Margin Trading

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With a margin account, you can borrow money from TD Ameritrade to purchase marginable securitiesproviding you with up to twice the buying power of a traditional cash account. The securities held in your account act as collateral for the loan, and you pay interest on the money borrowed. With proper risk and money management techniques, margin can be used to potentially enhance your investment strategy.

Watch our margin tutorial to learn, in simple terms, what margin is and how it can work in a portfolio.

While regular cash-brokerage accounts limit your trading to the amount of money available in them, a margin account gives you the ability to borrow moneypotentially increasing your securities buying power by as much as 50%. A TD Ameritrade account thats approved to trade on margin must have:

At least $2,000 in cash equity or eligible securities

A minimum of 30% of its total value as equity at all times

Amp up your trading with margin and leverage

Traders have three powerful words in their vocabularymargin, leverage, and exposure. Understanding this trios potential risks and rewards is valuable, as small market moves can add up to big trouble fast.

Benefits and risks of margin trading

Greater potential returns due to increased leverage

The potential for more trades, and therefore more diversification, which may hedge and manage risk

Ability to execute more-advanced trading strategies

Greater potential risk of loss from increased leverage

Additional costs from margin interest charges

Potential margin calls or liquidation of securities**

**Important information about margin calls: The firm can force the sale of securities or other assets in your account(s). The firm can also sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. You are not entitled to a time extension while in a margin call.

See the potential gains and losses associated with margin trading. For an in-depth understanding, download theMargin Handbook.

2. Make sure the margin privileges trading feature is selected in order to be considered for margin trading

3. Fund your account with at least $2,000 in cash or marginable securities

Execute your margin-trading strategies with our innovative platforms, 24/7 support, and state-of-the-art-tools:

Fuel your margin trading withthinkorswim, our most‑advanced platform. Plus enjoy one-to-one personalized platform demos.

Experience round-the-clock trading and platform support from our knowledgeable and experienced associatesjust one call away at.

Hone your margin-trading skills with helpfulvideosandwebcastsfrom ourEducation Center. You can also read ourMargin Handbookto learn more about margin trading.

UseMorningstar Instant X-Rayfor a closer look at your asset allocation and exposure to different investment styles, regions, and sectorsand to help you manage your portfolio.

A margin account can help advance your trading strategy by potentially opening up new opportunities, such as shorting stocks, and trading options, futures, forex, and portfolio margin. Plus, when you open an account with TD Ameritrade, youll experience the value of straightforward pricing, including fair, affordable commissions and fees, and no platform or market data fees.

Options, futures, and forex trading privileges are subject to additional review and approval. Not all clients will qualify.

Check the background of TD Ameritrade onFINRAs BrokerCheck

Trade commission-free for 60 days plus get up to $600*Offer Details

All investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

Margin trading increases risk of loss and includes the possibility of a forced sale if account equity drops below required levels. Margin is not available in all account types. Margin trading privileges subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Carefully review theMargin HandbookandMargin Disclosure Documentfor more details.

Options are not suitable for all investors, as the special risks inherent to option trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Option trading subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please readCharacteristics and Risks of Standardized Optionsbefore investing in options.

Futures and futures options trading is speculative, and is not suitable for all investors. Please read theRisk Disclosure for Futures and Optionsprior to trading futures products. Futures and forex trading services provided by TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC.

*Offer valid for one new Individual, Joint or IRA TDAmeritrade account opened by9/30/2018 and funded within 60 calendar days of account opening with$3,000or more.To receive $100 bonus, account must be funded with $25,000-$99,999. To receive $300 bonus, account must be funded with $100,000-249,999. To receive $600 bonus, account must be funded with $250,000 or more.Offer is not valid on tax-exempt trusts, 401k accounts, Keogh plans, profit sharing plan, or money purchase plan. Offer is not transferable and not valid with internal transfers, TD Ameritrade Institutional accounts, accounts managed by TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC, current TDAmeritrade accounts or with other offers.Accounts funded with$3,000or more are eligible for up to500commission-free trade internet equity, ETF, or option trades executed within 60 calendar days of account funding.All other trade types are excluded from this offer. Contract, exercise, and assignment fees still apply.No credit will be given for unexecuted trades. Limit one offer per client. Account value of the qualifying account must remain equal to, or greater than, the value after the net deposit was made (minus any losses due to trading or market volatility or margin debit balances) for 12 months, or TD Ameritrade may charge the account for the cost of the offer at its sole discretion. TDAmeritrade reserves the right to restrict or revoke this offer at any time. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business. Please allow 3-5 business days for any cash deposits to post to account. Taxes related to TDAmeritrade offers are your responsibility. All promotional items and cash received during the calendar year will be included 0n your consolidated From 1099. Please consult a legal or tax advisor for the most recent changes to the U.S. tax code and for rollover eligibility rules. (Offer Code: 220)

Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Morningstar® Instant X-Ray® analyzes mutual funds, U.S.-based stocks, ADRs, plus cash and bond positions when entered using a ticker CASH$ or BONDS$ respectively. All other security types are not analyzed. The Morningstar name and logo, , and Morningstar Tools are either trademark or service marks of Morningstar, Inc.

This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business or where such offer or solicitation would be contrary to the local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction, including, but not limited to persons residing in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, and the countries of the European Union.

Brokerage services provided by TDAmeritrade, Inc., memberFINRASIPC. TDAmeritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TDAmeritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TDAmeritrade.

Investment Account Types

Investment Management Services Overview

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Account Types & Investment Products Overview

Whatever your strategy might be, TD Ameritrade has an online brokerage account suited for you. Whether youre looking for a standard, retirement, education, or a specialty account, well help you find andopen your accountso you can start pursuing your financial goals today.

Gain flexibility and access to comprehensive investment products, objective research, and intuitive trading platforms with a standard account. They can be individual or joint accounts and can be upgraded for options, futures, and forex trading as well.

Find the Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or Rollover IRA that will help you pursue your retirement goals. Learn about the tax advantages of retirement accounts and discover the benefit of planning your retirement with TD Ameritrade.

Plan and invest for a brighter future with TD Ameritrade. Offering flexibility when it comes to saving for education, at any level, choose from various state-qualified 529 Plans, tax-free Coverdell, or UGMA/UTMA accounts.

From individual trusts and pension plans to business partnerships and sole proprietorships, specialty accounts make planning for the future easy. With these accounts, we have features designed to help you succeed.

Save time and stay invested for the long term with professionally managed portfolios offered by TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC. Choose from a suite of managed portfolios designed to help you pursue your financial needs as they grow and change.

Take your trading to the next level with margin trading. A margin account allows you to borrow money from TD Ameritrade and potentially increase your securities buying power by as much as 50%.

We make it easier to choose an account that may fit your goals. If youre not sure which account is best for you, simplycontact usand a knowledgeable representative can answer your questions and help youopen your account.

Check the background of TD Ameritrade onFINRAs BrokerCheck

Trade commission-free for 60 days plus get up to $600*Offer Details

This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business or where such offer or solicitation would be contrary to the local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction, including, but not limited to persons residing in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, and the countries of the European Union.

Brokerage services provided by TDAmeritrade, Inc., memberFINRASIPC. TDAmeritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TDAmeritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TDAmeritrade.

Medical Cost Containment Strategies

Lower Your Workers Comp Costs, Reduce Workers / Workmans Compensation, Lowering WC Expense Workers Comp Resource Center from AMAXX LLC

Look at the Total Loss Costs (TLC), Not Just the Line-by-Line Items.

The best technique to control medical costs in workers compensation is a Total Loss Cost (TLC) approach.To be truly effective in controlling the medical cost of workers compensation, employers and insurers should not limit their medical cost containment efforts to only one or two areas. Employers and insurer should utilize as many medical cost containment strategies as possible in a fully integrated approach. All of the following medical cost containment strategies have been shown tosave money for the employer or the insurer when a TLC approach is used.

