Tag Archive | "Market"

4 Ways to Attract New Customers in a Competitive Market

One hard truth that new entrepreneurs find out quickly is that running a business is hard and they’ll have to compete if they want to be successful. 

In many ways, doing business follows the Darwinian principles of natural selection—only the fittest survive. If you don’t innovate, take risks, and attract new customers, you’ll go extinct. So how do you stay competitive and grow your customer base in a fierce marketplace?

4 Ways to Gain Customers in a Competitive Market

Study the Competition

Whatever your product is, if it makes money, it will likely have a competitor in the market. Instead of holding out for that one unique product, you should study rival companies and use them to refine your brand.

Analyze your competitors’ products and services to see what they offer and what they do not. You can then brainstorm ways to innovate and find solutions to unsolved problems in your particular niche. Doing this allows you to offer something that no one else does.

Most Millenials and older generations can remember the hassle of driving all the way to the local Blockbuster to rent new movies. Netflix filled a gap in the video rental market by allowing customers to send and receive movies by mail, eliminating the need for in-store visits. It later innovated its service by streaming movies online and getting rid of late fees, adding further convenience to customers. Today, Netflix is one one of the largest pure media companies in the world with a valuation of $ 150 billion. Blockbuster, however, failed to innovate and has since gone out of business. Even if you’re not a media business, Netflix’s strategy serves as an excellent example of how a company can innovate and capitalize on market gaps.

Outprice Your Competitor

Offering a more affordable option is always a good way to attract new clients. However, simply being the cheapest product around doesn’t automatically guarantee that people will be buying from you. A low priced item is often considered an inferior one. What you can do is study your competitor’s pricing structure and decide on a price that’s lower but would not raise questions about your brand’s quality or value.

You can also establish a clear pricing strategy. Decide if you want to offer “every day low prices” like Amazon or Walmart. Just make sure you can consistently offer lower prices than your competition. You could also utilize a  “price discrimination” strategy where you analyze how customers find your business and adjust pricing based on their spending power. Experiment until you find the best strategy.

Make Allies of Other Businesses

Building a database is challenging, but you can make things easier by aligning your company with other established businesses that serve the same demographic. You then look for a way to promote your company with their database. For instance, a new boutique can work with a popular hair salon and offer a free summer dress to the first 100 customers who’ll get their hair cut or colored. But they would have to pick up the dress at the boutique.

Think of the older business as a host and your brand as the beneficiary. Making an ally of the host provides you with a large set of prospects. Meanwhile, your host will have a way to reward their most loyal clients. It’s a win-win situation.

Provide Better Customer Service

One of the best ways to encourage your competitor’s customers to give you a chance is to provide them with better customer service than they’re used to. One study revealed that 89% of consumers would change brands if they experienced poor customer service.

Customers return to brands that make them feel appreciated, respected, and valued. You can make them feel this way through simple things like greeting them with a smile when they come to your store or sending personalized emails. Listening will also get you a lot of customers. Listen to them even when they are complaining. Never justify the mistakes made or blame or criticize your client. They will always have the right to speak out.

Winning new customers is a sweet feeling. It feels even better when they come from your competitors.  Integrating these ideas with your marketing plan will give your business an advantage.

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Dropbox’s Initial Public Offering is Priced at $21, Company Market Cap Reaches $9.1 Billion

Investors, especially those who specialize in picking tech stocks, will now have one additional company to consider as an investment option. A decade after its founding, Dropbox is now a publicly traded company starting Friday, March 23, 2018.

The San Francisco-based firm successfully hosted its IPO on Thursday where investors bought Dropbox share at $ 21. Popular for its cloud-based files storage and syncing service, the company was able to raise a whopping $ 750 million from the event.

The IPO price of $ 21 per share is already way above the $ 16 to $ 18 price range previously proposed by the company earlier this month. The final price was even higher than the latest estimate when Dropbox raised it to between $ 18 and $ 20 in its regulatory document filed on Wednesday.

At its current share price, Dropbox is now a publicly traded behemoth with a market capitalization of $ 9.1 billion. However, this amount still falls short compared to the $ 10 billion valuation it received during its last round of private funding in 2014.

Of course, many are fearful that the tech company’s valuation trend will go downhill after its IPO, which seem to hound some tech listings. For instance, investors had to wait for almost a year before Snapchat’s shares rebounded and started trading above its June 2017 IPO price of $ 17 per share. This is a turn off for short-term investors who do not wish to hold on to a share for too long.

