How Online Marketing Is Different From General Marketing

There is a wide difference between online marketing and general marketing. They are outlined below.

1) In general marketing, business targets large number of consumers for a product or service that is economical or cheap in price. By targeting the masses, there will surely a high volume sales but with lower margin in the profit element as there is very little gap between the cost of making a product and selling it in the end. On the contrary, in niche marketing, a business will target a certain group of consumers (specialist consumers) from whom it can command a high profit margin. This is why small enterprises or businesses are considered best for the online marketing.

2) Online marketing is always targeted at a segment or market which is smaller in size. This is where a firm devoted its entire focus and concentration. In addition, the markets that are targeted by niche marketing are not covered by mainstream providers. On the other hand, traditional marketing is related to large segments that provide large revenues in the end. For instance, if a general marketing strategy has targeted parents, a online marketing strategy will be targeted at a specific group of parents such as single parents.

3) In the case of general marketing, the objective is to attract as many customers as possible. As the strategy is targeted for masses, consumers of different backgrounds, race, gender and status are on the traditional marketing radar. On the contrary, the strategy used in the online marketing is to target only a certain group of consumers whose taste and preferences matches your niche product. As the research has been done beforehand, it is very unlikely that the other segments of the population will be attracted to your offer. Hence, they are not targeted.

4) General marketing make use of expensive forms of media to target the consumers. It includes spending on above the line media that includes television, print, radio and internet and below the media such as hoardings and billboards. These forms are very expensive. On the contrary, in online marketing, the allocated budget is small compared to budget in general marketing. It does not have the capacity to support the needs and wants of the mainstream. As a result, the media which has been extensively used in niche marketing is internet (emails) due to its economical cost. Apart from internet, online marketing also uses magazines to a certain extent which may include trade journals.

4) In traditional marketing, people in masses are being targeted. As a result, the intended message also reaches people who have no interest in the products or services that are being offered by your business. Hence, the conversion rate is quite low. Money is wasted in large quantity along with the wastage of time. Art contrast, in niche marketing the message is targeted for only those who are interested. Thus, there is less wastage of money, time and effort in online marketing campaign.

How to Know If Your Product Truly is Organic

Today we see the words “all natural” and “organic” thrown around quite liberally. Most countries have their own rules and regulations as to what constitutes a natural or organic product, but in general there are commonalities that most countries find acceptable.

Sadly, most people aren’t aware or even armed with the proper knowledge to determine if something truly is all natural or not. In fact, for years many soft drink companies were using high fructose corn syrup to sweeten their beverages instead of sugar. Today you will see a few companies boasting that they use “real sugar”, because it is a natural product. This is just one example of how companies love to trick consumers.

So what is the difference between an organic product and a natural one? Here are a few examples:

For organic food, the pesticides used should not be toxic, the farmers don’t harm the soil or wildlife when growing the product, and the seeds aren’t modified in any way. While there are other criteria such as soil testing and soil erosion, the examples above are the most generally accepted in many countries.

If you have ever shopped at a well known organic food store such as “Whole Foods” or similar counterparts, you will discover that many of the foods have been certified organic. Depending on what state you live in, the criteria can be very stringent or more relaxed. However, I wouldn’t recommend buying a product that claims to be organic unless it is certified.

Natural products don’t follow such stringent guidelines as organic foods, but in general are healthier alternatives to regular processed foods. Most natural foods do not contain artificial preservatives or additives and don’t receive any antibiotics or growth hormones.

Health food stores that sell all natural foods like GNC will generally test their products to make sure they follow very strict processing guidelines. However, be wary of foods on your local grocery shelves that claim to be all natural. There are numerous ways for these companies to get around the guidelines for slapping an “all natural” label on their foods.

In general, it is best to buy only organic food, but because of the expense, it is not always practical. In the end the only real way to protect yourself is through self-education and being diligent about reading product labels.

General Services Administration Fraud

The General Services Administration, or GSA, is a federal agency responsible for supplying goods and products to other federal agencies through contracts with commercial firms. The GSA negotiates contracts and purchases products in large quantities in order to save individual agencies time and resources. These contracts, in turn, must be in compliance with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 to ensure the safety of the product and the secure relationship between the U.S. and the product’s country of origin. However, sometimes commercial suppliers attempt to sell products to the GSA that do not comply with these standards.

The Trade Agreements Act

The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (TAA) dictates trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries. Certain countries, called “designated countries,” are in compliance with the TAA and therefore the General Services Administration may enter into agreements with companies that purchase or supply goods and services from these countries. However, certain countries do not conform to the standards set out by the TAA. Therefore, the GSA is prohibited from entering into contracts that involve goods and services from non-compliant countries.

Failure to Comply with the Trade Agreements Act

Countries that do not comply with the conditions in the TAA are restricted from entering into certain contracts with the U.S. Countries that are not TAA-compliant include:

  • China
  • Taiwan
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand

These countries manufacture and export a large number of products commonly used throughout the U.S. However, since they are not in compliance with the TAA, the General Services Administration may not supply products from these countries to federal agencies. In some cases, though, certain companies attempt to fraud the GSA and supply them with products that do not meet the minimum federal standards.

The Trade Agreement Act was created in order to protect government employees from harm as well as to make sure that the products used by federal agencies are supplied by countries that agree to U.S. standards. If contractors attempt to sell non-compliant products to a government agency, they may be violating the False Claims Act, an Act designed to prevent false claims and fraud against the federal government. Everyday citizens who become aware of fraud can file a Qui Tam lawsuit on the government’s behalf to stop the wrongdoing. In response, the person who brings the suit may be eligible to receive a percentage of the total damages that are awarded in the case.

Telecom Product Lifecycle – End of Maintenance – End of Support – End of Life

Network planning teams or Engineering Teams in Telecom companies are responsible for Planning and Designing the Networks. It is their job to select new products or upgrade existing deployed equipment in the Network. Telecom equipment is generally very expensive and the planning engineers must be very careful when selecting a product to meet their needs. One major aspect which engineers generally forget or not totally aware of is the Product Life-cycle, and it has also been observed that Vendors also do not inform customers or operators about the product life cycle if not asked specifically.

Point to note is that generally all Telecom products have a life cycle. A product has certain life and it goes through certain upgrade paths before it is declared “End of Life” or out of support. So when you are selecting any product for the Telecom Network make sure the product should at least have 5 to 10 years of life before its vendor discontinues its support. It’s because of the huge cost involved in buying the products. Telecom business plans are majorly impacted by the cost of the equipment used in the Network. So if the planning teams mistakenly select a product which is going to be end of life soon, then of course the company will have to replace the product soon, which will definitely affect the overall Business Plan.

Vendors plan upgrade paths in steps to earn more money and do not provide some features at once. You will have to purchase upgrades i.e. software and hardware both in steps, and planning engineers must be fully aware of these steps which are generally available in Product Road Map documents. If vendors do not provide the information then please ask them to provide in detail so that you properly and cost effectively plan your network life cycle.

Generally vendors do not give visibility of the product roadmaps more than 2 to 3 years ahead. You need to insist on getting roadmaps for next 5 to 10 years.

Don’t forget that you will not get any software or hardware support from the vendors when the product has passed End of Support Dates and there are different solutions available to the problem when your equipment is End of Life. You can ask the vendors for:-

* Extended support
* Buy some spare equipment and run the equipment yourself without support, it’s a bit risky
* Buy support from some third party

Anyhow you will have to purchase new products once they have passed End of Life dates and it has major cost impact on the business plans which must be carefully evaluated and planned.