Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Forward by Looking Back-2

Last week, we went thru an exercise to help you identify what changes you want to make in 2010, based on what you have learned in 2009.

Today, we're going to take that information and apply it to your future.

Get out the papers you wrote on last week and read thru them one more time. Are there any answers you want to change? Do it now. Then come back. I'll wait.

Now, let's dig into the marketing of your business that you are designing for 2010 and beyond.

Remember, what matters most is relationships.

Now that you have some concrete ideas on who you and your business are and who you want to be, the next step is to communicate in a consistent manner to your customers and clients your message.

Your message is your brand, your identity, it is what people think about you and if you examine and design your marketing to convey your message with the purpose of forming relationships, then you are on the right track.

There are multiple ways to convey your message, but you need to keep it consistent, even in the indirect messages your business conveys.

You also get to chose which media's you want to use, but remember that you should commit to that media for a long time.

Why? Because you are building relationships and those relationships are built on trust which comes with familiarity. If you try something for a week, or a month and give up because you haven't seen results, you are aborting your plan and wasting your time and money.

Cellphone contracts of two years in length are now the standard. Retail leases of 5 to 10 years are common. When you hire an employee, you expect them to last a few years, right ? So think of your advertising and marketing with the same time commitment.

And instead of relying on what form of media YOU listen/watch/read; determine which form of media your potential customers listen/watch/read. There is enough research out there to answer that question and if you are in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, I can help.

Email me at Scott at ScLoHo.net

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Looking Forward by Looking Back-1

I turned 50 years old this month. For awhile, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about being 50, until last month, when my son turned 25.

Then I thought back to what my life was like when I was his age, and all that has occurred since then. And I started getting excited about the next 25 years I'll live.

Let's apply that to your business.

If you knew a year ago, what you know now, would you have done the same things you have done in the past 350+ days?

That's not a yes or no question.

Dig Deeper.

What are the best parts of 2009?
What were the worst parts?

What did you learn?
What don't you understand?

What do you not want to do anymore?
What do you want to do more of?

Let's go even deeper to make things even better, but first write down your answers. Put the paper down and pick it up again a couple times before next Tuesday, when we finish this exercise.

Oh, and a couple more rules. Don't erase anything, or black it out. If you want to change something or use a different word, just cross out with a single line and continue.

Enjoy Christmas and I'll have part 2 on December 29th.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Complete Package

I think I'll repeat this post once a year...

You may have noticed the phrase on the right side of this page, "Marketing is so much more than advertising..."

But why?

Advertising is a part of your marketing.

Advertising is a paid form of marketing that you can control.

It's the invitation for people to do business with you.

I sometimes use the invitation comparison like this:

What if you decided to have a party. It was going to be one BIG Extravaganza! You hired a band, a caterer, rented a reception hall, spent tons of money on getting everything all set for 500 people but you left out one key element: You never sent any invitations with the details.

No matter how much planning you put into your party, if you don't invite anyone, no one will show up.

Same thing with your business. That's the purpose of advertising. To get peoples attention to what you have to offer.

Marketing is the whole customer experience. It includes the way your phone is answered, the way your staff treat customers and potential customers. The professional appearance of you, your staff, the vehicles you drive, the way you handle complaints, the way you thank people for doing business with you.

There's the way your building looks, the way your website looks, and the image they project. Your business card, your follow up and follow through. The way you and your staff conduct yourselves in your off hours, that "personal time".

Each of these items build on each other. It can be a delicate balance like the stack of stones in the picture.

If any of these marketing issues are lacking, no amount of paid advertising can fix them. Sure, you can try and compensate for a bad location with excellent service, but advertising... that's another animal.

As you prepare for the new year and deal with a new economy, you have an opportunity, and a necessity to work on all of these areas that I've tossed into the marketing arena, including advertising.

Need help?

Contact me at Scott@ScLoHo.net

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

End of the Year

If you are in retail, this is one of the most stressful times of the year. Because it's make it or break it time.

Should you extend your hours to be available to any and all potential customers? Will you be burnt out by the time you finally get a day off to celebrate the holidays with family? What about staffing, bonuses, or even survival in 2010?

Hard questions I know.

If you are in an office or sales environment, it's also crunch time. The last two weeks of this month may be the least productive of the entire year, because of short weeks and Christmas/New Years.

Please don't toss in the towel and take a mental vacation when you can be using this time to prep and plan for 2010.

This may be the end of 2009, but it's also the beginning of 2010. Do when you need to do right now and you'll be thankful next month.

Monday, November 30, 2009

7 Sales Secrets

For nearly 7 years, I have worked for a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana known collectively as Summit City Radio. (Click on the logos to go to each stations website.)

This was not my first experience in Sales or in Radio.

My radio career began in 1976 at the age of 16, and ten years later I began a career in radio advertising sales and marketing.

The 7 Secrets are neither original, nor secret.

However, I have seen so many people in the sales world either fail, burn out, or never establish their full potential because they either didn't know or didn't follow these 7 Sales Secrets.

So, let's get started:

1. People don't want to buy what you are trying to sell them. They want to buy a solution to their problem/need/want. The classic example is people don't buy a drill because of the shiny black handle. They buy a drill because they need to create a hole.

2. Price is not important. Value is all that matters. While there are limits to what someone is willing or able to spend, if your customer sees no value in what you are offering, there is no price cheap enough to overcome a lack of value.

3. Objections can lead to a yes. An easy "yes" means you either know your client very well, or you're just being an order taker. I know it sounds harsh, but objections are conversation starters, and these conversations can lead to customizing a solution to their problem/need/want. Which leads us to...

4. You have to listen and learn, more than smile and sell. I do my homework and am prepared with research about my customers and their business. I also look at their competition and we talk about them. We talk about their goals for the future, their past history, what they have done that was successful and what didn't work too. Too often salespeople are only focused on what they have to sell instead of seeing how they can help their customers.

5. Your customer knows more than you give them credit for. We live in an information age with easy access via the internet. Your customer has done their research. However...

6. Your customer knows less than they think they do. Just because the information is available, doesn't mean they know how to use interpret it and use it to their advantage. That's where you come in as the expert. Which means that you better know your stuff inside and out. You are personally responsible for your own education, not your boss. Be your very best.

