Small Business Marketing Rules of Thumb

Here are three Rules of Thumb for small business marketing that you'll find useful. If you're in charge of marketing your small business, try following these rules of thumb:

  • Buzz marketing trumps traditional advertising every time - Recent statistics show that the marketing strategy called "buzz marketing", and consists of word-of-mouth marketing, buzz marketing, and viral marketing, commands a larger share of marketers attention and spending dollars. In recent years, according to the Blackfriars Report, companies' spending on advertising has dropped from 31% to 22% while spending on non-traditional marketing methods like buzz marketing has increased to an almost 14% share. I must admit I hate the term "buzz marketing". It seems to imply that the key benefit of this  approach is to create a buzz. But this misses the point. The real benefit is that others, usually  satisfied clients and customers, attach their personal recommendation to your product.  When you get a buzz marketing effort underway you necessarily get people talking about your product, service or company in the best light possible.
  • 90-day Rule- Every small business should strive to be in front of its buyers every 90 days. This kind of continuous messaging establishes a healthy top-of-mind awareness for your company, while also steadily educating buyers as to why doing buwsiness with your company is the most logical choice. Sure, 90 days is a tight timeline, and it'll put some pressure on your company marketers to keep coming up with new and fresh ways to say things. But isn't that what good marketing is all about anyway?
  • Write it once, use it thrice - Marketers are just too busy these days to craft original content whenever they park themselves in front of a computer. Given the swirling pace of work these days, the best advice I can give small business marketers is to write a certain piece of marketing content once, then try to find ways to use it three times. So you could  1) write a blog entry for your company blog, then 2) add it to your website's FAQ page and  3) work it into an article that you write for an online site. This forces you to not only be efficient with your time, but to also choose your subject matter and content keywords carefully.

In future issues of my Marketing Tips and Tools e-newsletter, I'll cover several more of these Marketing Rules of Thumb, but for now, these will get you started...

November 12, 2007 in Marketing Tips | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Trying to find marketing articles? Here are two marketing articles I've just written

Some of you may be trying to find marketing articles and tips. I've recently written some marketing articles that have been posted on other sites. Here are two of them:

March 22, 2007 in Marketing Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Find marketing tips and articles

Looking for a place to find marketing tips and articles? A lot of small business owners struggle to find the best sites that feature practical, usable marketing tips and articles. Here are a few of my favorites:

These are just some of my favorite sites off the top of my head. Alright supermarketers, which ones have I left off that need to be added...?

February 19, 2007 in Marketing Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Do you want business growth? Try publicity

One secret to business growth in today's media-driven world is to get publicity. Most small business owners who are looking for business growth eventually find publicity to be among their favorite friends. Why?

Because publicity will help your business growth by:

  • Increasing awareness significantly
  • Generating new leads
  • Establishing credibility for your business
  • Earning more trust from your buyers and
  • Gaining approval in the eyes of your investors, employees or vendors.

I'll get into all of these business growth benefits at a later date, but for now the lesson is this: if you want business growth, turn to publicity.

One great tool is to help you with this is PRLeads. This service matches you (or key executives from your business) with reporters and editors who are looking for sources they can quote in stories they're writing.

Hard to believe? I thought that too, at first. But then I joined PRLeads and was fielding queries from reporters and editors the very next day. So far since joining several years ago, I've been quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine and about a hundred other publications.

One secret to business growth is publicity and the secret to publicity is appearing in the press often. PRLeads will help you do that.

February 12, 2007 in Marketing Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CRM - The 10 Best (and 10 Worst) Companies for Customer Service

Providing outstanding customer relationship management (CRM) is at the heart of great marketing. If you want your customer relationship management to be its very best, try modeling those companies that lead the CRM pack.

To that end, the CRM Lowdown blog has posted its list of the 10 Best (and Worst) Companies for Customer Service. Check out the list and offer your comments.

If it's time to address your company's customer service,  read the chapter of my book Stand Out from the Crowd called  "The Keys to Delivering World Class Service".

November 16, 2006 in Marketing Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Suit or Ponytail? Knowing this is key to marketing success

After 20+ years in the marketing field, I've learned that there are two basic personality types throughout marketing: the Suits and the Ponytails.

The Suits are:

  • Logical and rational thinkers
  • Focused on bottom line results
  • prone to saying "An ad must generate sales to be successful".

The Ponytails are:

  • Intuitive and free-flowing thinkers
  • Focused on testing the boundaries of art and creativity
  • prone to saying "An ad must be creative to get noticed"

Both have their place in the art of marketing. But those companies that are successful almost always have a healthy balance of Suits and Ponytails running around. One challenges the other to stretch (a Ponytail to a Suit) or to focus (a Suit to a Ponytail).

The  most important thing you can do today is know whether you're a Suit or a Ponytail. Once you know this, you can then set about hiring or finding your complimentary type. I'll talk more about this in future posts, but for now I'll leave you with this question: Are you a Suit (comfortable in the same office with a set schedule) or a Ponytail (work-whenever-I'm moved to work)?

February 21, 2006 in Marketing Tips | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack