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Two small business owners look concerned, with the caption, "Marketing is a really, really important business tool. But sometimes, you have some work to do first."

Seven signs your business will benefit from more marketing… and six times it won’t

Marketing: is it for you? As marketers, we are firm believers that businesses can’t thrive without good marketing, because marketing is a powerful tool to get customers in the door.  But we’re going to be the first to tell you: more marketing is not always a smart first move for every business. Most, yes… but not all. But how do you know? Seven signs that marketing will really help your business You have a lot of really happy customers, but...
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A man looking at an idea board, with the caption, "Not all marketing channels are built for small business. Choose carefully for your audience and your budget."

The top marketing strategies for small business, examined.

You’ve decided to take the plunge and start marketing your small business. Congratulations, that’s awesome! Deciding to take control of your destiny by driving new customers to your company is an exciting, (if sometimes daunting), decision. Of course, the first question most business owners ask is “OK, so what should I do?” This is a great question; there are a lot of different marketing vehicles (also known as marketing channels) out there, and they all serve a useful purpose. But...
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A car GPS system with the caption, "How can you reach your customers if you don't know who (and where) they are?"

Marketing targeting: how to pick an audience that won’t waste your money

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” Meaning that, while it can be fun to get in the car and go on an adventure, directionless wandering doesn’t work well if you’re trying to meet a group of friends at a new restaurant for dinner reservations which are set for a specific date and time. Instead,  it’s a better idea to plug the address into Google...
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A picture of a sculpture of Theseus and the Minotaur, with the caption, "Forget the magic marketing myth of cheap and wildly effective marketing trick. Real, effective marketing is a lot of work. There are no shortcuts, no “get rich quick” schemes, no snake oil solutions."

The Myth of the Magic Marketing Trick

From time to time, we run across people who seem to be convinced that there is a secret arsenal of marketing know-how that can deliver droves of customers at little (or even no) cost. That there’s something that big-company marketers know about that they hide from the little people. All they have to do is discover it, like secret pirate treasure. Unfortunately, this is akin to Magical Thinking, and often equates to people saying urban myth-adjacent things like “well, when so-and-so...
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A woman with shopping bags, and the caption, "What your marketing budget should be is (literally for some companies) the million dollar question."

Marketing budget: how much *should* a small business spend?

Hands down, the question we get asked the most is about marketing budget – how much a small business should spend on its marketing. And unfortunately, it’s one of the few questions for which there is no concise answer. If you ask the great question-and-answer-box of the internet, you’ll get answers ranging from about 2% of revenue to about 11% or 12%, depending on who you ask, how new your company is (traditional wisdom says you need to spend a...
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