Marketing Channels: Don’t Toss Your Trusted Tools

I have a confession to make, and I freely admit that it’s a symptom of being male: whenever I’m at the home improvement store, I find an excuse to wander through the power tool section and dream of adding the latest gizmo to my crowded workbench.

Of course, when I bring that shiny new toy — er, tool — home, I don’t toss all my older tools in the trash. While that new laser-equipped radial cross-cutting veeblefetzer may be great for handling certain tasks, there are many times when the trusty claw hammer I bought as a teenager is the perfect choice for the job.

That’s why I’m puzzled when I see how companies and organizations react to new marketing opportunities and channels. Presented with a shiny new toy — er, tool — they’re quick to devote most of their resources to it, and to discard the time-honored tactics they’ve been using.

Even in these days of YouTube and Facebook (and whatever the kids are using and the adults are weeks away from discovering), what many business owners and managers see as old-fashioned strategies and tactics still work quite well. In fact, as your competitors make those lemming-like moves to abandon or dramatically reduce their presence in those other channels, sticking with “traditional” tactics may be even more powerful.

The key is to look at each new tool as an enhancement to your toolbox, not as a replacement for something you’ve already been using. That Facebook fan page may be a great way to connect with customers on an informal basis, but you may still need a presence in magazines that reach the decision-makers in your industry. A viral video may create a huge sensation that drives 50,000 people to your website in a single week, but it may be that 90 percent of your sales still happen because of conversations at trade shows.

By adding those new tools, you broaden your reach, and may actually connect with the same audiences in more ways. That’s a lesson that savvy bankers have learned. Way back when ATMs first emerged on the scene, many bankers saw them as a way to reduce the number of tellers. But they discovered that customers who used ATMs still liked to come to teller windows at times. The same is true for online banking and the ability to check transactions with smart phones. The smart bankers in the crowd recognize that customers appreciate those multiple avenues of contact, and that very few customers limit themselves to just one.

You can also use lessons learned and knowledge acquired from “traditional” media to add power and effectiveness to newer media channels. For example, it always amazes me when people dismiss anything related to direct-response advertising as archaic and useless. The folks who truly understand direct response are the most consistently successful marketers. They have tested and verified every message and variable, and are remarkably accurate at projecting rates of return on projects. They know what kind of language turns prospects off, and which words stop them in their tracks. It comes as no surprise that companies who have been longtime leaders in direct-response channels have successfully migrated their strategies into newer media.

Why do I mention that? Because I’ve received so many marketing emails from companies and organizations who seem to be ignorant of everything the direct-response folks have taught us. Yes, there’s a huge physical difference between a three-paragraph email and a four-page direct mail letter, but both have the same goal: connecting with the reader and motivating him or her to a specific action. Companies ignore that hard-earned wisdom at their peril.

“All-or-nothing” approaches rarely work well in marketing. Instead, the most successful marketers employ multiple channels to present their messages, tailoring their messages and tactics to the nature of each channel, and connecting them effectively. By weaving those channels together, they allow each individual contact to lead to others, and ensure that every touchpoint supports the message and overall objectives.

Don’t make the mistake of discarding strategies that performed five, ten or twenty years ago as obsolete or useless. Instead, consider them as familiar tools that have a place in your marketing efforts. After all, there’s a big difference between making a one-time splash and delivering successful long-term performance.

Network Marketing Review – What is Multi-Level Marketing?

Why is network marketing so popular? Why should you even bother to consider this business model? Isn’t this just for people who can’t find a real job? Isn’t it like a pyramid scheme and illegal? Only losers and the gullible types fall for these schemes!

If any of those questions came to your mind, keep on reading, before you make a big mistake. Before we get into the definition of what Network Marketing – also called Multi-Level-Marketing-is, and what it isn’t, let’s look at some interesting facts and figures about this exploding industry.

Network Marketing has grown into a global industry with more than 61 million men and women involved in this type of business model. In the United States alone, over 15 million people are building their home-based businesses through Network Marketing.

More than $111 billion dollars of retail goods were sold globally through the Network Marketing industry! Over $31 billion dollars of those sales were here in the United States!

If so many people and so many companies are following this way of doing business, it’s a good idea to at least take a look at what it really is.

