July 28, 2010

Watch those e-mail subject lines!

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 11:00 am

Place your most important words at the very beginning of your subject line, as inboxes can show only a limited number of characters in the subject-line window. This kind of message truncation could totally change the nature of your message by showing (for instance) only the first 27 characters, as is the case with Yahoo. This limitation could cause you to miss your targeted recipient.


July 26, 2010

If I have but one life to live in marketing . . .

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 7:33 pm

Let me live it with .  .  .

  • flair
  • originality
  • relevance
  • honesty
  • consistency
  • insight
  • sensitivity
  • integrity

Let me be ever mindful that the ultimate effectiveness of my advertising will be in direct proportion to the accuracy of its message.

May I remember that I am neither speaking to myself, nor to other marketers, nor to competitors, nor to new-business prospects, nor editors, nor awards judges, nor anyone who is as important as those who could benefit from – or at least enjoy – what it is that my words are extolling or describing.

Induce me to focus my thoughts, energy, time and whatever talents I may have on promoting only those ideas, services, products or causes that are worthy of my precious and limited resources.

If ever I am able to determine that money, pride, self-aggrandizement or misrepresentation is among the overriding motivations for delivering a selling message, may I be stopped in my tracks, not by rules, regulations, regulators, critics, judges or the intended audience, but myself.

It is for me to seek the higher road to my personal and professional goals, not because I can afford to do so, not because of financial independence, but because of ethical dependence and a set of time honored virtues with which I may have been gifted, and to which only the most worthy of practitioners of the communication trades aspires.

I am thankful for perception, my seasoned skills and the ability to influence others, but more than these, I value a deep-seeded sense of purpose and adherence to the ideals that are the bedrock on which the value and power of marketing communication has and always will rest.


July 21, 2010

The 6 Traits of Successful Small Businesses

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:57 am

As seen in Entrepreneur


Do you have what it takes to make it as a small business owner? This has always been a nervous-making question. But now, a recent study has boiled down the key attributes of successful business owners. Take a look, and see if this sounds like you.

The study, from the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, is The Guardian Life Index: What Matters Most to America’s Small Business Owners. The survey of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs with between two and 99 workers first identified 60 critical factors for business success. These were then boiled down to six important skills that were common to successful business owners. These owners are:

  • Collaborative. Delegating effectively and building good relationships with employees, vendors, and other partners is key. The study found successful owners had a win-win attitude and were dedicated to “creating opportunities for others.”
  • Self-fulfilled. Great entrepreneurs love being in control of their destiny, deciding how hard to work and when, and deriving personal fulfillment and gratification from operating their businesses.
  • Future-focused. Good business owners aren’t just slogging through the day, focused on keeping the doors open another 24 hours. They’re the woman or man with a plan.
  • Curious. Constant learning is a hallmark of winning business leaders. They’re always looking for opportunities to improve how they manage their business.
  • Tech-savvy. The study found winners “intensively value their company’s Web site and are significantly more likely to rely a great deal on technology to help make our business more effective and more efficient.”
  • Action oriented. Successful entrepreneurs are taking proactive steps to build their businesses. They indicated high levels of agreement with phrases such as “commitment to taking the business to the next level,” “differentiating ourselves from competitors,” and “having something to sell when I’m ready to retire.” These glass-half-full types saw hard times as “a kick in the rear to help move you forward.”

July 20, 2010

Sell the result rather than the product

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 2:22 pm

People don’t buy products or services, they buy results. Therefore, results are what advertisers and marketers ought to be communicating. For instance,  instead of selling a coffee maker with “an easy-to-use automatic timer,” sell the idea of “waking in the morning to fresh cup of coffee.” Which has more appeal – a set of new tires, or “a safer drive to work or the lake with one less unexpected problem?” It’s precisely the reason we tend to talk to prospects in terms of “taking their business to the next level,” rather than a “marketing plan.”


July 19, 2010

What differentiates your product from the competition?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 5:05 pm

I get several e-mails each week from retailers offering the same golf balls clubs and accessories at the same price. Each of them also has a “loyalty club,” again offering very similar benefits.

How about your offerings? Do they bear a strong resemblance to those of your competitors? If so, you must rework them. In fact, the best advertising is built upon selling propositions that others simply can’t, won’t – or don’t – offer. 

Think it over, and come up with things that truly set you apart from the rest. You have but one advertising life to live. Don’t waste it on metooism!


July 8, 2010

Does your product address a viable market?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 7:10 pm

Some energetic research should be conducted in order to determine whether or not there is a viable market for your product, let alone one large enough to attract investment capital (if that is a goal). Never assume you can create demand where it hasn’t already been expressed. It goes without saying that running board laquer wouldn’t be such a hot item, but some things are not that clear. Conclusion: Do your homework.


July 7, 2010

What is your value proposition?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:49 pm

You must be able to explain in three or four short sentences why your customers/clients need your product and/or services. If you can’t, you better start over with a business model you can manage and market effectively.


July 6, 2010


Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 6:39 pm



  1. How will this piece be used?


  1. Who are your target audiences?


  1. Will they be mailed, handed-out or picked up (relative percentages).


  1. Will they be used:

a)    at trade shows?

b)    taken on sales calls?

c)     mailed?


  1. Will they be used to enclose or accompany a proposal?


  1. Will they be used with a cover letter?


  1. Is there a need for two types of brochures (according to prospect-priority)?


  1. What quantity will you need?


  1. Are there size restrictions or preferences?


  1. What kind of “statement” do you wish for them to make?


  1. What (3-4) points, in their order of importance, do you want to emphasize?


  1. What are your major characteristics, qualities, selling points?


  1. What primary qualities differentiate your company from competitors?


  1.  What is the number-one (prospect) misunderstanding you encounter?


  1. Can we include testimonials?


  1. What photographs/illustrations will be most appropriate and/or persuasive?


  1. What do you like best about brochures?


  1. What do you like least about brochures?


  1. Can you show us a brochure that you wish were yours?


  1. What are your primary concerns about this project?


  1. What would please you most upon its completion?