100 Marketing Ideas for your Business

GENERAL IDEAS

  • Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity.
  • Determine a percentage of gross income to spend annually on marketing.
  • Set specific marketing goals every year; review and adjust quarterly.
  • Maintain a tickler file of ideas for later use.
  • Carry business cards with you (all day, every day).
  • Create a personal nametag or pin with your company name and logo on it and wear it at high visibility meetings.

TARGET MARKET

  • Stay alert to trends that might impact your target market, product or promotion strategy.
  • Read market research studies about your profession, industry, product, target market groups, etc.
  • Collect competitors’ ads and literature; study them for information about strategy, product features and benefits, etc.
  • Ask clients why they hired you and solicit suggestions for improvement.
  • Ask former clients why they left you.
  • Identify a new market.
  • Join a list-serve (email list) related to your profession.
  • Subscribe to an Internet usenet newsgroup or a list-serve that serves your target market.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

  • Create a new service, technique or product.
  • Offer a simpler/cheaper/smaller version of your (or another existing) product or service.
  • Offer a fancier/more expensive/faster/bigger version of your (or another existing) product or service.
  • Update your services.

EDUCATION, RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

  • Establish a marketing and public relations advisory and referral team composed of your colleagues and/or neighboring business owners to share ideas and referrals and to discuss community issues. Meet quarterly for breakfast.
  • Create a suggestion box for employees.
  • Attend a marketing seminar.
  • Read a marketing book.
  • Subscribe to a marketing newsletter or other publication.
  • Subscribe to a marketing list-serve on the Internet.
  • Subscribe to a marketing usenet newsgroup on the Internet.
  • Train your staff, clients and colleagues to promote referrals.
  • Hold a monthly marketing meeting with employees or associates to discuss strategy, status and to solicit marketing ideas.
  • Join an association or organization related to your profession.
  • Get a marketing intern to take you on as a client; it will give the intern experience and you some free marketing help.
  • Maintain a consultant card file for finding designers, writers and other marketing professionals.
  • Hire a marketing consultant to brainstorm with.
  • Take a “creative journey” to another progressive city or country to observe and learn from marketing techniques used there.

PRICING AND PAYMENT

  • Analyze your fee structure; look for areas requiring modifications or adjustments.
  • Establish a credit card payment option for clients.
  • Give regular clients a discount.
  • Learn to barter; offer discounts to members of certain clubs/professional groups/organizations in exchange for promotions in their publications.
  • Give “quick pay” or cash discounts.
  • Offer financing or installment plans.

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

  • Publish a newsletter for customers and prospects. (It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.)
  • Develop a brochure of services.
  • Include a postage-paid survey card with your brochures and other company literature. Include check-off boxes or other items that will involve the reader and provide valuable feedback to you.
  • Remember, business cards aren’t working for you if they’re in the box. Pass them out! Give prospects two business cards and brochures — one to keep and one to pass along.
  • Produce separate business cards/sales literature for each of your target market segments (e.g. government and commercial, and/or business and consumer).
  • Create a poster or calendar to give away to customers and prospects.
  • Print a slogan and/or one-sentence description of your business on letterhead, fax cover sheets and invoices.
  • Develop a site on the World Wide Web.
  • Create a “signature file” to be used for all your e-mail messages. It should contain contact details including your Web site address and key information about your company that will make the reader want to contact you.
  • Include “testimonials” from customers in your literature.
  • Test a new mailing list. If it produces results, add it to your current direct mail lists or consider replacing a list that’s not performing up to expectations.
  • Use colored or oversized envelopes for your direct mailings. Or send direct mail in plain white envelopes to pique recipients’ curiosity.
  • Announce free or special offers in your direct response pieces. (Direct responses may be direct mail, broadcast fax, or e-mail messages.) Include the offer in the beginning of the message and also on the outside of the envelope for direct mail.

