Tag Archive for 'marketing strategies'

Transforming marketing strategies into connecting strategies

Transforming marketing strategies into connecting strategies is one of the keys to success as we lead our businesses from the way we used to go to market to the reality that the next marketplace era we are entering.  One thing is for sure: Where we’re headed is going to look a lot different from where we’ve been.  One of the big transformations that has to take place is going from talking AT prospects and customers with marketing strategies to connecting WITH them as members of the communities we have and will continue to build.

Marketplace visionary, Tom Asacker, recently joined me on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, to talk about the thinking and the steps that have to take place in order to make the connection transformation with customers, including how to think about branding in this new age.

Tom is a unique talent who teaches companies how to  advance business relationships by helping them transition from “economically driven” to “emotionally driven” models, as he revealed in one of his books, A Clear Eye for Branding. Take a few minutes to listen to the conversation Tom and I have. And as always, leave your thoughts on how you’re making this critical transformation, or ask us a question about how to do it. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Don’t forsake your small business marketing strategy

It’s virtually automatic, sadly, that when the economy softens, businesses cut marketing first. And like many reactions, this one is almost always the wrong thing to do.

Marketing shouldn’t be an expense. When properly created and executed, marketing should result in more dollars in than dollars out. But before you get the idea that I’m some kind of Ivory Tower egghead, believe me, I understand how difficult it is to commit marketing dollars when dollar availability is declining due to a recession.

That’s why marketing in the 21st century is so exciting. Small businesses have sooo many more ways to penetrate the market including, and especially, on-line marketing. This universe has many characteristics that are perfect for a small business’ need to be efficient and flexible. For example:

1. Virtually all activity can be monitored – very close to real time.
2. Testing is easy – making adjustments is easier.
3. There is no marketing activity that is less expensive per unit of opportunity.

One of the most recent improvements to on-line marketing is the increased effectiveness of local search. Now a dry cleaner, restaurant, auto mechanic or any other business that serves a local market with traditional store-front products and services can use pay-per-click strategies that they only pay for when someone is looking to buy what the marketer sell in that market area.

Every small business should be investing in some level of local search key word marketing. It could be the difference between failing and surviving, or surviving and thriving.

Recently, on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I interviewed a couple of my Brain Trust members who know all about the power of on-line marketing. First, Robert Bly, author of Fool-Proof Marketing, and then Carolyn Rhinebarger, Chief Brainstormer at Strategic Guru, Inc. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what these world-class experts have to say. And, of course, be sure to leave your thoughts.

For Bob Bly

For Carolyn Rhinebarger

Don’t let your small business “go dark” this year

Even when things are going really well, we small business owners are not always the best we can be when it comes to marketing strategy and funding. The primary reasons are pretty simple, but no less unfortunate:

- We often don’t understand the holistic approach to successful marketing
- We typically aren’t trained at developing marketing strategies
- We too often don’t employ – or contract with – marketing professionals
- We don’t establish a marketing budget that is strategic, targeted and adequate

Sadly, if our marketing acumen and financial commitment could use some improvement when the economy is rocking and rolling, marketing is also too often the first budget casualty when the economy falls off the table. But this is sooo counter-intuitive when you think about it. Yes, revenue may be off and cash is tight, but the worst thing that can happen to you when things slow down is to drop off the radar of customers and prospects. In the broadcast business this is called “going dark.”

So next time you’re tempted to cut or discontinue any element of your marketing strategy, if you ask yourself this question, you’ll be able to make a better decision: “If I can’t afford this program, can I afford to “go dark” with the prospects it was designed to target?”

In these challenging times, we should all take a hard look at all of the money we’re spending on marketing and advertising to make sure it fits with our current business goals and economic realities. But as my grandmother would have said, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” That’s a grandmother’s way of saying, “Don’t go dark.”

Recently, Stephanie Hobbs joined me on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, and we talked about small business marketing in the current economic conditions. Stephanie is Vice President of Communications for the Yellow Pages Association (yellowpages.com). Take a few minutes to listen to what this expert has to say, and I think you’ll pick up a few tips on how to not “go dark.” And as always, please leave your own marketing wisdom or other comment.

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