Is Twitter Right for Marketing my Small Business?

For many of the small businesspeople I advise, Twitter is one of the most confusing or overwhelming social media networks to make sense of. The barrage of information on Twitter is unrelenting, and it’s hard to know what strategies will work best for marketing your small business. Good news! Most small businesses can ignore Twitter altogether and […]

Facebook as a Customer Service Tool

Have you ever had a customer reach out to you with a customer service issue on social media? Most businesses think of social media as only a marketing tool (if they think of these channels at all). But including social media in your customer service strategy could lead to happier customers who rave about your […]

No One Cares about Free Estimates

Have you ever paid for an estimate? Neither have I. And yet the marketing universe is full of badges, buttons and starbursts proclaiming their benefits: Promoting free estimates is like boasting about offering a toll-free number. It’s simply a cost of doing business, and customers won’t be persuaded to buy from you because of either. Instead […]

Marketing Strategy Trumps Marketing Execution

I once helped a small business that sent out poorly-designed post cards. Although the company lacked design sensibilities, its efforts were still incredibly successful because the marketing strategy was carefully crafted and spot-on. The lesson here is that marketing strategy is more important than marketing execution. If a small business has a fixed marketing budget, […]

Small Business Marketing Can Be Confusing

Check out this graphic of the Marketing Technology Universe from chiefmartec.com: With all these categories and marketing companies vying for attention, I can see why marketing is confusing for many small businesses. But it doesn’t have to be. Forget about the marketing universe and focus on what matters to your customers. When you learn what your […]

Five Tips for Small Business Marketing Research

Research is the best way to start a small business marketing strategy. Specifically, conducting research with your customers will help you learn what they care about, why they buy from you, what problems most affect them and other important issues that affect your marketing strategy. 1. For marketing that matters, find out what your customers […]

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 […]

Cookie Monster is Happy Again

A few years ago, in the face of the obesity epidemic, Sesame Street tried to give Cookie Monster a new slogan: “Cookie is a sometimes food.” Cookie Monster bravely faced this new challenge, giving up his favorite phrase, “C is for cookie. That’s good enough for me.” Fans were not so kind. Petitions, blogs and […]

Green Marketing Gimmicks

Marketing gimmicks give marketing a bad name. The worst form of marketing gimmick is falsely promoting a cause to profit from it. These days, this tactic usually takes the form of “green marketing.” Take, for instance, this “Save the Earth Gum:” “Buy this gum and save trees.” Yeah, right. Chewing gum and trees have so […]

The Diversification of Search (and Your Marketing Budget)

In the near future, Google might not be such a hot-shot in the web marketing world. “That’s crazy!” you might think. Indeed, Google has been the major research resource for the vast majority of web users. And today, Google still accounts for 66.2% of all search-engine use, with Bing-powered search a distant 29.1%. It seems that Google’s […]