Once upon a time, if you’d mention MLM to anyone you’d get a range of responses- most negative. So what’s happened to make this once maligned industry into a viable business model that more and more companies are taking note of and incorporating into their structure?

Lots. For one there are more stringent controls and regulations on MLM companies.
Agencies like the Federal Trade Commission keep a sharp eye on this industry to keep the schemers and scammers out.

Second, the very structure of Network Marketing provides a strong opportunity for entrepreneurship- people who have never owned a company or ran their own business can often step into this industry and be successful.

Third, this model saves a company a lot of money, which is obviously very attractive to businesses in this economy.

So how does it all really work?

“Multi-Level Marketing is a legal system of merchandising products through multiple levels of distribution (distributors). These distributors purchase at wholesale and act as a middleman between the manufacturer and the consumer who pays retail.” This is one of the first formal definitions, published by Doris Wood of the MLMIA.

Network Marketing is a type of direct sales – companies that use distributors to directly get their product or service out there in the market place. Distributors are paid a commission based on the sale of these products or services.

Some direct sales companies just pay the distributor every time they make a sale. With multi-level marketing, you get paid not only when your customer purchases a product, but you’ll get paid from the efforts of other distributors who you have recruited to join your team. This creates a more varied income stream through leverage and residual income.

Network Marketing or MLM gives you the opportunity to build a sales organization, and get paid commissions based on the sales generated by your downline. By recruiting others into your organization, you build levels. Your distributors recruit others beneath them, and on and on it goes. How far down the levels that you will be allowed to collect commissions depends on the structure of the particular company you are working for.

In many Network Marketing companies, the more distributors that you have in your downline and/or the more sales you make, you’ll qualify for higher commissions or bonuses and higher ranking in the company.

Traditional business does not allow for advancement like this. Imagine if you got a job frying French fries at McDonald’s. What are the chances that you would advance to CEO or president, and get the big bucks? It’s possible, but for most of us, it’s highly unlikely.

The structure of Multi-Level Marketing provides the opportunity for an average person, who works hard and is dedicated, to move up through the ranks- and sometimes very quickly- and make the kind of money that CEO’s make in big companies!

Why are more and more traditional companies choosing to distribute their products and services this way?

It’s a more economical way to structure a company. Network marketing companies distribute their product or services to customers directly through distributors. This cuts out a long line of middlemen in the distribution line. There is usually no expensive marketing and advertising campaigns – network marketing companies rely on their distributors to get the product out there by word of mouth. This has proven to be effective and lucrative for both the company and the distributor.

How to wear a Saree

Some more popular types of sarees worn in this region are batik sarees in Sri Lanka, as well as handloom and cotton. Many sarees that come from this region boast of being handmade and you can find beautiful sarees wherever you find handmade items in Sri Lanka.

The traditional Indian saree is a beautiful and elegant piece of clothing that can be worn in many different ways. The most common way to wear it is the four-region style, which consists of wearing the saree with its end tucked into the petticoat. Here are different ways you could wear your saree.

Four-region style: Tucking one end on top of the other and securing both ends with a pin or safety pin.
Half sari: One side draped over shoulder and pinned at waist (most commonly seen among celebrities).
Full Sari: Both sides draped around body, secured by pins at waist level.
Half Dupatta Style: One side of dupatta draped over shoulder and pinned at waist level.
Miss World style: One end is tucked into petticoat or wrapped around once, while the other is left loose hanging down below knee-level.
Shoulder Style: The saree draping one shoulder with a blouse worn beneath it.
Multi-region Style (Cocktail Saree): Two ends are tucked in front; another two ends are tied up to make a knot.
Three-Region Stye (Nivi Sari): Tucked across chest/waist area with both loose ends falling on either side like an umbrella.
Half Nivi: One half of the saree falls down and the other section of the saree is worn draped over the shoulder or waist, to form a sling.
Casual Saree: One end is tied around the waist and other loose ends are left hanging.
Straight drape style: One pleat is kept intact at one place while other pleats are spread evenly on either side of legs.
Kandyan saree: Worn in Sri Lanka. This is generally worn tightly around the waist with the fall of the saree folded and pinned to the shoulder to fall down in a straight line.