Marketing products that are generally perceived as boring can be quite the challenge. For some products, the appeal is obvious. But for others, it can take some convincing.

Some products take more explaining to convince people that they’re worth an investment. Certain industries cater to huge needs in the market but don’t have the celebrity status that other companies like Instagram enjoy. Take Oracle for example. They are the second highest earning software development company on the planet, but most people don’t know who they are and what they do.

Here are eight powerful ways to market products that don’t have instant sex appeal:

Define the solution 

What problem are you solving in the market? Frame your product pitch around the benefits of the product. Discover what your customers are actually looking for and centre your marketing around that frame.

People aren’t too interested in product specifications and features. They want to know what problem it will solve for them. 

In some market where there is a lot of competition, it’s okay to list the features of the product alongside the problem-solving statements. Look at what your competitors are doing and offer more. This could be more features, a lower price tag or both!

Know your audience

Knowing your target market is crucial to effective advertising. If you target everyone, you find no one. Different demographics have different ways of describing things. It’s essential to nail down the people you’re targeting so you can speak their language.

Define your expertise

defining your expertise

The most successful businesses create industry monopolies through innovation. How? By creating entirely new markets. Exploiting a need in the market that hasn’t been met is a powerful modus operandi for building wildly successful businesses.

Brian Dean of Backlinko is one such example, coining the term “The Skyscraper Technique”. This one method for acquiring backlinks earned Brian celebrity status in the world of search engine optimisation. Of course, there a lot more to it than just this but you get the idea.

Define a market need and create something unique around that requirement.

Create Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a tough one because it usually involves spending a large sum of money on advertising that is hard to measure. One example of a highly effective brand awareness campaign is CompareTheMarket.

CompareTheMarket is an insurance comparison website that launched a campaign called “Compare The Meerkat” led by a cartoon meerkat called Aleksandr Orlov. By associating their brand with a friendly character and constantly correcting the “Compare The Meerkat” phrase to their real brand name, they were able to hugely increase their brand awareness without talking about insurance comparison at all.

An iconic logo is also an important part of any brand awareness strategy. Your logo is your company insignia. It should represent everything your business stands for. It should also stand out in general. Not in a cheap, flashy way. You want bold but understated. There are plenty of logo design services out there (such as Juicy) that can help you create wonderful logo’s for your business.

Create a story

enchanting story

People don’t just want to hear about your products and services. When it comes to brand loyalty, we all want to know what the business is all about. What’s the history, values and narrative behind the companies’ inception?

An interesting story about a companies’ identity can foster a connection to your brand based on common ground.

Create product demand

John Mcafee launched his anti-virus software company back in the 80’s. Shortly after the company launched he warned everyone about the risk of not having anti-virus software on their computers.

One of his most famous marketing stunts was loading an RV with computers and calling it an “antivirus paramedic unit”. By the early 90’s he was making five million dollars a year with a client base that included some of the biggest companies in the world.

Anti-virus is boring. But by highlighting the dangers and needs of having it on your computer, Mcafee was able to create an entire market for his products.

Create Urgency

Using scarcity is one of the most widely used forms of marketing. A classic technique that can be used to encourage people to invest in a product or service. You can use scarcity by giving customers a limited time to buy your products or by only selling a limited number of discounted ones.

A retail store that has a sale is a classic form of scarcity. How? Because the customers don’t know how long the sale will last for and if they’ll be able to buy those products at that exact price again.

Create brand advocates

A brand advocate is a fancy term that is being thrown about all over the place. It basically means people love your stuff so much, they’re willing to shout about it. They’ll tell their friends, family and co-workers about your product/service because they genuinely think it’s awesome.

Dropbox is a company that has had huge success with this technique. Back in 2010, the idea of storing files and folders in the cloud wasn’t something most people even considered.

Dropbox found it particularly difficult to attract new customers to their service offering. So they decided to try something different.

