Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Free Small Business Marketing Seminar in Phoenix

I'm hosting a free marketing seminar focused on copywriting for small business marketers on March 7 from 9:30-11 a.m. at Burton Barr Central Library (downtown Phoenix).

Attendees will learn to:

  • Best position their products or services to sell to prospective customers

  • Plan a marketing communications project with less stress

  • Gain confidence in their writing abilities
Space is limited so register by Thursday, March 6 at 5 p.m. at

Burton Barr Central Library is located at 1221 N Central Avenue , Phoenix , AZ 85004 . For directions, call (602) 262-4636.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

How to Write Stellar Marketing Copy

Great news! I'll be presenting a session on writing for your audience as part of the Association of Strategic Marketing's seminar "Copywriting Basics: What Every Marketer Should Know." If you want to learn more on writing stellar marketing copy, this is the training session to attend! It's on April 30th at the Camelback Inn & Resort in Scottsdale. For more information or to register, visit my site or send me your address and I'll mail you a brochure!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Building a Customer-Friendly Website with 2.0

Trying to decide which new features to include in your site? Not even sure of your options? Look to your customer demographics to guide you. While all users will require an easy-to-navigate site, here are the key features valued most by demographic based on a recent analyst survey:

• Baby Boomers. Easy does it: Limited content and functionality.
• Boomers on the edge. Keeping up with the Joneses: User ratings, reviews, and price comparisons.
• Gen X. Talk about the passion: Discussion boards and profile creation.
• Gen Y. I like that: Games, quizzes and questions, profile creation, personalizing the site, and uploading content.

Overall, the preferences of Gen Y’ers (18-27) were the least requested functionalities within the study. So while you can’t please all the people all the time, your dollars are best spent incorporating the more mainstream technologies, plus the occasional special offer, if your market consists of multiple demographics and/or if you are unsure.

For best results, implement tools to collect primary market data, if you haven’t already, as this information will be a boon in driving all of your marketing decisions.

In additon to ease of use, consider applicability as a general guideline. Since most Internet users are seeking content—not e-commerce—regardless of your industry you would be wise to include educational/informative materials, even if this is not your primary product. If you are selling services, the production of content that positions you as an expert, including links to online articles you author, would be a good use of your time—and a no-cost marketing strategy to boot.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Note on “Doing” and “Doing Well”

Issues of quality are a common concern for me, and there have been some lonely times when I was the sole champion of a high standard for professional outcomes, even if it meant more work for myself and others. As the leader of your own enterprise, you might also have that tireless commitment to quality, but we both know that not all things can be done as well as we’d like in a small business environment, where being nimble, responsive, and accountable to clients must come first--with fewer resources. If you're not putting out immediate fires, the pressures can be just as great to do things that drive client satisfaction and sales—from product development to promotions. And typically these things, because client-facing, also need to be “done well” vs. just “done.” What's the exception? Procrastinating because a task MUST be done well, when, in the meantime, doing nothing means losing a greater potential return. So as a microbusiness or small business owner, next time you’re faced with an almost scary expectation for quality, ask with these simple test questions to determine your course:

--What is the cost of doing nothing?
--What do I stand to lose by just doing it and making it better later?
--How much do I stand to gain from doing it well now?

This is an overly simplified strategy, of course, but one that I hope to build on to acheive a more robust model. To help this along, please post your comments!