Major Player in the Field of Sports Marketing

With the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl just around the corner and with the World Cup taking center stage this summer, sponsors are taking a new and different approach to advertising their brands. They are scrambling to invest more in social media campaigns and less on expensive TV and print advertisements. Aside from the obvious cost savings, the big question is why social media? The answer is two-fold. Social media is personal and it builds relationships. Advertisers are fast recognizing that to build brand loyalty they need to connect with their consumers in new ways through online direct response marketing. What better way than through sports marketing where fans identify with athletes and their national teams.

Social media is playing a critical part in presenting brands and athletes in a manner that interacts with fans on a worldwide basis. It creates anticipation and excitement for fans that can communicate directly with their favorite athlete and connect with them on a more personal level. Social media is enabling brands to create lasting relationships with people around the globe that isn’t possible with television and print media.

The Crossover to the New Media

NBC, who has exclusive broadcast rights to air the Vancouver Olympics, is making a big play with online marketing as a major part of their promotions to achieve web success. It has partnered with the social media firm The Swarm Collective to produce Olympic Pulse, a place where visitors can look up tweets from athletes, Olympic blogs and top trending stories. The Super Bowl promotions have also been very active in social media on Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Athletes and teams are scrambling to hype the event and gain more followers.

In order to prep for the World Cup in the coming months, the corporate partners of FIFA, football’s world governing body, are moving away from the use of traditional TV and billboard campaigns. Instead they are trying out social networking sites to promote their brands, to sell their pitch and build their business online. Calum MacDougall, director of global marketing partnerships at Sony Ericsson, says 2010 will be the first “social networking World Cup.”

Changing the Way the Game Is Played

What makes social media so attractive to powerhouse companies is the realization that more and more people are resorting to popular social destinations like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to get their daily dose of their favorite brands and athletes. In addition to this, these sites come with major audiences and give brands a huge boost and a way to reach millions of consumers. As an added bonus, these sites give brands the viral, online hype that they’ve been searching for in their audiences and their markets. In addition to this, it’s cheaper than spending millions on TV, billboard and print campaigns, and they can get real-time results in relation to how many people are engaging in these sites and taking advantage of their promotional offers.

The consumer has changed and companies have finally recognized that they need to be where the consumers are most responsive. Is social media the advertising vehicle of the future, replacing more traditional media? Probably not, but it may run an effective second.

Market Your Medical Business Successfully – 7 Unique Ideas and Why You Should Try Them

The success of your medical business depends on your ability to bring in new patients and to keep the current ones coming back. Why is it, then, that most medical businesses rely on the same old advertising methods to reach patients? Whether it’s listing services in directories, placing ads, or getting any generic website online, when everyone does the same thing, it’s tough to stand out.

Imagine someone searching for a new doctor and being inundated with over 200 listings. With nothing to distinguish each doctor, that someone likely ends up choosing the doctor at the top of the list. Not exactly what you want if your name doesn’t come up first.

The good news is that while people do want a doctor located nearby, people also want a doctor who they feel comfortable around and who they trust. So, it’s clear that your marketing should help you stand out in memorable and friendly way before potential patients start digging into that list of 200 physicians.

Also important is the need to maintain a strong relationship with current patients. Like with any business, your current patients are the ones that bring in the majority of your revenue, so your marketing must effectively remind them about why they’re happy to have you as their doctor, optician, dentists, etc.

Now, if you gave it some thought, I’m sure you could come up with many unique and creative marketing ideas, but I’ll start you off with my top seven marketing tactics for medical businesses. These marketing ideas offer you different ways to bring in new patients, keep current customers enthusiastic and coming back, and, ultimately, maintain a profitable medical business.

1. Share news to keep in touch. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email and e-newsletter marketing generated an ROI of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009.That’s great news that you can easily take advantage of it.

A short, well-written e-newsletter sent once or twice a year is a great way to keep in touch with patients. Provide them with relevant information that’s important to them. Share your expert knowledge, keep a friendly tone, and within hours you can draft an article. If you’re too busy, you can even hire somebody to write and edit your newsletter for you.

Some ideas include sharing promotions for your services, talking about the newest innovations in your office, including new testimonials from other patients, or providing answers to current health questions.

2. Be social. People prefer to deal with those they know and trust, so get involved in events and functions where potential patients can meet you and get to know you. Regardless of how busy you are, you may be able to fit in one event every two months. Some ideas include participating in a charity event, offering to speak at community functions, or attending church functions. The idea is simply to be out there where potential patients can meet you and get to know you.