But most investors remain upbeat on Dropbox’s future earning potential. The company is already cash flow positive and performed well last year. Its sales are on the rise, garnering a massive $ 1.11 billion in revenues for 2017 alone. The figure represents a 30 percent increase compared to 2016’s performance.

[Featured image via Dropbox]

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Facebook Plans to Enter Home Device Market With ‘Portal’

Facebook may have pulled the plug on its digital assistant plan, but that does not mean it’s backing out entirely from the lucrative smart device market. In fact, there are indications that the social media giant could be making a big splash this year by launching a home-based, voice-enabled device—a product that could place it squarely against rivals Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Facebook is reportedly preparing its attack on the home electronics front by launching a home video chat device later this year. Reports say that the upcoming gadget will be named Portal, a product that is similar to Amazon’s Echo Show. If reports are correct, this new device will also be competing against similar home-based devices from Google and Apple.

Facebook will launch the product by May of 2018, according to online news site Cheddar. The launch date is slated to coincide with the company’s developer conference.

Incidentally, Facebook announced early this week that it is pulling out from the digital assistant market. The company will be shutting down M, it’s AI-powered concierge service that was previously positioned as a competitor to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

Despite abandoning the digital assistant niche, Facebook is not yet giving up on the home-based smart electronics segment. To help it launch the upcoming Portal, the company is betting on its partnerships with Spotify and Netflix for content. Facebook has likewise inked a music licensing agreement with both Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group.

In addition, Facebook is marketing the upcoming product a little bit differently than existing gadgets. Portal’s thrust will be on the communication and video calls side of things. This differentiates it from the voice-assisted controls and AI capability of devices like Echo, Alexa or Siri.

While it may not be Facebook’s first venture into hardware, there are doubts that the company has what it takes to successfully launch the upcoming gadget. Back in 2013, it launched its first hardware—HTC First aka as the Facebook phone—but it was a failure in the market.

There are also concerns that the rumored Portal may not be competitively priced. Facebook plans to price the gadget at $ 499, which is too hefty when compared to similar products such as the Echo Show, which is currently selling for only $ 229.99.

At the moment, Facebook declined to comment on the issue.

[Featured image via YouTube]

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Google Glass Makes a Comeback with Focus on Enterprise Market

Many critics viewed Google Glass as an expensive failure in the consumer market soon after the product launched in February of 2013. The lack of practicality coupled with its hefty $ 1,500 price tag rendered it unfavorable to the public.

In a sad 2015 announcement, Google shut down the Google Glass website, leaving users with a short thanks for “exploring with us” and later promised that “the journey doesn’t end here.” Since the product was taken off the market, Google Glass Explorers’ Edition remained low key.

However, despite pulling the product from the public market, Alphabet continued to supply Google Glass to US companies including, GE, Boeing, DHL, and AGCO. The pair of trendy glasses slowly found its calling in the enterprise market.

In the hands of AGCO, Google Glass was able to reduce production times by 25 percent, while healthcare professionals found that using the product reduced paperwork loads by 20 percent. As a result, doctors were able to spend 50 percent more time with patients. Meanwhile, DHL also shared their improved working experience with Google Glass, claiming that they were able to increase supply chain efficiency by 15 percent.

After making improvements to the Glass design and hardware, Alphabet X–Google’s “Moonshot” research and development subsidiary– reintroduced the eyewear with the name Glass Enterprise Edition. This latest version of Glass is easy to detach which makes it more shareable and affordable when deployed to different industries. It includes an impressive updated camera module with an improved resolution from 5 megapixels to 8. The new device also boasts a longer battery life, coupled with a powerful processor and an improved user interface.

With GEE, it seems that Google has learned from the short comings of its once experimental Glass product and invested in a field where the device isn’t a mere trendy accessory, but a tool representing innovation and advancement in many fields.

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The Rainmaker Platform Goes Off the Market this Friday

Last Chance to Get the Rainmaker Platform at the Current Pricing

The Rainmaker Platform is coming off the market this Friday at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. To get the current pricing, you must start your free trial before the deadline.

Last month I told you about the Rainmaker Platform’s shift from software-as-a-service to a bundled hybrid of technology and client services, all at much higher prices. Before we do that, we’re offering one last chance for people who just want the Platform at the current lower pricing.