When services are used appropriately, theoverall total loss costs will be reduced. Employers must take a long term view rather than a line-by-line cost comparison. For example, a peer-to-peer review of a claim by an MD may cost $500 but only a board-certified doctor can determine that important medical records may be missing from the file and need to be obtained before an Independent Medical Examination (IME) will be useful. Without this, an opportunity for an effective IME will be lost, especially in states where an employer is entitled to only one IME every six months.

Top 14 Medical Cost Containment Strategies

services are used when injured employees contact a specially trained triage nurse at the time they are injured to determine what type of treatment is needed. The nurse will ask the employee medical questions about the injury then direct them to the appropriate treatment whether it is emergency care, to a clinic nearby or to home for self-care. If they recommend emergency or clinic care, they will identify several providers within the employers network for the employee to choose from. They employee can follow-up with the triage nurse if any questions arise. A triage program can reduce lost days by 40%.

is a group of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers with whom an insurer or a self-insured employer has prearranged for medical treatment for employees injured on the job. All employees incurring an injury are sent to the medical providers in the medical provider network. In California, this is called an MPN (Medical Provider Network).

is posted by the employer in a conspicuous place where all employees will have ready access to it in the case of an injury. Some third party administrators (TPAs) and carriers have expert panels of doctors who have superior outcomes including:

These special networks should be considered as the

first line of defense in your cost containment strategy

is the practice of having an experienced nurse case manager coordinate and manage the medical care received by the employee. This includes a nurse reviewing the medical condition, treatment and medication, and discussing progress and care with the employee by telephone. A

is a nurse who meets with the employee and often attends the medical appointments with the employee.

are available to review all new claims for appropriateness of medical services and assist in resolution of problematic claims and medical situations. This is a proactive model to expedite recovery of injured employees. Senior nurse reviewers identify obstacles to return to work early in the process and help overcome them.

is a type of case management that works on difficult claims. It gets long-standing cases (that are not neglected) moved toward resolution.

staffed by a physician, an occupational health nurse practitioner or a physician assistant can provide on-site treatment for most injuries when they occur. For emergencies or serious injuries, the on-site clinic can make

medical arrangements. The on-site occupational clinic can also provide continuing medical care for most injuries that need further medical attention after the initial treatment. In addition to treating workers compensation injuries, the on-site occupational clinic can provide pre-employment and post-employment physical examinations, drug screening, audiograms, flu vaccinations, and a wide variety of health and wellness programs. An on-site clinic will lower disability benefits through the coordination of transitional duty and return to work programs within the employees physical limitations during the time an employee is recovering from an injury.

is the most efficient way to treat musculoskeletal injuries (a third of all workers compensation claims). When an employees limb or joint functioning is impaired, physical therapy will be used to develop, maintain or restore the employees normal body movements. Physical therapy is routinely provided in an out-patient clinic and is provided in accordance with the treating physicians instructions. Physical therapy can also be provided in the on-site occupational clinic for additional savings. Make sure to choose a reputable physical therapy network.

provide specialized care for the treatment of a disability from either serious injury or severe occupational illness. The rehabilitation process is administered by a team of specialists who provide the proper mixture of medical specialty services for the employee. The goal of a rehabilitation clinic is to stabilize the injured employees medical condition and to assist the employee to recover.

is the independent confirmation of the need for a medical service. Utilization review includes precertification reviews before the medical care is provided, concurrent reviews while the employee is in the hospital or during on-going medical care, and retrospective reviews to verify the needs for the medical services already provided.

are created to provide uniformity of medical care for specific types of injuries. New York, Texas, California, Colorado and other states have instituted state-mandated medical treatment guidelines for all workers compensation medical providers to follow. The medical treatment guidelines often state the criteria that must be met before specific tests and medical procedures can be performed. Private Medical Provider Networks often establish their own internal medical treatment guidelines for the physicians within their network. There are medical treatment guidelines and medical payment guidelines so dont be confused by the two. Find a company that specializes in guidelines.

are normally done by companies that specialize in reviewing the medical bill to verify the accuracy of the medical bill diagnostic codes and medical bill charges. The medical bill charges are either compared to the state fee bill schedule or with what is reasonable and customary charges for the medical services provided. Medical bill reviews include both the audits of doctor bill and hospital bill auditing.

are companies that specialize in managing and controlling the cost of medications prescribed for the employee. This includes both obtaining discounts on medications plus providing drug utilization reviews to prevent the excessive use of narcotics and other medications.

occur when the employee is sent to another medical provider for a second opinion. Independent medical examinations are most often used when the employees medical recovery progress is slower than normal. Have an M.D. enhance or write the IME cover request after reviewing the medical records. In addition to adding specific medical inquiries to the letter, an MD will make sure all relevant medical records are in the file; if they are not, request any missing records. Companies can sometimes use OSHA and ADA statutes to obtain IMEs. This is a little known technique which you can learn about from one of the attorneys in ourWorkers Compensation Attorneysdirectory.

, is the practice of sending the medical reports and diagnostic reports to another medical provider for a review of the medical information for the purpose of confirming the appropriateness and quality of the medical care being provided. Sometimes peer-to-peer review also identifies prescription medication abuse.

companies provide the medical equipment for the employee to use in their home. This includes everything from hospital beds, to canes, to artificial limbs, to oxygen tents. While the employee can obtain most of these items on their own, insurers and employers working with the durable medical equipment companies can obtain this type of equipment at a significant cost savings.

is a major expense and a devastating experience for injured employees who live with pain every day. Board certified physicians and nurses make virtual rounds to identify and evaluate biopsychosocial influences of the problem and create a comprehensive treatment plan for each individual. Data mining can help identify claimants with chronic pain problems.

Remember, when evaluating services and designing your program, evaluate thetotal loss costs, NOT just the bottom line of each service. A good TPA can provide most of these services under one umbrella, but if there are a few they lack, those can be purchased unbundled.

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Lower your workers compensation expense by using the

guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.

Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!

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DISCLAMER: Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different and change frequently. We do the best we can to provide up-to-date information but do not guarantee it is always perfect. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost-containment program.

r TD Ameritrade

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We know what it means to be fully invested in life.Thats why were committed to helping you pursueyour goals. Get started with up to $600 when youopen and fund an account.

Your goals are unique, the guidance you get on investing should be too.

Trade without trade-offs. Our desktop, web, and mobile platforms are designed for performance and built for all levels of investors.

Our retirement consultants can help you roll over your 401k from start to finish.

Wide selection of investment choices

Straightforward pricing and no trade minimums

Commission-free for 60 days + get up to $600

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Trade commission-free for 60 days plus get up to $600*Offer Details

Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of any investment company before investing. A prospectus contains this and other important information. Contact us at for a copy. Read carefully before investing.

ETFs can entail risks similar to direct stock ownership, including market, sector, or industry risks. Some ETFs may involve international risk, currency risk, commodity risk, and interest rate risk. Trading prices may not reflect the net asset value of the underlying securities. Commission fees typically apply.

Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

TDAmeritrade does not charge platform, maintenance or inactivity fees. Commissions, service fees and exception fees still apply. Please review ourcommissionsandfeesfordetails.

A rollover is not your only alternative when dealing with old retirement plans.Learn moreabout rollover alternatives.

