May 11, 2015

How much is enough?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:47 pm

I am always amused when I hear someone proclaim proudly, “We don’t advertise; we get all of our business from referrals!”

I’ll be clear:

  1. Referrals are the most powerful kind of advertising.
  2. Referrals combined with “advertising” create unbeatable promotional synergy.

If a business wants to limit its growth to an organic, gradual rate, relying solely on word of mouth could be adequate. Promotional effort correlates directly to goals and ambition.

Those who want more usually need to do more.


April 28, 2015

More than a kiss

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:27 pm

We all are familiar with the time–honored platitude, KISS . . . keep it simple, stupid!

This makes sense if we are talking about trimming the unnecessary details, but keeping it simple at the expense of impact and relevance is an equally costly mistake in marketing communication. Well–written and relevant content can be your most powerful tool.

So, let’s remember to KIMS . . . keep it meaningful, stupid!


April 22, 2015

More than A KISS

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 5:10 pm

We all are familiar with the time–honored platitude, KISS . . . keep it simple, stupid!

This makes sense if we are talking about trimming the unnecessary details, but keeping it simple at the expense of impact and relevance is an equally costly mistake in marketing communication. Well–written and relevant content can be your most powerful tool.

So, let’s remember to KIMS . . . keep it meaningful, stupid!


April 13, 2015

The three grades of experience

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 12:53 pm


Experience comes in three levels, or “grades.”

There is the  “time in grade” variety, which, to me, means an individual or company has merely done whatever they have been doing for a certain, perhaps lengthy, amount of time.

The next level is successful experience, which means doing it well over a particular period of time. Obviously, this is more meaningful, and I urge our clients to capitalize on this, particularly by offering specific examples to prospects, including the inclusion of results achieved.

Then, the highest and most pertinent use of experience is being able to apply it to the contemporary challenges inherent in today’s highly competitive marketplace. This is where experienced – and progressive – purveyors and/or practitioners really can shine, figuratively running circles around their less “background endowed” counterparts.

As marketers, we rely on our superior and lengthy experience to win and serve our clients. More important, we endeavor make certain we bring only the most applicable and suitable variety to today’s challenges.

Being and staying current is among the most vital “currency” a company has to spend in its capabilities account.




March 30, 2015

The right-brained majority

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 12:07 pm


A credible and respected study has shown that two-thirds of us are “right-brained” – we respond based on feelings, emotions and early impressions. This holds true for everything we encounter, and marketing communication is no exception.

The marketing point: Say what you have to say to your prospects briefly, getting to the point ASAP. While you’re at it, a bit of graphic and verbal imagery can help to create a lasting impression. We can give you specific  examples that make this point.

Ask Allan Starr.


March 25, 2015

TMI creates marketing hurdles

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:35 pm

When in conversation we tell someone something they did not really need – or want – to know, there’s a pretty good chance they will roll their eyes and say, “TMI” (too much information!).

This can apply to marketing communication, as well. Are you feeding your prospects too much information, more than they care to swallow – let alone digest?

There are ways to make your point – even more effectively – using wit, creativity and brevity. We can tell (and show) you how.

Ask Allan Starr.


March 17, 2015

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 11:40 am

Information overload is a fact of life, one which surely will become even more prevalent in the future.

A credible study has shown that fully two-thirds of us are right brained. We act on instinct and emotion rather than verbosity and the standard lengthy messages we receive.

The savvy marketer will respond to this by getting right to the point, sending brief and relevant marketing communications. If these also are creative, original and memorable – all the better.

Remember: your prospects have more to do with their time than devote themselves to studying what you send them. Give them – and yourself – a break by being succinct and pertinent with the points you make.


March 5, 2015

Do you suffer from UNdigestion?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:29 pm

People may be receiving marketing messages, but that doesn’t mean a meaningful percentage of them are “swallowing” them, let alone digesting them.