They offered free storage for anyone that signed up with them as well as offering more space to people who referred their friends to the product. In essence, Dropbox built a viral marketing model that revealed the benefits of using their service to users and turned them into brand advocates who promoted their stuff practically for free.

 

Marketing automation is powerful. It enables you to automate a huge plethora of tasks that only a few years ago, would have had to be done manually.

Marketing automation can really help you explode your online business. It is something that can be effectively implemented with all online business ideas.

Just getting started on your journey to online business freedom?

Here are some articles we highly recommend you to read before embarking on your internet business journey:

Once you’ve done your research and chosen the path you want to take, you can start thinking about how you can use marketing automation to help you generate leads and make sales in your business.

Here are five simple ways you can grow your business by leveraging the power of marketing automation.

#1 Getting Email Subscribers Through Web Forms

email sign up form

One of the first things you should be doing when setting up your business is to have a website. After you’ve built your website, you want to make sure you have email sign-up forms all over your site.

There are called CTA’s (Call To Action) and they offer something of value to your readers in exchange for their email address.

Having an attractive CTA and placing sign-up forms in the right places on your website will help you grow your email list and continue to provide value to your readership.

Most email marketing providers have email sing-up forms that you can integrate with your website. These email providers enable you to set up something called an auto-responder series.

This is a series of emails that automatically get sent out to your subscribers over a set period of time. It’s a way for your to build that relationship with your prospect without having to spend all day sending emails to people.

This is how people manage lists of millions of subscribers at a time.

#2 Treat Loyal Customers

If you’re in the physical product business, you’re going to want to find a way to get your customers to buy from you again. A great way of enticing your customers is to reward them.

You can do this by segmenting your email list. Segmenting your list allows you to target specific people in your email list.

For example, if you owned an online shoe store and you wanted to reward people that recently bought some limited edition Nike trainers. List segmentation enables you to do this.

Consider sending an email that offers your most loyal customers a special discount. Maybe a 10% off coupon or something similar. If you own a business that sells informational products. You could offer a limited time special deal to your subscribers or give them something really cool for free.

#3 Automate Your Social Media Posting

social media automation

Social media automation allows you to schedule content in advance to be sent out to your followers at the optimum time for engagement.

Social media management tools such as Hootsuite allow you to do this. This hugely reduces the amount of time required to maintain an active social media presence for your online business, making it perfect for the time-strapped online business owner.

You can set aside a couple of hours in a week to plan and create all the content for your social media accounts, saving you a ridiculous amount of time.

# 4 Bring Back Old Customers

Similar to treating your loyal customers, you should always be thinking about ways that you can bring old customers back to purchase from your business again. Check out your email list and create a segment of people that haven’t purchased anything in the last six months or so.

Create a small email series for these people starting off with an “I miss you” type of email and include a special offer (I’m sure you can come up with something better!). The second and third email could be improvements on the offer you made them before. You could even send them a survey asking them why they stopped purchasing products from you.

This can offer invaluable insights for your business.

#5 Improve Lead Nurturing

One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation software is the ability to build a relationship with your subscriber.

In any type of business, you’ll have a mixture of hot and cold leads. The hot leads obviously have a higher chance of converting into customers for your business, while the cold leads and significantly less likely to buy from you.

Below you can see a list for an auto-responder campaign. This is a special lead-nurturing campaign that sends a series of helpful, educational emails to subscribers.

What’s powerful about this is that it’s completely automated. This enables you to get hot leads for your business without having to lift a finger (after it’s all been setup).

If you send out an email through your software automation email system and don’t track the stats, you’re missing the point.

By not analysing your email marketing campaigns, you don’t know how your subscribers are reacting to your content.

Did your email even get opened? Did you get any clicks? Did your email result in any sales for your business?

To answer these questions and understand how you can provide a better service to your customers, checking how your email marketing campaigns are performing is essential.

Email analytics gives allows you to discover the content that resonates with your audience and find opportunities to improve and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Five Key Metrics You’ll Want To Follow

Open Rates

This measures the amount of people that actually open your emails and is one of the most important stats for your email marketing campaigns.