*Offer valid for one new Individual, Joint or IRA TDAmeritrade account opened by9/30/2018 and funded within 60 calendar days of account opening with$3,000or more.To receive $100 bonus, account must be funded with $25,000-$99,999. To receive $300 bonus, account must be funded with $100,000-249,999. To receive $600 bonus, account must be funded with $250,000 or more.Offer is not valid on tax-exempt trusts, 401k accounts, Keogh plans, profit sharing plan, or money purchase plan. Offer is not transferable and not valid with internal transfers, TD Ameritrade Institutional accounts, accounts managed by TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC, current TDAmeritrade accounts or with other offers.Accounts funded with$3,000or more are eligible for up to500commission-free trade internet equity, ETF, or option trades executed within 60 calendar days of account funding.All other trade types are excluded from this offer. Contract, exercise, and assignment fees still apply.No credit will be given for unexecuted trades. Limit one offer per client. Account value of the qualifying account must remain equal to, or greater than, the value after the net deposit was made (minus any losses due to trading or market volatility or margin debit balances) for 12 months, or TD Ameritrade may charge the account for the cost of the offer at its sole discretion. TDAmeritrade reserves the right to restrict or revoke this offer at any time. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business. Please allow 3-5 business days for any cash deposits to post to account. Taxes related to TDAmeritrade offers are your responsibility. All promotional items and cash received during the calendar year will be included 0n your consolidated From 1099. Please consult a legal or tax advisor for the most recent changes to the U.S. tax code and for rollover eligibility rules. (Offer Code: 220)

This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business or where such offer or solicitation would be contrary to the local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction, including, but not limited to persons residing in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, and the countries of the European Union.

Brokerage services provided by TDAmeritrade, Inc., memberFINRASIPC. TDAmeritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TDAmeritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TDAmeritrade.

The 14

Much like martial arts, there are many types of marketing.

Here, were going to focus on the 14 types of marketing online.

Because there are so many different forms, each requiring its own set of skills, it would only make sense to call them disciplines.

Some choose to master one discipline, others choose to study many. And just like with martial arts, there are many more who pretend they know when they really dont.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving rankings of a website or web page in the unpaid organic search results.

The path of the SEO is to make webpages rank higher in the search engine results pages (aka serp) to increase visibility.

The higher a page ranks, the more visible it is, and therefore will receive more traffic.

At one point, Search Engine Optimization played by a fairly well defined set of rules: Optimize a page for a specific keyword, get links from other websites that use that keyword.

While there is still some level of this, with the introduction ofGoogles Penguin update, many SEOs who thrived by manipulating the system have found the ground shrinking beneath their feet.

In 2013,Author Rankwas introduced and has become a huge factor in how content is ranked in search engines. Many in the SEO industry suspect this will disrupt the game forever.

In a nutshell, AuthorRank gives more credit to verified authors over anonymous publishers.

As social media becomes  more woven into the fabric of the internet, search engines factor elements such as social shares, +1s, Facebook likes, and Twitter retweets in addition to the traditional links using the right words

However, its still very important to understand that search engines are still only robots. Sophisticated robots, but robots nonetheless and the first understanding of what a web page is about is going to be based on the text on the page.

There are a number of tools you can use if you decide to follow the path of the SEO, but I highly recommend the following:

If done well,Pay per clickis one of, if not the fastest type of online marketing to drive targeted traffic to your web properties.

But when done haphazardly, can cost a company thousands of dollars with little to no return.

Its one of my favoritelead generation techniquesbecause once your campaign is optmized, youre able to calculate a fairly accurate and predictable ROI.

Whatever you do, dont go into Ppc under the misconception that youre just going to target a couple of keywords, write some copy, then watch the dollars pour in.

With Ppc, the entire goal is to turn passive viewers into interested prospects, and interested prospects into buyers.

To do this you must first entice users to click on an advertisement and send them to theperfect landing page with copy that matches the ad.

The idea is that you want to keep similar phrasing throughout the experience so your new visitor stays grounded throughout the experience.

Pay per click ads are no longer just displayed on the sidebar on search engines, but can be displayed on niche websites, or act as sponsored stories on social networks. They can be displayed as product listings, or as a video advertisement.  They are targeted, either by search term, profile interest, or by the website on which the pay per click ad is displayed.

For some excellent resources on getting started with Ppc check out:

Think of email marketing as the bridge between the top of your sales funnel ( Awareness Seo, Social Media, Online Networking) and the sale.

Sure, email is not as sexy as its younger, hipper counterpart Social Media, but its one of the most direct and private forms of communication. Because of this, its still one of the most effective types of online marketing in terms of driving sales.

The best email marketers embrace the private nature of email communications and take care to treat their email subscribers a little more special than non email subscribers.

This could be done by giving access to exclusive content, special email subscriber discounts, personalized deals, or other insider goods not accessible to the outside public.

Email is also a popular form of marketing because, when your email campaigns are set up properly, you can tie exact dollar amounts to individual customers.

This allows you to create hyper targeted messaging that reflects you understand where your customer is in the buying cycle. Are they just looking or are they an evangelist? Creating email marketing programs for each stage of the customer lifecycle allows you to deepen loyalty and directly increase revenue.

One major disadvantage for email marketers is the constant evolution of spam filters in email programs. Companies must also make ensure their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)

And of course, we havent even talked about Autoresponders:

For resources on getting started with email marketing:

107 Ways to Dominate Email Marketing

How To Open The Door To A Second Wave Of Sales

Getting Started With Email Marketing In Four Minutes

Did you know Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, and the third most visited site, period?

While it may seem that a standard commercial might be the easiest way for a business to engage in video marketing, this is simply not the case.

Video can be incredibly social, and smart video marketers are blurring the lines of whats acceptable for branded content.

Take for example theOld Spice Guyor theWalMart Clown.Both videos make great use of humor to deliver their message, and the commercial side is almost secondary to the goal of making you laugh.

Because of this, video can be an incredibly powerful tool todeliver the right message to the right marketand attract the right kind of customer from the very beginning. (Understanding your target marketand awell defined brand charactergo a very long way in making this actually work though.)

Personally, video marketing is one of my favorite types of online marketing because it fuses together so many different elements: Copywriting, Seo, and of course Video Production.

Unfortunately, the biggest misconception about video marketing is that you can shoot a video on your webcam, slap it up on Youtube, then watch the revenue pour in. This couldnt be any further away from the truth, and if video marketing is something youre considering, I would highly recommend you get the proper training before taking your video efforts to the next level.

It may seem strange to see blogging on this list, because many of the things weve talked about may seem encapsulated in blogging.

But really, a blog is just a channel. It can host videos, podcasts, text articles, news topics, sell affiliate advertising, provide instruction or insight however at the end of the day, what youre talking about isnt blogging, youre talking about content that fills the channel.

Blogging makes this list because managing that channel is really a skill on its own.

Scheduling content, tagging and categorizing content appropriately, managing internal link architecture, optimizing navigation items these are just a handful of items that a real blogger manages.

Blog management is critical to the success of the blog as its fundamental structure is what helps search engines index your blog for the content you want to be known for, and visitors to go to appropriate pages within your site.

If youre considering following the path of the blogger, the Problogger book is an absolute essential read.

For more resources on blog management:

Content marketingis one of those buzzwords that keeps flying around, yet very few people (including marketers) really understand what its about.

If blogging is really about how everything is distributed and structured, content marketing is the practice of  creating media that brings the person interacting with it towards one of the following four goals:.

The primary purpose of this kind of content is to spread throughout a community and get maximum exposure. Generally this kind of content will appeal to the different extremes of your markets personality.

This can be done through humor, shock, motivation, sadness, anger, being remarkably cool, making people smile, cute, or incredibly honest.

The trick for something to go viral is that it has to appeal to a humanity that is shared with a large group of people. (This is why more viral videos feature cute babies or animals more than anything else)

The goal of this kind of content is to start a conversation within a community.

This can be done by leveraging big news items (newsjacking), addressing a common problem, exposing a dirty secret (or really any controversy) or creating a valuable, game changing resource.

When looking to create discussion content, there is one singular purpose, get people talking. Yes, this can lead to viral sharing, but the intent of the two types of content is very very different.

While the first two types of content marketing are essentially about raising awareness, getting thelead conversion processto work properly is about creating content that gets your viewer to first identify their problem, then say, I need help

After that, its about offering a solution to help fix that problem. (in fact if this is a problem for you,request a strategy sessionwith me, and we can find ways to fix this)

Structure wise, this is very similar to lead content but the lead nurturing cycle is a lot shorter if not virtually non-existent.

Generally speaking, the reasons this kind of selling content takes place is because

A.) the cost of the product is low, and therefore is a lower risk or

B.) the key phrase people are using to discover the content indicates theyre further along in the decision making process (theyre searching for product reviews, comparisons, etc)

Content marketing has to always have one of these four goals at its core in order to keep it focused.