7. Relationships are forever. Apply the Golden Rule. Treat others with the same honesty and respect that you would like to be treated with. Keep relationships alive with your customers, potential customers and even those that may never become your customers. After a few years at my current group of radio stations, I had developed relationships that began paying off in ways I would have never imagined.

That's it. A half dozen plus one Sales Secrets, that shouldn't be secret. Your comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Basics: The Message

Last week I touched on the frequency of which a person sees or hears your advertising message.

Today, let's talk about the message.

The message needs to convey who you are, what you are about, why someone should do business with you.

It doesn't matter if you are selling bananas, mortgages, dental care or a getaway weekend, it's all the same.

Some old school copywriters and producers think you have to yell and scream and create excitement. If that's the experience a customer will have when they visit you or do business with you, then fine, however....

Most businesses do not operate in that world of hype.

I have found the most successful businesses I've worked with, don't need the hype and hustle in their advertising. They simply needed to present who they were and why you should do business with them in a straight forward, sometimes fun, but honest and trustworthy manner.

That's the message.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Basics: Frequency

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to share with you some of the basics of advertising; specifically geared to understanding what to look for and what to avoid when deciding on what and how to do your advertising.

You'll see it's not as complicated as some media salespeople would have you believe. The best advertising program is built around peoples habits, behavior and relationships.

Today the topic is Frequency.

Frequency is the number of times a person sees/hears an ad. In the world of radio listening, people pretty much listen to the same station(s) at the same time each week.

Let's say Bob is a 40 year old white collar worker who works an 8 to 5 job. He wakes up at 6:15am to his clock radio and is out of the house by 7:15. He spends 25 minutes in the car driving to work. At noon, he leaves and drives 10 minutes to eat lunch and another 10 minutes back to work. He is back in the car at 5:10pm and gets home around 5:45. He does this 5 days a week.

If your commercial airs between 7:15 and 7:45 in the morning, Bob will hear it on his morning commute. This is a Frequency of 1.

If it plays every weekday morning at the same time, Bob will hear it 5 times. This is a Frequency of 5. Most experts look for a frequency of 3 as a minimum number of times a person like Bob needs to hear a commercial before they notice it.

Frequency is one of the key factors in planning an advertising campaign.

Feel free to send me your questions: Scott@ScLoHo.net

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Selling over the Phone

I wrote this article in June, 2008.

In the past year, more salespeople have entered the workforce and I have some words of wisdom for them:

Moments ago I hung up on a caller.

My cell phone rang, I looked at the caller ID and it said UNAVAILABLE.

Usually I would let it go to voicemail as a call screening measure.

But today I was curious.

I opened the phone and said, "Hello?"

(My usual, automatic way of answering is , "Hi, this is Scott, how can I help you?")

I didn't want to give my mystery caller the advantage of my name yet.

They asked for the Sales Manager or Human Resources Manager.

I asked why.

They said they had an offer for the appropriate manager and wanted to make sure they spoke to the right person.

I said I was the person they wanted to talk to.

Then the guy on the phone launched into a sales pitch.

Ten seconds into his pitch I hung up on him.

He has not called me back.

If your job is to make unsolicited phone calls to sell something over the phone to someone you don't know, then get a different job. This is like telephone spam, and it got so bad that a few years ago we enacted Do Not Call List laws.

But I need to use my phone as part of the selling process, you say. I know, I do too.

So here's a couple tips.

Avoid Selling Over The Phone. I don't want a sales pitch and I'm not giving you my credit card number. Most likely I will simply hang up on you.

Instead, use your phone to schedule an appointment. You say, but I don't set appointments, I sell over the phone.

Let me ask you, How's it working for you? What's your closing ratio? How many dozens, no hundreds of calls do you have to make before you make a sale?

If you must sell over the phone, then work smart. Use a combination of calls and email to communicate. Make an appointment to do a sales presentation over the phone.

Yeah, that's right, call and ask for a time to call back and talk for 5 or 10 minutes and do a Customer Needs Assessment. Do your research ahead of time before you get to the decision maker.

Oh, and stop blocking caller ID. If you work for a company that has to hide who they are, then you don't want to work there.

Now, go out there and be a pro.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crunch Time

In my city we have tons of shopping centers ranging from strip malls to an "Open-Air" Mall, to the old standby, THE MALL.

A few weeks ago, I took a walk through our MALL and counted 21 empty store fronts. Mall management likes to boast that there are over 150 stores in THE MALL, but not right now. However, I'm willing to bet that by December 11th, every one of those empty spaces will be filled.

This is crunch time for THE MALL.

And despite the lagging economy, on the weekends, THE MALL has had a pretty full parking lot, at least on the weekends this year. What was missing was not shoppers, but shops for them to spend their money in.

Right now, there are people who are looking for ways to spend their money. My question for you, are you reaching out to them, letting them know you are here to help them buy with you?

Despite the rise of Social Media including Facebook and Twitter, many of the traditional advertising vehicles still work.

Television viewing is up, as people are staying home more looking for entertainment.

Radio listening is up as people want to hear their favorite music or take part in the news of the day.

Billboards. Still a viable advertising medium depending on what you are needing to promote.

So, is this crunch time for you too? Than do something about it and spend a little in advertising to get a lot in sales.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One at a Time

Business Success is built one person at a time. So is Business Failure.

The key to success vs. failure is to please more people than you annoy.

So, my challenge to you is what are you doing to make sure you do that?

Take a look at how your phone calls are handled, how walk-in customers are treated, how follow up is taken care of and how problems are resolved.

I'm sure you can find some way to make some improvements. Those improvements will make a difference, one at a time.

Do you need more encouragement? Click here and watch this short video.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Look at Capitalism

A few random thoughts:

I saw my first Michael Moore film finally. Capitalism: A Love Story is a movie I would recommend, simply to get the discussion going about what our futures should be.

Currently our country is in the midst of a recession recovery. And while the politicians battle private vs. public ownership, I thought it would be a good time to look at why we have paid advertising media.

Over the weekend, I was channel flipping and at one time, I found more advertising than programs as I was skimming.

Here's an insiders look at all of this that I wrote nearly two years ago:

Recently, there has been several signs that the printed newspaper could disappear. Declining circulation numbers over the past 10 years have led many papers to shut down. Cities that offered both a morning paper and afternoon paper, have become scarce. In Fort Wayne, our two papers operate under a Joint Operating Agreement, otherwise we would have been a one paper town years ago.

Television viewership has been declining recently too. Why? Perhaps it is because we have more channels available, so each channel has a smaller number of viewers. Maybe it is also because of the alternatives made possible where we can time shift our viewing to suit ourselves with Tivo and DVR's... it is also possible to watch some shows online via the internet.

Radio, the profession I started working in when I was 16 is also continuing to be challenged for listeners with the growth of alternatives such as more radio stations, Ipods, the internet, etc.

These three mediums (Radio, TV, & Newspapers) are not what they appear to be. You might think that the News that you read or watch is about journalism. That the Music that you hear is about artistic expression. I used to think this too when I was on the air as a radio personality. It's not what you think it is.

So what is it?

Newspapers, Radio Stations, Television Channels, Magazines, and their associated websites are all about the money. And this is not bad, no, it actually is good and honest.

Each of these mediums provide a marketing platform that is designed to attract a certain group of people. The advertising that is contained on these mediums with commercials and ads pay for these mediums to exist. And you and I as consumers are influenced by these advertising messages to spend our money with the advertisers.

Here's how you can help keep your favorite TV show on the air, or radio station on the air, or newspaper or magazine around. Pay attention to the advertisers. Buy from them. Tell them where you heard about them. Write a letter to the president of the company or store thanking them for advertising with your favorite radio station or TV program.

This is the way it works in this country of ours, and for that I'm thankful.

And now you know the truth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marketing vs. Advertising

From my own archives 3 1/2 years ago... still true today:

Marketing vs. Advertising. What works and why?

1. Marketing is the BIG Picture. Marketing includes many different elements that add up to how you and your company are perceived by the public.

2. EVERYTIME a person thinks about you/your company, an impression is being made, either positive, negative, or somewhere in between.

3. These impressions add up to create the overall image of you/your company.

4. What causes a person to think about you/your company?
• A conversation specific to you/your company.
• A conversation about a competitor of you/your company.
• An overheard remark about you/your company, or your competitor.
• Advertising for you/your company, or your competitor.
• A hands-on experience with you/your company, or your competitor.
• Other sensory experiences that trigger a thought about you/your company, or your competitor. (The aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the sound of an ambulance, the touch of a little child’s sticky hands)

5. Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. There are internal and external elements to your marketing. Let’s start with the internal:
• First customer contact. Telephone? How is the phone answered? What is the mood and tone of voice of the person answering? Is it inviting and welcoming or does the person answering sound rushed, bothered, or unfriendly. Same concepts for your walk in traffic. What are the impressions you and your staff project to your clients and potential clients? What improvements need to be made?
• Follow up and service. Is there anything lacking? (Nearly everyone and every business have at least on area that could use improvement. Find out what could be improved with you/your company.
• Ask, and work to improve, instead of making excuses. There is a bit of truth in every complaint. Also find out what people are not complaining about.

6. External marketing. This is often what we call advertising. Questions to ask:
• Is it consistent? Do you present a uniform picture to the public of what you are about and why they should do business with you? (The opposite is a scattered, all things to all people, confusing, and blurry image for you/your company)
• Are you using the most effective mediums to leverage your time and resources? Until recently drug companies did not advertise directly to consumers for prescription medicines. For dozens of years, they spent their time and money going directly to the doctors to convince them to prescribe their medicines. Who are your most likely customers? Are you inviting them to use you? How are you doing it? There are strengths and weaknesses of Radio, TV, Billboards, Internet, Newspapers, Direct Mail, Magazines, and each one of these are effective for the right business, when matched up properly with realistic goals and objectives.
• Networking is one way to get the word out about you/your company, if you understand what it can and cannot do. Give the people you network with the information so they will a)want to recommend you to others (EMOTIONS) and b) understand why to recommend you to others (FACTS)

7. You/your company, does not operate in a vacuum. Consumers need to know why they should buy from you/your company instead of your competition. EVERYONE HAS COMPETITION. I want to know why I should give YOU my money instead of spending it on something else or somewhere else. Too many businesses fail because they fail to recognize this principle.

8. Understand that your marketing and advertising needs to be designed to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS with current and future customers. Building relationships take time and exposure. People want to feel good when they spend their money and it is a combination of facts and emotion that produces that good feeling. The more personal a message is, the easier it is to build that relationship. That’s why I prefer radio for many of my clients, because it is a very personal medium that involves talking, imagery, emotion, and facts. It can also be cost effective depending on what needs to be accomplished to produce a nice return on investment. And it can be used in combination with other mediums to enhance an advertising and marketing program.

For more information, contact Scott Howard at Scott@ScLoHo.net

Friday, October 9, 2009

Join the Conversation, An Introduction to Social Media & Marketing

Friday morning, I gave the following presentation to a group of business professionals who were curious about Social Media and Social Marketing... You may need to download the powerpoint presentation from here to watch the two videos that are included.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Best Ideas

are not formed in a vacuum.

Often the best ideas are from a variety of sources and then revised, updated, and made relevant for who you want to reach.

Friday morning, I am presenting a seminar on social media and marketing and I'll be using material that others have produced. I will include videos, powerpoint slides and a few handouts. Most of the material is borrowed from other sources. And I will give the other sources credit for their work.

What about your business? Do you recycle ideas that worked in the past? Do you watch others and see what they have done that you can adapt to your marketing?

By the way, here are the details for Friday:

Join the Conversation! Social Media & Marketing

Friday, October 9, 2009 - 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Find out what the Social Media Craze is all about, where it came from, what’s going on, and where it’s going!

So, you’ve heard about words like
Social Media, Social Marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and you’re wondering,
“ What’s this all about?” “Is this just a fad?” “It’s just for kids?” or perhaps, “It all sounds pretty stupid and a waste of time!”

No matter what you are thinking, people are talking about you, your business, your competitors, and you need to join the conversation.

Find out what the Social Media Craze is all about, where it came from, what’s going on, and where it’s going.

You’ll discover the power of communication that can keep you in touch with your current, former, and prospective customers.

About Our Speaker

Scott Howard is the founder of ScLoHo Marketing Solutions based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since 1986, he has created advertising and marketing campaigns using radio, print, direct mail, and a multitude of internet based media and marketing options.

