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Marketing strategy

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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A wrapped package, with the caption, "If someone tries to sell you a marketing package, tread cautiously. Many fail to fit your unique marketing needs."

Small Business Marketing Packages: Approach with Caution

We’ve all come across them: the AMAZING marketing package deals. You know what we mean; they promise to get your company/product in front of thousands of potential buyers with one easy package. Sometimes they come with a pretty steep price tag, but they sound like such a sure-fire thing that many of us end up taking the plunge and spending thousands of dollars… or sometimes they seem so inexpensive you’d be stupid not to try it out. But wait. Would...
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A car engine, with the caption, "Good marketing, like a car, works pretty much all the time. If yours has broken down, don't assume that cars aren't for you - run a diagnostic instead."

Marketing not working? Six ways to troubleshoot

If you are a small business and you don’t feel like any of your marketing works… well, let’s just say you’re not alone. I hear this over and over, and often not just from small businesses. I’ve heard the infamous, “marketing doesn’t work for us” line from businesses ranging from one employee to fifty. And the reality is that they aren’t wrong. But they also aren’t right. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost it. The truth is that at the very...
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A video camera filming, with the caption, "Conventional wisdom would have us all believe that video is the greatest marketing thing since sliced bread. But we advise caution. Here's why."

Don’t make me watch your stupid marketing video

Marketing video fail: a few weeks ago, my mortgage company sent me an email regarding their annual audit of my escrow account. In the past, they’ve sent me a letter describing the change and letting me know when my payment will adjust. I read the letter, absorb the information, and I’m on to other things in under 10 seconds. Sounds good, right? No need to mess with that formula. This year, it appears the marketing department at my mortgage company...
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