If you’re not familiar, the Rainmaker Platform is a complete digital marketing and sales solution. It combines powerful website features with email, marketing automation, and a ton of other powerful tools that you have to see for yourself. And yes, it’s the very technology that powers Copyblogger and thousands of other sophisticated sites.

When you choose the annual plan, you always enjoy substantial savings. But from now until we take it off the market, you’ll save hundreds of dollars more every single year when you get on board with the Rainmaker Platform.

Start your free trial today.

The go-forward development plan

Given the shift in business and operational models, you may be wondering what our plans are for continued software development on the Platform. It’s a great question, and I’d like to quickly address that.

If you get on board before the deadline, you’ll join thousands of existing Rainmaker customers. And we fully intend to keep all of you happy even as we serve a different market segment with the bundled services model. That’s a no brainer, given that the Platform remains at the center of our strategy.

What does that mean for you? Only good things:

  • We’ve already begun work on Rainmaker 3.0, a major new release that will feature automation, email, and interface workflow improvements. We’ll also be adding Zapier for third-party add-ons, and modularizing key areas of the Platform for easier integrations and quicker addition of new features.
  • The annual or monthly price you sign up for today will never change as long as you keep your site active. You won’t pay more even as the cost-of-entry to Rainmaker goes way up for others. And remember, we’re also giving you a substantial discount on the annual plan if you start your trial before the Friday deadline.
  • You’ll also benefit from the software improvements that come from moving upstream. As we do more expensive custom development work for clients, relevant enhancements will find their way into the general platform, at no additional cost to you.
  • Want to invest in additional Rainmaker sites after the switch? You’ll still be able to do that — at the current discounted customer pricing — all from your Rainmaker Portal. Existing customers will literally have access to Rainmaker sites in a way that no one else will going forward.
  • Finally, the move to full service means you’ll never have to experience frustration looking for help with design, content, SEO, and more. And if you have a specialized Platform development need, our new services team can make it happen for a reasonable fee.

You must act this week:

In a nutshell, if you want the best pricing that will ever be offered on the Rainmaker Platform from here on out, you must start your free trial before 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, this Friday, June 16, 2017.

We hope you’ll join the Rainmaker family before we make the switch. Just head over to the site, check out all the amazing things Rainmaker empowers you to do, and start your free trial without delay.

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Researching Your Market To Identify Needs, The “Why Train” Technique And The 90/10 Rule For Content Vs Sales

Which Name Do You Like The Best? In this week’s episode of the Walter and Yaro podcast show, we begin by asking you to choose which name we should select for our show from the following finalists – Entrepreneur Cafe Entrepreneur Digest Entrepreneur Insights The Walter And Yaro Podcast Show…

The post Researching Your Market To Identify Needs, The “Why Train” Technique And The 90/10 Rule For Content Vs Sales appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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The Two Phases Of Market Research To Identify What People Really Want And How To Move From Employee To $250/Hour Contractor

  Welcome to the start of a new week and of course, a new podcast with Walter and Yaro. Thanks so much to everyone who gave us feedback last week about what name to use for our show. We have now decided on a name and slogan, and with thanks…

The post The Two Phases Of Market Research To Identify What People Really Want And How To Move From Employee To $ 250/Hour Contractor appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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How To Compete In A Commoditized Market Like Hosting, Should Yaro Start A Blogging Service And Is Buying A Podcast A Growth Strategy

Welcome to Everything Entrepreneurship with Walter and Yaro, episode #8. [ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] This episode we focus on Q&A, with Colin Gray from ThePodcastHost.com asking us about his podcast hosting service and how it could be a viable business when hosting is so commoditized. Jared Easley from StarveTheDoubts.com sent…

The post How To Compete In A Commoditized Market Like Hosting, Should Yaro Start A Blogging Service And Is Buying A Podcast A Growth Strategy appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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Google’s PC Market Share Off Its Peak, Yet Company Seeing More Searches Than Ever

Yesterday comScore released its September 2015 search engine rankings for the US market. There was almost no change in position or share from August. Google’s share hovers at just below 64 percent. However, a year ago, Google was at 67.3 percent and Yahoo was at 10 percent. Today Yahoo is at…



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How to Estimate the Total Volume and Value of Keywords in a Given Market or Niche – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

To get a sense for the potential value of keywords in a certain niche, we need to do more than just look at the number of searches those keywords get each month. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains what else we should be looking at, and how we can use other data to prioritize some groups over others.