Since 2003, he has been with Summit City Radio as a Senior Sales Executive, Station Manager, Teacher, Trainer and Mentor.

Scott writes, edits and publishes 5 blogs including 2 on Marketing, Advertising and Sales:

ScLoHo’s Collective Wisdom (http://sclohonet.blogspot.com/) is updated 25 to 30 times each week with sales training tips, marketing and advertising news and social media information.

The Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo (http://sclohonet-thebook.blogspot.com/) is updated weekly. If Scott were to take the time to write a book on marketing, these would be the chapters!

Scott was recently asked to write a piece on Marketing and Advertising for the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Emphasis newsletter, which was published and distributed in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly August 21, 2009.

Services provided by ScLoHo Marketing Solutions include:
-Internet and Social Media Services
-Marketing Plan Consulting and Implementation
-Radio and Specialized Print Advertising Options
-Personalized Sales Training and Coaching

Scott serves on the Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne as the Vice President of Membership.


Who Should Attend: Anyone wondering what Social Media is... if it can help your business ... and why you might want to participate in it!
Where: TQM Network Learning Center - Leadership & Learning Center
Directions: The TQM Network Learning Center is located 825 Barr Street. Parking is available at meters surrounding the building or the parking garage on the corner of Wayne & Barr. Some limited free parking is available on the side of the building.

The event will be held in the Lower Level Conference Room.
Speaker/Instructor Scott Howard, ScLoHo
Cost: $100 for non-members.
No cost for members.
Registration: You may register online at www.tqmnet.com. Click on the 'Register Now!' button. You may also send an email to register@tqmnet.com, or call Jamie at 260-557-7665.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Plan

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day to day, week to week process of running our businesses and our life overall, we neglect to put together a plan.

Yeah, I'm going to toss out the big words for a moment and simply call this your Plan.

The most successful and the least successful people you know have the same amount of time each day. Time is the great equalizer.

However it really doesn't matter how much you get done each week, if it isn't a part of your plan.

My challenge to you, (and me!), is to create a direction you want to go and include why you want to go in that direction with your company and your life.

Then once you know where you are wanting to go, you can start to put together your plan.

Over the past 20 plus years, I have seen organizations that put together plans, without knowing what direction they wanted to go, and this is backwards.

I've also seen organizations without a plan and without a direction, spend money and time on marketing and advertising efforts that they should not have done; and if they had a plan, they wouldn't have.

Finally, I've seen organizations that are going to stick rigidly to a plan and ignore the changes in the marketplace and as a result, die a slow miserable death.

Let's wrap this up with 3 tips:

  1. Decide what direction to go.
  2. Put together a Plan to take you there
  3. Measure all the marketing and advertising opportunities against #'s 1 & 2. If they fit, consider them. If they don't fit, double check your direction and plan to see if they are still relevant for you and if they are, then say no (for now) to those opportunities.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Specialize or Generalize

I am doing more by doing less, which results in doing more. Let me explain and see how this can work for you too.

When I formalized my business, ScLoHo Marketing Solutions, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do with the company.

But it took some refining by knowing my strengths and what areas I wanted to avoid.

However, every once in a while, I get a request to do something outside of my arena which I have been challenged to accept, but I reel myself back in and decide to do what is best for me and the client.

Sometimes that is hiring a freelancer or subcontractor, to do the nitty-gritty. Other times it is referring the work to someone I believe is more qualified.

I have had the pleasure of learning from hundreds of business owners that were trying their very best to be successful and unfortunately unless you specialize you run the risk of losing it all.

Even Walmart specializes. They specialize in low prices. And they have the buying power to do so.

Me, like you, we need to determine what we are good at, and build on our areas of expertise. Build solid relationships with those that are your clients and customers and also build good relationships with those that you decide are not a good fit for you.

One way to ruin your reputation and your business is to over commit and leave a bad taste in someones mouth. And with the spread of social media, that bad taste will spread to others via word of mouth.

Better to be known for what you are good at, than to be known for what you are not good at.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Live and In Person

On Friday morning October 9th, I will being doing a presentation on Social Media & Social Marketing that I've titled, "Join the Conversation". If you are within driving distance of Fort Wayne, Indiana and want to attend, I will have a limited number of guest passes to give away, then the cost is $100.

Earlier this year I was asked to do a Social Media/Marketing presentation for the TQM Network, and it took a few weeks for me to decide what direction and theme to use.

The majority of the people I know do not have blogs, do not use twitter, and a small percentage have Facebook pages. (When I say small, I mean less then 50%). Similar stats for Linked In.

So, instead of defending Twitter, or teaching people how to use Linked In, we will talk about what is going on and provide an introduction to Social Media/Marketing in terms that the non-user will understand.

This summer I attended a local presentation on Public Relations which touched on the subject of Social Media and I realized that there was nothing presented that I did not already know, but there are lots of people who know very little and are curious about the subject.

In August, the Fort Wayne chapter of the American Advertising Federation presented Social Media as the topic for a Lunch & Learn event to advertising professionals and we had one of our best attended events in recent months. Even those in the advertising world are not familiar and want to know more.

In a couple of days, I'll be attended one more presentation locally on the subject and then I'll finalize my presentation.

Click here for more details.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Dozen Plus 1 Tips

Recently I was asked by the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to write an article for their newsletter, Emphasis, which is sent to 5000 local business people as a special supplement in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.

See if you can find all 12 tips (plus 1):

The answer to all your advertising and marketing questions:


Whether you are selling burgers, automobiles, health care or clothing; what really matters is the relationship between your business and your customers. This relationship lives in the hearts and minds of your current, previous and potential customers. And the first reality that you need to accept is that your customer doesn’t care about you and your business unless you truly show in a demonstrable way that you care about them, their needs and wants.

Instead of bragging about how good you are, focus on how you can meet their needs. That is the heart of a successful marketing campaign.

So, what goes into a marketing campaign?

For starters, here's a quick check list of 12 things that you can use as you examine how to improve the marketing of your business and improve relationships:


  1. Is your phone answered by a real person within the first 3 rings? People prefer talking to other people instead of an automated attendant.
  2. Does the person answering your phone speak in such a manner that he/she is clear and understandable? Rushing through the name of your business is a common mistake.
  3. Voicemail...When you leave a message, do you speak clearly and slow enough that someone can write down your number so they can call you back? Better yet, leave the number at the beginning and end of your message at a pace you would give, if you were face to face with someone.


