Sunday, December 28, 2008

Do you have text appeal???

More than 80% of Americans have a cell phone and over 1 billion text are sent per day, but companies are not yet taking advantage of this means to reach their customers. This is an excellent opportunity to take the lead in 'text appeal.' As a small business owner, you have the ability to allow your customers to opt in to receiving messages from your company.

Gaining permission to communicate with your patrons creates a positive marketing environment. Your customers want to know what sales you have, what new products you may have, and what new locations you may have. The business that engages their customers on a permission basis is the company that will grow even in a recession.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are you a follower Seth Godin???

Seth Godin is the author of several bestsellers, including Permission Marketing. If you are not currently following what he has to say about the state of marketing today, may I suggest that you do so. Take a listen to this video as you have time. This is a video of a seminar he was giving at Google in July of 2007.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Got Relationships?

How many friends do you have?? Well, not literally, but on your MySpace, FaceBook, or your social networking site of choice......

I posted this a while back, but I thought that it was worth revisiting. Consumers are making more and more purchases from people or business that they feel they know. If you are going to remain profitable as a small business in this turbulent economic environment, it is imperative that you increase your presence on the social networking scene.

To put the success into dollars and cents, consider the fact that MySpace will bring in 180 million in advertising revenue.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Is MySpace only for Kids??

The answer is a resounding NO. In an article written on Travis Katz, managing director-international operations, said the following:

"There's this misperception in the market about MySpace being a youth site, a site for teens, but 85% of our audience in the U.S. is over 18, and 40% of all moms in U.S. are on MySpace." He claims that MySpace reaches more people making $100,000-plus than other social-network competitors, such as Facebook and Yahoo 360.

So, if you have not began to look at MySpace as a tool to reach your audience, think again. Cartier is one of the most recent additions to the MySpace family.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Are you crafting a well thought out message??

Do not take for granted the importance of thinking about your messaging. How you say what you want to convey is important to your brand. People will judge you and your business based off of your image and your speech. Regardless of your political preference, really take a close look at the communication strategy of Barack Obama's campaign. The strategy is consistent, targeted, specific, honest, and well crafted. If you have some time, google the text of Obama's speeches. Go to .You will be amazed!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Did you get the 3 AM text?????

The Obama aides have pulled off a masterful new media campaign thus far and it is only going to get better. Even if you are not an Obama supporter, the tactics used by the campaign are worth studying. Although the numbers were not released, there were probably millions waiting to get the coveted text about the VP designation. The beautiful caveat about this tactic is the number of individuals added to the Obama Campaign database. Now, the campaign has a direct link to its supporters anytime they would like to reach them.
Here are a few links to visit:
"Your cellphone is probably the one piece of technology that is with you all of the time," said Joe Rospars, Obama's new media director. Joe Rospar previously worked for Howard Dean on his 2004 presidential run. He is one of the founders of Blue State Digital (an Internet Strategy and Communications company). If you visit the Blue State Digital page, you will see an excellent case study on the Barack Obama campagin.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Are you adding any VALUE???

In these tough economic times, as a marketer you really have to ask yourself what value are you adding to your clients. According to, 53% of marketers are cutting back on their advertising budget. These cutbacks are happening across the board in all industries. So, being that most of us are dealing with cash strapped customers..... where are you adding value to your clients.

When you find that you are adding some sort of value to your clients, are you including that in your messaging? This form of messaging, called value messaging, is useful when there are times to be direct in what benefits you are actually providing your clients. Many times clients are too busy to realize that you have actually brought some real value to their experience.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Are you marketing to millennial's?

If you are marketing to the groupd of individuals that have been tagged as millennial's, then this information is for you. Peter Feld, writer for Advertising Age, wrote an excellent article discussing the brilliance behind the branding machine known as the Barak Obama campagin. This campagin has done what many have tried to do with little success and that is get young people energized and out to the pools. Reguardless of your political preference, this article is definately worth a serious read.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Date of the Birmingham Seminar is Set

Big Business Marketing for a Small Business Budget will be the first in a series of seminars set up to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Please visit the attached link to sign up for the seminar. You do not want to be left out of this one!

Early Bird Pricing Now Available!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Who is NOT your target market?

This is excellent posting by Rohit Bhargava, Senior Vice President for Digital Strategy and Marketing at Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence. I could not of said it any better about the importance of knowing who YOUR target market is and is not. We spend so much time finding out who we need to target that we do not take the time to think about who we should NOT target. Many times, as small business owners we are so busy and we need to choose wisely how we spend our time. Targeting the wrong consumer is not how we should spend our time.

Bohargava said the following:

Last week when I was in NY, I passed a street vendor selling sunglasses for $5 a pair. They were clearly copies of best selling designs from top designers, and had fairly obvious quality flaws. It would be a miracle if any of those sunglasses lasted more than a couple of weeks. And yet several people were still buying them. Why? Was it an impulse buy walking down the street? It is a choice because they lose or break sunglasses so often that it's not worth paying a lot for them? Probably all of the above - which points to an interesting lesson: for some people, good sunglasses just aren't worth paying for.

How much of your marketing is focused on selling the features and benefits of your product or service? You are probably illustrating how to set it apart and why it fills a need. The problem is, if a consumer doesn't believe products in your category are worth paying for, you are unlikely to convince them to make an exception for you. Someone who is used to paying $5 for a pair of sunglasses may buy two or three pairs every month. Of course, the truth is over time they will end up paying as much as they may for a single good pair ... but that doesn't matter.

