Articles Archive.

This is a full list in publication order.

Tempted by professional Search Engine optimisation to increase incoming referrals to your website?

05 March 2002: Perhaps you should be! To understand the issues, the longer term implications and understand potential risks and rewards you need to proceed with maximum knowledge .. click to read more

“Guaranteed for life!” should such marketing claims fill you with dread?

3rd March 2002: Discussing an expensive branded item, this life guarantee was mentioned in hushed tones implying some magical value imbuing a significant extra to an already high price. Immediate questions spring to mind for anyone making or taking these claims, especially if they expect or are expected to pay more “guaranteed for life”

Click for “Search Engine Corner”, Articles and news about Internet Search Engines & Directories.

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Hot Industrial Marketing News:
Small Industrial B2B distributor gets paid by principals for Internet referrals.

Feb 2002: This is a small American 4 man niche industrial distributor, not a “pay for placement” search provider or a volume components distributor with a large promotional spend.

Run by experienced sales and marketing professionals who focus on keeping their website well positioned for their target niche, this American industrial distributor now generates such a significant volume and quality of referrals for their overseas principals that .. click to read more

Copyright explained for marketers, with specific reference to professional photography.

Feb 2002: In marketing we often use high quality images in brochures, websites or print adverts. We may pay indirectly via an advertising agency but when marketers or photographers misunderstand copyright issues disputes arise. To avoid bad feeling and a waste of time and money .. click here

Search Engine Corner
Freeserve search shows Overture results.

Feb 2002: Freeserve an important UK ISP, now appears to be serving search users results from Overture, a pay for placement service. The Overture solution will penalise people using Freeserve’s own free or better described “bundled” web hosting who are not paying for adverts on Overture. Further, this increases the relevance of to UK consumer marketers who .. click to read more

Small Business?
Don’t neglect editorial in your local newspaper

Feb 2002: A recently started local service got great exposure when the Mayor opened their facilities. This local interest story was captured by a journalist and photographer and appeared as editorial within the week. Can your business provide .. click to read more

Euro Notes and Coins are here

January 2002: The arrival of Euro notes and coins, in what has been described as the most significant currency change ever undertaken, is a significant development for the European Union single market.

Electronic trading in Euro may have been underway for some time with member currencies on fixed exchange rates but the Euro is now something that hundreds of millions of European consumers can touch and are using every day.

More on the Euro plus links to resources click here.

Search Engine Corner –
Northern Light stops free searches, then is bought by Divine

February 2002: Business wire reports that Northern Light, an internet search engine based in Cambridge (MA USA). as of January 16, 2002, will no longer provide free Web search capabilities to the general public.

Northern Light announced on its website that it has been acquired by Divine. Read more from their own press release. There may be more news coming from Northern Light in the coming weeks.

With Excite in trouble and Yahoo busy implementing new revenue models the reshaping of the search engine sector is continuing apace.

For more search engine stories click here. post their first profit on net sales of $1.12 billion

February 2002:, an internet trading household name, posting a profit now will boost confidence in the internet which was hit in 2000-1 with the failure of lots of small startups.

That Amazon reported they cleared their costs on net sales of $1.2 billion in the same week that CNN reported Kmart filing for bankruptcy is ironic but illustrates the scale of Amazon’s busines, market share, support and cost base. People considering web based businesses on more real world budgets should think hard about their ability to dominate their chosen niche.

Read about it in the:
UK Guardian online – click here
UK Financial Times – click here

Niche marketers must resist standardisation.
The key to successful niche marketing is to provide significantly superior solutions for small groups of customers than larger companies can offer. I argue niche marketers must resist standardisation at all costs. ..more

The niche industrial distributors dilemma
This key dilemma for distributors affects import and export business in industrial niche markets. It affects how manufacturers and distributors must evaluate their relationship for the short and longer term. ..more

Comparing Consumer to Industrial Marketing.
A November visitor proposed a comparison between consumer and industrial marketing. Ever willing to please I have taken a quick stab at it. Your comments are welcome. ..more

When do industrial niches allow viable market access?

Can niche marketing offer viable industrial market access? I suggest a possible quick test to see if your chosen niche has long term viability? ..more

Legislation rolls onward
November 2001
The European Parliament could not be expected to stop churning out legislation filled as it is, like our own and your own assemblies, with individuals keen to show their importance and value to the rest of us. Europarl is updating its legislation regarding the use of cookies and identification in electronic communication and commerce. This update (click here to view in a new window) may if it were adopted verbatim cause problems for Britains own RIP legislation as is proposes in Amendment 9 Recital 15b (new) that identifiable electronic communication only be stored by other than the users for the time required for transmission and no longer. This could destroy the UK governments intention to store email for example longer so that it could be examined by legal authories in govrnment agencies.

You now need a budget for Search Engines
14th November 2001
A number of search engines, ones which give valuable results, responded to a slowdown in advertising rates by starting to charge to consider business websites for inclusion in their index. While many still offer some free to submit options, now that pay for review is here companies do need a budget for search engines for any new websites they start. ..more

What navigation sections or functionality should you build into your company website?