Without one of these four goals, youre creating content for contents sake which over time will leave you frustrated and your viewers confused.

For great resources on content marketing:

While one true unified definition of Social Media marketing exists, many have embraced the use of social platforms to promote their brand.

If I were to define the starting process of social media marketing:

I would look at various social media channels in a very similar way as a traditional media buyer.

This would mean looking at the usual suspects Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Pinterest, Linkedin(maybe) but then also niche networks, forums, active blog communities, and any place where theres active two way conversation happening.

In these networks, I would be seeking a core customer type and pay close attention to the language theyre using, the questions theyre asking, and the content theyre sharing.

During this process, I would seek to identify the taste makers within the community, and determine the best ways to appeal to them.

Using this approach, I would then create content or report to a content developer, the types of content that would stand out to each smaller network, then distribute to only the communities that will find it the most relevant.

This is the exact inverse of what many social media marketers do.

The more commonly practiced technique is create THEN distribute where this approach is more intense listening, create, distribute selectively

Perhaps the most misused approach for social media marketers is the share everything with everyone approach.

By using a more strategic and calculated plan, you can develop marketing communications that show many layers and build a much wider audience over time.

While Network Marketing and Social Media share similar roots, the network marketer takes the work the social media marketer does, and takes it a step further.

If the Social Media marketers job is to identify the smaller networks and appeal to the collective mindset of the group while identifying the influencers, the network marketers job is to build relationships with those influential people.

Taking those relationship skills a step further, the most notable trait of theseprofessional networkingmasters is their ability to connect people within their own network with each other.

At a moments notice the network marketer can recommend a handful of service providers of different skill levels and price ranges. Network marketers commonly spend a lot of time emailing, commenting on blogs, interacting in forums.

The network marketer also realizes that for any piece of content to Go Viral, the content must not only be good, but they must also plant seeds with the bigger content distributors.

Because of their vast network, the network marketer has a pretty solid understanding of what content will gain the attention of a particular network , and if they dont create the content itself, you can bet they know the best person for the job.

And you know the best place to start finding great professional networking opportunities?LinkedIn

For more resources on Network Marketing

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected

Linked Influence: Get More Business From LinkedIn Now

LinkedWorking: Generating Success on LinkedIn the Worlds Largest Professional Networking Website

Where the last two disciplines focus more on outreach, community building is what happens after youve brought people in.

Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals around a common interest.

The primary belief of community managers is to use brand properties as a hub to facilitate the conversation between users.

Doing this increases brand loyalty, and builds a core group of enthusiasts that will be the first to interact with and share brands content.

If network marketers build relationships on the individual level, and Social media marketers are focus more on mass communication, Community managers are those who set the stage for interacting with the brand and with each other.

Much of community building is reliant on trust. Chris Brogan and Julian Smiths Trust Agents will help you learn how to build that trust.

At the time of this writing, one of the fastest emerging trends in online marketing.

The popular philosophy held by location based marketers is to reward users for checking-in to a companys physical location.

Rewards can include discounts for the person who check-in the most and promotional merchandise for those who check-in.

Popular check-in style platforms include Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Places and Facebook Places.

For local businesses, the importance of claiming all of your places can not be stressed enough. Many of these place platforms allow your customers to leave reviews, and if unmanaged can leave a ton of missed opportunities for good customer experiences.

4 Rules For Location Based Marketing That Wont Creep Your Customers Out

5 Location Based Marketing Platforms For When You Dont Have A Store

Is Location Based Advertising The Future Of Mobile Marketing And Mobile Advertising?

In its rawest form, contextual marketing is about finding opportunities throughout the web and creating funnels that lead back to their site.

Unlike social media however, this type of online marketing takes place outside of social networks:

ThinkGuest Blogging, buying reviews from bloggers, finding guest spots on youtube videos, and virtually any other form of brand alignment tactics that might be used to get another brand more visibility.

Contextual marketers will look for different opportunities to promote their business, regardless of the medium being used to do it.

A contextual marketer is the closest thing the internet has to traditional media firms, because the contextual advertiser looks for every opportunity to promote their brand.

A contextual marketer has a lot in common with the network marketer in the sense that they are constantly seeking to expand the network.

The primary difference between the two is that while the network marketer is in charge of managing long term relationships, contextual marketers are focused on finding relevant platforms and building sheer numbers.

The key to success in this case is always to find platforms with overlapping audiences, that way the contextual marketer can have the appearance of being everywhere to a target market.

Similarly, a contextual advertiser performs a similar function, except their job is more related to paid media buying. Finding websites to run banner ads, youtube channels to do interruption videos, in video sponsorships, things like that.

Some Great Tools for Contextual marketers:

FollowerWonk to find overlaps in social media profiles

Open Site Explorer to see whos linking to the high ranking pages for a given keyword

Similar Sites a plugin to help find sites similar to the one youre looking at

12. Affiliate (performance based) Marketing

The act of selling someone elses product, or having someone else sell your product for you. This is the internet equivalent of having a commissioned sales job.

The person who is selling the product may use one or all of the techniques on this list in order to sell an affiliate product.

What makes this a discipline on its own is that often times an individual is not selling their own product.

Because of this, each affiliate program has its own rules, regulations, and requirements for a seller to be accepted and remain in the program.

Many affiliate advertisers will provide their own unique content in addition to the affiliate product to build the value of the sale.

The person, or company who produces the affiliate product also faces their own unique set of challenges.

First, they must create a product that is useful, then find the right people to sell their product and offer a commission that is enticing.

The product creator must also go out of their way to create a standard set of marketing materials that can be adapted for their affiliates to sell. This could include email swipe copy for email auto-responders, a variety of banners in all sizes, videos, as well as newsletters to inform affiliates about promotions and tactics that are working.

For this reason, my preferred platform for affiliate marketing because they make it easy to manage from both the product producer and seller sides.

For more resources on being a better affiliate seller:

If you think about the blogger as the person who maintains the internal scheduling, structure, and categorization of content, and the content marketer that develops that content, then think of the UxB as the person who develops the look and feel that packages the content.

The goal of the UxB is to develop experiences that are intuitive and sticky, keeping the user on the site for as long as possible.

Questions like how will photo galleries respond, what will menu animations look like, and generally  how the site and user will interact with each other.

The thought is that by making websites easy to navigate, fun to use, and interesting to look at will encourage the sites users to share with others.

The UxB disciple is constantly pushing the boundaries of web development and seeking not to create websites, but a truly immersive web experience.

Graphic Design, User interface design, Information Architecture and web development all play critical roles into this discipline.

But perhaps the most important aspect of User Experience Branding is that the every aspect of the design accurately reflects the companys brand character and experiences across all customer touch points (including brick and mortar locations)

For more resources on User Experience Branding

The Best Websites In The World Do These 6 Things

13 Of The Best User Experience Blogs

15 Interactive Websites With Engaging User Experiences

With web technologies evolving every day, an emerging group of marketers take to creating advertising that requires users to interact with the website.

On a small scale, this could require the user to upload a photo, video or audio which is then augmented by the website to create a branded experience.

AMCs Dead Yourself app is a good example of this.

With moisturizer                                                      without

Interactive marketing is truly unique and must be experienced in order to fully grasp just how powerful it can be.

Interactive advertising isnt just limited to pictures and video though.

Every day there are branded, interactive advertisements that give the user something to play with.

One such example is how Augmented Reality is being integrated into advertising merging the real world with computer graphics.

Heres an example of how Cisco is using this to get you in the game.

The 14 disciplines of online marketing.

You may have noticed there is a considerable amount of overlap for each type of online marketing. If youre a one person show, which many web entrepreneurs are, its very important that you focus only on the areas that align the most with your own natural strengths.

Dont spread yourself too thin. Do your best to be great at the things youre great at, and find others to help in those other areas.

