Your Receptionist May Be Your Most Important Employee

In Small Business Marketing, Receptionists Are on the Front Line Receptionist positions are often considered entry-level with high turnover. Small businesses don’t spend much time training the receptionist, sometimes just giving her an admonition to be friendly and punctual. But from your customer’s perspective, your receptionist just might be your small business’s most important employee! An […]

The Case Against Bing Advertising

Bing Ads serve the Bing, Yahoo! and MSN search networks. According to most statistics, these networks account for around 36% of web searches. Basic math indicates that to reach a third more potential customers, you should advertise on the network. But “searches” don’t equal “individual searchers,” and evidence suggests Bing may have significantly fewer users than […]

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 […]

Don’t Take Your Marketing Metaphors Too Far

Since I named my small business marketing firm Zoo in a Jungle Marketing, it’s pretty clear that I approve of marketing metaphors. Taken from Peter DeVries’ quote “Life is a zoo in a jungle,” my company name promotes stepping outside the constraining zoo of your immediate business environment into the jungles of possibility. But some […]

Avoid the ‘Alphabet Soup’ Product Naming Approach

Naming products and services is an incredibly important element to your branding strategy and marketing plan. Ideal product names are clearly descriptive, motivating to customers and memorable. Or, you could take LG’s example and go with the alphabet soup approach: The LG G Pad F 8.0 (don’t forget it’s trademarked!) is a real product. Try to imagine a […]

USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail: a Small Business Marketing Tool

Direct mail is expensive, and a large part of that expense is the growing cost of postage. But USPS offers a marketing program that significantly reduces postage costs called Every Door Direct Mail. In my experience, postage costs can be reduced as much as 40%. Sounds too good to be true? For some brands and […]

Your Marketing Videos are Too Long

It’s true, your marketing videos are too long. Really, they are. We know that attention spans are seemingly growing shorter. On the popular social network Vine, videos must be six seconds or less. But even in the stodgy world of network television, marketing videos (otherwise known at TV commercials) are limited to 30 seconds. Fortunately, you […]

Small Businesses, Do Your Employees Believe in Your Marketing?

Employees play an important role in small business marketing– even when they aren’t in the marketing department. Customers’ impressions and beliefs about your business are largely built around interactions they have with your employees. So, it’s important that employees believe in your marketing and support your brand. All too often, I have seen employees undercut […]

Overcoming Blog Writer’s Block

Having a regularly-updated blog is an important part of your small business marketing strategy. Well-written blog posts help your organic SEO rankings and give customers a reason to explore your site. These articles can also be used in your email marketing and social media efforts. Conceptually, almost every small business understands the value. But then […]

Before Choosing a Business Name, Run it by a Teenage Boy First

Or you might miss unfortunate innuendo. Fallas looks like a perfectly fine name… until you say it out loud. This probably wouldn’t be my first choice when shopping for school uniforms. The “Teenage Boy” test might seem unconventional, but it could just save your marketing and branding from public ridicule.