June 3, 2018

Read any good walls lately?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:42 pm


The handwriting is on the wall

. . . and its meaning is clear.

Exceptionally-well-written messages to those you want to influence can be a game changer.

But strategic, impressive writing doesn’t just happen.

It’s the product of expertise developed through years of success-proven experience.

Contact Allan Starr, the wordsmith, to discover the difference highly-effective writing can make.



May 30, 2018

Savvy entrepreneurs make networks pay off

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:32 pm

Mastering the art of networking nourishes small businesses in several ways.

 For those who are adept at “huddling” in groups with others of their ilk, the disadvantages of isolation are reversed. It allows them to gain market overview, exchange referrals, and stimulate intra-network – as well as “outside” – sales. Such benefits can be gained through memberships offered by an assortment of networking organizations.

 Choices, choices, choices!

 The benefits of schmoozing seem to come instinctively to emerging-business chiefs, but the devil is in the details when it comes to finding a good place to “hook up.”   Growing demand has led to an abundance of networking options. Prevalent among these are chambers of commerce, small-business associations and leads clubs. In most of the latter, many of which are labeled “executive associations,” membership is limited to one member per business type.

 The search for a landing place  

 Locating the right place to “set down,” a fundamental for pilots, is similarly essential for the prospective networker. The first thing that must be understood is that finding a good fit deserves – and requires – maximum effort.  

 The most common errors in the selection process are:

 Impatience that hinders careful due diligence

  • Yielding to pressure from current network members
  • Failure to recognize the critical importance of the decision

 Do your research

 With today’s efficient search tools, there’s no reason to employ the “throw-a-dart” mode.

Best practices:

  • Make in-person visits to groups being considered, and judiciously absorb what you see and hear.

 “Sniff-out” the members. Do they share your objectives, or are most just “hail fellows well met”? Though finding some new buddies to hang with may be a somewhat justifiable pursuit, it’s not your current mission.

 Determine if the membership consists of a high ratio of decision makers (those influencers to whom you ultimately will want to devote most of your effort).

 Be “sectionally selective.” If in a large city, it may be advantageous to settle for a group close to your primary marketing area.

  • Asking to see a set of bylaws, a charter, or a mission statement is a step too far. What you observe firsthand is the best indicator of what to expect.

 Make your decision

 Don’t be so analytical you can’t “pull the trigger” (ref: Buck Fever). If at some future point you feel you’ve made the wrong choice, you can exit by the same door through which you entered the group. Then, promptly join what had been your second choice.

 Don’t spread yourself too thin.

 Diluting your new allegiance(s) will only create a weak concoction. One (or two at the most) networks should be adequate. Remember, your responsibilities will include time and effort spent servicing – or at least oversite of – new accounts you win.

 Networking is a give-and-take proposition.

 Support other networkers. Don’t be merely a taker. Your fellow members can see through someone who views networking as a one-way street. Being a good member means being as loyal as possible within your group when making purchases and recommendations. Of course, you should expect to receive similar consideration.

 “Working” your network means participating at a high level.

 Be visible and active.

 Be a good attender of regular meetings, and attend/participate in special events. Enthusiastically accept committee appointments, and having done so, “dive in” with both feet! Such deeper involvements provide great opportunities to get better acquainted with the most active members. And MIX! – don’t spend all your time at meetings or events with the same “chums.”

 Get beneath the surface.

 Study others’ websites, and make visits to see your fellow members’ work environments. Learn what they have to offer. Toward the conclusion of your visit, it’s OK to briefly discuss your business. But save your real pitch for when your fellow members accept your invitation to visit you.

 Invite info exchanges

 Encourage mutual exchanges of materials, e.g. newsletters, flyers, etc.

 Not everyone can be your customer 

 Not all of those you engage will be able to use your products/services, but all have the ability to make referrals. In fact, it’s reasonable to expect that referrals are where most of your network-related “action” will come from.

 Honor long-term business relationships

 Remaining loyal to pre-existing business relationships, while observing and patronizing new alliances, calls for a delicate balance. However, all networkers will likely understand – and have in common with you – the sometimes-difficult choices that can result. It’s fine to stand by your time-honored business relationships. That said, however, do not “broadcast” or flaunt such standing connections at every turn when operating within the group. This is where a bit of discretion will go a long way.


