The Fundamental Rules Of Marketing

These are fundamental rules of marketing.

Many new marketers want to skip the fundamentals and get right to learning how to get ranked on Google. Don’t you think it’s important to learn marketing before you learn search engine marketing?

I often get questions like… How do I get my site ranked by the search engines? How can I run an effective email marketing campaign? How do I generate leads with social media?

These are all great questions but isn’t it important to learn the basics first? Since when did marketing become about tricking the search engines?

People buy from people they know like and trust. Here are a few simple ways you can get people to know like and trust you.

POSITION YOURSELF AS AN AUTHORITY – This can be done simply by claiming it. For example you can claim authority as long as you promote with confidence and conviction. “We are seeking a few sharp sales professionals to help run the marketing and global distribution aspect of our business. Are you open to taking a serious look at our company and submitting an application to work with us?”

Another way to have others view you as an authority is what’s known as “social proof.” Ask a leader in your circle of influence to make a testimonial video for you. Or make one for them first. Many times they will be happy to return the favor.)

BRAND YOURSELF OVER YOUR COMPANY – Many newbies marketers in the direct sales arena in the industry believe their business to be the end all be all and their ultimate ticket to wealth. The fact is that direct marketing companies fold all the time for many different reasons. That is why it is vital to brand yourself and build your own list.

PICK UP THE PHONE – There is nothing better than an offline connection to get people to know like and trust you. With all our automated systems we have access to It is easy to hide behind a computer screen. If you get in the habit of simply calling to introduce yourself to your prospective customers you will realize much greater results.

Quick Guide to Accounting Training

Are you considering an accounting education but confused by all the jargon? This is a quick guide to understanding the different specialties associated with accounting careers and the training you will need to be successful.

Business cannot function without people who monitor, evaluate, and synthesize productivity, financial, and resource data. Accounting, or accountancy, is the practice of collecting and measuring data in order to allocate resources. Most often accounting is specific to a business’s finances. Auditing is a related field whereby records are reviewed and a conclusion reached; resulting in a recommendation for action; geared to ensure efficiency and to improve performance and ensure adherence to standards and principles. A simple example of the workplace relationship follows: An accountant would enter and keep track of payroll and company expenses. An auditor would review the records kept by the accountant to determine if money and time are being well spent.

When people think of auditors, the first thought is probably one of an IRS man in a suit with a stern expression coming to make sure you paid your taxes. While this type of auditor exists (not to be feared if you have been a good record keeper) auditors are usually individuals who are hired to evaluate the accuracy of accounts kept by a company. Their analyses help management determine effectiveness and efficiency.

Accounting professionals often deal with time to money ratios. In order to keep track of all these numbers, professionals must be well able to use computers; specifically spreadsheet applications (such as Microsoft Excel).

Accountants often specialize in one field. Jobs include bookkeeping, tax accounting, cost accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, time keeping and payroll.

o Accounts receivable refers to incoming payments.

o Accounts payable refers to debits and outgoing payments.

o Bookkeeping refers to recording transactions and calculations.

o Tax accounting in its simplest form refers to the specialty of preparing tax returns.

o Cost accounting refers to the specialty of accounting that deals with analyzing, tracking, and recording business costs. Cost may be measured not only in money, but in time.

o Time keeping and payroll clerks do just what it sounds like; they keep track of workers’ time sheets and payroll.

Training for accounting careers varies. For many jobs a bachelor’s degree in accounting is not necessary, though some education or experience is generally required. Accounting training programs often involve computer classes to familiarize students with the applications used in the workplace. Those in the accounting field must be comfortable using spreadsheets and other financial and accounting software (QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel) as well as word processing software such as Microsoft Word. Close attention to detail is essential, as is an aptitude for numbers and order. A high level of trustworthiness and discretion is also essential as much of the information processed is confidential. Office experience and communication skills are also essential in the workplace. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) must undergo a four-part, two-day exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and are required to complete a minimum of 150 college credit hours (this is 30 hours more than the usual needed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.) The exam is considered to be quite difficult, and many do not pass all four sections at one time. Partial credit is usually awarded as long as the candidate passes at least two sections.

As with any career, an interest in the subject matter is helpful. Someone who hates math should probably not consider an accounting career just as someone who hates English should steer clear of copywriting.

Remember, it never hurts to do a little research and ask questions about programs. School representatives are always happy to help prospective students find out more about their offerings. Accounting careers are diverse and abundant; why not change your future with an accounting education?

The State of Email Marketing and Best Practices

Towards the end of 2010, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), TouchBasePro and Email Connection released the Bulk Email Deliverability Report South African 2011. The report is extremely important for all South African enterprises that make use of email marketing, which despite waning popularity is still remarkably effective. According to the report, up to 20% of the budget spent on email marketing is wasted, i.e. it doesn’t get through recipients.

Cordell Brewer, director of TouchBasePro attributes the wastage primarily to poor domain name reputation, which means that emails don’t make it past spam filters. An article on SA media and marketing news portal Bizcommunity cites statistics from Europe, Asia and the US, which show that 14 – 20% of email marketing messages don’t make it past spam filters, and Brewer believes that similar results could be found in the South African market.
Email marketing remains popular because it’s cheap and it’s effective. US statistics reveal that email marketing is the most effective form of direct marketing, delivering double or triple the ROI of other direct marketing methods. However, to be effective and achieve maximum ROI, emails first have to break through the barriers and reach consumers. As a result, there are a number of best practices which have been recommended for online marketers. The Bulk Email Deliverability Report outlines 10 of these best practices:

1) Improve data collection and check opt-in history: some spam detectors measure the quality of a sender’s reputation by the quality of its email programme. Ensure that you keep proof of opt-in, date of email acquisition and the date of each email campaign and monitor results and inconsistencies closely.
2) Manage expectations and relevance to reduce complaint rates: subscribers need to know exactly what they’re signing up for; if possible they should also be given the opportunity to decide how they want to receive information – html or plain text, daily, weekly or monthly. All relevant information should be clear and concise and above the fold on the registration page.
3) Unsubscribes and complaints: subscribers must be given the option to change their minds. Tastes and needs change and what was once considered vital news could become spam, before your emails get reported as such, rather provide subscribers with an easy method to opt-out of your emailing list. Unsubscribe links should be clearly visible. If you have a problem with being reported as spam, place the link at the top of the page where it is not likely to be missed.
4) Check inactive recipients for spam traps: these are fake or abandoned email addresses that are intended solely to catch spam, which is ignored. Some spam filters are able to detect spam traps in your email database and may decide to block you as a matter of course.
5) Monitor your sender reputation and blacklists: this is the most important factor affecting email acceptance. ISPs tend to use external companies to check sender reputation data and it’s a good idea to sign up to these companies so that you can also get an idea of how your email campaigns are perceived. Check regularly to see that you have not been blacklisted on any blacklist operators websites.
6) Use the infrastructure that works for you: this means you can either manage your email campaigns internally or outsource them. If you outsource, ensure you go with a reputable company, if you keep it internal make sure you have all the relevant checks and systems to stay on the right side of the spam filter.
7) Conduct pre-broadcast testing: this entails testing for delivery issues and format issues. It’s also important to monitor your inbox delivery rate.
8) Certification: certification schemes certify the integrity if email senders and can help campaigners get by spam filters. Note that certification does not guarantee that you’ll make it to the inbox; you still have to jump through hoops and maintain other best practices.
9) Manual whitelisting: this entails analysing delivery patterns and determining where problems consistently occur, then, quite simply, you have to create a contact list and work your way through it to have your company removed from the spam list.
10) Build up your reputation slowly: this requires time and patience and religious adherence to best practices.