Instead of asking if your marketing is selling the right messages, you really need to ask if you are targeting the right customers. The real question isn't whether you can compete with the guy selling sunglasses on the street ... it is whether you should even be trying to.

Trace Back URL:

Rohit Bhargava's Blog:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Have you included Social Media into your Marketing Mix?

Social media is a facet that many in business may ignore. Some see social media as a vehicle for teenagers to communicate. This is not the case. Social media sites are an excellent place to catch people online in an environment that they are not trying to tune out constant advertisement.

Depending on the type of individual that you are attempting to target, you can pretty much create an inexpensive way to socialize with your potential customers. MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube are some of the most popular tools that one can use. There are also more targeted social sites such as LinkedIn, ITtoolbox, and Minyanville Exchange (a financial social networking site).

Developing a strategy to obtain a holistic approach to your marketing and media campaign could change the volume of business that you do in less the one year.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Seminar Coming ......

Watch for more information!

Seminar titled "Big Business Marketing for the Small Business Owner."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sampling: Marketing to the Masses

Economic times are very difficult and consumers are not willing to spend their discretionary income on something that they are not sure they will like. The same goes for businesses working with new businesses. They just are not willing to step out on a limb and try something new.

The answer to this problem is not rocket science. It is actually very simple. To the marketer it would be called "sampling", but to the consumer it is considered "free stuff." We all know that it is fair to say that just about everyone loves to get something for free. Companies such as ChickFilet, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Doughnuts are trying their hands at sampling to gain new customers.

Keep in mind, you do not have to be a large company to provide a sample of your work. If you are a caterer, create a sample tray and take it around to local businesses. If you are a consultant, offer a free seminar and pass out fliers for people to attend. If you are a hairstylist, offer free consultations and pictures of your work.

The key with sampling is to still provide your brands message, to make a positive impression, and to monitor each efforts success or failures. As a small business owner, you can set a goal to sample so many people per week. Remember, it is a numbers game. The more you feed in to your funnel, the more success you will have coming out of your efforts. You must constantly feed the pipeline.

Happy Sampling!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Did you get Elfed?????

According to Advertising Age, they are the ‘Little Elves That Could.’ If you were not one of the 26.4 million visitors to the Office Max Season Site, you really missed out on something very hilarious. The OfficeMax Elf Yourself campaign left the Whopper Freakout campaign in the dust. Here are the stats….

123 million elves created.
Nearly 1 in 10 Americans visited the site.
By December, the site ranked N0. 55 among all websites.
If you add up the time spent on the Elf site, it total 2,614 years.

This is a viral marketing campaign at it’s best. The concept was created at Toy, a New York advertising agency. The echo effect of this site was like one that has not been experienced in quite some time.

The real question is, how can you relate this to your small business. In order to do this, it is necessary to look at the lessons learned by Office Max and what they were trying to achieve. According to Bob Thacker, VP of Marketing and Advertising for Office Max, the company wanted to build brand awareness. They were looking to warm up their image and not appear so stark.

The keys to success for this effort are as follows:

Make it personal. Personalization really drives people to visit a web site over and over again. It becomes part of an individual’s everyday routine. This tactic will work especially well in the healthcare, wellness, and beauty industries.

Do not count out your older audience. 40% of all visitors to the ElfYourself website were 55 or older. This is a demographic that you would expect not to take to a viral marketing campaign.

Offer up some fun. All advertising should be looked at as intrusive. People are bombarded with numerous messages all day long. At least if you plan in invading, make it fun. Bob Thacker at Office Max says, “If you’re going to crash the party, bring some champagne with you.”

21 January 2008. Jonathan Lemonnier, Advertising Age

Monday, January 14, 2008

Have you crafted your Elevator Speech?

If you are a small business owner, chances are you run in to people everyday that have never heard of your business, do not know who you are, and frankly do not care. This is where your elevator speech comes in to the picture.

An elevator speech was coined from the idea of ‘you only have a couple of minutes on an elevator with what could be your next client.’ In that time frame, you should be able to introduce yourself and your business. And most importantly, why your business is of importance to this individual.

This prepared speech must grab attention and say a lot in only a few words. What should I say, you ask? You should speak about your core message. You should determine what your niche is and what problems your business is able to solve. You should also be able to describe what makes you different from someone else in the same industry.

This speech does not have to be used in an elevator literally. This prepared and memorized (yes I said memorized…….that means you have to practice it) speech is great to use at networking functions, the grocery store, the office supply store, the doctor’s office…….anywhere you are able to get someone’s attention for 2 to 3 minutes. At the conclusion of your well delivered elevator speech, do not forget to give the individual your business card. If the conversation went well, do not be afraid to ask for their contact information. The fortune is in the follow up.

So, practice the delivery of your elevator speech in the mirror. Think about what questions or objections someone may come up with once they hear your speech. Do not be afraid to speak to people about your business. You never know if your business is something that could really have a positive impact on their life.

Finally, in order to make this work, you need to practice the exercise. Set a goal for yourself. For example, decide that you are going to try your elevator speech out on 3 people per day. Monitor your results. See what works and does not work. Keep track of your contacts made and do not forget to follow up. You can not be afraid of rejection.

I look forward to feedback. Please feel free to post your results……good or bad. Dialogue is the best way to learn and improve.

I am attaching a link from business week that puts visuals to this concept. Take a few minutes to scroll through the presentation.