Power-up your social media outreach

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:14 pm

Enhance your overall marketing power with an energized social media outreach.

I offer my abilities as content creator and project coordinator. It works like this:

• Content will be custom-fitted to reflect the values and personality of your business.

• Concise, interesting messages will be scheduled in chosen outlets on your choice of topics, e.g. tips/hints, case histories, staff profiles, customer/client recognition and anecdotes.

• I personally will create, gather and coordinate inputting of original and/or curated content, as it is approved.

• Digital inputting will be handled through your current or to-be-selected social media digital source.

I hope you will contact me to discuss the possibilities.

Allan Starr, Marketing Partners AZ


Content marketing demands creativity

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:13 pm
Creativity – not merely words – is the plus-factor in top-performing content marketing.

A major part of breaking through the noise online is creating content that is uniquely engaging— and that’s really hard to do if you’re not embracing the creative side of your content marketing brain.

Consider using Allan Starr and Marketing Partners AZ to maximize the impact of your content.


Content marketing demands creativity

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:10 pm

Creativity – not merely words – is the plus-factor in top-performing content marketing.

A major part of breaking through the noise online is creating content that is uniquely engaging— and that’s really hard to do if you’re not embracing the creative side of your content marketing brain.

Consider using Allan Starr and Marketing Partners AZ to maximize the impact of your content.


Stop trusting yourself as editor.

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:08 pm
If you’re not a highly proficient writer, editor, or proofreader, give yourself—and your prospective reader—the gift of a second set of eyes.
Even though you may be a champ at spotting flaws in other people’s work, and you’re super-proud of what you’ve written—confident that your purpose is clear and your logic is flawless . . .
You probably need an editor.*
Even the most eagle-eyed proofreaders can be blind to their own mistakes. The most heavenly writing benefits from a devil’s advocate.
*Call me to discuss possible solutions.

OMG . . . here comes Generation Z!

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:06 pm
Who am I to dispute those wizards at financial giant Goldman Sachs whose research shows, members of Generation Z are more valuable to most organizations than Millennials are. Born after 1995, the oldest Gen Zers are only 22 years old.

I do have my doubts about that, but what I’m really concerned about is – where do we go after Generation Z?

We will need either a another designation for the next group of youngest influencers – or another alphabet!


If Lincoln had one, shouldn’t you?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:48 am
It’s likely someone as shrewd as our 16th President had help writing the Gettysburg Address. Like an editor. You know, another set of eyes for the wise.

Marketing messages, as well, deal with an important battle – the one for business.

And, fact is, your competitive edge is sharpened by your words.

Don’t go to war without a wordsmith like me on your side.

Together, we’ll make sure your targets get the point.


June 23, 2016

Of hackers and slackers

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 12:48 pm

An erstwhile golf buddy of mine was fond of exclaiming – after one of us hit an errant shot (which was often) – “you buys yourself a set of clubs, and calls yourself a golfer!”

That grammatically-tortured line comes to mind when I contemplate how slack some of us are as we go through all of the effort and expense of creating a website, but fall short in supporting it with the on-  and off-site initiatives that are readily available for optimizing it. This strikes me as akin to a highway sign at the fork in a road that reads “X miles to . . . “ but lacks a directional arrow.

We recommend an investment (modest, at that) in procuring a baseline status report that offers the particulars of the power of your online presence – or lack of it – in reaching your key prospects.


November 12, 2015

Lack of brand impact is reflected in weak sales.

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 2:05 pm

Ever wonder why there are more good products and services than there are success stories?

When results fall short, it’s a shame. But because they needn’t, it’s more like a crime. Especially when good product and service development results in anemic sales outcomes.

When remarkable product offerings are coupled with ineffective marketing, the outcome is uniformly disappointing. Your marketing communication must position you above the crowd. You should expect and accept nothing less.

Your promotions should have a winning edge powered by market overview, clarity and passion . . . with maybe just a pinch of guts.

While differentiation is what you built into your products and services, sameness – or even obscurity – can be what comes out on the other end. A deserving product under–promoted is like a smile in the dark . . . it may be nice, but nobody sees it.

Brand impact (measured in dollars!) is what an expert marketing communicator delivers while entrepreneurs are busy tending to primary responsibilities.

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