Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 in Review

What do you think was the biggest marketing/PR disaster of 2010?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Small Business Holiday Marketing Checklist

You can't help but notice all the promotional marketing that big businesses put forth during the holiday season. Small business should take advantage of the season and but their best marketing foot forward too:

- JR Griggs, author of 10 Ways to Put Yourself Out of Business suggests that you "Send out Christmas cards instead of emails. People will hang a Christmas card but they will not print and hang an email." Sending holiday cards is a thoughtful way to thank your clients for their business.

- Create a fun, unique personalized item that your prospects and clients will remember. Try personalizing the stamp on your holiday cards with your logo! Or send bags of M&M's or Hershey Bars customized with your own message.

-For retail stores, offer free cider, coffee or treats to encourage your customers to linger longer.

-Offer holiday specials. Any product or service can be repackaged with a holiday offer or theme.

What holiday marketing tactics work best for your business?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turn Your Event into a Money-Making Promotion for your Business

Marketing & Event Resources recently provided marketing and publicity services for the grand opening of Shelter Interiors, a new interior design studio in Milford, CT on the Green. Many of the marketing activities that we implemented can be applied to any event and help turn it into a smart money-making promotion for your business.

Be Community-Minded
Is there a way that your event can be tied in with a greater cause? Shelter Interiors hoped that their grand opening could help the local community in some way. We decided to conduct a blanket drive in conjunction with the event (which would be given to a Milford non-profit) and announced it in all the newspaper community calendars.

Traffic Generating Incentives
Coupons are always a smart marketing tool. Promote a product or service that prospects will respond to and make it time sensitive to encourage a speedy response! Shelter Interiors offered a 10% discount on all purchases for the entire month as part of their Grand Opening promotion.

Beginning a month prior to the event, send timely email, fliers and personal invitations and use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to spread the word. Create a video for YouTube that acts as a teaser ad for the event. Don't forget to include your special offer or incentive.

For big events, think about media partnerships with local radio stations, TV stations, newspapers and cable companies. In exchange for exclusive rights to promote your event on site, you can try to obtain on air promotions or advertising at no cost to you.

Advertising and Public Relations
If your budget allows, advertise in your local daily and weekly newspaper and on the radio for one to two weeks leading up to your event. Write a great press announcement and get it out all the local trade and community outlets.

Team up with related businesses or neighboring businesses so that you all can contribute to and benefit from buzz of your event. Brainstorm who you can create reciprocal marketing partnerships with for the event and ongoing!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Social Media's No Longer Optional

Check out these stunning facts about social media and reconsider what your business is doing to incorporate them into your marketing plan:

51%-79% consumers are more likely to buy or recommend a brand if like/follow on FB/Twitter.

Social media adoption among U.S. small businesses doubled in the past year from 12% to 24%

Facebook has over 550 million users

Twitter has over 160 million users

Friday, October 15, 2010

Promote Your Events through Social Media Marketing

Are you using your social media connections to effectively promote your upcoming seminar, open house, networking event or trade show exhibit? Social media tools should be part of your plan to spread the word to your customers, prospects, friends and others about the event.

Start by creating an event web page where you can house all the relevant info. This page should provide all the detail that people want to learn before registering.

Check out Constant Contact's Event Marketing tool to help you set up your event's details, manage and promote it through professional looking e-invites, updates and reminders.

Start early by posting save the date or registration announcements on all of your social media networks and email the same notice to your clients, prospects and constituents.

Continue to promote your event with a stream of updates on Facebook and Twitter. Try to build interest by promoting what attendees can expect to learn/receive at your event. Create your event on LinkedIn and invite people you're connected with. Don't forget to join any business networking groups in your event's city so you can post the event to their discussion boards.

For effective Twitter marketing, create an event hashtag on Twitter and encourage attendees to use it when they mention your event in their Twitter posts.

Post-event promotion is important too. Use social media to share photos, videos, information, etc. to remind or inform everyone how successful the event was.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Social Media vs. Email Marketing?

There's lots of discussion these days about whether or not social media marketing trumps email marketing! Will social media become a stronger communications tool or will email keep it's place in your marketing arsenal? My advice is to do both! You never know which one your prospects will be using most. And the synergy of using both tools can increase your odds of engaging with prospects and customers, gaining awareness and increasing business!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Facebook Flair

Want to have some fun with your status updates on FaceBook? ☀☁☂☃ ;) Check out this Facebook Symbols site:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Your Social Media Success Story

If you've been actively using social networking as part of your business' marketing formula, let us know what successes you have had using it. You might be able to credit your social media efforts with your improved customer relations, new prospects or maybe even a jump in business.

Please share!

PR Pitch Ideas

Here are some great reasons to call your local reporter:

Your New Book is Being Published
The High Rate of Growth of your Business
You Can Offer Lessons or Useful Information
Your Products or Services Tie into a Current Trend
A Unique Business Opportunity
Grand Opening of a Store or Business

Need help coming up with pitch ideas for your business? Call or email Jocelyn today!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Facebook Privacy Info- Must Read

If you're a Facebook user, you've probably heard about the new privacy settings that they announced this week. If you haven't thought about protecting your privacy, now's the time. Go to

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Building a Quality Email Readership

We all know how important it is to build your email list so you can e-market your products or services. But what's really important is not the list's quantity but its quality. You want your email readership to be a targeted, interested party of readers.
Here are some ways to build a strong email list:
1) Refine your Targeting
Interest in your emails depends on how targeted your audience is. To be sure they're interested in your content, make it clear of the type of information you're distributing upon sign up. Collect email addresses of people who are interested in learning from the tips and advice you provide.
2) Evaluate your Open Rate
It's crucial to review your email open statistics to find out who is and isn't reading your material. Each quarter, go through your list and identify those who haven't been opening your emails. Send them a brief email asking whether or not they'd like to remain on your list.
3) Segment your List
Separate you list in to special groups so you can send targeted communications to each of them. Find out what your readers are interested in by tracking which links they're clicking on or try sending them a survey.
Effective email marketing takes effort but it will pay off! Don't have the time to do it right yourself? Call or email Jocelyn and ask how I can put together an email marketing plan for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Better Blogging

The most common problem associated with blogging is finding the time to do it or being disciplined enough to post information on a regular basis. Another common issue is having good content or interesting ideas to blog about.