While most sites include “contact us” sections and some areas about their product or service there are a number of different areas appearing on company websites these days. Could your website be enriched by some of these? ..more

Search Engine Corner,
Yahoo fights as Excite Fails
Yahoo is reported to be developing non advertising revenue sources including paid listings and DSL services while Excite which in the US filed for bankruptcy in September sees its UK subsidiary approach closure as a buyer is sought ..more

Top of mind awareness in industrial markets.
Why you need to get and keep it!

“Top of mind awareness” is when people in a market have a particular brand on the tip of their tongue and can be described as being aware of it. You need to get and maintain top of mind awareness, nothing else is more important. Getting and maintaining top of mind awareness is the key requirement for sales and marketing staff for the simple reason that if your target customers have never heard of you they are very unlikely to buy from you. You need to get and maintain top of mind awareness, nothing else is more important..more

Sponsorship and merchandising works!
This fact was amply demonstrated to me last week during a walk around a local supermarket when my two and a half year old son spotted a product with a picture of Thomas the tank engine prominantly displayed on its packaging.. more

Website activity statistics do not tell the whole story,
Introduction article.

You may have invested considerable funds on your company website and are likely to want to be able to monitor its performance. There are a number of ways you can monitor website performance. The more you invest in your website, the more you should monitor its performance. To be sure you get results you expect and may have paid for, you should collect and analyse data which indicates performance and can highlight changes to make to improve or ensure your website’s continued performance.. more

How does globalisation impact manufacturing?

There has been much discussion on globalisation from various points of view. It is simply in a manufacturers interest to gain all the volumes available for their products to optimise their productive base and maximise their sales.. more

Keep up with world events,
links to on line news resources.
Following the terrible events in the US, the world is reacting quickly. I have spent a lot of time trying to keep up with news from around the world on the events and subsequent developments. To use my list of links to on line news sources click here. If there are good on line resources which you use to keep informed and would like to recommend to me, please let me know. To email me, click here.

10 Million UK homes on Net.
8th August 2001.
The information revolution gathers pace, your organisation will be affected. Research by MORI reported by the BBC found 10 million UK homes now connected to the Net compared to 6 million last year ..more

How effective is web marketing? Hits can mean visitors, which can produce enquiries, which can produce business. Part 1/3

Web marketing reality is that hits do not on their own mean very much. Hits can indicate there are human visitors who can produce enquiries, and these enquiries can then produce business. Assuming your company website is intended to promote your offerings rather than other peoples, then it is the eventual business that you are interested in rather than just the vanity of a high hit rate. more.

Competing through Specification
Often used but rarely taught, competing through specification can be a clever way to satisfy customers while at the same time erecting entry barriers against your competitors. Most often seen in technical business to business markets competing through specification is common practice in most significant market places where players have the required sales & marketing skills and resources. An underrated method to confound your enemies ..more

Buck the trend of low cost overseas manufacturing and gain a marketing and ethical advantage?

In many markets, where production costs contain a significant labour element, an often discussed trend is the move of manufacturing operations to overseas locations with significantly low labour costs. Is it time to reverse this trend in the search for customer loyalty and competitive advantage? ..more

Create HTML Data-sheets for on-line use, quickly and easily using off-line databases.

Many websites offer product datasheets in Adobe Acrobat pdf format possibly because they can get these produced easily by the graphics people who created their last product catalogue. The pdf pages that result are great for printing (usually) but terrible for a website. Using off-line databases makes the process of producing Internet optimised product datasheet pages much easier than you might think and many companies will have the required data in a useable format already ..more.

Great expectations – why try to manage the expectations of others?

If your target customer base has low expectations of the performance of your offering they will not buy it and you will have no customers. If they have a high expectation and expect that it will do what they want, they will probably buy your offering. But, what happens if the reality of your offering does not live up to the expectations which your promotion created? Your customers will feel let down and may start bad mouthing you or worse, demand refunds, make complaints, generate bad publicity ..more

A specified website? Have you determined what your website is for and what that means for its design?

“Because everyone else has one”. In selling my web development services a managing director recently told me this was the reason he had a site built and further that he did not expect to get any results from it, he just wanted to have one, it seemed rather like a membership of the golf club or having the fashionable company car.

Getting the most out of exhibiting, not making an exhibition of yourself.
While exhibiting is a relatively straightforward process, plenty of opportunities can be missed without careful planning. I make the assumption you have chosen the right exhibition to take part in for the right reasons.

Exhibitions are expensive high profile events which take place in the full glare of publicity under the scrutiny of competitors and your own senior management team. It is vital that your exhibition runs like clockwork making maximum use of the commercial opportunities available. This can only be achieved with significant forward planning and great attention to detail. The following is intended as a starter checklist for exhibition organisers within a company…more

Learning how to write your own newsletter is a vital step to starting anything on-line.

