Show Up For Success

March 12, 2010 on 10:49 am | In communication, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing, My Creative Team, Referral Marketing, Writing | 2 Comments

Your minister of the church of marketing has some words for you to ponder today: if you want to succeed you must show up. Woody Allen has often been quoted – incorrectly – on this subject. What he really said was, “80 percent of success is showing up.”

He was not talking about making a cameo appearance or a movie walk-on. He was suggesting that being there fully focused, giving your best effort and doing it on a consistent basis is the formula for success. Allen knows that most people just try to phone it in. And even then they don’t follow through every time, nor give it their all.

Friend Brent Dees says it another way during his Focus Four business coaching sessions. “Do what you say you’re going to do and do it on time. This applies to everything you do in life, from being an employee, a father, a business owner or a friend.”

Let’s consider it from a marketing perspective. I have written and distributed my e-newsletter monthly since April 2002. That’s 95 issues and counting.

Every month, rain or shine, I worry about what to say that will most help my readers in their businesses. Researching the subject and the links follows. Then, writing, editing and newsletter layout come next. Finally, I distribute it and then respond to any reader questions or requests. It takes roughly eight to 10 hours of my time each month and that is really cutting into my naps.

Do I ever want to take a break? Silly question. But the newsletter has long been my primary awareness vehicle. Every piece of business I landed for my first 6 years in business can be traced back to the newsletter in some way. Consistently getting it out at the same time each month has paid off for me.I think about what the president of window blind giant Levolor once said to me, “we can’t afford to do everything from a marketing perspective. But what we do, we can execute violently.”

The bottom line here is this: pick a few things and execute them to the best of your ability on a consistent basis. That’s showing up. Do that and 80 percent of success is yours. We’ll discuss the other 20 percent later. But right now, I need a nap.

#1 With A Bullet

January 19, 2010 on 5:09 pm | In Advertising, Email Marketing, Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Old radio guys like me remember the phrase “#1 With A Bullet.” This was what you said about a hit record (wow, does anyone else remember records?) that was #1 on the chart and continuing to sell well.

Well, I want to know what marketing tactic is #1 with a bullet on your 2010 list.  eMarketer seems to think that email may be at the top of many marketers’ lists, followed by social media, search and advertising.


The real news out of eMarketer is this,

Combining social media and e-mail marketing is a growing trend. More than four in 10 business executives said integrating the two tactics was one of their most important e-mail marketing initiatives for 2010, just after improving performance and targeting and growing opt-in lists.

Now, integrating email and social media is not just including links in your emails to your social media profiles. It could include cross-promoting newsletter content on your blog or even polling your followers on Twitter and using the results in your blog and enewsletter.

Are you integrating your email and social media programs? What else tops your list? Tell us about it, won’t you?

7 Ways To Kickstart Your 2010 Marketing

January 4, 2010 on 10:33 am | In Advertising, audience, Customer Retention, Email Marketing, Marketing, Referral Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

It’s 2010, now what? Have you completed your marketing planning or did you leave it to the last minute? No matter. We have 7 ideas of things you can do to kickstart your marketing.

Define Your Customers.  I had a client one time who told me that “all carbon-based lifeforms” were the targets of his advertising. Needless to say, I quickly disabused him of that notion. If you want to spend your money wisely, this is the#1 thing you can do right now for your marketing effort.

Focus On Current Customers. I know that you want to go out and take down that new business buffalo, but you’ll get a greater return by getting more business from current customers.

Get Referrals. If you have done a good job for existing customers, they will tell their friends about you. But you need a strategy to make this happen.

Activate Your Customers.  It is no secret that I believe email is still one of the best ways to generate goodwill, referrals and business.  Plan your email attack to activate customers now.

Open Your Wallet. I’ve been accused of being against paid advertising. I am not. I’m just against unplanned, poorly focused advertising. Some of your competitors are still weak from the recent economic strife. You still have an opportunity to kill the weak, if you’ll spend some money smartly to take market share.

Be Sociable.  Humans – being human – love social interaction, particularly of the face-to-face variety. Always have, always will. So, look for ways to add human interaction to your marketing. Also, reexamine your approach to social media.  

Be Tactical. First off, let me say that I’m a strategy kind of guy. But sometimes you just need to do something to get your marketing off dead center.