  1. Does your establishment need a good top to bottom cleaning? Once a month, schedule a thorough cleaning, including dusting, vacuuming, taking inventory off the shelves, wiping everything down, washing windows, making it sparkle. You may even need to repaint each year, especially if smoking is allowed in your establishment.
  2. Speaking of smoking, Do any of your employees smell like smoke? This can be a real turn off and most smokers are unaware of the smell that permeates their clothing.
  3. Are there any unpleasant odors anywhere? When I walk into a restaurant, I expect to smell the aroma of delicious food. Ask someone that has a stronger sense of smell than you to do a walk-thru of your establishment.
  4. Parking lot and entrances: Is there trash or litter that needs picking up? Make it a part of the daily routine to clean this up. Also be sure to provide trash cans so people will have a place to put their trash instead of the ground. And empty them before they are overflowing!
  5. Are your restrooms clean? All the time? I know several places have a check list for hourly restroom inspections, but even those are not being followed all the time.


  1. Do your employees reflect the level of professionalism that your business should demand? I'm talking about clothing, manners, habits, language, etc. Take it up a notch.
  2. Do you empower your employees to resolve problems or do they have to ask permission to contradict a policy? Examine your policies and eliminate those that are not customer friendly.

Public Relations:

  1. Are you involved in giving back to your community? Not just money but time and service are needed and create an excellent reputation for you and your company.
  2. Are you and your employees branding your company outside of business hours? Do you have shirts with logos that they are encouraged to wear, for example? (You need to hire employees that are a good reflection of your company even in their off hours).

Even if you tackle each of these dozen items successfully, there is another extremely important and necessary part of your marketing that you must do to be successful:

Invite people to do business with you.

Advertising is a part of your marketing.

Advertising is a paid form of marketing that you can control.

It's the invitation for people to do business with you.

I sometimes use the invitation comparison like this:

What if you decided to have a party. It was going to be one BIG Extravaganza! You hired a band, a caterer, rented a reception hall, spent tons of money on getting everything all set for 500 people but you left out one key element: You never sent any invitations with the details.

No matter how much planning you put into your party, if you don't invite anyone, no one will show up.

Same thing with your business. Even if you have fine tuned those previous 12 marketing tips, you need to send out the invitations. That's the purpose of advertising. To get peoples attention to what you have to offer.

Before you decide which advertising venue to use, keep in mind the following timeless principles:

  • The very best marketing method mimics human relationship principles.
  • In order to build relationships, you need to have positive contact repeatedly.
  • Anything that does not follow these two principles should be examined very carefully before you decide to invest your time or money in it.

For centuries, men and women have gone through a courtship stage in their relationships. Many times, this leads to marriage. And that is one of the ultimate examples of how advertising and marketing works. Very few people get married after just one date!

Commit to steady, consistent relationship oriented advertising to invite people to do business with you and back it up with improvements to relationship building marketing and repeat forever.

For more information contact:

Scott Howard at Scott@ScLoHo.net

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How NOT to use Email for Follow Up

I am on the board of directors for our local Advertising Federation. Last year I was the V-P of Communications which included the website and email campaigns.

As I prepared each of the emails, I learned early on to send a copy to myself to check the links and layout, before I sent it to the masses.

Email is an accepted form of communication for lots of business transactions and yet sometimes we get sloppy.

What follows is a poorly edited form letter I received recently when I told a website/email provider that we would not need his services since we were doing it ourselves.

If he had read what he wrote before hitting the send button, he would be spared the embarrassment of my placing his email on this site. Instead, his email became an example of how NOT to use email for follow up.

All of us should learn to proofread before pressing Send:

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your email and the update. Good luck with your new association management tools and website. If for whatever reason they don't meet your expectations in the future and you'd like to explore other options, please email/call at your convenience. Since AssociationMagnet is an off-the-shelf product, it's likely that we (1) have a better feature set (i.e., it's not just "the website," and people generally underestimate the cost/time required to really build all that they need for running an association chapter); (2) can launch for you within a few weeks; _and_ (3) can save you quite a bit of money on an ongoing basis. I'd welcome the opportunity to have a more detailed conversation with you about what you need and what we could do for you.

By the way, since AssociationMagnet is an off-the-shelf product, it's likely that we (1) have a better feature set; (2) can launch for you within a few weeks; _and_ (3) save chapters in normal situations quite a bit of money both on the launch and on an ongoing basis. If/when the time is appropriate, I'd welcome the opportunity to have a more detailed conversation with you about this and what we could do for you.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website

I know the title of this has been used by thousands of people, over and over. But what I'm about to say may run counter to what some of my friends in the marketing/media/internet world have been telling you.

Most of the folks that I know that answer the question will tell you, you need S.E.O.

S.E.O. stands for Search Engine Optimization.

And while this may be important, I discovered a couple years ago what I believe is more important.

First, let's explore SEO and why it can be important.

Most people will find your business by clicking on a link on the internet.

And before they find a link, they will perform a Search, using a Search Engine such as Yahoo!, Google, or perhaps MSN. This chart shows the popularity of various Search Engines just three years ago in 2006:

Yet, times have changed. In a report for July 2009, Google now has grown to 64.7%, Yahoo has shrunk to 19.3%, Microsoft has rebranded its search engine and is now know as Bing and has an 8.9% share, Ask is at 3.9% and AOL is down to 3.1%. Click here for the details.

So Google is the king of Search, which means that websites need to be Optimized so Google will find them and send traffic (visitors) to your website. This is why there has been such a boom and push in S.E.O.

Problem is, S.E.O. is not cutting edge, it's just one of those things you probably should do because everyone else does it. However there is a new way to be found....

And it's not really new. I discovered this a few years ago, and it follows the growing trend of how and why people are using the internet.

The trend is current information. We want to know what is going on now, and this search for information will leave many (or most) current websites in the dust.

When I began blogging a few years ago, I was undisciplined, unorganized and not really focused. It took me awhile to develop a purpose and a strategy, but once I put those pieces into place, the rest grew.

The answer to driving traffic to your website that has been working for me the last few years and will continue for the foreseeable future is provide current content that people want.

