Developing An Internet Marketing Campaign: The Five Phases

Developing an internet marketing campaignBuilding an internet marketing campaign for startups takes a lot of effort for it to be successful. It must target the right user, at the right place, at the right time. Just having a high quality product or building a better mousetrap does not guarantee success. Rather it is the successful implementation of a well developed startup marketing plan that promotes that great product that will bring long term success. To spend time doing anything less is not only a waste of money, but a waste of time as well

Internet Marketing Begins with Planning

A well defined marketing campaign may contain many parts but in general they can be categorized into five phases. These phases are both sequential and circular. To be successful, each part must be addressed and for long term success they must be continuously revised. The goal here is outline the five phases.

Research Phase – Marketing the Product

It is in this phase where the foundation for marketing a product will be developed and where the decisions for the implementation will be designed. This phase will consist of understanding what the product is, who it is to be sold to, and how the customer is to find the product.

A product today can come in many forms. It can be defined as a physical object that is sold, but it can also be something less tangible like an email address that is provided that can be used to provide communication between a company and a customer, it can be to click on a link on a website that provides the company with affiliate revenue, or it can be literally anything else that provides a desired response from the customer.

A successful product must be well defined so that the desired outcome can not only be determined, but measured for success. To do this requires an understanding of the both the competition in the marketplace, as well as how the competition is able to successfully attract customers. This is done through analyzing competitors, keyword research, and market understanding.

Line of Attack Phase – Targeting the Customer

Developing an internet marketing campaign - targeting the customerWhen it is understood what the product is and who it is to be sold to, it is time to develop several strategies to attract your most desired customer. What is the Most Desired Customer (MDC)? This is the person who will buy the product, click the link, provide the email address, or perform an action or a desired response. This is done by understanding who the MDC is, what they are looking for, and what it will take for them to generate the desired response.

This phase is where content is developed. Usually this is to maintain a strong online presence. Some call this the free stuff phase, others call it pre-sales marketing, but what it comes down to is customer support marketing. The site is providing a honey pot to attract the MDC. It is setting up the infrastructure to help the MDC come to a conclusion for the problem they are trying to solve.

Sometimes partnerships are formed for the sharing of links so that when a potential customer arrives and is given the solution to a problem – even if that solution is not the product in question, they will appreciate the help and return to the site in the future. It is in this phase that the use of social media is defined for generating buzz about the product and the line of attack with regard to the search engines is finalized.

Action Phase – Implementing the Marketing Strategy

Now that the foundation has been built, it is in this phase that the plan is put into action. For online media, this means building a base of operations. This is usually based from a website although it can be from a blog or even through the use of the social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

For a website, this would include building or enhancing the site, creating internal optimization using keywords, and external optimization techniques for making sure the site does not hinder the MDC from finding the product. This is where the use of tracking would be implemented to measure success.

Ongoing Maintenance Phase – The Reality of the Internet Marketing Strategy

This phase revolves between monitoring what is happening and re-evaluating the reality of the marketing plan compared to what was expected during the research and line of attack phases. Monitoring requires research in to website referrals, search engine rankings, traffic, and just how many MDCs are generating the desired response.

Re-evaluating means re-assessing the assumptions that were made during the research and line of attack phases and seeing if anything has not worked as planned. Perhaps something in the market has changed and so new variables must be addressed and further action must be taken.

Internet Marketing Strategy as an Ongoing Process

Developing an internet marketing campaign - marketing agencyAn internet marketing strategy is an ongoing process and must be addressed vigilantly. As the market continually shifts, changes must be made and monitored. Even if everything is moving forward quite well, you can’t afford to allow your business to be stuck in a single marketing channel. You can still double your strategy’s effectiveness by hiring a firm to help diversify your marketing efforts. Monitoring is a must, but keep in mind that making a change because a competitor made a change can be just as disastrous as can trying to do too much too quickly. Understanding the goal and making decisions to reach that goal will make your online marketing efforts work.

Simple Steps for Locating an Eye Specialist

Simple Steps for Locating an Eye Specialist

Having problems with vision is something that everyone will at a certain age experience and when they do, it’s important that swift action is taken by visiting an eye specialist also known as an ophthalmologist. The expertise of ophthalmologists or eye specialist will include anything from consultations to prescribing affordable contact lenses and eyeglasses, and even performing eye surgeries.

