The Medifast company has used a combination of marketing techniques in order to remain in the public eye regarding weight loss products. The earliest methods of marketing relied on medical professionals recommending the products to those patients that they wanted to encourage to lose weight and then those patients finding such success and satisfaction with the results that they went on to sell the products with their own experiences as their testimonials.

Later, when the Internet rose as the main means of providing information to consumers and a powerful resource for direct sales, Medifast began using their own website as a means of selling their product.

Now decades old the company is still seeing success with their weight loss products. It is obvious that the company understands one thing about marketing: a company needs more than just a strong online presence in order to remain competitive in their industry. Instead they understand the importance of marketing on several levels in order to appeal to the widest audience possible.

So what does this mean for those operating small, home-based internet businesses using online marketing? Should they begin to implement forms of offline operating and advertising? There are three main lessons that such business owners can learn from the impressive success of Medifast.

Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition

According to the research of BB&T Capital Markets analyst Laura Richardson, the diet program and food products market is worth about $48 billion per year. Within this market the massively advertised brands such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers who have the largest portion of the market. In the meal replacement category of this market Medifast is a major competitor, even though competitors such as SlimFast and NutriSystem are much larger.

Medifast offers more than 65 meal replacements and snacks, and represents a user cost of approximately $10 per day. It has recently begun the process of further differentiating itself from its meal replacement competitors, following the words of its chief executive Michael S. McDevitt:

                “You really have to differentiate yourself from all the competition out there.”

The company is achieving this differentiation by delving into the mainstream. In Orlando, Florida, Dallas, Texas, and prospectively in Baltimore, Maryland, the company is opening franchises and clinics aimed at offering the products and support.

What does this mean for internet marketers? Find out what you can use to differentiate yourself from your competitors and capitalize on it. Make yourself stand out so that consumers are aware of, and drawn to, you.

Consider Offline Forms of Marketing to Maximize Profits

Despite the popularity of the program being offered online and the successes that they have enjoyed because of it, Medifast is currently planning a new, fully offline advertising campaign. They are returning to the roots of marketing and using the concept of variety to full the continued growth and competitiveness of their company.

Internet marketers can glean one important lesson from this move: while marketing is key to driving your business, it is the variety of the forms of marketing that you use that will really maximize your opportunities and success. Consider all forms of advertisement and promotion, particularly those that are not internet-based, in order to reach the widest audience and appeal to all applicable personalities.

 

Use Testimonials

Within this new advertising campaign Medifast plans to release a series of infomercials featuring the personal testimonials of clients that have experienced notable weight loss using the Medifast weight loss products. Many of these people were so impressed by their successes that they were compelled to become salespeople and spread awareness of the meal replacement bars, shakes, and snacks. This demonstrates a core principle of effective advertising: appealing to the consumer sense of trusting others like themselves.

Any home based internet entrepreneur, such as marketers, bloggers, and content writers, can build their businesses by implementing customer comments, feedback, and other testimonials in their marketing plans. As long as you ensure that the testimonials that you use are true, there is no such thing as abusing your customer comments.

Michael Evans is passionate writer and he has written several articles on the subject of online marketing. He writes for epc4less.com and certsni.com, two companies that provide energy performance certificates in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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