Marketing Spending Pays Off

November 9, 2009 on 10:22 am | In Advertising, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing, Media, Social Media | 1 Comment

Well, here’s a big surprise: small businesses which spend more during a downturn actually do better financially. Marketing professionals have been giving this advice to businesses of all sizes since the first recession. But too many business leaders make marketing their first, instead of their last, cut. It’s nice to have some empirical data to prove our assertion.

According to the “Small Business Marketing Health Check” report from Hurwitz & Associates, there is a correlation between small businesses that are doing well and greater marketing spending. Almost two-thirds of small businesses that expected increased revenues had raised or planned to raise marketing spending, compared with just 32% to 36% of businesses with flat or declining revenues.

During previous recessions, American Business Press has sponsored two studies on marketing expenditures, and the group found that:

– cutting spending on marketing and advertising during a recession produces negative short and long-term results in relation to sales and profits

–  additionally, during the 1974 – 75 recession years, the study found that companies not cutting marketing had higher sales and net income during those years and the two following years compared to companies which cut in either or both recession years.

But you have to be smart. A recession is not a time for profligate spending. You need to determine what is working best in terms of immediate lead generation and sales. Luckily, this time we have access to lower cost, easier to track digital media.

The previously mentioned “Small Business Marketing Health Check” indicates that smaller businesses were shifting away from traditional media and toward social media, email newsletters and search.

“The survey clearly reveals that the use of low-cost Web-based marketing tools is playing a strategic role in helping businesses succeed,” said Laurie McCabe, partner, Hurwitz & Associates, in a statement. “Making a few changes to incorporate more online tools into the marketing mix seems to be a key ingredient to small business success.”

What are you doing to tweak your marketing during this recession? Let us know.

Related articles:

Retailers Boost Spending on Holiday Advertising

How To Thrive In A Recession

A Fresh Wind Is Blowing

August 4, 2009 on 2:26 pm | In Advertising, Customer Retention, Customer Service, dumbass marketer, Email Marketing, Marketing, My Creative Team, New Business, Stupid Marketing Tricks | 1 Comment

The business winds are changing direction, but there are some organizations that don’t get it and never will. The news media and big ad agencies are two industries doomed to be swept overboard if they don’t keep a weather eye out. Today, it’s about transparency and a new focus on customer service, doing what’s right for the customer. I’ve found if you do what’s right for the customer, you, too, will ride under full sail.

Let’s review a recent example of what I’m talking about in the marketing arena.  We have a client leaving another agency to come to us for a number of services, including SEO, email marketing and Google Adwords.

Old school companies try to lock clients down by tying them to agency accounts for Google Analytics, Adwords, or email marketing, or  by hooking them into proprietary content management systems and the like.  An agency which manages all of its Adwords or Analytics in a master account is not going to want to give another agency administrative access. Guess what? You can’t transfer Google Analytics accounts and you lose all the historical data. Adwords account can be transferred, but it takes an act of Congress.

When we set up client accounts – although it is less convenient for us – we set them up in the client’s name. That way, if the client ever decides to move on, we can hand over the accounts and wish them well. That’s the new, transparent, customer-oriented way to do business.

Are you old school, or are you harnessing the fresh wind?

Old Media Drives New Media

June 25, 2009 on 9:02 am | In Advertising, Customer Retention, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Newspapers, Online, Pay-Per-Click, Print Media | No Comments

The average American’s Internet use has nearly doubled in the past two years, according to a MediaPost article. This means that the Internet now accounts for 1/3 of the average US consumer’s media day. So, how are you going to get those Americans to your website, hmmm? By the way, did I tell you that your website is one of about 186 million?

Google Adwords can help, but it doesn’t drive the volume of web traffic most local businesses would like to see. If you have your own email list, superb. Nothing like email to drive current customer traffic. But what about for customer acquisition?

If you haven’t noticed, there is a fire sale going on at the old media store. Newspapers are struggling, so, too, are many radio and TV stations. Rates are down and so is competition for eyeballs. It’s a great time to increase your share of voice and take market share from weak competitors.