Thus, for those who who are looking for an eye care professional, here are some guidelines to follow:

Locating an Eye Specialist

  1. When looking for ophthalmologists, it’s important that people will look for those who are board certified.What this means is that those professionals will have already passed exams that are written by the ABO or American Board of Ophthalmology. They are knowledgeable in the most sophisticated eye procedures and prescription eyewear such as those innovative, water gradient daily contact lenses recommended by leading eye specialists.
  2. Asking for referrals from other offices, like those from neighbors, friends and optometrists is recommended. If the individual will follow this strategy, it’s important that he or she will get at least three references.
  3. When reviewing ophthalmologists people should also check if they have won any annual awards through the AAO. This means that their skills are superior to those of the regular ophthalmologists and that they can offer higher quality services for their clients.
  4. To verify a medical license people can check their specific Department of Consumer Affairs to do so. But this is not the only place they can go in order to check this, as people can also do it through the Association of State Medical Board Executive Directors.
  5. The Better Bureau Business is an important factor when choosing ophthalmologists. This will tell people if the eye specialist they are considering is worth their time and money or not.
  6. Last but not least, people can look for ophthalmologist through the physician tools provided by AAO and other websites. By entering specific information, like zip code, city name, ophthalmologist names, they will be able to quickly locate an eye doctor in their area.Locating an Eye Specialist

Public Funding for Arts and Culture in Canada

Federal funding for Canadian arts and culture continues to be a contentious issue with arguments in support of funding battling a call for greater autonomy.

Early themes characterizing the arguments for publicly funded government support have shifted away from an emphasis on national and cultural identity, anti-Americanism, and anti-commercialization, to the recognition that the private and public sectors of the arts and cultural industries are interrelated and, as a result, the state still has a role to play in facilitating the success of these industries. The extent of that role is still being debated by contemporary writers.

The History of Public Funding for Arts and Culture in Canada

Early proponents of publicly funded government support for Canadian cultural institutions and programs called for state intervention in the arts and cultural sectors based on three broad arguments: the need to establish and maintain a national identity; defend Canadian culture from “cultural imperialism,” especially in the form of Americanization; and preserve and develop the country’s artistic and cultural heritage while avoiding its wholesale commercialization.

Although public funding for arts and culture grew steadily following World War II, government support for these institutions and programs began in the late 19th century with, for example, Governor General Lord Lorne’s lobbying for a national artists association and national gallery. These early efforts paved the way for the Aird Commission in the late 1920s which, driven primarily by American dominance of Canada’s airwaves, recommended a nationally-owned broadcasting system to defend against Americanization and provide a means of developing and encouraging Canadian cultural identity.

Many later initiatives continued with these early themes, such as the Massey-Levesque Commission in the 1950s which positioned cultural activity within the sphere of national identity and the Charlottetown debates of the 1990s which argued for multi-level government funding in the arts and cultural sectors.

Support for Public Funding for Arts and Culture

Contemporary writers have argued both for and against publicly funded government support for Canadian cultural institutions and programs. In “The Essential Role of National Institutions,” for example, Joyce Zemans suggests that only national cultural agencies have been capable of providing the resources and networks necessary to address problems of scale, market, and distribution in Canada. In addition, it is these national agencies that have attempted to curb the Americanization of Canada’s communication network. Zemans also notes that the private sector in Canadian cultural industries has succeeded primarily on the basis of public policy initiatives, and therefore the arts in Canada will only flourish with public support and a public-sector strategy.

Arguments Against Public Funding for Arts and Culture

However, in “From Sacred Cows to White Elephants: Cultural Policy under Siege” Michael Gasher challenges arguments for state intervention in the arts and cultural sectors. He suggests that federal funding of the cultural sphere may no longer be viable due to the high cost of promoting and protecting cultural activity; the technological complexity of cultural activity in the modern era; and the changing attitude toward state involvement with cultural production. Gasher draws upon the recommendations of the 1982 Applebaum-Hebert report, which represented a significant shift in thinking compared to earlier reports, such as those produced by the Aird and Massey-Levesque Commissions.

In essence, the Applebaum-Hebert report avoided the anti-commercial and anti-American focus of its predecessors and shifted the role of the state in the arts and cultural sectors from the promotion of a national identity to the facilitation of an autonomous and self-directed cultural sphere. As Gasher points out, the Applebaum-Hebert report’s suggestion that “the essential task of government in cultural matters is to remove obstacles and enlarge opportunities” may be the key to reframing Canadian cultural policy in the future.

What Ontarians Need To Know About HST

Controversial Policy Takes Effect July 1, 2010

Ontario is harmonizing its sales taxes. This article will tell people what they need to know about the controversial new policy before it takes effect on July 1, 2010.

The current government first floated the idea prior to the last provincial budget in March 2009. The policy would see Ontario combine its Provincial Sales Tax (PST) with the federal Goods & Service Tax (GST). The PST rate is 8% while the federal G.S.T. is sitting at 5%, meaning the combined total will be a 13% tax.