I believe one of the easiest ways is to write a blog about a subject that you are passionate about and keep it fresh with a new, worthwhile posting at least once a week.

That's what I do on this blog you are reading now, however this is really my 4th blog.

My number one blog is updated 3 to 5 times a day/ 7 days a week and is also about Marketing, Advertising and Sales. It is currently one of the top 240 marketing blogs in the world according to a couple of different ranking services. This number one blog is titled ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom and you can find it be clicking here.

My number 2 blog is a fun, personal blog that I started as a way to post items that were not related to my business.
Last year I featured links to other blogs in my town of Fort Wayne, Indiana, then this year committed to featuring a Fort Wayne Site of the day, every single day which has garnered lots of attention, including requests to be featured. You can visit it by clicking here.

Blog number 3 is simply a collection of random pictures, a few personal, most were found on the web. It gets updated as I see fit.

The last one is a political blog which I use randomly to share some ideas of a political nature.

Here's why I know this works:

  1. I have tracking counters that show me how many visitors I am getting. Over 500 per week currently.
  2. I have received offers for work and projects for me and my company from these blog postings. This includes unsolicited speaking and seminar engagements.
  3. I have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally by various individuals and organizations that found me online via the blogs.
  4. It is paying off for me financially, yes real money.
Finally, Google is changing the rules.

Yes, the worlds leading Search Engine is preparing to revamp itself and make it harder for static websites to get noticed, even with S.E.O. in place. Click here for details and a preview.

And this also falls into my ongoing push to build your business through relationship based marketing. By engaging in current conversational practices online, you are providing what people are looking (searching) for.

It works. Now, and even more in the months ahead.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Picking your Advertising Medium

One more re-posting and then next week I'll have something fresh.

I originally wrote this last summer, but in case you missed it, or forgot about it, or simply ignored it, read it now.

And if you answer no to the first question, Don't Follow this Advice!!!

Are you your ideal customer?

Then look at your own media habits.

Start with your morning routine.

Did you wake up to the radio?

Watch television before you left the house?

See any Billboards that caught your attention?

Listen to the radio on your way to work?

Read the paper?

Check any websites?


If you are your ideal customer, then consider advertising using the media that you use in real life.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Ten Year Plan, 1 year later

On August 10th, 2008 I wrote the following challenge.

It is now 53 weeks later, and my question to you is, have you started your plan yet?

My life definitely has taken a different direction and I am much more in control than last year at this time. If you read this last year, read it again.

If this is the first time, then act now:

Ten years from now, what will be different in your life?

Ten years from now, how will your business be different?

Ten years from now, will your life and your business be the result of a plan or simply circumstance?

One of my activities is serving on a marketing advisory board for a financial firm and when I began 18 months ago, I asked the owner these same questions.

As a result of knowing where she wants to be in ten years, she can formulate a plan for today that will move her firm in the direction it needs to go.

Yes, I know there are many things that we cannot predict that will occur in the next ten years, but if you honestly take a look at your life and your business, you'll be surprised at what is predictable.

Set some goals, complete with a timeline. Then start down the path to get there. You'll be in the top 10% by simply doing these steps.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Timeless Lessons

A blog that I read regularly made reference to "repost your blog day" or something like that today, so I found a favorite of mine from February 2008:

It's one thing to write, preach, teach and inspire others to do the right thing. It's something else to follow your own advice and Live the Life. This is about someone that Lives the Life.

Over a year ago I wrote to Harvey Mackay about something he wrote on his website. And I forgot about it until this week.

Monday I received a letter of apology from one of his assistants:

Dear Mr. Howard:

I am Harvey Mackay's assistant and I must apologize as I have just now come across a letter Harvey dictated to you last year when you emailed him.

It is totally my responsibility for the late response, so I'd like to briefly explain and hope you will understand.

I lost my dad in February...

And she continues:

received tens of thousands of letters and emails every year so you can probably imagine the backlog developed over that time so when your email was sent in April I was already buried. I had been sending his emails to him in mail folders as he is working on a book project due out this year and was out of the office most of the time . . . he then returns enormous amounts of written responses for me to send out...

She also asked for my mailing address so she could send a book and the letter that Harvey dictated last year.

I wrote back and expressed my condolences over her losses, and updated her on what I have being doing with my blog references to Harvey, and also the influence he has had on not only me but also my oldest daughter who is excelling in relationship based sales.

Thursday a package arrived with the letters and some more of Harvey's writings.

Lessons learned:

  1. Harvey Mackay still takes the time to respond to those who write to him, despite the enormous volume.
  2. Harvey's staff also is living the life example that Harvey lives.
  3. It's never too late to do the right thing.
Thank you, so very much.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Hunter vs. The Farmer

Both the hunter and the farmer have one goal: Food.

And Food means Survival.

The Hunter however takes careful aim at his prey and fires. If he hits his target, he eats. If he misses, he has to start all over because the shot scared away his prey and all he did was create a lot of noise, waste his ammo and his time.

The Farmer has a different approach. He prepares, plants, waters, feeds and nurtures. Doesn't matter if he is raising cattle or corn, the process is the same. In the end, he will receive the reward for his work.

Does this mean it is better to be a Farmer than a Hunter?

All depends on what you want to accomplish.

Personally I prefer the Farmer Approach, because I am more relationship based when it comes to sales and marketing. Yet I also work with advertisers that want to do the Hunter Approach which works fine if they are having an event.

But if you plan on being around more than a weekend, learn how to apply the Farmer Approach. Need help? Contact me at Scott@ScLoHo.net

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Things First

Do you know why Google is the number one search engine?

Do you know why Microsoft Windows is the number one computer operating system?

Do you know why McDonalds is the top dog in the food franchise business?

Do you want to be number one?

Usually Being Number One means also being the number one money maker too.

The NOT Answers:

Google is not the preferred search engine because they are number one.

Windows is not the preferred computer operating system because they are number one.

McDonalds is not the drawing in hoardes of customers because they are number one.

That thinking is backwards. And it is limiting.

After all, only one can be number one.

I spent some time watching the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race a few days ago and no one knows who came in 10th 10 years ago, except those that were on his team, his family and fans. And NASCAR is not a winner take all sport, finishing 10th in 1999 earned Dale Earnhart $135,000 that day.

Life and business is like that too. It's not winner take all.