If there is any branch of online marketing that was missed, please feel free to leave it in the comments below. This article is intended to be updated on a periodic basis as online marketing changes and evolves.

Filed Under:Online MarketingTagged With:direct marketing,disciplines,internet marketing,lead generation,marketing online,network marketing,Pay Per Click Marketing – The Most Effective Way To Drive Sales Online

Im on a quest to find out what type of marketeer I am, and your elaborate list was of great help. Especially the book recommendations and external links provided a lot of extra value.

Nice overview. I am a huge proponent of becoming a master of a few things. Its the surest way to success. Most people who do stay with something new for a period of time still make the mistake of stopping short of the goal line.

An immediate results society is one which has created much failure by people stopping short of the goal. Master what you do and forget about all the shining tidbits of distraction along the way!

That is one thing I noticed in my research is the amount of overlap.

if what youre doing is overlapping, I think its important to recognize what discipline youre practicing at the moment and put yourself truly in that mindset.

Ive found that when you do a little bit of everything, its very easy to go on autopilot. Knowing what discipline youre using puts you in the mindset to grow further.

Im glad you liked it! What disciplines will you be using?

Youve put a lot of work into this post and it paid off. I learned something I can use in my marketing plan. Thanks Tommy.

Im a huge mind mapper! I have a 48 wide roll of white paper hanging on the wall in my office for mapping out ideas and thoughts. *smiles*

Thanks for this break-down! It was a good read and an interesting way to look at the different disciplines of online marketing.

Lots of cross-over, but I think thats just natural. The interesting part of it all is how many folks are not masters in any one discipline, but initiates in many.

Healthier perhaps, but also makes it hard to measure the success of one discipline over another.

Very cool. Youre a big mind-mapper, arent you? 😉

[] if youve been working online for years, everyone has questions about the different disciplines of online marketing from time to time. If youve hit a brick wall sometimes it can be difficult to get the sort []

What Are Types of Product Strategies?

Types of product strategies include product positioning, re-positioning, overlap, scope, design, elimination and diversification.Additionally, companies can compete by bringing entirely new products to market or offering a superior value on existing products. Important considerations when selecting a product strategy are research, design, pricing, promotion and distribution.

The plethora of available strategies reflects the reality of highly specialized markets. Good product strategies either meet an existing need with a quality solution or create a need by offering something so innovative and special that customers decide they dont want to live without it. Some products, such as organic foods, meet customer concerns about the environment and their own personal health. Other products, such as candy, fulfill customers desires for a sweet treat.

The term unrelated diversification refers to the manufacture of various products that are not related to each other in any way. An example of unrelated d…Full Answer

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Porters generic strategies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strategy•Strategic management

Military strategy•Maritime strategy

Strategic planning•Game theory

Strategic studies•Strategic thinking

Michael Porter•Rita Gunther McGrath

Candace A. Yano•C. K. Prahalad

Julian Corbett•Alfred Thayer Mahan

Henry Mintzberg•Clay Christensen

Competitive advantage•Experience curve

PEST analysis•Growthshare matrix

Porters generic strategiesdescribe how a company pursuescompetitive advantageacross its chosen market scope. There are three/four generic strategies, either lower cost,differentiated, or focus. A company chooses to pursue one of two types of competitive advantage, either via lower costs than its competition or by differentiating itself along dimensions valued by customers to command a higher price. A company also chooses one of two types of scope, either focus (offering its products to selected segments of the market) or industry-wide, offering its product across many market segments. The generic strategy reflects the choices made regarding both the type of competitive advantage and the scope. The concept was described byMichael Porterin 1980.[1]

Porter wrote in 1980 that strategy targets eithercost leadershipdifferentiation, or focus.[1]These are known as Porters three generic strategies and can be applied to any size or form of business. Porter claimed that a company must only choose one of the three or risk that the business would waste precious resources. Porters generic strategies detail the interaction between cost minimization strategies, product differentiation strategies, and market focus strategies of porters.[1]

Porter described an industry as having multiplesegmentsthat can be targeted by a firm. The breadth of its targeting refers to thecompetitive scopeof the business. Porter defined two types ofcompetitive advantage: lower cost or differentiation relative to its rivals. Achieving competitive advantage results from a firms ability to cope with the five forces better than its rivals. Porter wrote: Achieving competitive advantage requires a firm to make a choice…about the type of competitive advantage it seeks to attain and the scope within which it will attain it. He also wrote: The two basic types of competitive advantage [differentiation and lower cost] combined with the scope of activities for which a firm seeks to achieve them lead to threegeneric strategiesfor achieving above average performance in an industry: cost leadership, differentiation and focus. The focus strategy has two variants, cost focus and differentiation focus.[2]In general:

If a firm is targeting customers in most or all segments of an industry based on offering the lowest price, it is following a cost leadership strategy;

If it targets customers in most or all segments based on attributes other than price (e.g., via higher product quality or service) to command a higher price, it is pursuing a differentiation strategy. It is attempting to differentiate itself along these dimensions favorably relative to its competition. It seeks to minimize costs in areas that do not differentiate it, to remain cost competitive; or

If it is focusing on one or a few segments, it is following a focus strategy. A firm may be attempting to offer a lower cost in that scope (cost focus) or differentiate itself in that scope (differentiation focus).

The concept of choice was a different perspective on strategy, as the 1970sparadigmwas the pursuit of market share (size and scale) influenced by theexperience curve. Companies that pursued the highest market share position to achieve cost advantages fit under Porters cost leadership generic strategy, but the concept of choice regarding differentiation and focus represented a new perspective.[3]

Empirical research on theprofit impact of marketing strategyindicated that firms with a high market share were often quite profitable, but so were many firms with low market share. The least profitable firms were those with moderate market share. This was sometimes referred to as the hole in the middle problem. Porters explanation of this is that firms with high market share were successful because they pursued a cost leadership strategy and firms with low market share were successful because they used market segmentation to focus on a small but profitable market niche. Firms in the middle were less profitable because they did not have a viable generic strategy.

Porter suggested combining multiple strategies is successful in only one case. Combining a market segmentation strategy with a product differentiation strategy was seen as an effective way of matching a firmsproduct strategy(supply side) to the characteristics of your target market segments (demand side). But combinations like cost leadership with product differentiation were seen as hard (but not impossible) to implement due to the potential for conflict between cost minimization and the additional cost of value-added differentiation.

Since that time, empirical research has indicated companies pursuing both differentiation and low-cost strategies may be more successful than companies pursuing only one strategy.[4]

Some commentators have made a distinction between cost leadership, that is, low cost strategies, and best cost strategies. They claim that a low cost strategy is rarely able to provide asustainable competitive advantage. In most cases firms end up inprice wars. Instead, they claim a best cost strategy is preferred. This involves providing the best value for a relatively low price.

This strategy also involves the firm winning market share by appealing to cost-conscious or price-sensitive customers. This is achieved by having the lowest prices in the target market segment, or at least the lowest price to value ratio (price compared to what customers receive). To succeed at offering the lowest price while still achieving profitability and a high return on investment, the firm must be able to operate at a lower cost than its rivals. There are three main ways to achieve this.

The first approach is achieving a high asset utilization. In service industries, this may mean for example a restaurant that turns tables around very quickly, or an airline that turns around flights very fast. In manufacturing, it will involve production of high volumes of output. These approaches mean fixed costs are spread over a larger number of units of the product or service, resulting in a lower unit cost, i.e. the firm hopes to take advantage ofeconomies of scaleandexperience curve effects. For industrial firms, mass production becomes both a strategy and an end in itself. Higher levels of output both require and result in high market share, and create an entry barrier to potential competitors, who may be unable to achieve the scale necessary to match the firms low costs and prices.

