Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"The Marketing Playbook"

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been extremely busy lately with two new clients and a Sysco sales presentation. I should get back to more regular posts by next week.

I received a new book yesterday. Its called "The Marketing Playbook" by John Zagula, who used to work in Microsoft's marketing department. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

The author's theory is that there are only 5 marketing plays each and every business utilizes. The key is to find and identify which play works for your company and have at it - full speed ahead. If you select the wrong play, your business is likely to fail, or at the least not deliver the results you desire.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Sometimes Marketing is Just About Making Friends"

Although this site has covered several standard marketing techniques in the past, sometimes the solution is the most overlooked, simple idea, that can be the easiest to implement.

Some of your best projects, biggest business deals, and successes in life will come from your friends. (I don't mean your weekend drinking buddies, but other business associates with whom you have a more personal relationship with.)

It really is all about the relationship. Seek out as many people as you can that are willing to devote time to building a long lasting friendship with you. When they, or someone they know needs you services, you can be sure that they'll think of their friend first (you), just as you will for them. People do business with people they know. Period.

So many businesses fail because of this simple principle. They have great products. They have great services. They even have great marketing materials. But if their product or service is not something that benefits the general public, in other words is specifically business to business - making friends in your business community could be the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to guarantee your business's success.

The only way to meet people is to get out around the town. Join organizations. Get involved on the committees. Interact with your local trade associations. These are where the movers and shakers of your community are, and where you want to be. Meet with them, sincerely be their friend by finding something you have in common outside the business world. As a small business owner, you probably need more friends anyways. Stay in touch with them, and eventually it will be natural for business to come to you. People do business with people they know.

How many of your clients do you know, personally? Solidifying these relationships now could mean the difference between losing those clients to your competition in the future, or keeping them forever.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and make some new friends!

Friday, October 14, 2005

"Discovering Keyword Discovery"

"Keyword research is a vital first step in any search engine marketing campaign. There are basically 2 types of keyword research software: keyword suggestion tools and keyword analytical tools. Many search engines have their own keyword suggestion tools which provide a list of related keywords but usually don't indicate much more than the number of times that particular keyword was entered."

Check out the full post on Lee Odden's Online Marketing Blog, "Discovering Keyword Discovery", to better understand the importance of keywords and search engine optimization.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Apple Unveils Video iPod"

I spoke briefly of this (broadcatching video via iPods) in my article on September 20th (only a month ago), unaware that it might come along so soon. What could this mean for marketers?

See my article here.

"True to previous AppleInsider reports and expectations, Apple today officially introduced a new iPod, featuring a 2.5-inch color screen which can display album artwork and photos, and play video including music videos, video Podcasts, home movies and television shows.

The new iPod holds up to 15,000 songs, 25,000 photos or over 150 hours of video and is available in a 30GB model for $299 and a 60GB model for $399, with both models available in stunning white or black designs."

Check out the full AppleInsider article here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"Generate New Business Marketing Ideas & Create a Bang!"

Generating new ideas is essential in business for success. In a world where your marketing messages may be drowned out by the noise of other companies' marketing messages, you have to do something different to stand out from your competition.

The traditional marketing tactics may no longer work for you, or drive you the business they once did. Developing the explosion, that stands well above the rest and gets you noticed, is your key to success.

To do this you need a competent team. A team you can bounce ideas off of. One you can work closely with to build something new. Here are some tips for creating a BANG! for your advertising materials:

• Be willing to be BOLD. Its a risk you have to be willing to take to get noticed. For example the new Direct TV commercials advertise: "Does your TV SUCK?" or better yet, the Herbal Essence Commercials with the "Orgasmic shower experience."

• Timing is everything... For example the Red Cross runs commercials throughout the year, but they really increase the amount of advertising they do when they feel it will touch people the most, during times of need or disasters. (which brings me to my next point)

• Touch on emotions. Make people feel something. Regardless what you think, even if you make people HATE your annoying commercials (ie. GEICO) your brand will stick in their minds. Others will like them. People will talk about them. There will be controversy. Your brand will be the center of attention, and when they eventually need your product or service, you'll be the first person they remember to call.

Get some other great tips on how to create a BANG! with your marketing materials with Linda Kaplan Thaler's book:

Monday, October 10, 2005

"Online Directories for Site Submission"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Marketing Results Must Be Tracked"

If you're currently running some marketing initiatives, and aren't tracking your results, just how do you know if your marketing is working?

...Yes, you may have seen a slight increase in sales, or increase in inbound phone calls, or online orders, but if you aren't specifically tracking each marketing initiative separately, you'll never know what's working and what's not. This information is important because you want to maximize your return on investment. (ROI)

You should devote more marketing funds from your budget to what's working, and less to those initiatives which don't prove very valuable - but you have to test, to find out which initiatives those are.

The easiest way to test your marketing is to run one initiative at a time, and test the results by comparing the increase to that which the business was doing before the campaign was started. However, for most businesses who begin a marketing campaign, or change their current campaign, sometimes we start more than one new marketing initiative at a time. When this happens, we must study the end results to justify the means.

There are several ways to track your results. Lets say you have decided to run both a television ad, and a news paper ad, at the same time.

On your web page, you may set up two different "landing pages" that each of the ads will send your customer to. (Even though the pages might look exactly the same!) For example, your television ad might send your customers to "" where as your newspaper ad might send them to, "" or you might have a different domain name all together; for example the newspaper could send them to "" and the T.V. to "". Regardless, the point is to send them to different pages so you will know where they came from when you check your traffic reports. (Ask your web host provider for access to these, if you do not know what I'm talking about.)

If you are having the customer call a number, have them call different toll free numbers per each ad. You can get toll free numbers from several companies, for around $10 / month.

If they are coming into your store, make sure you don't forget to ASK how they heard about you.

The point is, you must track your marketing results to know whether what you are doing is beneficial to your business. This way you can stop wasting money on what doesn't work, and start allocating more funds to what does.