So here are the REAL answers:

Google, Microsoft Windows and McDonalds became number ones, because people wanted what they offered that was different from their competitors. Not Better, Not First, but each had an attractive difference in their own niche's that drew people to them and they became number one.

As they developed their niche, they made money.

Some people have things backwards, their goal is to make lots of money and they jump around from one get rich scheme to another, but it doesn't last.

And instead of trying to beat number one, focus on your own strengths.

20 years ago Ries and Trout wrote a book called Positioning which launched my marketing career. The premise is focus on being different from instead of better than your competition.

Combine that with a marketing and advertising plan and stick with it. The money will come, but remember to keep First Things First.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Love & Passion Niche

Do you Love what you do?

Are you Passionate about what you do?

Or are you feeling stuck, bored, perhaps worried?

I invite you to try a different approach to your work and business.

Business Plans are for the Bankers and Lawyers.

Passion Plans are for Entrepreneurs like you.

Take some time and start writing down what your passion is.

Take as much time as you need, then put it away for 2 days and review it again.

Rewrite it, refresh it and then put it away for a couple more days.

Finally, take it out and compare it to your current work and business and then start to realign so you are following your passion again and back in love with your life. You may have to redesign your business and get rid of the things that cluttered it up. But what you'll end up with is your Love & Passion Niche.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Problem and the Solutions Re: Your OnLine Presence

A few years ago, the radio station that I was managing used an outside vendor that rewarded people to go from our radio station website, to a clients website. It was a great concept, but there is an even bigger problem:

Besides the internet itself, how do we get people to visit us online?

It could be your blog, your website, your forum, your picture or video site, anyplace on the web...

Here's a few options.

Include your web address in EVERY piece of printed material:

  • Business Cards
  • Letterhead
  • Brochures
  • Signage
  • Uniforms
  • Promotional Products (pens, coffee mugs, etc.)
Basically the way you used to promote your phone number or street address, do the same with your internet address.

Also, make it easy to read and memorize.
Use Capital Letters within the web name.

For example, instead of:

Now your site name is memorable instead of a random string of letters.

And do not include the "www" in front of your web address. It isn't necessary anymore.

You can also use traditional media such as radio, tv, billboards, direct mail, newspapers to reach the masses, but before you do, be sure your site is worthy of visiting.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The 24/7 World

As I write this, it is bright, sunny, warm and humid outside on a Saturday afternoon. The reason it is humid is the severe thunderstorms that were rumbling through our area at 8 am.

But this is not about the weather, it is about information and accessibility.

Today our city was scheduled to have the parade to kick off the 41st Three Rivers Festival. Start time was 10:15. The big question that needed an answer, Is the parade ON/OFF/DELAYED?

We typically have 100,000+ attend this event each year, including my wife.

Not long ago, we could tune into the radio 24/7 for updates on local news worthy events, then deregulation allowed stations to automate and not have live people in the building 24/7. (Since I work it that business, I also knew what my stations were doing on Saturday morning and the local news station, and there was no word.)

Next I tuned to the local TV Stations and got some weather info, but no word on this major event. I was really hoping the station that broadcasts the parade would have information, but all they had was kids shows.

So next I went online. To Twitter. Here there were others asking the same question, including one of the TV news anchors, who was SPECULATING that it would be canceled. When you are a person of that standing, you should not speculate on twitter about items like this that effect so many people plans.

Soon, however, a local blogger that I trust, posted on his blog and on Twitter that the parade was on, so I phoned my wife and gave her the good news.

What disturbs me is that all the local TV Stations have Twitter accounts as does the Three Rivers Festival, yet no one could answer a question about the parade.

Yes, it was the weekend, but no, that is not acceptable in this age of 24/7 information.

Now, let me relate this to your business. A few weeks ago after my wife came home, as the garage door was closing, we heard a snap. Turns out it is 8pm, both of our cars are trapped in the garage and we have to go to work in less than 12 hours. One garage door service company that I called had an after hours message when I called them. Then I remembered the company I called a few years ago when we lived in a different house.

I called them, they were at our house in 40 minutes, and 2 hours later, everything was taken care of. Today I mailed them a check and a thank you.

What happens when one of your customers has a question or problem after regular hours? Do they get an answer? Or do they get an automated message telling them to call back on Monday?

I urge you to step into the 24/7 world.

Forward all calls after hours to someone who can and will help. Depending on your business, you may never get a call after hours. But if you do, and you can help them, that's one less lost customer and one customer that you have earned and your competitor will never see.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Advertising Math

Too often businesses will allocate a percentage of their operating expenses to advertising and that's that. However for most small and medium size companies, that amount is too small.

Instead of a percentage, do this simple math formula:

Cost of Advertising Expenditure = ______ new customers spending $________.

Then fill in the blanks based on your current flow of business. Don't expect an immediate return either. It may take a few weeks or months depending on the frequency of advertising and the length of your customers buying cycle.

A home owner buys a new roof once every 10 to 30 years. A person gets their hair cut or styled between once a week to once every two months. Most people eat 3 meals a day. People are more likely to spend money on the days right after payday. These are all factors we call the customers buying cycle.

Back to the Advertising Math Formula. Be honest with yourself. There are certain fixed costs that you will have to pay if you have one customer a day, or 10 customers. Rent, Utilities, etc. Leave those fixed costs out of the Advertising Math Formula.

And also be honest about the true value of a customer. Click here to read more.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Simplicity of Advertising

It's easy to make advertising complicated. Analyze data, set percentages, create databases, etc, etc, etc.

But as I work with advertising agencies or business owners, I see a danger in some of their conclusions as they look at the data. They overlook the simplicity of advertising, and they simply overlook many great advertising opportunities that could help them grow.

So here is the simplicity of advertising:

Advertising is like sending out invitations to a party. If you don't invite anyone to do business with you, no one will show up!

Often when business are short of cash, they cut back or eliminate their advertising. Which if you read the above statement, you will understand is more than stupid, it is fatal.

Next time, I'll share with you a simple math formula that you can use to determine the success and expectations of your advertising. Contact me with any comments or questions at Scott@ScLoHo.net

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thick vs. Thin

Rarely have I seen a business spend too much money on advertising. Usually they spend too little.

Or more accurately, they try the "thin" method instead of the "thick" method.