How to Estimate the Total Volume and Value of Keywords in a Given Market or Niche Whiteboard

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week I want to chat about how you can estimate the total volume and value of a large set of keywords in a market or a niche.

Look, we’re going to try and simplify this and reduce it to something that is actually manageable, because you can go way, way deep down a well. You could spend a year trying to figure out whether Market A or Market B is better to enter or better to chase keywords in, better to create content in. But I want to try and make it a little simple without reducing it to something that is of no value whatsoever, which unfortunately can be how some marketers have looked at this in the past.

Asian noodle keywords

So let’s try this thought exercise. Let’s say I’m a recipe site or a food site and I’m thinking I want to get into the Asian noodles scene. There’s a lot of awesome Asian noodles out there. I, in fact, had Chow fun for lunch from Trove on Capitol Hill. When you come to MozCon, you have to try them. It’s awesome.

So maybe I’m looking at Chow fun and sort of all the keyword sets around those, that Chinese noodle world. Maybe I’m looking at pad Thai, a very popular Thai noodle, particularly in the U.S., and maybe Vietnamese rice noodles or bun. I’m trying to figure out which of these is the one that I should target. Should I start creating a lot of pad Thai recipes, a lot of Chow fun recipes? Should I go research one or the other of these? Am I going to chase the mid and long tail keywords?

I’m about to invest a large amount of effort and really build up a brand around this. Which one of these should I do?

Side note, this is getting more and more important as Google is moving to these topic modeling and sight specific, topic authority models. So if Google starts to identify my site as being an authority on Chow fun, I can expect to rank for all sorts of awesome stuff around it, versus if I just kind of dive in and out and have one-offs of Chow fun and 50 different other kinds of noodles. So this gets really important.

The wrong way to look at AdWords data

A massively oversimplified version, that a lot of people have done in the past, is to look broadly at kind of AdWords groups, the ones that AdWords selects for you, or individual keywords and say, “Oh, okay. Well, Chow fun gets 22,000 searches a month, Pad Thai gets 165,000, and rice noodles, which is the most popular version of that query — it could also be called Vietnamese noodles or bun noodles or something like that — gets 27,000. So there you go, one, two, three.

This is dead wrong. It’s totally oversimplified. It’s not taking into account all the things we have to do to really understand the market.

First off, this isn’t going to include all the variations, the mid and long tail keywords. So potentially there might be a ton of variations of rice noodles that actually add up to as much or more than pad Thai. Same thing with Chow fun. In fact, when I looked, it looked like there’s a ton of Chow fun modifications and different kinds of things that go in there. The Pad Thai list is a little short. It’s like chicken, vegetable, shrimp, and beef. Pretty simplistic.

There’s also no analysis of the competition going on here. Pad Thai, yeah it’s popular, but it also has 50 recipe sites all bidding for it, tons of online grocers bidding for it, tons of recipes books that are bidding on that. I don’t know. Then it could be that Chow fun has almost no competition whatsoever. So you’re really not considering that when you look in here.

Finally, and this can be important too, these numbers can be off by up to 200% plus or minus this number. So if you were to actually bid on Chow fun, you might see that you get somewhere in the 22,000 impressions per month, assuming your ad consistently shows up on page one, but you could see as little as 11,000. I’ve seen as much as 44,000, like huge variations and swings in either direction and not always totally consistent between these. You want them to be, but they’re not always.

A better process

So because of that, we have to go deeper. These problems mean that we have to expend a little more energy. Not a ton. It doesn’t have to be massive, but probably a week or two of work at least to try and figure this out. But it’s so important I think it’s worth it every time.

1) Keyword research dive

First off, we’re going to conduct a broad keyword research dive into each one of these. Not as much as we would do if we knew, hey, Chow fun is the one we’re going to target. We’re going to go deep. We’re going to find every possible keyword. We’re going to do kind of what I call a broad dive, not a deep dive into each market. So I might want to go, hey, I’m going to look at the AdWords suggestions and tally those up. I’m going to look at search suggest and related searches for some of the queries that I get from AdWords, some of the top ones anyway, and I’m going to do a brief competitive analysis. Maybe I’ll put the domains that I’m seeing most frequently around these specific topics into SEMrush or another tool like that — SpyFu, Key Compete or whatever your preference might be — and see what other terms and phrases they might be ranking on.

