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If You Can’t Do Good Marketing, Get Out of the Kitchen

I understand that small business owners and entrepreneurs want to do their own marketing. Budgets are tight, staffs are small. And I fully support that. In fact, that’s the goal of this blog: to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to do their own marketing. But let me make this caveat:

If you’re doing bad marketing, you shouldn’t do marketing at all.

You know who I’m talking about. You’ve seen those low budget commercials, crappy websites, unprofessional blogs, horrible list goes on. And do you buy from those companies? No.

So how do you know if you’re doing bad marketing?

  • You aren’t getting sales as a result of your efforts
  • You wrote the copy and you are not a writer by any stretch of the imagination
  • You’ve done no research into good copywriting, setting up a blog, email campaigns, etc.
  • You don’t ask or get feedback on your marketing
  • You hate doing it
  • People unsubscribe from your email list faster than you can send out emails

I know you want to save money. I appreciate that. But you might be wasting more time and money in trying to go it alone than you would hiring a competent professional. Marketing consultants, like yours truly, often charge per project or a monthly marketing fee, so you only pay for the marketing you need. And they get it done in a fraction of the time it takes you.

So decide what your time is worth, and determine whether you truly think your marketing results are optimal. Then give me a call.

Jingle All the Way to the Bank

While I tend to put heavy emphasis on internet marketing, I have had to admit to myself that old school marketing is still relevant for many types of businesses. So today we’re going to talk about jingles. Those silly, stuck in your head components of tv and radio commercials.

I was driving this morning when I saw a Sara Lee truck, and an age old quandary of mine was solved. I was never sure if the jingle was “Nobody does it like Sara Lee” or “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.” The truck told me it was the latter. Good jingle, but difficult to understand.

According to Wikipedia, a jingle is a memorable slogan, set to an engaging melody, mainly broadcast on radio and sometimes on television commercials. Did you know there is a jingle preservation society?

So why and how can a jingle successfully market your business?

  • It’s Memorable. If you can’t get that annoying charming tune out of your head, the next time you buy toilet paper, guess what’s going to be playing in your head and getting you to buy the jingle brand?
  • It’s Clever. There are a lot of bad jingles out there. But the ones that work say something amusing or witty, and those are the ones that work.
  • It Puts the Brand Out There. A jingle should emphasize the brand name clearly. No question.

So if you’re considering a tv or radio commercial, pay a professional to create an effective jingle that will generate interest. Get feedback before you play it on air. Make sure the words are clear (I just read a blog post about a jingle for a burger joint whose jingle sounded more like “boogers.”). Get it perfect before you release it.


No-Nos for Customer Service Satisfaction

Rule #1:Do not offer email customer service if you will not respond to email inquiries.

Rule #2: Do not be in business if your call wait time is over 5 minutes.

Rule #3: Do not make it difficult for a customer to cancel her account. Especially if she is a blogger., you’re on my s#%t list.

New Year Marketing

I don’t know if you’ve noticed (but how could you not), but we’re already being inundated with new year marketing. What do I mean? Well, I went to the Y this morning, and their “New Year, New You” campaign was evident everywhere.

A new year means a fresh start. People feel invigorated and ready to start something new. This, actually, is a great marketing tactic. Let’s look at how you can use it.

Think about your product or service.

I own a marketing firm.

Think about how people can use your product or service to start anew or reach their resolutions.

People are ready to create a new marketing plan for 2009. Many businesses have goals they want to meet, and marketing helps them achieve that.

Consider how you can take this approach in your marketing collateral, press releases, blog and newsletters.

I could come up with a slogan that says it’s time to start fresh with a new marketing plan. I could send out a letter about the importance of marketing plans in my next newsletter and blog about it.

Hopefully this exercise is helping you brainstorm. Here are a few ideas for different industries:

  • Health. This is the obvious one. People are ready to recommit to exercise, eating better and losing weight. If you’re in the health industry, you absolutely should be marketing for the new year!
  • Coaching. People want to live stress free and happy. My coaching client often uses resolutions as her tactic to reach people (“I’ll help you achieve your resolutions”)
  • Finance. Well, it can’t get worse than last year, can it? 2009 is time to turn a new leaf, wipe the slate clean.
  • Eco Friendly Products. Green + New Year? Success. People want to start the new year out by treating their bodies and homes well. Hone in on that.

How are you going to use the new year to market your product? Need some ideas? Leave a comment and I’ll brainstorm for you! But hurry! By mid-February, everyone will have forgotten those well-meaning resolutions!