The Thin Method: Take a little bit of money and spread it around to reach lots of people using different advertising venues. $25,000 divided between 5 radio stations, a couple tv stations, some direct mail and pretty soon, you'll be out of cash, before it pays you back. Spreading yourself too thin simply doesn't work for most people.

The Thick Method: Pick an advertising venue and dominate it. For example in the radio business, buy ads on ONE radio station, and have them air everyday in the same 4 or 5 hour block of time, and pretty soon, you will become the most recognized business in your profession for the thousands of listeners that hear about you day after day.

THEN.... after you start to see a return on your advertising investment, ADD to your investment with more ads either on the same radio station at a different time of the day, or another advertising venue that fits your business.

This is not a quick process, but it is a process that works, and that's what you really want right?

Monday, June 8, 2009

I disagree

Over my vacation, as my wife and I were driving through some mountains, I caught up on some reading and was disappointed with some of the advice I read from a marketing guru.

He said that you don't need to brand yourself, instead you should send out an offer for something free.

To this, I respectfully disagree.

The very best form of marketing, is often when a third party, perhaps a customer, tells others about you in the form of a referral without compensation. This is true word of mouth in its purest form.

I have personally benefited from "branding activities" that have resulted in exactly what I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Later this month, I will be doing public speaking, authoring an article on marketing and advertising, interviewed for a business news success article and it all comes from the work that I have done "branding" myself.

Branding, when done properly creates trust. It builds relationships, it creates credibility. It eliminates the need to discount, or give away stuff.

Now, I said I "respectfully" disagree, because the man who wrote the book I was reading has achieved a level of success doing what he preaches.

But I wonder how much more successful he would be if he followed my advice instead?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Right Perspective


A word that means point of view. In the world of marketing and advertising, so many people get it wrong.

What happens when you look through a pair of binoculars backwards?

Things look much different than if you looked through them properly.

In business, most business owners look at their business from their own perspective, which is good in certain areas like bookkeeping, inventory management, etc.

But it's backwards when you are focusing your marketing and advertising.

The Right Perspective is through your customers eyes.

What do they need?

What do they want?

How do they feel about you and your business?

Once you answer those questions, you can begin to see yourself the way the rest of the world sees you.

Problem is, too often that's too hard to do on your own, so you need an adviser, someone who will be honest with you and who knows how to be a customer. The money you pay this person for this type of insight can be priceless.

Certain companies, big ones, lost their focus and have struggled. Starbucks, General Motors are a couple that come to mind. Others have kept their focus such as McDonalds. If it can happen to these big boys, it can happen to anyone.

Tell you what. If you are in the Fort Wayne Indiana area, my company, ScLoHo Marketing Solutions can help. If you are outside this area, I have connections around the country that I can recommend. My email is Scott (at) ScLoHo (dot) net. Or click here for our website.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day & Marketing

As I write this on Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to share a few do's and don'ts in relationship to your Marketing.

First a few DO's:

Do everything to make your Marketing Memorable.

Do communicate to your staff any and all promotions, specials, etc. that you are offering.

Do reward your loyal customers and loyal employees. They are your best form of marketing.

Do make sure your marketing messages are consistent and not confusing.

A couple DON'Ts:

Don't cheapen holidays like this weekend with some disingenuous sale scheme.

Don't ignore customer complaints.

And one more DO: In the next 24 hours, thank a veteran for your freedom.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Building A Radio Advertising Campaign-3 & 4

First of all, read first parts 1 and 2.

Now let's get to the point. Which is part 3= Specific Benefits.

Make one specific point in your commercial. Avoid tossing in all the extra stuff. Tell people what you want them to do. Make it specific. Don't give a phone number AND a web address. Just one.

You can do several commercials like this, as long as each of them is specific. It takes a lot of guts to get specific and avoid falling back into a general commercial. Which you can do on occasion, but the best results will come when you stay specific.

Part 4 does not apply to everyone. Part 4 is Re-Created Benefits. This is where your business grows and you discover a new aspect of your business that did not previously exist. When I worked with a Doctor a few years ago, we helped him open satellite offices to expand his practice.

I also worked with a car rental company that began selling their cars directly to the public, another example to Re-Created Benefits.

These days it may be easier to offer Re-Created Benefits with the improved communication tools ranging from text messaging to online appointment setting, to... who knows what will be next.

As you review these 4 steps to building a Radio Advertising Campaign and you need help applying these to your business, contact me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Building A Radio Advertising Campaign-2

A few weeks ago I presented part 1, click here to read it.

Intangible Benefits was the focus of part 1, today we look at the next step, General Benefits.

General Benefits are dangerous. Most radio ads and most print ads, (especially yellow pages), fall into this category.

G.B. ads talk about your business in general terms, almost as a "toss in everything including the kitchen sink" Address, hours, a few items about what you sell, how long you've been around, phone number, cram it all in and hope and pray that something you say prompts someone to spend money with you.

I learned 20 years ago that this was where most radio advertising failed, yet most radio ads sound like this. To the listener, it's a tune out. So if you are going to use this step, do it very briefly, and then move to the next step...Specific Benefits. More coming soon.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Timeless Marketing Principles

I serve on a few marketing advisory boards and I have noticed how some folks are either confused by, or scared of new technology.

Let's take some of the mystery out of it.

Technology advances are coming at us faster and faster it seems but they are only tools.

And you have to use the right tools to accomplish the task at hand. A pipe wrench isn't the best tool to change a light bulb, but you probably could use it.

Before you decide which tool to use in your marketing, keep in mind the following timeless principles:

  • The very best marketing method mimics human relationship principles.
  • In order to build relationships, you need to have positive contact repeatedly.
  • Anything that does not follow these two principles should be examined very carefully before you decide to invest your time or money in it.
For centuries, men and women have gone through a courtship stage in their relationships. Many times, this leads to marriage. And that is one of the ultimate examples of how marketing works.

Yes, there are other outcomes between men and women, ranging from friendship to one-night-stands. But what type of relationship do you want with your customers? I bet if you were really honest with yourself, you would want the one that lasts a lifetime, puts up with imperfections, stands by you even when you screw up, and smiles when they think of you.

In return, you strive to be your best, to forgive when your customer screws up, to put up with their quirks and to go out of your way to serve.

No matter what tool you use in advertising or marketing, follow these principles. They will stand the test of time.