In my mind, a local business should be looking at these media opportunities. In particular, I’d look at my local newspaper, especially if it has a solid web presence. You can pick up packages that include both print and web options. For instance, according to the same MediaPost article:

The report further reveals that seven daily newspapers have achieved a net unduplicated reach of 80% or more when the past 30-day website visitor figure is combined with the past month print readership figure. Among these newspapers are the:

  • New Orleans Times Picayune with a total unduplicated reach of 85.8%
  • San Antonio Express-News (80.6%)
  • Post-Standard in Syracuse (84%)
  • Buffalo News (83.3%)
  • Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester (80.9%)
  • Peoria Journal Star (80.4%)
  • Omaha World Herald (82.2%)

Says  Bob Jordan, President of The Media Audit,

“Daily newspapers were the first to embrace a multi-platform distribution strategy amidst a period when consumers were spending more and more time with the Internet. And as a result, newspapers followed the way of the consumer. By doing so, they have broadened their reach to include younger consumers. And these consumers are buying new cars and driving sales for retailers who represent a significant portion of the newspaper industry’s revenue… ”

Connect With My Creative Team

June 24, 2009 on 6:47 am | In Email Marketing, FaceBook, My Creative Team, Online, RSS, Social Media, Twitter | No Comments

Are you connected with My Creative Team? Here are the ways to get and stay connected:



Think (our monthly enewsletter)

THINKing (RSS Feed)


Links – 6/16/2009

June 16, 2009 on 8:12 am | In Email Marketing, employee communication, Journalism, Marketing, Search, Social Media | No Comments

Here are a few items My Creative Team is reading.

Email Ranks High In North AmericaAccording to Epsilon’s Global Consumer Email Study, conducted by ROI Research, the survey of over 4000 consumers in 13 countries finds that Email remains a mainstay communication, showing that 87% of North American(and 74% of European respondents are more likely than their peers in APAC to use email as their primary online communications tool.

Search Site Provides Eye-Popping ResultsThe visual search site launched Monday with the ability to retrieve tweets from Twitter.

Grand Jury Subpoenas Commenters’ Personal Info From Newspaper -Comments on a newspaper website about an upcoming tax evasion trial has prompted federal prosecutors to subpoena a newspaper for those commenters’ personal information. Very troubling.

Social Networking Sites Embrace Clinical Trials – Online social networking sites are assembling groups around particular disease types as a way of simulating interest in clinical trials and the data they’re collecting on members.

Social Media Is Increasingly Important Tool in Keeping Employees Engaged – Employers faced with reduced communication budgets and resources are turning to social media to keep their workforces engaged, according to a new survey.

Links – 5/22/2009

May 22, 2009 on 9:21 am | In Advertising, Email Marketing, FaceBook, Journalism, Marketing, Newspapers | No Comments

Here are a few item we are reading today that you may also find of interest:

Consumers Like Newspapers Less Than They Do Airlines

In the first quarter of ’09, newspaper customers’ satisfaction rating was 63. To put this in some perspective, those surveyed expressed a greater deal of satisfaction with airlines (airlines!) which scored 64. And cell phone providers (cell phone providers?) which score a 69.

Yahoo Helps Newspapers Book Local Ads

About 150 or so papers have started using a new platform meant to simplify ad targeting and selling that Yahoo delivered last fall. Another 350 or so are up next. The new platform was largely responsible for a 30% increase in online-only ad sales across Scripps newspapers in the first quarter, according to Scripps.

E! Harvesting Celebrity Tweets

E! is planning to harvest the power of Twitter for “Celebri-Tweets.” The network will run tweets from a number of celebrities in the news crawl at the bottom of the screen during its programming. In addition, E! will feature a “Celebri-Tweet” widget on its homepage keeping users up to date on what the celebrity Twitterati are saying in 140 characters or less.

Email Continues To Perform For Retailers

Compared with last year, 56.4% of retailers report their typical sales conversion rate for an e-mail marketing campaign remains about the same. More than one quarter of survey respondents, though, report conversion is up: 22.8% say up slightly and 3.7% up significantly. Only 17% report conversion is down: 13.7% say down slightly and 3.3% down significantly.

FaceBook Fights Phishing Scam

Facebook was hit with another round of phishing attacks Thursday, cluttering members’ inboxes with messages attempting to send them to sites to steal their login information. 

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