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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Best apps: for social networking

Social networking for business has become a lot easier thanks to a wealth of dedicated apps that are now available. These are some of the apps that can help you promote your business better:

Echofon

Echofon automatically keeps unread tweets in sync between your computer, your iPhone and your iPad. It can notify you of mentions and messages.

Hootsuite

A social media dashboard that allows you to manage multiple social networks from one screen. It helps businesses use social networking to launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow their audiences, distribute targeted messages and track mentions of their organisation.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a desktop and mobile browser that helps you keep up with what's happening on Twitter and Facebook. You can create groups, search Twitter, manage multiple accounts, and post tweets or share photos, videos and links.

Wordpress

The mobile version of the highly popular blogging platform enables you to write and upload a blog from anywhere and distribute it immediately to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Buffer

Buffer allows you to create a schedule for your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ posts in one place.

Bundlepost

This tool is another option for scheduling your posts across multiple social media sites. It will also replace keywords with hashtags giving your posts a wider reach. Bundlepost integrates with other apps such as Hootsuite and Buffer.

Cyfe

Cyfe monitors and analyses all your business data and marketing activity including email marketing, SEO, social media and web analytics – all from one dashboard.

Feedly

This popular tool delivers all the news and blogs you need, tailor-made for you and in one place by providing a single platform on which to access your favourite bookmarks and RSS feeds.

Adobe Spark

With this app you can get free access to images and graphics that will transform the look of your social media messages.

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