The second dimension is achieving low direct and indirect operating costs. This is achieved by offering high volumes of standardizedproducts, offering basic no-frills products and limiting customization and personalization of service. Production costs are kept low by using fewer components, using standard components, and limiting the number of models produced to ensure larger production runs. Overheads are kept low by paying low wages, locating premises in low rent areas, establishing a cost-conscious culture, etc. Maintaining this strategy requires a continuous search for cost reductions in all aspects of the business. This will include outsourcing, controlling production costs, increasing asset capacity utilization, and minimizing other costs including distribution, R&D and advertising. The associated distribution strategy is to obtain the most extensive distribution possible. Promotional strategy often involves trying to make a virtue out of low cost product features.

The third dimension is control over the value chain encompassing all functional groups (finance, supply/procurement, marketing, inventory, information technology etc..) to ensure low costs.[5]For supply/procurement chain this could be achieved by bulk buying to enjoy quantity discounts, squeezing suppliers on price, instituting competitive bidding for contracts, working with vendors to keep inventories low using methods such as Just-in-Time purchasing or Vendor-Managed Inventory. Wal-Mart is famous for squeezing its suppliers to ensure low prices for its goods. Other procurement advantages could come from preferential access to raw materials, or backward integration. Keep in mind that if you are in control of all functional groups this is suitable for cost leadership; if you are only in control of one functional group this is differentiation. For example, Dell Computerinitiallyachieved market share by keeping inventories low and only building computers to order via applying Differentiation strategies in supply/procurement chain. This will be clarified in other sections.

Cost leadership strategies are only viable for large firms with the opportunity to enjoy economies of scale and large production volumes and big market share. Small businesses can be cost focused not cost leaders if they enjoy any advantages conducive to low costs. For example, a local restaurant in a low rent location can attract price-sensitive customers if it offers a limited menu, rapid table turnover and employs staff on minimum wage. Innovation of products or processes may also enable a startup or small company to offer a cheaper product or service where incumbents costs and prices have become too high. An example is the success of low-cost budget airlines who, despite having fewer planes than the major airlines, were able to achieve market share growth by offering cheap, no-frills services at prices much cheaper than those of the larger incumbents. At the beginning low-cost budget airlines chose cost focused strategies but later when the market grow, big airlines started to offer the same low-cost attributes, and so cost focus became cost leadership![5]

A cost leadership strategy may have the disadvantage of lower customer loyalty, as price-sensitive customers will switch once a lower-priced substitute is available. A reputation as a cost leader may also result in a reputation for low quality, which may make it difficult for a firm to rebrand itself or its products if it chooses to shift to a differentiation strategy in future.

Differentiate the products/services in some way in order to compete successfully. Examples of the successful use of a differentiation strategy are Hero, Asian Paints, HUL, Nike athletic shoes (image and brand mark), BMW Group Automobiles, Perstorp BioProducts, Apple Computer (products design), Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

A differentiation strategy is appropriate where the target customer segment is not price-sensitive, the market is competitive or saturated, customers have very specific needs which are possibly under-served, and the firm has unique resources and capabilities which enable it to satisfy these needs in ways that are difficult to copy. These could include patents or other Intellectual Property (IP), unique technical expertise (e.g. Apples design skills or Pixars animation prowess), talented personnel (e.g. a sports teams star players or a brokerage firms star traders), or innovative processes. Successful differentiation is displayed when a company accomplishes either a premium price for the product or service, increased revenue per unit, or the consumers loyalty to purchase the companys product or service (brand loyalty). Differentiation drives profitability when the added price of the product outweighs the added expense to acquire the product or service but is ineffective when its uniqueness is easily replicated by its competitors.[6]Successful brand management also results in perceived uniqueness even when the physical product is the same as competitors. This way, Chiquita was able to brand bananas, Starbucks could brand coffee, and Nike could brand sneakers. Fashion brands rely heavily on this form of image differentiation.

Differentiation strategy is not suitable for small companies. It is more appropriate for big companies. To apply differentiation with attributes throughout predominant intensity in any one or several of the functional groups (finance, purchase, marketing, inventory etc..).[5]This point is critical. For example, GE uses finance function to make a difference. You may do so in isolation of other strategies or in conjunction with focus strategies (requires more initial investment).[5]It provides great advantage to use differentiation strategy (for big companies) in conjunction with focus cost strategies or focus differentiation strategies. Case for Coca-Cola and Royal Crown beverages is good sample for this.

Theshareholder value modelholds that the timing of the use of specialized knowledge can create a differentiation advantage as long as the knowledge remains unique.[7]This model suggests that customers buy products or services from an organization to have access to its unique knowledge. The advantage is static, rather than dynamic, because the purchase is a one-time event.

Theunlimited resources modelutilizes a large base of resources that allows an organization to outlast competitors by practicing a differentiation strategy. An organization with greater resources can manage risk and sustain profits more easily than one with fewer resources. This provides a short-term advantage only. If a firm lacks the capacity for continual innovation, it will not sustain its competitive position over time.

This dimension is not a separate strategy for big companies due to small market conditions. Big companies which chose applying differentiation strategies may also choose to apply in conjunction with focus strategies (either cost or differentiation). On the other hand, this is definitely an appropriate strategy for small companies especially for those wanting to avoid competition with big one.

In adopting a narrow focus, the company ideally focuses on a fewtarget markets(also called a segmentation strategy or niche strategy). These should be distinct groups with specialised needs. The choice of offering low prices or differentiated products/services should depend on the needs of the selected segment and the resources and capabilities of the firm. It is hoped that by focusing your marketing efforts on one or two narrow market segments and tailoring yourmarketing mixto these specialized markets, you can better meet the needs of that target market. The firm typically looks to gain a competitive advantage through product innovation and/or brand marketing rather than efficiency. A focused strategy should target market segments that are less vulnerable to substitutes or where a competition is weakest to earn above-average return on investment.

Examples of firm using a focus strategy include Southwest Airlines, which provides short-haul point-to-point flights in contrast to the hub-and-spoke model of mainstream carriers, United, and American Airlines.

Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema (1993) in their bookThe Discipline of Market Leadershave modified Porters three strategies to describe three basic value disciplines that can create customer value and provide a competitive advantage. They areoperational excellence, product leadership, and customer intimacy.

Several commentators have questioned the use of generic strategies claiming they lack specificity, lack flexibility, and are limiting.

Porter stressed the idea that only one strategy should be adopted by a firm and failure to do so will result in stuck in the middle scenario.[8]He discussed the idea that practising more than one strategy will lose the entire focus of the organization hence clear direction of the future trajectory could not be established. The argument is based on the fundamental that differentiation will incur costs to the firm which clearly contradicts with the basis of low cost strategy and on the other hand relatively standardised products with features acceptable to many customers will not carry any differentiation[9]hence, cost leadership and differentiation strategy will be mutually exclusive.[8]Two focal objectives of low cost leadership and differentiation clash with each other resulting in no proper direction for a firm. In particular, Miller[10]questions the notion of being caught in the middle. He claims that there is a viable middle ground between strategies. Many companies, for example, have entered a market as a niche player and gradually expanded. According to Baden-Fuller and Stopford (1992) the most successful companies are the ones that can resolve what they call the dilemma of opposites. Furthermore, Reeves and Routledges (2013) study of entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated this is a key factor in organisation success, differentiation and cost leadership were the least important factors.

However, contrarily to the rationalisation of Porter, contemporary research has shown evidence of successful firms practising such a hybrid strategy.[11]Research writings of Davis (1984 cited by Prajogo 2007, p.74) state that firms employing the hybrid business strategy (Low cost and differentiation strategy) outperform the ones adopting one generic strategy. Sharing the same view point, Hill (1988 cited by Akan et al. 2006, p.49) challenged Porters concept regarding mutual exclusivity of low cost and differentiation strategy and further argued that successful combination of those two strategies will result in sustainable competitive advantage. As to Wright and other (1990 cited by Akan et al. 2006, p.50) multiple business strategies are required to respond effectively to any environment condition. In the mid to late 1980s where the environments were relatively stable there was no requirement for flexibility in business strategies but survival in the rapidly changing, highly unpredictable present market contexts will require flexibility to face any contingency (Anderson 1997, Goldman et al. 1995, Pine 1993 cited by Radas 2005, p.197). After eleven years Porter revised his thinking and accepted the fact that hybrid business strategy could exist (Porter cited by Prajogo 2007, p.70) and writes in the following manner.