To help get you on the path to making timely, interesting posts, try this:

Create a Google Alert for keywords that relate to the topics you blog about. Check the Alerts to link to what other bloggers are saying on these topics and then post your own commentary. Now you have your next blog topic too!

Transfers your comments to your own blog, add more details to develop it further and voila- you've easily created your next blog post!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Many Small Businesses Not Engaged in Social Media

According to a new Citibank/GfK Roper survey, most small businesses are not using social networking tools to market their products and services.

According to the survey of 552 small business executives across the United States,37 percent of small businesses have not used a Web site for marketing or expanding their business and 84 percent have not used ecommerce to sell their products or services. Additionally, 62 percent aren’t using basic email for marketing their business.

So what's holding these small businesses back? Are they frightened or overwhelmed at the thought of taking on social media and don't now where to start? It looks like age may be a factor. According to the survey, 27 percent of those business owners under age 45 had used Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter in the past year, compared to 16percent over age 45.

There's a huge opportunity for small businesses to impact their sales through some straight forward tools. If you haven't jumped on the social media bandwagon, start by sending marketing email messages to promote a particular service, discount or holiday promotion. Next, secure your online presence by creating a simple Web site- your prospects and customers expect it. While it may seem daunting at first to tackle Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there are Web sites and tool that help you integrate all your social media to save time. No budget? No problem- most social media tools are free or very cheap.

Don't lose out on the marketing and communications power that online social media tools can offer your business.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Social Media Integration

Ever wonder how people find the time to manage their Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and other social media site postings and still keep their day jobs? If you're one of the many who finds social media a bit overwhelming, you're not alone!

Here's the key to success when it comes to effectively managing your social media sites: using tools that allow you to link or integrate these sites seamlessly. Functionality varies but in short these tools let you post your status once and all of your social networking sites can be updated. Check out the tools offered by HootSuite, Brizzly, helltxt or Tweetdeck.

As an example, HootSuite is a Web-based tool (no software downloads) that lets you manage all of your social media networks, including WordPress blogs, from one easy-to-use interface. It allows you to schedule updates for any or all of your social networks and then use their analytics to track how many people have clicked on your links. One of the best features of HootSuite is the ability to schedule future Tweets and status updates. So on Monday, you can plan out and schedule all of your Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts for the week or even the month!

Cross-post your content and increase your social media efficiency and productivity.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Marketing Power of Public Speaking for Small Businesses

As a small business, everyone's trying to jump on the social media bandwagon and maximize their online presence. While's it's a smart move, don't forget the value of "in person" connections and presentations. What better way to reach your prospects and customers than to present your knowledge and expertise to them? Giving lectures, talks, seminars and presenting at industry trade shows sounds intimidating but it's one of the more effective ways to build your credibility and market your business.

Choose a topic related to your business or industry that you know your own customers would be interested in learning more about. Provide tips, tricks, "top ten" lists and other useful information on the topic. Position yourself as the expert but avoid turning your presentation into a sales pitch for your product or services.

Now that you know your topic and the benefits it will offer your potential audience, contact your local Chamber of Commerce, industry associations, professional and business groups. These groups are generally open to hearing free speakers who present quality content. Try to assess which groups make up your primary target market and go after them first!

After you've given a confident and informative lecture, always take time to answer questions and network with the people who attend. Connecting with them personally can lead to referrals, news business or simply great feedback.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maximize Your Trade Show Publicity Efforts

Although you may be one of hundreds of exhibitors at the upcoming industry expo, there are a few key things you can do to stand out from the crowd and maximize your publicity opportunities at your next trade show.

1. Media
Know which publications and reporters are attending or covering the trade show. Some work months in advance to create special editions. Contact them beforehand so you know their deadlines and expectaions.

2. Just the Facts Please
Write a concise, factual press release (include who, what, when and how) that conveys timely information about a new product or service, a featured prodcut or a special demonstration at the show, etc. Know your audience and write the release with the publications who will be reading it in mind.

3. A Photo is Worth a Thousand Words
Include a photo of your product in use or in development. It can really heighten a reporter's interest and increase your chances of pick up.

4. Contact Information
Although this sounds basic, include both office and cell phone numbers of the people who can be contacted for more details of your news. Reporters get frustrated when they can't track down the appropriate person at a show leading to missed publicity opportunities. Don't forget to include your booth number.

5. Headlines
Include the name of the trade show in the headline and the body of your release. Anyone covering news at the show will be scanning newsroom systems for keywords such as the show name.

6. Traffic to your Site
Embed links in your press release to specific pages of your Web site that pertain to your news. This offers journalists an easy way to gather supporting data and then you can track the traffic on the various pages of your site.

7. Video
If you're doing something extra special at the show, video tape it and post it on YouTube for added exposure.

8. Online Press Kit
While most reporters will be attending the show, keep in mind those who can't make it. Create an online press kit including your release, photos, case studies and company overview that can be conveniently accessed any time.
Welcome to Marketing Matters! I hope that you'll check out this blog often to learn simple tips that will improve your small business' marketing, communications and promotional efforts. The intention here is to keep the information straightforward in an effort to decipher and cut through the clutter and confusion of all the "new" ways to market your business.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your comments and contributions too.