September 1, 2011

While basic marketing principles remain the same regardless of what you are selling, there are some subtleties that should be kept in mind when you are marketing across different business models.  The type of business can have a direct impact on advertising content.  The how and why of marketing stays the same, but advertising content can vary tremendously.

Selling Products

When you have a physical product that is for sale, you need more concrete statements as descriptors.  The product must be described in detail and all possible uses should also be provided.  The ad content should focus on how the product solves a problem or enhances quality of life.  Promotions for products should include either direct sale discounts or possibly shipping discounts.  The virtual marketplace does not allow a customer to interact with an item directly before a sale, so offering free or discounted two-way shipping can be a good motivator to consumers.

Marketing for Service Industries

A service industry can’t focus on the physical aspects of product description, but they can focus on describing the service and giving examples for when it is useful.  Accounting services might discuss tax preparation or reconciling accounts, while a website that sells investment tips would mention recent successes.  Promotions that many service businesses have used successfully include discounted services or package deals.  In lieu of offering a single service discounted or free, many businesses have found it useful to offer a free add-on option or a discount on the up-sale.

Selling Subscriptions

There are many service websites that operate on the subscription model.  Clients purchase daily, weekly, monthly or annual subscriptions to receive full access to the site.  Because shoppers can’t view the entire functionality of the site until they subscribe, it is vitally important to give them details about what they will receive.  Descriptions need to be clear, with very limited use of adverbs and exaggerations.  Clients that are expecting a specific service based on advertising who receive something very different will cancel their subscription.  The most common promotion offered for subscription websites is a free trial offer.  Stand out from the crowd by offering either extended trials of up to a full month or not taking credit card information until the trial is over.  Let your excellent service do the selling.

While the differences may seem obvious, there are many ads online that don’t properly describe the offered product.  Legitimates businesses need to be very up-front with potential customers to create long-term relationships and lasting business success.




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