Though Porter had a fundamental rationalisation in his concept about the invalidity of hybrid business strategy, the highly volatile and turbulent market conditions will not permit survival of rigid business strategies since long-term establishment will depend on the agility and the quick responsiveness towards market and environmental conditions. Market and environmental turbulence will make drastic implications on the root establishment of a firm. If a firms business strategy could not cope with the environmental and market contingencies, long-term survival becomes unrealistic. Diverging the strategy into different avenues with the view to exploit opportunities and avoid threats created by market conditions will be a pragmatic approach for a firm.[10][12][13]Critical analysis done separately for cost leadership strategy and differentiation strategy identifies elementary value in both strategies in creating and sustaining a competitive advantage. Consistent and superior performance than competition could be reached with stronger foundations in the event hybrid strategy is adopted. Depending on the market and competitive conditions hybrid strategy should be adjusted regarding the extent which each generic strategy (cost leadership or differentiation) should be given priority in practice.

Orcullo, Jr., N. A., Fundamentals of Strategic Management

. Free Press.ISBN0-684-84148-7.

. Free Press.ISBN0-684-84146-0.

. Harvard Business Press.ISBN978-1-59139-782-3.

Wright, Peter, Kroll, Mark, Kedia, Ben, and Pringle, Charles. 1990. Strategic Profiles, Market Share, and Business Performance. Industrial Management, May 1, pp23-28.

Wright, P, A refinement of Porters strategies.

Gamble, Arthur A. Thompson, Jr., A.J. Strickland III, John E. (2010).

Crafting and executing strategy: the quest for competitive advantage: concepts and cases

(17th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. p.149.ISBN20.

William E. Fruhan, Jr., The NPV Model of StrategyThe Shareholder Value Model, in Financial Strategy: Studies in the Creation, Transfer, and Destruction of Shareholder Value (Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, 1979)

Porter, M.E., Competitive Strategy: Techniques for analyzing industries and competitors New York: The Free Press (1980)

Miller, D., The generic strategy trap in The Journal of Business Strategy 13(1):37-41 1992)

Hambrick, D, An empirical typology of mature industrial product environments Academy of Management Journal, 26: 213-230. (1983)

Murray, A.I. A contingency view of Porters generic strategies. Academy of Management Review, 13: 390-400. (1988)

Wright, P, A refinement of Porters strategies. Strategic Management Journal, 8: 93-101.(1987)

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Pricing Strategy

One of the four major elements of the marketing mix is price. Pricing is an important strategic issue because it is related to product positioning. Furthermore, pricing affects other marketing mix elements such as product features, channel decisions, and promotion.

While there is no single recipe to determine pricing, the following is a general sequence of steps that might be followed for developing the pricing of a new product:

Develop marketing strategy- perform marketing analysis, segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Make marketing mix decisions- define the product, distribution, and promotional tactics.

Estimate the demand curve- understand how quantity demanded varies with price.

Calculate cost- include fixed and variable costs associated with the product.

Understand environmental factors- evaluate likely competitor actions, understand legal constraints, etc.

Set pricing objectives- for example, profit maximization, revenue maximization, or price stabilization (status quo).

Determine pricing- using information collected in the above steps, select a pricing method, develop the pricing structure, and define discounts.

These steps are interrelated and are not necessarily performed in the above order. Nonetheless, the above list serves to present a starting framework.

Before the product is developed, the marketing strategy is formulated, including target market selection and product positioning. There usually is a tradeoff between product quality and price, so price is an important variable in positioning.

Because of inherent tradeoffs betweenmarketing mixelements, pricing will depend on other product, distribution, and promotion decisions.

Because there is a relationship between price and quantity demanded, it is important to understand the impact of pricing on sales by estimating thedemand curvefor the product.

For existing products, experiments can be performed at prices above and below the current price in order to determine theprice elasticity of demand. Inelastic demand indicates that price increases might be feasible.

If the firm has decided to launch the product, there likely is at least a basic understanding of the costs involved, otherwise, there might be no profit to be made. The unit cost of the product sets the lower limit of what the firm might charge, and determines the profit margin at higher prices.

The total unit cost of a producing a product is composed of the variable cost of producing each additional unit and fixed costs that are incurred regardless of the quantity produced. The pricing policy should consider both types of costs.

Pricing must take into account the competitive and legal environment in which the company operates. From a competitive standpoint, the firm must consider the implications of its pricing on the pricing decisions of competitors. For example, setting the price too low may risk a price war that may not be in the best interest of either side. Setting the price too high may attract a large number of competitors who want to share in the profits.

From a legal standpoint, a firm is not free to price its products at any level it chooses. For example, there may be price controls that prohibit pricing a product too high. Pricing it too low may be considered predatory pricing or dumping in the case of international trade. Offering a different price for different consumers may violate laws against price discrimination. Finally, collusion with competitors to fix prices at an agreed level is illegal in many countries.

The firms pricing objectives must be identified in order to determine the optimal pricing. Common objectives include the following:

Current profit maximization- seeks to maximize current profit, taking into account revenue and costs. Current profit maximization may not be the best objective if it results in lower long-term profits.

Current revenue maximization- seeks to maximize current revenue with no regard to profit margins. The underlying objective often is to maximize long-term profits by increasing market share and lowering costs.

Maximize quantity- seeks to maximize the number of units sold or the number of customers served in order to decrease long-term costs as predicted by theexperience curve.

Maximize profit margin- attempts to maximize the unit profit margin, recognizing that quantities will be low.

Quality leadership- use price to signal high quality in an attempt to position the product as the quality leader.

Partial cost recovery- an organization that has other revenue sources may seek only partial cost recovery.

Survival- in situations such as market decline and overcapacity, the goal may be to select a price that will cover costs and permit the firm to remain in the market. In this case, survival may take a priority over profits, so this objective is considered temporary.

For new products, the pricing objective often is either to maximize profit margin or to maximize quantity (market share). To meet these objectives, skim pricing and penetration pricing strategies often are employed. Joel Dean discussed these pricing policies in his classic HBR article entitled,Pricing Policies for New Products.

Skim pricingattempts to skim the cream off the top of the market by setting a high price and selling to those customers who are less price sensitive. Skimming is a strategy used to pursue the objective of profit margin maximization.

Demand is expected to be relatively inelastic; that is, the customers are not highly price sensitive.

Large cost savings are not expected at high volumes, or it is difficult to predict the cost savings that would be achieved at high volume.

The company does not have the resources to finance the large capital expenditures necessary for high volume production with initially low profit margins.

Penetration pricingpursues the objective of quantity maximization by means of a low price. It is most appropriate when:

Demand is expected to be highly elastic; that is, customers are price sensitive and the quantity demanded will increase significantly as price declines.

Large decreases in cost are expected as cumulative volume increases.

The product is of the nature of something that can gain mass appeal fairly quickly.

There is a threat of impending competition.

As theproduct lifecycleprogresses, there likely will be changes in the demand curve and costs. As such, the pricing policy should be reevaluated over time.

The pricing objective depends on many factors including production cost, existence of economies of scale, barriers to entry, product differentiation, rate of product diffusion, the firms resources, and the products anticipatedprice elasticity of demand.

To set the specific price level that achieves their pricing objectives, managers may make use of several pricing methods. These methods include:

Cost-plus pricing- set the price at the production cost plus a certain profit margin.

Target return pricing- set the price to achieve a target return-on-investment.

Value-based pricing- base the price on the effective value to the customer relative to alternative products.

Psychological pricing- base the price on factors such as signals of product quality, popular price points, and what the consumer perceives to be fair.