MEDIA RELATIONS

  • Update your media list often so that press releases are sent to the right media outlet and person.
  • Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal or trade publication.
  • Publish an article and circulate reprints.
  • Send timely and newsworthy press releases as often as needed.
  • Publicize your 500th client of the year (or other notable milestone).
  • Create an annual award and publicize it– as an outstanding employee of the year.
  • Get public relations and media training or read up on it.
  • Appear on a radio or TV talk show.
  • Create your own TV program on your industry or your specialty. Market the show to your local cable station or public broadcasting station as a regular program. Or, see if you can air your show on an open access cable channel.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or to a trade magazine editor.
  • Take an editor to lunch.
  • Get a publicity photo taken and enclose with press releases.
  • Consistently review newspapers and magazines for possible PR opportunities.
  • Submit “tip” articles to newsletters and newspapers.
  • Conduct industry research and develop a press release or article to announce an important discovery in your field.
  • Create a press kit and keep its contents current.

CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CUSTOMER RELATIONS

  • Ask your clients to come back again.
  • Return phone calls promptly.
  • Set up a fax-on-demand or email system to easily respond to customer inquiries.
  • Use an answering machine or voice mail system to catch after-hours phone calls. Include basic information in your outgoing message such a business hours, location, etc.
  • Record a memorable message or “tip of the day” on your outgoing answering machine or voice mail message.
  • Ask clients what you can do the help them.
  • Take clients out to a ball game, a show or another special event– just send them two tickets with a note.
  • Hold a seminar at your office for clients and prospects.
  • Send hand-written thank-you notes.
  • Send birthday cards and appropriate seasonal greetings.
  • Photocopy interesting articles and send them to clients and prospects with a hand-written “FYI” note and your business card.
  • Send a book of interest or other appropriate business gift to a client with a handwritten note.
  • Create an area on your Web site specifically for your customers.
  • Redecorate your office or location where you meet with your clients.

NETWORKING AND WORD OF MOUTH

  • Join a Chamber of Commerce or other organization.
  • Join or organize a breakfast club with other professionals (not in your field) to discuss business and network referrals.
  • Mail a brochure to members of organizations to which you belong.
  • Serve on a city board or commission.
  • Host a holiday party.
  • Hold an open house.
  • Send letters to attendees after you attend a conference.
  • Join a community list-serve (email list) on the Internet.

ADVERTISING

  • Advertise during peak seasons for your business.
  • Get a memorable phone number, such as “1-800-WIDGETS.”
  • Obtain a memorable URL and email address and include them on all marketing materials.
  • Provide Rolodex® cards or phone stickers pre-printed with your business contact information.
  • Promote your business jointly with other professionals via cooperative direct mail.
  • Advertise in a specialty directory or in the Yellow Pages.
  • Write an ad in another language to reach a non-English-speaking market. Place the ad in a publication that market reads, such as a Hispanic newspaper.
  • Distribute advertising specialty products such as pens, mouse pads or mugs.
  • Mail “bumps,” photos, samples and other innovative items to your prospect list. (A bump is simply anything that makes the mailing envelope bulge and makes the recipient curious about what’s in the envelope!)
  • Create a direct mail list of “hot prospects.”
  • Consider non-traditional tactics such as bus backs, billboards and popular Web sites.
  • Project a message on the sidewalk in front of your place of business using a light directed through words etched in a glass window.
  • Consider placing ads in your newspaper’s classified section.
  • Consider a vanity automobile tag with your company name.
  • Create a friendly bumper sticker for your car.
  • Code your ads and keep records of results.
  • Improve your building signage and directional signs inside and out.
  • Invest in a neon sign to make your office or storefront window visible at night.
  • Create a new or improved company logo or “recolor” the traditional logo.
  • Sponsor and promote a contest or sweepstakes.

SPECIAL EVENTS AND OUTREACH

  • Get a booth at a fair/trade show attended by your target market.
  • Sponsor or host a special event or open house at your business location in cooperation with a local non-profit organization, such as a women’s business center. Describe how the organization helped you.
  • Give a speech or volunteer for a career day at a high school.
  • Teach a class or seminar at a local college or adult education center.
  • Sponsor an “Adopt-a-Road” area in your community to keep roads litter-free. People that pass by the area will see your name on the sign announcing your sponsorship.
  • Volunteer your time to a charity or non-profit organization.
  • Donate your product or service to a charity auction.
  • Appear on a panel at a professional seminar.
  • Write a “How To” pamphlet or article for publishing.
  • Produce and distribute an educational CD-ROM, audio or video tape.
  • Publish a book.

