For Better Marketing, Get to Know Your Customers

Marketing can be simply defined as the ways you influence customers to buy from you. And to influence effectively, you should understand your customers. Knowing your customers will help you communicate with them in meaningful ways and choose media channels they will actually see. Here are checklists of the kinds of demographic and characteristic knowledge you […]

Are You a Strong Competitor?

Some small businesses are lucky enough to not have much direct competition. Maybe they’ve identified a previously-unknown niche. Or maybe they are so dominant in their market that others can’t squeeze in. But not even these small businesses are safe from a smart competitor who can sweep in and steal away large swaths of customers. […]

Be Comparatively Better and Absolutely More Successful

Find the Differences that Matter to Beat the Competition Customers will always compare your small business to your competitors. Their frame of reference for evaluating you is often if you are better or worse than what they’ve experienced in the past. If you learn what irks customers about competitors and excel in those areas, you will have […]

When Competitors Copy You

If your small business is at the leading edge of your industry, chances are competitors regularly copy everything you do. From innovative products to customer service standards to something as simple as the headline of an advertisement. Here’s one blatant example I found while flipping through Cincinnati Magazine of a competitor copying my client, Paramount […]

What Church Potlucks Taught Me about Marketing

There’s a curious phenomenon at church potlucks, which anyone who has cooked for one has witnessed. Simply cooking a dish you know to be delicious is not enough to entice people to eat it. As my mom taught me, you have to nicely display and properly portion the food. Slice meat into individual servings, and cut […]

The Great Shrinking Business Model

As a business model, Redbox is on its way to completely replacing Blockbuster. And the company has accomplished this goal in a remarkably short time period. Examining the two business models reinforces the importance of creativity, flexibility and appealing to changing market demands in our own businesses. Launched in 2002, Redbox is the company placing […]

Stop Griping. Start Being Awesome.

Just as the phone camera became good enough to replace small point-and-shoot models, and that industry appeared close to being obsolete, Nikon fought back with two new models that showed consumers needs they didn’t know they had. The Nikon 1 is a simple-to-use, compact camera with expandable options like lenses or a flash. Nikon’s goal […]

Pumpkin Pie Marketing

Enjoy this clever feud between two of Cincinnati’s famous pumpkin pie bakers as you raid the fridge for Thanksgiving leftovers. It started in 2010, when Frisch’s Big Boy purchased a billboard in front of Busken’s main bakery facility. This year, the advertising squabble continues, with Busken’s retort, “Sorry, Big Boy, this pumpkin’s taken.”

Taglines: Don’t Punt with Puns

Lately, I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of businesses that use puns in their taglines. As an avid lover of puns, you might expect me to approve of this marketing move. But using a pun in a tagline is the ultimate punt– it’s lazy and a way to escape truly thinking about how to […]

Marketing Podcast: Marketing into Headwinds

In Alaska, the Pebble Partnership has been marketing into the headwinds, faced with stiff opposition. This partnership is owned by two mining companies and is investigating the feasibility of mining one of the most significant discoveries in North America of copper, molybdenum and gold. In this marketing podcast, learn how the Pebble Partnership addresses their opposition […]