In addition to setting the price level, managers have the opportunity to design innovative pricing models that better meet the needs of both the firm and its customers. For example, software traditionally was purchased as a product in which customers made a one-time payment and then owned a perpetual license to the software. Many software suppliers have changed their pricing to a subscription model in which the customer subscribes for a set period of time, such as one year. Afterwards, the subscription must be renewed or the software no longer will function. This model offers stability to both the supplier and the customer since it reduces the large swings in software investment cycles.

The normally quoted price to end users is known as thelist price. This price usually is discounted for distribution channel members and some end users. There are several types of discounts, as outlined below.

Quantity discount- offered to customers who purchase in large quantities.

Cumulative quantity discount- a discount that increases as the cumulative quantity increases. Cumulative discounts may be offered to resellers who purchase large quantities over time but who do not wish to place large individual orders.

Seasonal discount- based on the time that the purchase is made and designed to reduce seasonal variation in sales. For example, the travel industry offers much lower off-season rates. Such discounts do not have to be based on time of the year; they also can be based on day of the week or time of the day, such as pricing offered by long distance and wireless service providers.

Cash discount- extended to customers who pay their bill before a specified date.

Trade discount- a functional discount offered to channel members for performing their roles. For example, a trade discount may be offered to a small retailer who may not purchase in quantity but nonetheless performs the important retail function.

Promotional discount- a short-term discounted price offered to stimulate sales.

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Internet Center for Management and Business Administration, Inc.

Helping yourself now

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Explains self-harm, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.

Seaneen blogs about living with the scars of self-harm.

Susanna talks about the difficulties of coping with mental health problems you can see, and those you cant.

Caroline blogs about how a visit to A&E helped her to realise she needed help.

During intense urges to hurt yourself, it can be hard to imagine that its possible to do anything else.

But there are steps you can take to help you make other choices over time:

Ive learnt that you cant rely on other people or things to save you from self-harm it has to come from you.

Understanding your patterns of self-harm can help you to work out what gives you the urge to self-harm, and recognise when the urge is coming on. Remember, even when you are unable to resist the urge to self-harm, it is helpful to reflect afterwards on what happened. This will enable you to better understand the next time you have similar feelings.

Try breaking down your experience into the following:

Triggers are what give you the urge to hurt yourself. They can be people, situations, anniversaries, sensations, specific thoughts or feelings.

Practice noting down what was happening just before you self-harmed:

Become aware of the urge to self-harm

Urges can include physical sensations like:

racing heart or feelings of heaviness

strong emotions like sadness or anger

a disconnection from yourself or a loss of sensation

repetitive thoughts for example, Im going to cut

unhealthy decisions, like working too hard to avoid feelings

Recognising your urges helps you take steps towards reducing or stopping self-harm. Try writing down what you notice about your urges, to help you spot them more quickly each time they come.

Distracting yourself from the urge to self-harm is a way of giving yourself more breathing space and reducing the intensity of the urge.

It can be done when you feel the urge, or as soon as you become aware that you are hurting yourself.

I learned distraction techniques. My favourite one was my Positivity Book, which is kind of like a scrap book filled with things which make me happy.

One way to help yourself understand your self-harming behaviour is to keep a diary of what happens before, during and after each time you self-harm. It is helpful to do this over a period of time (like a month) so you can start to see patterns.

This can be quite an intense experience and can bring up difficult feelings. If you feel confident to try this on your own, make sure you do something relaxing or enjoyable afterwards.

If you find doing this distressing, you may want to ask for support from someone you trust.

The main way people help themselves when they want to self-harm is through distraction.

Different distractions work for different people, and the same distraction wont necessarily work for you every time. For example, distracting yourself from anger feels very different to distracting yourself from fear, so its important that you have a few different strategies to choose from.

The following are simply suggestions. See if you can write your own table of distractions that youve found helpful or that you would like to try out.

Expressing your anger physically, or by doing things like shouting, wont work for everyone and could intensify feelings. Try things out and continue with any that have a positive effect.

lie in a comfortable position and breathe in then breathe out slowly, making your out-breath longer than your in-breath. Repeat until you feel more relaxed. (See our pages onrelaxation).

stop spending time with anyone who treats you unkindly

recognise when you are trying to be perfect and accept that making mistakes is part of being human

remind yourself that there are reasons for how you behave it is not because you are bad

self-hatred wanting to punish yourself

write a letter from the part of you that feels the self-hatred, then write back with as much compassion and acceptance as you can

find creative ways to express the self-hatred, through writing songs or poetry, drawing, movement or singing

do physical exercise (like running or going to the gym) to express the anger that is turned in on yourself

I hated my body and blamed it for what Id been through, so felt it needed punishing. Learning to accept and respect [my body] was key to overcoming self harm.

Another technique is to wait five minutes before you self-harm. This is not always easy, so if you still have the urge, then let yourself. If you can, slowly increase the time you wait and gradually build up the gaps between each time you self-harm.

I was determined to stop harming myself. On some occasions I literally sat on my hands until the urge had passed.

For some people, distracting or delaying feels a far too simplistic approach to dealing with the complex and deep rooted nature of self-harm. In this case, information onhelping yourself long-termmight feel more useful.

This information was published in October 2016. We will revise it in 2019.

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GRE General Test

Preparation for the test will depend on the amount of time you have available and your personal preferences for how to prepare. At a minimum, before you take the computer-delivered® General Test, you should know what to expect from the test, including the administrative procedures, types of questions and directions, approximate number of questions and amount of time for each section.

The administrative procedures include registration and appointment scheduling, date, time, test center location, cost, score-reporting procedures and availability of special testing arrangements. You can find out about the administrative procedures for the General Test on this website and in theGRE®Information Bulletin. Information is also available by contacting ETS.

Before taking the practice General Test, it is important to become familiar with the content of each of the measures. To familiarize yourself with the type of material on which youll be tested and the question types within each measure, follow the links below:

The questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures have a variety of formats. Some require you to select a single answer choice; others require you to select one or more answer choices, and yet others require you to enter a numeric answer. Make sure when answering a question that you understand what response is required. An on-screen calculator is available during the Quantitative Reasoning sections.

When taking the computer-delivered GRE General Test, you are free to skip questions that you might have difficulty answering. The testing software has a mark and review feature that enables you to mark questions you would like to revisit during the time provided to work on that section. The testing software also lets you view a complete list of all the questions in the section on which youre working, indicates whether youve answered each question and identifies the questions youve marked for review. Additionally, you can review questions youve already answered and change your answers, provided you still have time remaining to work on that section. See newresearchthat shows most GRE test takers increased scores when changing answers.

Here is an example of the review screen.

Note that the review screen is intended to help you keep track of your progress on the test. Do not spend too much time on the review screen, as this will take away from the time allotted to read and answer the questions on the test.

Your Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores will be determined by the number of questions you answer correctly. Nothing is subtracted from a score if you answer a question incorrectly. Therefore, to maximize your scores on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures, it is best to answer every question.

Work as rapidly as you can without being careless. Since no question carries greater weight than any other, do not waste time pondering individual questions you find extremely difficult or unfamiliar.

You may want to go through each of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections rapidly first, stopping only to answer those questions you can do so with certainty. Then go back and answer the questions that require greater thought, concluding with the difficult questions if you have time.

Access the freePOWERPREP®Practice Teststo experience a simulated test-taking experience and become familiar with the testing software and test design.

It is important to budget your time. Within the 30-minute time limit for each task, youll need to allow sufficient time to think about the issue, plan a response and compose your essay. Although GRE readers understand the time constraints under which you write and will consider your response a first draft, you will still want to produce the best possible example of your writing.

Save a few minutes at the end of each timed task to check for obvious errors. Although an occasional typographical, spelling or grammatical error will not affect your score, severe and persistent errors will detract from the overall effectiveness of your writing and lower your score.

You will receive a supply of scratch paper before you begin the test. You can replenish your supply of scratch paper as necessary throughout the test by asking the test administrator.

There is a 10-minute break following the third section and a one-minute break between the other test sections. You might want to replenish your supply of scratch paper during each scheduled break. Section timing will not stop if you take an unscheduled break, so you should proceed with your test without interruption once it begins.

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