What is Lean Marketing?

There is significant competition between industries to dominate the search engine rankings and many have resorted to inbound marketing strategies to help them out. Large enterprises are using these strategies to market their products and achieve higher conversion rates. Small businesses are using inbound marketing strategies to create better brand awareness and improve their online presence. However effective inbound marketing requires the generation of quality content in a very short duration of time. Creating quality content requires an increased amount of review, which often cannot be accommodated in a jam packed production schedule. As a result, the industry requires ongoing strategies to go about its inbound marketing activities.

What is lean marketing?

Lean marketing is a process that involves making continuous improvements to an already existing method in such a way that maximum efficiency can be achieved.  One of the challenges arises because of inefficient lead building and management tools and methods. These methods are not efficient and they are also time-consuming. With better inbound marketing strategies being constantly integrated into business processes, the marketing departments are now better equipped with tools that enable them to effectively manage leads.

One such strategy is called lean marketing, the Six Sigma model as an example, follows the process of

  • Explore
  • Develop
  • Implement
  • Define
  • Measure

Conversion to lean marketing

Most of the marketing teams today are equipped with tools that help them improve their processes but what they lack is a disciplined process that enables them to launch effective campaigns and strategies to counter obstacles as and when they are encountered.

Any marketing process can be converted to a lean process by implementing the following general strategies.

  • Creating a structured process for the various aspects of inbound marketing such as planning, evaluating, content creation, executing, lead generation and nurturing. This will create a disciplined process and enable incremental improvement for optimization.
  • Holding regular review meetings is also a good practice. This allows for interaction between the various business teams and solutions to complex problems can be sought in a short span of time.

Effects of lean marketing

The biggest effect lean marketing can have on any marketing strategy is an increase in the efficiency. Inbound marketing tools reduce the wasting of time and help in easy monitoring. As a result of a repeatable process, campaigns can be launched quickly and efficiently and lastly due to regular meetings, solutions can be quickly obtained.

Product Marketing Using Rich Content

Inbound marketing involves the creation of quality content aimed at driving traffic and boosting conversion rates. While great targeted content gets you visibility, it is also  the application of quality content that speaks to your product, its functionality and its benefits that help your sales team achieve their targets.

From a user’s point of view, there are two types of content forms that are delivered. First is the form that caters to those at the top of the marketing funnel and the other caters to those at the bottom. While the former appeals to those users that are just looking to gather information and the latter appeals to users who are interested in your products, and convince’s them to make a buying decision. There is a huge gap between the two different forms of content. If the gap is bridged appropriately, then the content marketing strategy will be optimized . Blending the right balance of rich content in your messaging is the key.

Here are a few things that you can implement to achieve effective product marketing through rich content

Video promotion

An image speaks a thousand words and a moving one speaks a million. Videos are great tools to communicate your thoughts to the users. Videos can be used to provide live demonstrations to your audience  about your products. Videos are also ideal for providing your audience with an instant overview of your products and your business along with in depth analysis of individual products and product features. These videos can also be linked and featured on product pages where users can get instant access to product overviews.

Case studies and testimonials

Including customer testimonials and case studies about how your product played a vital role in the success of a particular customer goes a long way. These testimonials and case studies add credibility to your product and your marketing strategies, and also help your sales team meet their goals at the same time. Case studies should be intriguing and must contain an in-depth analysis of the customer’s problems and how your product changed the customer’s life for good.

Product demos, surveys and reports

Another great way to add to the credibility of your product is by routinely providing your audiance  with statistics on the performance of your product. The reports themselves can be major sales generators at times. In addition to this, product demos from your sales personnel can be incorporated into content and fed to the users. You could also record these live demonstrations and include the videos on the site.

Display Advertising Techniques

Display advertisements are not a new concept. Presently, they constitute a major portion of the ad revenue generated by all forms of advertisements. This can be owing to the fact that these ads offer much more flexibility and control to the marketers.

Over the years, the online display advertisement industry has flourished greatly and spawned diverse forms. The display ads have come a long way from simple highlighted hyperlinks and still images to highly interactive media. Web marketers are constantly concocting a fine blend of these different forms to create more interactive, engaging and attractive display advertisements. Here’s a look at the most basic and root level display advertising techniques.

Static display advertisement

A static display advertisement is the most basic form of display advertisement that has been around for a very long time. These advertisements do not interact with the users in any way. But on the flip side they are the lightest and most simple form of display advertisements. These ads usually contain a hyperlinked still image and text with a link to the advertiser’s landing page or website.

Animated display advertisements

Animated display advertisements usually contain certain simple animations in Flash or .GIF formats hyperlinked to the advertiser’s landing page. The ad can be designed to contain a completely or partly animated ad space. This is completely under the control of the advertiser. The animated display ads can be very attractive. However they too do not interact with the users. Implementing animated advertisements in your ad campaign can definitely attract more visitors to your landing page but pose design challenges in the form of limitations on file size.

Interactive display advertisements

These are the most popular forms of display advertisements being used today. Interactive ads provide the benefits of animated ads and static ads in one package. These ads interact with the users by offering some unique functionality or simple animation. These ads can also be used to collect information from the user by providing a form in the ad space.

Expanding display advertisements

These are a variation of interactive ads with a unique functionality of expanding when clicked or scrolled over. The ad can initially be in the form of a simple static image and expand to a very complicated animation or a video. These ads also provide the advertisers with the opportunity of offering more information to the users without having to direct them elsewhere.

Web Hosting Trends Seen in 2012

Advanced and ever-changing technologies are pushing the boundaries of web hosting to new levels. As the boundaries are pushed, consumers can take more advantage of emerging hosting models and solutions that uphold their benefits and meet perceived future demands. Here are some of the leading industry trends of 2012 that deserve your attention, and provide clues for the future.

Cloud security improvements

Everybody is warming up to the cloud technology. The Kindle Cloud Reader started the cloud culture and Apple’s integrated cloud has taken it to the next level. Many SMEs are also adopting cloud hosting services to experience a number of benefits. With a sudden rise in the usage of cloud hosting services, the one area that requires attention is security. The security of the cloud service is yet to be perfected. The customers are also raising concerns over the issue and several hosting companies are also addressing the issue with vigor. Cloud-related security concerns are expected to abate in the coming years, as more businesses take to the cloud.

Increasing partnerships and reseller activity

With bigger players like Amazon investing in the hosting industry, smaller players are increasingly exploring partnerships to get their slide of the cloud hosting market. Reseller and affiliate relationships are also becoming increasingly important. Marketing strategies that involve a niche-specific approach (providing customized templates and other add-ons at a cheaper price) are playing greater roles in how the reseller industry will turn out.

Domain changes

The recent domain changes have opened up yet another avenue for web hosting companies. Many web hosting companies are now hosting non-US extension sites right from the registration of the domains. Users today can choose from over 100 different extensions to host their sites instead of the traditional .com, .org or .net.

Mass market hosting

Many major web hosting companies have been offering website building tools for a very long time. But new web hosts in the arena such as Weebly and Yola have completely changed the scenarios with their easy to use free website builders. They mainly concentrate on small and medium sized companies by offering them cheap, simple and easy to manage websites. This strategy has greatly influenced the way in which the web space is being bought.

The trends in the web hosting community are continuously pushing the infrastructure leading to the development of newer technologies. While these trends are changing the way in which companies are offering their services to consumers, the consumers are also adding to the trends with their constant feedback and thirst for a better web building experience.