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What is The Gray Market, and How to Protect Against it?

The gray market, gray economy, and gray securities. Here we are talking about gray market products rather than gray securities or the gray economy.

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5 Things To Learn Immediately To Succeed As An Online Marketer

Three things could be confused with one another: the gray market, gray economy, and gray securities. Here we are talking about gray market products rather than gray securities or the gray economy. Gray securities are shares of a corporation traded before being publicly distributed. At the same time, the gray economy is made of assets and services that elude state taxation.

1. So, what is the gray market?

Anti-counterfeit items that are sold legitimately but outside sanctioned distribution ways are called gray market goods. It hurts the brand and violates the intellectual property protection of any business. The gray market includes everything from vehicles and cameras to software and medicines. The gray market has been running for a long time. To quickly explain it, let’s take a more straightforward example.

The first thing that a manufacturer or brand does is sell a product to a distributor. After that, the distributor sells it to accredited retail shops. Subsequently, those outlets sell the product to buyers. Although this might be a way to sell anti-counterfeit items, it still hurts a brand. In a perfect system, the precise quantity of products would be produced and put up for retail, hoping that the public would purchase all of it.

Nevertheless, the reality is a bit different. If a merchant or retailer is left with surplus or old stock, they can sell it at slashed rates to other traders. This violates intellectual property protection, but some merchants still chose to sell surplus stock to such dealers.

These traders later market the store to the public at further discounted prices. And it is way easier to fool the public because unauthorized sellers often look the same to customers as authorized sellers. The only noticeable contrast is lower costs. But these traders can’t provide company warranties. And some of the products might not satisfy regulatory criteria for the country in which they are being sold.

Gray Market

Sometimes the brands or distributors supply the gray market themselves. However, brands usually refrain from doing so as it hurts their reputation and helps those retailers who sell counterfeit items.

2. How to protect against the gray market?

The first step is to identify unapproved dealers. Knowing who is running the gray market is the key to stopping them. And the best way to monitor the gray market dealers is to look for the products at lower prices than the official retailers or sites. For brands, they must watch the MAP of the products. Most of the MAP violators are often connected to the gray market.

Secondly, the brands must educate their consumers about the official stores’ sites. While advertising and marketing products, the brands can easily throw in the knowledge and importance of buying the products from original and authorized stores and locations. Consumer education helps offline and online brand protection, allows customers to purchase anti-counterfeit and authentic products, and gives the customer a warranty.

If the brand spots gray market retailers, they can send a cease-and-desist letter. It serves as a prelude for the subsequent legal actions that the brand can take in case the dealer doesn’t stop selling unsanctioned products. The brands can take legal steps because they violate intellectual property protection and MAP violations, including many other offenses.

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Marketing

Take your corporate marketing to the next level with these social media tips

The web and, in particular, social media have democratized publishing and allowed firms to reach a global audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media channels.

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How can Healthcare Companies Leverage Email Marketing Campaigns

In today’s modern multimedia world, it’s easier than ever for companies to market and promote themselves to a wider audience. The web and, in particular, social media have democratized publishing and allowed firms to reach a global audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media channels.

Once marketers were limited to just four primary vehicles for advertising and promotion (TV, radio, print, billboards), with the advent of websites and social channels, there are more routes for marketing than ever.

1. Maximizing your marketing means having a structured promotion strategy.

While there’s certainly no denying that the social channels have opened previously unimaginable opportunities for extending your market and finding new business, to get the best from social media requires having a structured plan of attack. There’s little point in just aiming to increase your audience without first knowing who they are and what channels they’re most likely to use.

The first step in any marketing plan should be to consider what your business offers and the typical demographic of your customers. By understanding how your customers think, the social media channels they’re most likely to use, and the best ways to reach them, you’ll be in a stronger position to design a cohesive marketing plan that will have the most significant benefit for your firm.

2. Study how your rivals attract new customers

One of the best ways to understand your target market is to study how your rivals reach out to their clients. These days, having a presence on major channels like Facebook and Instagram should almost be a prerequisite, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t multiple other routes you could consider – tactics that may have a more significant impact depending on your market.

Rule 101 of social media marketing – choose the proper channels that are likely to have the most significant impact.

As mentioned above, the leading social media channels like Facebook should be on your list, but many other platforms could bring you better results. For example, suppose your company primarily sells goods of interest to women.

Social Media Ads

In that case, you may well find Pinterest, with its primarily female user base (estimated to be around 77% women), could be a more valuable asset for your firm. It’s also worth noting that, as Pinterest features mostly photo and video content, if you have particularly attractive or striking media to showcase, this platform could also work well.

Likewise, millennials have been moving in their droves from Facebook to Instagram in recent years. Ironically, these two channels are owned by the same company – the newly named Meta (previously Facebook) – but that still hasn’t stopped the near-constant move to the platform. Consequently, if you a run a firm that offers goods or services to the younger market, you should think about engaging more on Instagram.

3. Tips to make the best of your social media marketing

Once you’ve selected how you’re going to reach and engage with your audience, the next step is to develop a strategy. Some aspects of social media marketing you should consider include:

a. Think about the time you post and create a calendar for the best effect:

Most social media marketing experts suggest certain times are more effective than others to post – and these typically vary from channel to channel. By creating a schedule and calendar, you’ll be more likely to hit these target points – plus, you will be able to monitor the effectiveness of your posts.

With that in mind, you should also think about understanding how well your posts have been received by monitoring likes, shares, comments, etc. For example, using Facebook analysis tactics will help you hone your content and time of posting better.

b. Don’t post too often:

One of the most common mistakes firms make when promoting themselves on social media is to think that they should post as often as possible. As with so many other aspects of life, less is often more when it comes to social media promotion, so think carefully about what you publish – and how often. Limiting your posts to only the most engaging subjects will likely generate a positive reaction.

Online Social Media Platform Instagram Followers And Likes

c. Put work into your video content:

Of all social media posts, video has a proven track record of having the highest engagement rate and is most likely to generate interest. However, unless you have skills in producing video in-house, you should enlist the help of a professional video and editing company.

d. Post content that encourages interaction and engagement:

The underlying premise of social media is that it should be social – and by that, marketing specialists suggest you should try to post content that encourages a reply from your viewers. This could be as simple as posing a question or running a survey. Anything that helps your viewers interact with your content will help build your following and generate a stronger relationship with your business.

It’s also worth remembering that if one of your followers (or even just a casual visitor) likes, shares, or comments, it’s highly likely that their followers will also see your post. Research suggests the average Facebook user has 338 friends – meaning if just one user engages with your content, that same post will likely reach most of those 338 users (and so on if another user engages).

e. Make sure you reply to comments and address potential problems:

Again, in the interests of being social on social media, you should reply to comments quickly and address any potentially negative problems with what you post. It’s doubtful you’re going to get your content posts right 100% of the time – but making sure you reply to negative feedback (and even positive feedback) is essential for making your audience feel involved and giving that all-important impression that your company is listening.

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