SALES IDEAS

  • Start every day with two cold calls.
  • Read newspapers, business journals and trade publications for new business openings and for personnel appointment and promotion announcements made by companies. Send your business literature to appropriate individuals and firms.
  • Give your sales literature to your lawyer, accountant, printer, banker, temp agency, office supply salesperson, advertising agency, etc. (Expand your sales force for free!)
  • Put your fax number on order forms for easy submission.
  • Set up a fax-on-demand or email system to easily distribute responses to company or product inquiries.
  • Follow up on your direct mailings, email messages and broadcast faxes with a friendly telephone call.
  • Try using the broadcast fax or email delivery methods instead of direct mail. (Broadcast fax and email allows you to send the same message to many locations at once.)
  • Using broadcast fax or email messages to notify your customers of product service updates.
  • Extend your hours of operation.
  • Reduce response/turnaround time. Make reordering easy– reminders. Provide pre-addressed envelopes.
  • Display product and service samples at your office.
  • Remind clients of the products and services you provide that they aren’t currently buying.
  • Call and/or send mail to former clients to try to reactivate them.
  • Take sales orders over the Internet.
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We Are Google – by Google

Google Inc.

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Our innovations in web search and advertising have made our web site a top Internet destination and our brand one of the most recognized in the world. We maintain the world’s largest online index of web sites and other content, and we make this information freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. Our automated search technology helps people obtain nearly instant access to relevant information from our vast online index.

We generate revenue by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising. Businesses use our AdWords program to promote their products and services with targeted advertising. In addition, the thousands of third-party web sites that comprise our Google Network use our Google AdSense program to deliver relevant ads that generate revenue and enhance the user experience. Advertisers in our AdWords program pay us a fee each time a user clicks on one of their ads displayed either on our web sites or on the web sites of Google Network members that participate in our AdSense program. When a user clicks on an ad displayed on a web site of a Google Network member, we retain only a small portion of the advertiser fee, while most of the fee is paid to the Google Network member.

Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We believe that the most effective, and ultimately the most profitable, way to accomplish our mission is to put the needs of our users first. We have found that offering a high-quality user experience leads to increased traffic and strong word-of-mouth promotion. Our dedication to putting users first is reflected in three key commitments we have made to our users:

•       We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful search results possible, independent of financial incentives. Our search results will be objective and we will not accept payment for inclusion or ranking in them.

•       We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful advertising. Whenever someone pays for something, we will make it clear to our users. Advertisements should not be an annoying interruption.

•       We will never stop working to improve our user experience, our search technology and other important areas of information organization.

We believe that our user focus is the foundation of our success to date. We also believe that this focus is critical for the creation of long-term value. We do not intend to compromise our user focus for short-term economic gain.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated in California in September 1998. In August 2003, we reincorporated in Delaware. Our principal executive offices are located at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California 94043, and our telephone number is (650) 623-4000. We maintain a number of web sites including www.google.com. The information on our web sites is not part of this prospectus.

Google® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and several other countries. Our unregistered trademarks include: AdSense, AdWords, Blogger, Froogle, Gmail, I’m Feeling Lucky and PageRank. All other trademarks, trade names and service marks appearing in this prospectus are the property of their respective holders.

RISK FACTORS

An investment in Google involves significant risks. You should read these risk factors carefully before deciding whether to invest in our company. The following is a description of what we consider our key challenges and risks.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We face significant competition from Microsoft and Yahoo.

