website, press release, video, blog. Then they will give you permission for you to communicate with them usually by submitting email details. Once you are communicating, offer them something of value to them – give them something before you start selling to them. Do this and continue to work on it, you will see results with this ecommerce marketing strategy.

Market Research – Why It Should Be Considered Before/During Prior Art Search

An invention is a set of ideas and thoughts to ease the way people perform their daily tasks. An Inventor can be a business or an individual who has an objective behind the invention. A lot of money is required to present the invention to the world, thus, investors who find it interesting fund the R & D operations.

The invention process is very wide. There is no fix time when an invention is converted into useful products. It can take 5, 10 years or even more. The R & D department performs a series of operations one after another – describing the business vision, creating strategies, describing the R & D processes, identifying resources, and drafting designs. The R & D teams comprehensively study all areas of the invention, collect different ideas, which are then combined to build products and services. Thus, the research to development of invention comprises a wide range of processes, which need thousands or millions of dollars.

Patenting an invention

An invention is patented to prevent it from being theft by others. The inventor can restrict individuals and companies from using his/her invention for making or selling products during its life. When filing a patent application, the inventor needs to mention a set of claims, which he/she should choose carefully. So, it is recommended to know the market trends, new technologies, applications, etc. at the time of performing the R & D operations, which will help in getting great claims.

An invention can only be patented if it doesn’t contain any part of the previously patented technology and meet certain uniqueness standards. To find if your invention is already known or not, prior art search is conducted. The innovator can do prior art search on his/her own, or hire an expert for this purpose.

What is prior art search?

Prior art search can be defined as collecting information about the technologies associated with the invention. It’s main objective is to know whether the invention is patentable or not. Sources of prior art search include previous patents, filed patents, scientific reports, research papers, textbooks, newspapers, journals, and internet publications. There are many inventions that are never used in products and services, and these should also be considered during the patent filing process. On the internet, a wide range of tools are available that can help you conduct an efficient prior art search.

Prior art search can provide details about previous inventions in the field, new products and services, etc. It prevents reinventing the already existing inventions. With this, the R & D department can know the already existing technologies, and focus the activities, processes, and tasks to innovate them or research the new ones.

Know the market well before conducting prior art search

The main objective is to get the invention patented with broadest possible claims. Prior art search collects existing knowledge in the fields that belong to the invention. But, this is not enough. One should know the market and companies that are already working on the technologies the invention is based, which will help in choosing the right areas for R & D.

Patent filing is a broad process, and a little wrong move can convert into a big mistake. Thus, from planning to execution, every step should be put wisely. Before going for prior art search, it is important to know the markets in which the invention can bring revolution in, current market trends to focus on, activities of competitors, etc. All these details can be obtained through market research. Thus, it is recommended to conduct a market research first to know the technologies trending in the market.

Why market research?

Market research can help in proper utilization of all the elements of an invention. It provides comprehensive analysis of different markets associated with the invention, patent environment, and existing and future products. Thus, market research can add value to the research and development operations, making them more advanced.

There are many reasons why the inventor should consider market research before starting R & D operations and prior art search. Please have a look at them –

Detailed information about the markets:

Market research reports not only provide information about different markets that belong to the area of invention, but also tell the top active markets. Suppose, an invention can be used in manufacturing products in 10 different industries, out of which 7 are in the growing phase. Thus, there is need to spend extra time and money to obtain patents in these 7 industries to get maximum ROI. Thus, market research reports can suggest you the right industries to continue research and build products.

Competitor analysis:

To emerge as a leading player in the market, it is necessary to know the activities of competitors. With market research reports, the inventor can get in-depth understanding of his/her competitors, technologies they are working on, and their existing and upcoming products and services. Thus, the R & D department can broaden their research to the areas untouched by the competitors.

Helps in patent drafting:

Patent drafter is the person who can help you get a patent with great claims. With extensive knowledge of market trends, active industries, and customer needs, he can write broadest patent claims possible. Thus, with market research reports, your patent drafter can prepare a clear, accurate patent application, and your get a patent, which will have great market value, and you can earn a lot from it.

