Think Like a Minimalist to Get Your Marketing Message Across

I’m helping a client design a consumer rewards program, with the goal of increasing our competitive advantage and attracting new customers. Because the product mix has excellent margins, we can offer a program that provides high value to the customer. To give you an idea, joining the rewards program includes ALL THESE GREAT BENEFITS: Free product for […]

Your Phone System is Killing Your Marketing

As a small business, if you have an automated phone system, it’s killing your marketing. From your customer’s perspective, everything you do is marketing. And the upbeat, chipper voice on your phone system drowns out all other marketing attempts. When customers hear this: “Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed.” They already know you don’t care […]

How Videos Boost Your Small Business Marketing

Do you know that Google owns YouTube? You probably do. Google owns lots of things and is buying and creating more things every day. Google has a simple business goal: to take over the world. And one small part of achieving that goal is to make YouTube videos ubiquitous. If you help Google achieve this goal, you’ll be […]

Your employees want to be cross-trained

How do I know your employees want to be cross-trained? They’ve told me. In my work with Yastrow & Company, we do extensive, in-depth employee research, and cross-training is the most universal request we hear. Practically every group of employees, in every industry and every job role tells us, “I wish I knew what everyone else […]

Marketing Throughout the Lifecycle

Do you have different marketing strategies for interacting with customers at each phase of the customer lifecycle? Most businesses don’t, but they should. The cost of acquiring a new customer can be quite high– think of traditional metrics like CPM, CPC or less traditional ones like the time spent making unfruitful sales calls and writing […]

Advertising, Courtesy of the Legal Beagles

Sometimes, advertising legalese really goes over the top. While a case can be made for clauses like, “Not valid with any other offer,” each additional restriction discourages customers from trying out your product or service. Advertising, coupons and special offers are supposed to encourage customers, not put up obstacles for them. As an example, Steve Yastrow […]

Marketing isn’t war on your customers.

Most marketing metaphors seem so violent. Many of these metaphors are directed at competitors- you need to outwit, outflank, outsmart the enemy. It’s a bit macho for me, but I get it. You want to beat the other guy. I’m mostly bothered by the warlike analogies directed at customers, as if we are trying to […]

Let’s get started!

Small Business Marketing for Startups Yesterday, an acquaintance asked me for advice on his startup company’s marketing. He just didn’t know how to get started with his first customer. He wanted to know what kinds of brochures, business card or website he needed to get people interested. I told him, “Decide who you want your […]

Small businesses, do you know where you want to go?

Knowing your small business’ future is the most important thing you could be working on today. And yet so many small business owners don’t have a solid idea of where they want to take their businesses. Other, more immediate issues demand your attention every day – like how to solve your biggest customers’ problem with […]

Brand Harmony: New Paperback Edition

Recently, I was given the privilege of designing the cover for the paperback edition of one of my favorite business books, Brand Harmony by Steve Yastrow. The process of redesigning helped me reconnect with the core principles of my small business marketing philosophy. We had to create a visual that showed the essence of Brand […]