We face formidable competition in every aspect of our business, and particularly from other companies that seek to connect people with information on the web and provide them with relevant advertising. Currently, we consider our primary competitors to be Microsoft and Yahoo. Microsoft has announced plans to develop a new web search technology that may make web search a more integrated part of the Windows operating system. We expect that Microsoft will increasingly use its financial and engineering resources to compete with us. Yahoo has become an increasingly significant competitor, having acquired Overture Services, which offers Internet advertising solutions that compete with our AdWords and AdSense programs, as well as the Inktomi, AltaVista and AllTheWeb search engines. Since June 2000, Yahoo has used, to varying degrees, our web search technology on its web site to provide web search services to its users. We have notified Yahoo of our election to terminate our agreement effective July 2004. This agreement with Yahoo accounted for less than 3% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003 and less than 2% of our revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2004.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo have more employees than we do (in Microsoft’s case, currently more than 20 times as many). Microsoft also has significantly more cash resources than we do. Both of these companies also have longer operating histories and more established relationships with customers. They can use their experience and resources against us in a variety of competitive ways, including by making acquisitions, investing more aggressively in research and development and competing more aggressively for advertisers and web sites. Microsoft and Yahoo also may have a greater ability to attract and retain users than we do because they operate Internet portals with a broad range of products and services. If Microsoft or Yahoo are successful in providing similar or better web search results compared to ours or leverage their platforms to make their web search services easier to access than ours, we could experience a significant decline in user traffic. Any such decline in traffic could negatively affect our revenues.

We face competition from other Internet companies, including web search providers, Internet advertising companies and destination web sites that may also bundle their services with Internet access.

In addition to Microsoft and Yahoo, we face competition from other web search providers, including companies that are not yet known to us. We compete with Internet advertising companies, particularly in the areas of pay-for-performance and keyword-targeted Internet advertising. Also, we may compete with companies that sell products and services online because these companies, like us, are trying to attract users to their web sites to search for information about products and services.

We also compete with destination web sites that seek to increase their search-related traffic. These destination web sites may include those operated by Internet access providers, such as cable and DSL service providers. Because our users need to access our services through Internet access providers, they have direct relationships with these providers. If an access provider or a computer or computing device manufacturer offers online services that compete with ours, the user may find it more convenient to use the services of the access provider or manufacturer. In addition, the access provider or manufacturer may make it hard to access our services by not listing them in the access provider’s or manufacturer’s own menu of offerings. Also, because the access provider gathers information from the user in connection with the establishment of a billing relationship, the access provider may be more effective than we are in tailoring services and advertisements to the specific tastes of the user.

There has been a trend toward industry consolidation among our competitors, and so smaller competitors today may become larger competitors in the future. If our competitors are more successful than we are at generating traffic, our revenues may decline.

We face competition from traditional media companies, and we may not be included in the advertising budgets of large advertisers, which could harm our operating results.

In addition to Internet companies, we face competition from companies that offer traditional media advertising opportunities. Most large advertisers have set advertising budgets, a very small portion of which is allocated to Internet advertising. We expect that large advertisers will continue to focus most of their advertising efforts on traditional media. If we fail to convince these companies to spend a portion of their advertising budgets with us, or if our existing advertisers reduce the amount they spend on our programs, our operating results would be harmed.

We expect our growth rates to decline and anticipate downward pressure on our operating margin in the future.

We expect that in the future our revenue growth rate will decline and anticipate that there will be downward pressure on our operating margin. We believe our revenue growth rate will decline as a result of increasing competition and the inevitable decline in growth rates as our revenues increase to higher levels. We believe our operating margin will decline as a result of increasing competition and increased expenditures for all aspects of our business as a percentage of our revenues, including product development and sales and marketing expenses. Our operating margin may decline to the extent the proportion of our revenues generated from our Google Network members increases. The margin on revenue we generate from our Google Network members is generally significantly less than the margin on revenue we generate from advertising on our web sites. Additionally, the margin we earn on revenue generated from our Google Network could decrease in the future if our Google Network members require a greater portion of the advertising fees.