New Harmonized Sales Tax To Make Ontario More Competitive

The federal government has been pressuring various Ontario governments to take this step for some time. Provincial officials within the finance ministry argue the new combined sales tax will make Ontario more competitive around the world as a place to do business. They say it will also reduce the cost of Ontario-made goods, and because of this, it is going to give the manufacturing sector a much-needed boost.

A second part of the argument is it will reduce business costs. Right now, business owners can’t deduct PST from the cost of products purchased for business, so they end up passing it onto consumers. Under the new Harmonized Tax (HST) business will be able to deduct it, and ideally, pass on the savings to consumers. Estimates place savings for business at approximately $1.6 billion annually.

Progressive Conservatives, Building Industry Oppose HST

Traditionally, the HST is Conservative economic policy. But Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives (PC’s) are leading the fight against the HST, placing them in direct conflict with their federal counterparts. In recent remarks to the Canadian Press, their leader, Tim Hudak said they were “on the side of Ontario families and businesses who see it for what it is: a calculated tax grab.” In the same article, his New Democratic Party (NDP) counterpart Andrea Horwath agreed, calling it: “the wrong tax, at the wrong time.”

It isn’t just the political parties at Queen’s Park who are opposing it. The new policy is facing some stiff opposition from the building industry. Estimates say the new harmonized sales tax will add: $46-58 thousand to the cost of a house.

$10.6 Billion Tax Relief Incentives To Help With Harmonization

The Provincial government is going to offer some tax relief to help Ontarians with the new tax. Over the next three years, the McGuinty government plans to offer a total of $10.6 billion in incentives.

According to CBC.CA, these incentives include:

  • $1.1 billion in personal income tax cuts
  • An exemption for new homes under $400 thousand
  • Cash payments of $1,000 for families earning less than $160, 000
  • A permanent, non-refundable tax credit for low to middle-income adults and children
  • An enhanced property tax credit for low and middle-income homeowners and tenants

What Goods Are There Going To Be HST On?

Goods ranging from rent and condo fees to resale homes, prescription drugs, and medical devices will remain exempt from both PST and GST. New items being taxed include everything from haircuts and gasoline to taxi fares, newspapers, and magazines. Those who provide professional services such as lawyers and real estate agents will have to charge HST on their commissions.

The Harper government has offered $4.3 billion to aid in the policy’s implementation. Ontario will become the fifth province to harmonize its sales taxes, when the policy comes into effect July 1, 2010.

Ontario Reveals $8 Billion in Green Energy Projects

Ontario has revealed plans for $8 billion in Green Energy Projects. The additional money will fund projects in 86 communities, and create 20 thousand jobs.

The funding is the latest step towards the McGuinty government’s plan to introduce greener forms of energy to Ontario’s power grid. In January 2010 the Premier signed a $7 billion deal to give a consortium led by Samsung preferential treatment.

Green Energy Projects to Create 20 Thousand Jobs

The money will fund 184 approved projects, including 86 community and aboriginal communities. All of this is in addition to the 510 medium projects announced in March 2010. Combined the projects will create 2500 megawatts of power for the power grid. One of the major wind projects is located on-shore in Clarington Ontario, and three solar projects in the Cornwall area.

The advancements will make the province a green energy leader according to Premier Dalton McGuinty’s comments to CBC.CA that:

“We have practical, aggressive policies to secure green energy generation, research, and manufacturing, which will create good jobs in a growing industry.”

The projects are intended to create 20 thousand jobs. The addition of green energy is expected to add an additional $5 to Ontarian’s hydro bills by the end of this year. Energy Minister Brad Duguid in comments published by CTV.CA urged us to look to the future, “Right now, and in the past, we’ve been producing energy at the expense of ourselves and our children. This is an opportunity for us as a generation to help clean up our air, to help provide a healthier future for our children. The provincial government argues the green energy plan can create up to 50 thousand jobs.

New Democratic Party Responds to Green Energy Announcement

The New Democratic Party (NDP) responded to McGuinty’s Energy plan. They argue the province can create more jobs if they bypass nuclear and gas-fired technology in favor of more green technology.

In comments published by the Canadian Press, Energy Critic Peter Taubins urged the government to move away from it:

“That’s where the action has to come, moving away from those sources, and putting a lot more of our eggs back into the efficiency and conservation basket.”

The NDP argues it would be cheaper to do this as well. In order to afford its Green Energy initiatives, the Liberals have passed some measures of their own. Recently the McGuinty government passed a measure adding an additional $4/ year to hydro bills. Additionally, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is seeking a rate increase to 9.6% or an additional $2.75/month. The measures are intended to reduce the $53 million cost of the strategy.