I believe this problem calls for the application of some key strategies, some of which will be dealt with in future articles. For now I’ll focus on a couple of desirable characteristic for creating winning communication – brevity and simplicity.

This is necessary for several reasons. Here are a few:

Information overload

Obviously, there are tons of materials and messages being sent our way. And, credible studies have indicated that fully two–thirds of us are “right brained,” often acting more on hunch and emotion rather than absorbing detailed information.

Attention span

The average human attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds in 2013.

The deletion impulse

From a digital standpoint, a great many of us have three devices from which we are constantly deleting messages – including desktops, tablets and smart phones. In my case, I notice this has created an ever–increasing tendency to delete things before actually pausing a bit to consider what they may contain Admittedly, I’m a bit “trigger happy.”


Most marketing messages are simply too wordy for their own good. So, the tendency is to use this for an excuse to disregard them entirely (does this sound like anyone you know?).

Speaking of verbosity, those are enough words for now. Next time, we’ll deal with another characteristic – relevance.


February 24, 2015

“Missing Link” identified

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:29 pm



When I think of those times I thought I had a “great idea” but never acted on it, I can’t help but wonder .  .  . what if (?)

Should an example of this phenomenon occur in a marketing context, perhaps you should make a point of acting upon your hunch. I call this urge, “pulling the trigger.” If you don’t, you never will know.

“Execution is the missing link between aspiration and results.”

- Lawrence A. Bossidy, retired Chairman/CEO, Honeywell International


February 17, 2015

Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:54 pm


There’s no better way to dissect the how-to’s of branding than to check-out the companies people know and trust. Entrepreneur teamed with a think tank that focuses on brand relationships, on a consumer survey that explored the reasons some brands manage to stay on top.

1. Get personal: Amazon

The online retailer of just about everything ran away with the list, posting the highest scores not just in overall brand trust but in every individual trust value.

2. Sell happiness: Coca-Cola

Ice-cold Sunshine. The Pause That Refreshes. Life Tastes Good. Since its inception, the promise of the world’s largest beverage-maker has been to delight consumers.

3. Live up to your promise: FedEx

With a straightforward passion for the task at hand, FedEx has created a strong corporate identity. Not surprisingly, the company received its strongest ratings in ability, specifically for being able to achieve what it promises and for the efficiency of its operations.

4. Keep it cool (and fun): Apple

What other company has the public and the press waiting breathlessly for each new product release? The bottom line is whatever that new Apple product is, consumers trust that it will be smart and sleek and that it will improve the way they communicate, work or spend their leisure time. What’s more, they’ll enjoy the experience of making the purchase.

5. Design an experience: Target

It’s easy to forget that Target is a discount store. With its sleek, stylish ad campaigns and collaborations with high-end designers who create limited-edition merchandise that sends fashionistas into a frenzy, Target’s public face often belies its mass-merchant status.

6. Stay consistent: Ford

In an era when the only thing that seems certain is change, Ford’s consistent branding has established the company as a beacon of reliability.

7. Can-do attitude: Nike

On its website, Nike declares its mission to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” adding, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

8. Forge connections: Starbucks

After suffering a slump a few years back, the world’s leading specialty coffee retailer has perked up its business and its brand by getting back to its original promise of bringing people together.

9. Serve up the quirky: Southwest Airlines

This low-cost carrier has consistently set its own route in the airline industry, creating a distinct personality through everything from open passenger seating to flight attendants who sing the safety demonstrations.

10. Focus on the customer: Nordstrom

When mythic stories circulate about your company’s awesome customer service, you know you’re doing something right. That’s the hallmark of this upscale department store, which is rumored to have once graciously accepted the return of a set of tires, even though the store has never sold tires.

About the survey: The Values Institute, which conducted the study, identified five values that influence trust in a brand: ability (company performance); concern (care for consumers, employees and community); connection (sharing consumers’ values); consistency (dependability of products/services); and sincerity (openness and honesty).


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