Our operating results may fluctuate, which makes our results difficult to predict and could cause our results to fall short of expectations.
Our operating results may fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control. For these reasons, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful, and you should not rely on our past results as an indication of our future performance. Our quarterly and annual expenses as a percentage of our revenues may be significantly different from our historical or projected rates. Our operating results in future quarters may fall below expectations. Any of these events could cause our stock price to fall. Each of the risk factors listed in this “Risk Factors” section, and the following factors, may affect our operating results:

  • Our ability to continue to attract users to our web sites.
  • Our ability to attract advertisers to our AdWords program.
  • Our ability to attract web sites to our AdSense program.
  • The mix in our revenues between those generated on our web sites and those generated through our Google Network.
  • The amount and timing of operating costs and capital expenditures related to the maintenance and expansion of our businesses, operations and infrastructure.
  • Our focus on long term goals over short term results.
  • The results of our investments in risky projects.
  • General economic conditions and those economic conditions specific to the Internet and Internet advertising.
  • Our ability to keep our web sites operational at a reasonable cost and without service interruptions
  • Our ability to forecast revenue from agreements under which we guarantee minimum payments.
  • Geopolitical events such as war, threat of war or terrorist actions

Because our business is changing and evolving, our historical operating results may not be useful to you in predicting our future operating results. In addition, advertising spending has historically been cyclical in nature, reflecting overall economic conditions as well as budgeting and buying patterns. For example, in 1999, advertisers spent heavily on Internet advertising. This was followed by a lengthy downturn in ad spending on the web. Also, user traffic tends to be seasonal. Our rapid growth has masked the cyclicality and seasonality of our business. As our growth slows, we expect that the cyclicality and seasonality in our business may become more pronounced and may in the future cause our operating results to fluctuate.

If we do not continue to innovate and provide products and services that are useful to users, we may not remain competitive, and our revenues and operating results could suffer.
Our success depends on providing products and services that people use for a high quality Internet experience. Our competitors are constantly developing innovations in web search, online advertising and providing information to people. As a result, we must continue to invest significant resources in research and development in order to enhance our web search technology and our existing products and services and introduce new high-quality products and services that people will use. If we are unable to predict user preferences or industry changes, or if we are unable to modify our products and services on a timely basis, we may lose users, advertisers and Google Network members. Our operating results would also suffer if our innovations are not responsive to the needs of our users, advertisers and Google Network members, are not appropriately timed with market opportunity or are not effectively brought to market. As search technology continues to develop, our competitors may be able to offer search results that are, or that are perceived to be, substantially similar or better than those generated by our search services. This may force us to compete on bases in addition to quality of search results and to expend significant resources in order to remain competitive.

We generate our revenue almost entirely from advertising, and the reduction in spending by or loss of advertisers could seriously harm our business.

We generated approximately 97% of our revenues in 2003 and 98% of our revenues in the six months ended June 30, 2004 from our advertisers. Our advertisers can generally terminate their contracts with us at any time. Advertisers will not continue to do business with us if their investment in advertising with us does not generate sales leads, and ultimately customers, or if we do not deliver their advertisements in an appropriate and effective manner. If we are unable to remain competitive and provide value to our advertisers, they may stop placing ads with us, which would negatively affect our revenues and business.

We rely on our Google Network members for a significant portion of our revenues, and otherwise benefit from our association with them. The loss of these members could prevent us from receiving the benefits we receive from our association with these Google Network members, which could adversely affect our business.

We provide advertising, web search and other services to members of our Google Network. The revenues generated from the fees advertisers pay us when users click on ads that we have delivered to our Google Network members’ web sites represented approximately 43% of our revenues in 2003, and approximately 50% of our revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2004. We consider this network to be critical to the future growth of our revenues. However, some of the participants in this network may compete with us in one or more areas. Therefore, they may decide in the future to terminate their agreements with us. If our Google Network members decide to use a competitor’s or their own web search or advertising services, our revenues would decline.
Our agreements with a few of the largest Google Network members account for a significant portion of revenues derived from our AdSense program. In addition, advertising and other fees generated from one Google Network member, America Online, Inc., primarily through our AdSense program accounted for approximately 15%, 16% and 13% of our revenues in 2002, 2003 and in the six months ended June 30, 2004. Also, certain of our key network members operate high-profile web sites, and we derive tangible and intangible benefits from this affiliation. If one or more of these key relationships is terminated or not renewed, and is not replaced with a comparable relationship, our business would be adversely affected.

Source: As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 18, 2004
Registration No. 333-114984
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
AMENDMENT NO. 9 TO FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT Under The Securities Act of 1933