3. Do a little direct-mail marketing.Yes, I know that you’re probably already sending postcards to your patients, but what if you offered them something more than just a friendly message? Why not go an extra step further and offer them a great reason to visit you again?

Not sure about what to offer? Think about their needs. For example, an optometry office might offer a discount on lens fittings or for new referrals. You could tell them about the latest innovation that makes their visit more comfortable. Whatever the message is, make it relevant to their needs and offer them a great benefit.

4. Team up. Consider forming a joint venture with another service provider that targets your market, but doesn’t directly compete with you. Find a way everyone can benefit–you, your partner, and your patients.

As a dentist, you could team up with an orthodontist or maybe a medical spa that offers teeth whitening. You can send new customers to them while they refer new patients to you, and the people who are referred can benefit through special savings only available through this referral service.

5. Get a good website up that’s search engine optimized. Like I mentioned before, people go online to look for information. Every day, millions search online by typing in keywords into search engines such as Google and Yahoo. With a website that’s search engine optimized, your site can rank higher in search results and dramatically increase the targeted traffic to your website.

Once people land on your website, make sure your site effectively convinces them that you’re the doctor for their needs. Offer helpful, valuable information, such as information about your services, credentials, or what sets your service apart.

Your website should be professional and engaging. I’ve even seen sites with pictures of unsmiling, distracted receptionists. Not exactly the image you want to communicate. With an increasing number of higher quality websites, many medical businesses can no longer make do with poorly thought-out websites. A well-created site is essential for building trust and for making a friendly first impression on potential patients.

6. Write articles or reportsand publish onlinefor free. You position yourself as a expert in your field, instantly build trust and credibility in the minds of new patients, and you set yourself apart from other medical professionals in your local area.

With numerous free article publishing sites, you also enjoy free, easy advertising when you publish these articles online or on your website. Millions of people go online every day to search for information, and if you can provide valuable information, you’ve just extended your reach.

Plus, these reports and articles continue to work for you long after they were written. Remember to include your name, credentials, office location, and contact information, so there’s an easy way for people to reach you.

7. Give them something to take home. With just an hour a week, you could craft a series of short handouts about important medical topics. When a patient comes in with a particular problem or question, hand them your personally written articles tailored to their specific health care issues. Include information that’s valuable for them to keep around as a reminder.

Because not many medical professionals do this, it can be an excellent way to build a stronger relationship with your patients. Again, remember to include your name, credentials, and office information at the bottom. If the topic is something that, for example, concerns women of a certain age, include a reminder to share this information with those they think would benefit from the knowledge.

In Summary…

Coming up with creative ways to reach your patients doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Though not all these marketing ideas may work for your medical business, hopefully they inspire you to come up with your own ways of making a positive and memorable impression on your patients.

MLM in Intensive Care – Resuscitating Your Business With Top Tier Direct Sales

The Internet has helped millions of people all over the world find business opportunities to earn money while selling a product they can believe in. There are hundreds of products created each year and very often the only way to purchase them is through network marketers. In our previous article, (MLM Business Model – The Most Well-Known Internet Business Model) we talked about the multi-level marketing (MLM) business model. Although the Internet seemed the perfect vehicle to help businesses grow, it is actually the main reason MLM in intensive care. Thousands of team leaders, who spent their time building networks and training their distributors, have found that their profits have all but disappeared.

They went from having a self-sustaining down line to constantly rebuilding. MLM’s are all about relationships. Successful team leaders mentor their distributors, teach them how to be successful and help them create new distributors of their own. Before the Internet, people understood that it took work, time and patience to be profitable. MLM in intensive care is in part due to the tremendous amounts of information available to the public at large. There is hype about new products every day. Email campaigns are focused on offering the opportunity to get in on the ground floor, to make the big money.

The basis for much of MLM marketing used to be by word of mouth. When the Internet came along, cheap email campaigns were effective. As the public has been deluged with more and more of these emails, they have become jaded. Leads that used to be hot have gone cold. New rules about spamming have prevented the type of mass emails that used to garner results. Now campaigns need to be targeted to a specific audience to be effective. MLM in intensive care came to be because campaigns that used to be effective and inexpensive no longer work and have become very expensive.

Many network marketers are moving away from the MLM and are using funded proposals to create a steady revenue stream while they focus on top tier direct sales. As more people leave established networks, the more MLM in intensive care. With top tier direct sales, people are dependent on themselves to make the sale, not an ineffective down line that may be strong today, but dry up tomorrow. Distributors can still find and sell a product they believe in, but only need to sell a few products a month to be as profitable as they were with a network, selling thousands of products.