So now I’ve got a reasonable set. It probably didn’t take me more than a few hours to put that together, if that. If I’ve got an efficient process for this already, maybe even less.

2) Bid on sample keyword sets

Now comes the tricky part. I want you to take a small sample set, and we’ve done this a few times. Random might be not the right word. It’s a small considered set of keywords and bid on them through AdWords. When I say “considered,” what I mean is a few from the long tail, a few from the chunky middle, and a few from the head of the demand curve that are getting lots and lots of searches. Now I want to point each of those to some new, high-quality pages on your site as a test.

So I might make maybe one, two, or three different landing pages for each of these different sets. One of them might be around noodles. One might be around recipes. One might be around history or uses in cuisine or whatever it is.

Then I am going to know from that exercise three critically important things. I’m going to know accuracy of AdWords volume estimates, which is awesome. Now I know whether these numbers mean anything or not, how far off they were or not. I could probably run for between 10 and 15 days and get a really good sense for the accuracy of AdWords. If you’re feeling like being very comprehensive, run for a full month, especially if you have the budget, because you can learn even more over time, and you’ll rule out any inconsistencies due to a particular spike, like maybe The New York Times recipe section features Chow fun that week and suddenly there’s a huge spike or whatever it is.

You can also learn relative price competition in click-through rate. This is awesome. This means that I know it costs a lot more per visitor that I’m trying to get on pad Thai. There are two really good things to know there. When a click costs more money, that also usually means there are more advertisers willing to pay for that traffic.

If you’re primarily on the organic side and you believe you can compete with the folks in the organic ranking, a very high bid price and payment price that you have to pay to AdWords is a good thing.

If you’re on the other side of that, where you think, “Hey, look, we’re not going to compete organically right now. We just don’t have the domain authority to do it. It’s going to take us a while,” then a high price is a bad thing. You want that cheaper traffic so you can start to build up that brand through paid as you’re growing the organic side. So it really depends on who you are and what situation you’re in.

Then finally you can figure out some things around click-through rate as well, which is great to know. So you can build some true model estimates and then go into your board meeting or your client pitch or whatever it is and say, “Hey, here are the numbers.”

Lastly, you’re going to learn the difficulty of content creation, like how hard was it for you to create these kinds of things. Like, “Wow, when we write about Chow fun, it’s just easy. It just rolls off. Pad Thai we have a really hard time creating unique value because everything has been done in that world. We’re just not as passionate about those noodles as we are about Chow fun.” Cool. Great, you know that.

Also, assuming your test includes this, which it doesn’t always have to, you can guess from sort of engagement rate, browse rate, time on site, all those kinds of things, but you can look at search conversion as well. So let’s say you have some action to complete on the page — subscribe to our email newsletter, sign up to get updates when we send them out about this recipe, or create an account so you can sign in and save this recipe. All that kind of stuff or a direct ecommerce conversion, you can learn that through your bidding test.

3) Analyze groups based on relevant factors

Awesome. That’s great. Now we really, really know something. Based on that, we can do a true analysis, an accurate analysis of the different groups based on:

  • Relative value
  • Difficulty
  • Opportunity
  • Growth rate
  • ROI

Growth rate might be an interpreted thing, but you can look at the Google trends to kind of figure out over time whether a broad group of terms is getting more or less popular. You could use something like Mention.net or Fresh Web Explorer from Moz to look at mentions as well.

Now, you can be happy here. I might have chosen chow fun because I looked and I said, “Hey, you know what, it did not have the most volume overall, but it did have the lightest competition, the highest return on investment. We were great at creating the content. We were able to engage our visitors there, had lots of mid and long tail terms. We think it’s poised for big growth with the growth of Chinese noodles overall and the fact that the American food scene hasn’t really discovered Chow fun the way they have Vietnamese noodles and pad Thai. So that is where we’re placing our bet.”

Great. Now you have a real analysis. You have numbers behind it. You have estimates you can make. This process, although a little heavy, is going to get you so much further than this kind of simplistic thinking.

All right, everyone, I look forward to hearing from you about how you’ve done analyses like these in the past, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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