If nobody is opening your emails, your campaigns aren’t going anywhere.

If your open rates are very low, there are a few things you can do to improve them. Try increasing the urgency of your subject lines. Make them more captivating. If your subject lines are intriguing, people are more likely to check out your email.

You could also be sending your emails at a bad time. There are plenty of article case studies that show you the best time to send out emails to your subscribers.

Traffic

To find out how many people are checking out your website directly from your emails, you’ll want to have a look at your sites traffic metrics. This can be especially useful when your goal is to drive people to a certain blog post or product page.

You also have the option of tracking clicks in your emails. This is a simple and effective way of finding out how many people are checking out your content.

It’s vital that you have one clear call to action in every email you send out. This enables you to have a steady flow of traffic to your website from your email marketing.

Unsubscribes

A high rate of email unsubscribes is bad for your company reputation. If you’re experiencing a high number of unsubscribes, it’s a good idea to ask your subscribers why they have removed themselves from your list.

When someone opt’s out of your list you can include a question asking them why they’ve decided to leave you forever!

Gathering feedback from your subscribers is the best way to figure out the mistakes you’re making with your email marketing. You’re then able to take action on this and make appropriate adjustments.

Email Deliverability

If you’re seeing super low email open rates and you have a high number of spam complaints, there might be an issue with the deliverability of your emails.

There are many factors that directly affect the deliverability of your emails but the best way to ensure the highest percentage of delivered emails is to adhere to the CAN-SPAM act.

The CAN-SPAM act is a US law that regulates the sending of emails commercially. Senders must abide by the following rules:

  • Enable subscribers to unsubscribe.
  • Contain a valid address.
  • Be clear and open about who is sending the emails.
  • Avoid misleading subject lines.

If you’re buying email lists from list brokers, you need to stop doing this immediately. This isn’t the way to grow your email list. This is like being stopped in the street and asked if you want to buy something. It’s plain intrusive and it doesn’t work.

Your best bet is to follow some basic marketing practices:

  • Create and send amazing content.
  • Email frequently.
  • Deliver exactly what you promised with your emails

These three things will make your emails more attractive and increase the engagement from your subscribers.

Tracking Sales

The tracking sales metric enables you to track and trace how much revenue each email is generating for your business. Having this information enables you to improve your emails and increase your profits over time.

To generate more profit from your email marketing, review the content that has resulted in a high amount of revenue for your business. Compare it to content that has produced low revenue and optimise your content.

Discovering the differences between your best and worst content will help you provide more value to your audience, which will help you make more sales.

marketing automation mistakes

Marketing automation is super powerful technology. It’s fair to say that it has definitely transformed the business landscape and enabled businesses to operate an approach that has never been so hands-off.

Bloggers, entrepreneurs, SMB’s and large enterprises can all take advantage of the fantastic marketing automation tools out there. It’s a way you can super-charge your lead generation and really start cranking up those daily lead numbers.

Over 50% of companies are already leveraging the power of marketing automation. In addition to that, almost 70% of the remaining companies are planning to start using it over the next few months.

While plenty of businesses are starting to use marketing automation, the number of organisations that have utilised it effectively is a much lower number.

If you plan on implementing any sort of marketing automation in the near future, here are some common mistakes you want to avoid:

Buying The Wrong Thing

The worst start you can have is to invest in the wrong marketing automation platform. Marketing automation needs to be closely integrated with social media accounts and CRM’s in order to provide all the features and benefits it has to offer.

Not all marketing automation tools offer the same level of features and compatibility.

Compatibility is something that needs to be taken into account as you can have a fantastic marketing automation system that has all the bells and whistles, but if it isn’t compatible with your systems then it’s not much more than a paperweight.

Quality Of Information

The data from your marketing automation is the most important part of the whole solution. If you have bad data you’re going to produce bad results.

