It’s Election Day. You Won’t Read this Post.

Except you might read my post now that I’ve included a shameless mention of Election Day. When your customers are universally interested in an event or holiday, don’t change the subject. Work with it. Although cycles of celebration may not correspond with your business cycle, customers will disregard marketing communications that don’t fit with their interests […]

How to Make a Commodity Product Interesting

Canned vegetables are certainly a commodity product. They’re cheaper than fresh, and often discredited as less nutritious than frozen vegetables. But if you drive through South Carolina, you’ll encounter a marketing campaign by Glory Foods that makes canned vegetables, well, glorious. Glory Foods, founded in Columbus, OH, has woven Southern soul into its brand. Each can […]

A Small Business Marketing Campaign that Understands the Customer

James Free Jewelers is enjoying success with a clever marketing strategy tailored for engaged couples. With any bridal purchase over $5000, customers receive a free 4-day, 3-night honeymoon cruise. This offer is much more attention-grabbing and interesting than a straight percentage discount, while still preserving margin for the retailer. A full-price, 4-day Bahamas cruise with Norwegian […]

Teaching Children the Value of a Nickel and a Dime

It’s rare that I’m pleased to receive direct mail marketing, but I eagerly opened the nicely-designed piece sent from the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. They have some exciting shows this season, including adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and Tarzan. But I found one aspect of their season ticket pricing off-putting. A “Season Infant Lap Pass” costs $1 […]

Save Your Marketing Budget with Negative Keywords

Almost every pay-per-click advertising campaign has room for optimization. Today, let’s focus on one simple way to save money with your Google AdWords campaigns: adding negative keywords. A negative keyword prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. For instance, it’s incredibly important to list negative keywords for my clients who are […]

A Really Limited-Time Offer

The department that writes marketing campaign headlines at Walmart clearly isn’t the same department that designs the automated app marketing: Make Mom Happy! Until Saturday, that is. After Saturday, Mom will have to fend for herself. Consider this weekly ad from Walmart a friendly reminder to always test your automated marketing, mail merge settings and other customer communications before they […]

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 […]

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 […]

As Christmas Approaches, Customers Don’t Want to See Eyeballs

The best medical professionals are passionate about the science and practice of their areas of specialty. Patients want to know you have expertise and  want to feel reassured they will receive the best care. But patients are almost never as passionate about your field as you are. And they might even be freaked out about it. […]

The Creepiest Marketing Strategy

Here’s a cautionary tale and follow-up to last week’s defense of marketing implementation. Be wary of implementing any marketing communication without an effective strategy. Marketing strategy is really important! Check out this startling example of bad marketing implementation I stumbled across while Googling ‘hallway lighting:’ After reading, “Lighting So You’re Not Clutching the Walls at Night,” […]