“It Can Be DEADLY For E-Biz Beginners To Miss This Step” Many beginners are so raring to start marketing their new e-biz, they forget about one of the most important steps in starting anything on-line….. “yes” it’s learning how to write your own newsletter…more

“An incremental approach to new product development, and the associated sales and marketing tasks, is the most logical way to build the competitive position of an organisation.” Everyone knows, “The longest journey begins with a single step
A short discussion of the above eastern proverb, the thinking behind project management, a definition of new product development and the application of the principle of the learning or experience curve to these three are used to justify the argument that “An incremental approach to new product development, and the associated sales and marketing tasks, is the most logical approach to build the competitive position of an organisation.” ..more

Communication. If you feel misunderstood? your website is not getting the plaudits you feel it deserves? think again about the communication process!

If you think conceptually about communication, all messages go through the same process, one way, two way, commercially paid for, editorial, face to face, websites, radio broadcasts etc etc. ..more

Branding, corporate identity, heraldry, plumage?

Some would claim regular new inventions from the ingenuity of the human species, but there are parallels in our past and the natural world. Many “new discoveries” are no more than a renaming of an older phenomenon…more

You do have a sales & marketing database?

There can surely not be companies in this day and age who do not have some “market information system”? The data processing power available from computers to store, organise, retrieve and evaluate market information must make the case irrefutable. Are there organisations not using the power of computers to assist and automate their sales and marketing operations? ..more

Which will be the next dominant technology satisfying customer needs in your market?

Using Delphi forecasting may shed some light
All technical organisations need to evaluate the potential for technological substitution if they are to avoid extinction when their competitors take a technological step forward. Lack of action or backing the wrong horse choice can leave an organisation with irrelevant or uncompetitive offerings from which they may never recover. The old adage that there are only three types of company, those that “make things happen”, those that watch, and those wondering “what happened!” was never more relevant ..more

“When should you exhibit – and when not!”

Many organisations can be found at the same exhibition year after year, the key reason why they attend is often the fear their senior managers have that their absence be taken for a downturn in their fortunes. To avoid this, organisations spend lots of money to show their faces as they did the year before. For larger corporations the money is probably not an issue but for small or medium sized companies there are plenty of other ways to get a bang for your buck and the fear mentioned above smacks of a lack of imagination and negative thinking. ..more

Define and price for your market starting at end market values!

The right sales or distribution channel will depend on your approach to your market and the characteristics of that market. The culture of your company or country of operation may also have an impact but if you plan to expand your sales to include distributors, commissioned agents, a direct sales force and or catalogue sales channels you need to plan from the start. Pricing models exist to cope with these different sales channels and direct end customers, starting with the end in mind may save you untold grief. ..more

Pedal to the Metal? What have drivers and accelerators to do with Marketing?

There are many ways you can examine the nature of demand which may give insight into trends your chosen market. Perhaps take a economic or utilitarian view, perhaps you might review the benefits customers are buying. In some cases, less tangible values such as feelings of style or association or risk are attached to a brand with sometimes discernable effect on demand. Drivers and accelerators are valuable ideas for achieving growth ..more

If someone gives you their email address, use it wisely.
I bought something last week, I bought by telephone rather than on-line as I wanted to discuss aspects of the product before buying it. One of the questions asked when I was placing the order was a request for my email address. No problem there. “What will they use my email address for”, I ask myself. ..more

Can loyalty schemes be unethical?

Loyalty schemes exist in many shapes and sizes. From the humble Stamp (Greenshield stamps for UK readers) to more recent Airmiles, gift vouchers, tokens of many and various sizes, club cards, loyalty discounts, frequent flyer clubs, store cards, credit accounts and referrer bonuses, golfing weekends and the hospitality industry etc etc…more

Stay small or specialise.
If you are small or specialised and offer delightful service, larger competitors will never match you. In fact it may pay you to examine large firms because large company failure offers opportunity to specialists. ..more

Post purchase care and “word-of-mouth”

Keywords: word of mouth, post purchase care, customer relationships. Your best adverts can be satisfied customers. Satisfied customers can become unpaid ambassadors for your product. Yes word-of-mouth advertising is free, well no in fact it requires big investment. ..more

“Follow the pack” with your website … if you wish

Keywords: HTML, relevance, speed, search engines. Your website is probably a significant part of your marketing effort. Why do I see so many websites which appear to be simply following the latest trend whether it improves their effectiveness or not? Many seem, like sheep, to be “following the flock”. ..more

SME, Park an Ad
Innovative ads for small to medium sized firms. Some think they already do this, do they? ..more

Whatever you sell you only “sell benefits”
You should already be doing this. Forgetting about this is easy to do but it is also one of the cardinal sins for sales and marketing staff in any sector. ..more

e-comm may alienate my distributors?

Some bricks and motar corps. are Internet shy because they have existing distribution channels which they may alienate. In a b2b environment there are ways round this. There is no need to allow your “.com” enemies a foot in the door ..more

What 24/7 should mean?

Some claim 24/7 access or shopping, why is this rubbish? 24 hour grocers or supermarkets combine access and availability all day as do search engines, yours may not be a 24/7 business. ..more

New to computers?

A little off topic but there are some things you should know. Why no one seems to tell anyone properly these days I have no idea but they did not tell me. I had to learn this the hard way, perhaps I can save you the trouble. [viruses, firewalls, backups, browser cache, windows security]…more the best site to buy replica watches online. High quality watches, unbeatable prices, and fast shipping!