It’s best practice for you to put systems in place that clean up your email database from time to time. You don’t want to have half your subscribers emails bouncing when you send them something.

Bad Quality Content

Marketing automation doesn’t just work on it’s own. It needs to be combined with a number of things to be effective, like awesome content. If you want your automation campaigns to exceed, you need to engage your customers. To engage your customers you need to provide high-value content for them.

Amazing content is the cornerstone of pretty much every successful business. Content marketing is an ever-green way for you to grow your business. Amazing content never gets old and will pay your company back in dividends over time.

Not Using The Features

Only 10% of companies that use marketing automation actually utilise all the features it has to offer. The overall objective for using it in the first place is to cut down on the amount of human intervention required. If you’re only using 10% of the product features, you’re not reducing the manual labour anywhere near as much as you can.

When you decide to implement a marketing automation solution, make sure the people who are going to be using the system are fully trained on the software. This way you’ll make the most of your investment and free up time for you and your employees to focus on other productive tasks in your business.

Conclusion

Marketing automation is a cheap way to automate a significant amount of marketing in your business. It’s definitely not a five minute fix-all solution but done properly, it can significantly reduce the time you spend on marketing analysis and lead nurturing. At the end of the process you want to have a buying cycle that doesn’t require any human intervention what so ever. Auto-pilot is the name of the game!

Marketing automation is a type of technology that enables businesses to automate and measure tasks that used to be performed manually a few years ago. This automation enables businesses to achieve a level of marketing efficiency that wasn’t possible previously.

Marketing automation simplifies lead generation for marketers. It enables a marketer to streamline the segmentation of lists, lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing and more.

Some of these things are doable without marketing automation software but they can end up taking a significant amount of your labour time and once you start introducing high volume you can forget it.

This technology becomes a requirement when you introduce any level of scale, not to mention the ever increasing number of things marketers are required to manage.

More specifically, these processes require:

A CMD (Central Marketing Database) – A place to store all your marketing information. This includes data such as prospect interactions on your website. Collecting this information allows you to segment your prospects and deliver the right sort of message to them at the right time.

Engage Marketing Engine – This is the place where you can create and manage all your marketing automations. The thing that orchestrates the interactions with your customers.

Analytics Engine – This is a way for you to collect data by measuring customer behaviour on your site. It enables you to optimise your marketing understanding the behaviours of your visitors and customers so you can mould your services around their wants, needs and desires.

If you’re running a business that has any sort of online presence, marketing automation is an absolute must for you.

Who uses marketing automation?

It may come as a surprise to you but it isn’t just big companies that are using marketing automation. This technology has accelerated leaps and bounds in a few short years and it now super affordable for even the most frugal entrepreneur.

That said, Small to medium-sized businesses make up the largest growing segment in the marketing automation space right now. Thousands of small businesses use marketing automation to help them maximise their small monthly marketing budgets.

Companies across all industries use marketing automation. From financial services to healthcare, media, construction and even retail businesses. Everyone’s adopting marketing automation to capitalise on the highly effective engagement oriented approach to building and nurturing customer relationships.

Common functions of marketing automation

Some of the most common functions of marketing automation include things like:

  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Customer relationship management
  • Engagement marketing
  • Analytics marketing

How valuable is marketing automation?

You can expect two main big benefits from implementing a marketing automation strategy in your business.

The first one is more pipeline. Marketing automation enables you to drive more leads into the system so you can more prospects in the pipeline that could turn into customers at any time.

The second one is higher revenue. As a direct result of increasing the amount of leads you generate, you’ll be making more sales in your business.

A study completed by eMarketer found that B2C marketers that leverage the power of marketing automation have experienced conversion rates that are as high as 50%.

In addition to this, according to a company called Nuclear Research, 95% of companies said that they had benefited from marketing automation in some shape or form.

Marketing automation provides data and ROI for all the time you spend carefully crafting your marketing campaigns. It allows you to effectively track and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated marketing promotions. This type of information in invaluable to any digital marketer and business in general.