Top players:

Market research reports provide information about the top companies using the technologies similar to that of the invention. This makes easy to know how advanced the invention is, the technologies that can be innovated, and how to plan R & D processes. After obtaining the patent with significant claims, the inventor can contact the top companies for business partnerships or licensing.

Your, I Mean YOUR Marketing Concept

Let’s start with a definition:

Management philosophy according to which a firm’s goals can be best achieved through identification and satisfaction of the customers’ stated and unstated needs and wants.

OK, it sounds rather clinical but it’s a pretty simple concept. Easy to understand but not so easy to implement. Every business is different and needs it’s own marketing concept. My marketing concept will not work for you because of many factors. Considerations to be made in every business include:

  • Your location.
  • Your products.
  • Your customers.
  • The time of year. (or month, or season)
  • Your competition.
  • If you are a physical location or an internet business.
  • Your budget for marketing.

Your marketing concept must take these points into consideration. Answer these questions and you’ll have a good grasp on what you need to do.

  • Your Location.

Particularly if you have a brick and mortar location, you need to know your area. Are you in an urban or rural location? What is the population of the area you want to serve? Are your potential customers willing to travel to where you are to buy what you offer?

  • Your Products.

What a your products and/or services? What sells best? What has the biggest profit margin? What is your “signature” product? What product or service is unique to you and your business?

  • Your Customers.

This is the most important item to consider for your marketing concept. We could spend hours talking about knowing your customers but for our purpose, let’s consider a few questions to answer. Are they mostly male or female? What is the average age of your best customer? Where do they live? What is the average income of your ideal customer? Write a paragraph or 2 describing your ideal customer. Do people shop online for the products that you sell? Are your products and/or services considered a luxury or a necessity? If you live in an area that is experiencing high unemployment, will people still be interested in your offer at the price you are asking? These are just a few questions to be answered. Given your particular situation, I’m sure you will come up with more.

  • The Time Of Year. (or month or season)

Many business marketing concepts have to take into consideration what time of year it is. Take for instance where I live. Here in Northern Michigan we live in an area that depends on tourism. In the summer we see a great increase in population and many businesses rely on good summer sales to make them profitable for the entire year. In another town, Frankenmuth, Michigan, much of business there is related to the Christmas season. (If you’ve never been to Frankenmuth, you owe it to yourself and family to make the trip. Especially to see my old buddies Kevin and Ron Kern at Kern’s Market!).

  • Your Competition

Knowing your competition is key to your success. What are your differences? Are your prices in line with the others? (Not that price is the most important factor, but it puts you in the game to be competitive.) Is your customer service better than theirs? If not, what changes do you need to make? How close are they to you? Do you compete with them or do they compete with you??? Think about it!

  • Physical store location or an internet business.

Depending on your focus, either or both can be very successful if you plan it out. Here are some questions. Is you store location easy access to walk by traffic. Does what you sell rely on impulse buying? What is your parking situation? Is it easy to get in and out of your store and does it have good handicap access? Do your hours of operation match with your customers shopping habits? Does your store have a public bathroom? Is the lighting good?

If you run an Internet business, how are your skills at SEM and SEO? Do you use WordPress for your website? How are your writing skills?

  • Your Marketing Budget.

Important here is, make a plan and follow it. Nothing will kill a great business quicker than poor funding. One of the great things about an Internet business is that it can be started and run on a shoestring, this isn’t meant to discourage you from a brick and mortar business, but it is the truth. Anyway, Questions: What is your largest funding source? Who do you have to answer to, if anyone, before spending money on marketing? How much does it cost for a Yellow Page ad? Is that where your customers find your products? Other places to advertise can be: local newspapers, Craigslist, Google AdWords, radio (can be a great source), TV, word of mouth (the BEST if your existing customers love you!) and some other things coming up that can really change the marketing game and give you the advantage you deserve.

This article is meant to get the old inventive juices flowing and I’m sure you can come up with many more questions to answer. As always, the more you learn, the better chances for the success you want. America is still the BEST place to be when it comes to business start up (and for everything else). Time to build your dreams. YOU CAN DO IT!