Not Rocket Science, Just Marketing… Part II


So, why am I publishing my personal communications on the Internet?

Well, I’m not really… it’s just that giving FREE advice fits so nicely with today’s Open Source Web 2.0 environment!

You see, as you can read in Part I, several days ago I started putting down a few thoughts for a new friend named Rebecca, who was about to spend considerable time creating a marketing plan.

Knowing that implementing strategies in just a couple of critical areas could be a real game changer, I wanted to give her this outline… a simple checklist of items for which to account.

Within twenty-four hours, I had the opportunity to share the same ideas with several others… and then several more. These are all small business people and entrepreneurs who, with the exception of Rebecca, are in the midst of troubling slowdowns.

Further, each expressed a desire to stop beating their head against the wall with traditional, expensive, and (in their words) ineffective broadcast media campaigns.

Fortunately, marketing is not rocket science… and consistent application of a handful of activities will go a long way toward allowing most small businesses to write their bottom line with blank ink, instead of red.

So here is a piece of that letter… written to a dance studio owner, life giver, and fellow encourager. Enjoy!


Dear Rebecca,

As small business owners, we can often wind the entire marketing landscape down to a handful of very definitive and manageable activities, which we can then repeat as often as we like, based on the targets that we have set.

Aside from CONTENT, which I’ll come back to… there are three critical areas that I would recommend you address. But I must warn you… following these instructions may have two potential downsides:

First, your business may be so busy helping all those wonderful new people in 2010, that you won’t be able to take off as much time in the fourth quarter next year, and second… the overflow means there may not be as many cozy classes for just you and your husband!

C’est la vie.

In any event, please consider incorporating these activities into your plan:

1) CREATING AWARENESS with strategies for both outbound (direct outreach) and inbound (online) marketing

2) EXPANDING INFLUENCE through networking and team building, and

3) INCREASING CREDIBILITY through publishing and public speaking.

We’ll look at CREATING AWARENESS here, and then take up EXPANDING INFLUENCE and INCREASING CREDIBILITY (along with a few thoughts on CONTENT) in the next day or so.

There are two main aspects to CREATING AWARENESS. Either you’re reaching out to let others know you’re alive… or they are reaching out to you (often on the web) and need to be able to find you.

In the past, CREATING AWARENESS was most often attempted with an array of direct outreach programs. While there are certainly some creative and effective practices, many typical plans frequently also entailed expensive trade shows, as well as cold calls, letters, direct mail, and gift promotions… followed by more cold calls and a myriad of other tactics that we all pretty much reject when used with us.

Further, it was often accompanied by some form of broadcast or print media, including television, radio, newpapers, magazines, billboards, and the like.

Unfortunately (or, maybe it is fortunate), the effectiveness of such media has been radically altered over the last decade in general… and over the past thirty months in particular.

Not only has much of traditional direct outreach become unreasonably expensive, it also has become the LEAST TRUSTED and MOST IGNORED… leaving small businesses with questionable (sometimes nonexistent) ROI.

The Corporate Message… and the PR spin… are increasing viewed as noise… a costly form of AUDIO or VISUAL SPAM.

On the other hand, digital technology has continued its drive toward market saturation, AND… a zero cost basis! In effect, the reach is limitless… and the expense is practically nothing.

So, without getting too far ahead of ourselves, and if you haven’t already done so, I would recommend setting up a blog… and while you’re at it, grab a youtube account, and then let’s pop in three or four thousand followers and begin LISTENING on Twitter.

Of course, the real challenge in your marketing plan is to put together the strategy for each, but fortunately, there is a ton of help and resources available, and done well… this really, REALLY works.

And best of all, once set up… it’s easy to do, simple to learn, and pretty much FREE!

Free is good.


We’ll look at EXPANDING your INFLUENCE tomorrow! I look forward to speaking with you.



1) Assuming we REALLY understand our ideal customers or clients, much of small business marketing can be organized into three categories… AWARENESS, INFLUENCE, and CREDIBILITY… with two activities for each.

2) TRADITIONAL MEDIA as a means for CREATING AWARENESS is the MOST EXPENSIVE and LEAST TRUSTED method of communicating with your market.

3) NEW MEDIA utilizes your web presence to ENGAGE and LISTEN to your market. A SIDE NOTE: If you listen to your competitor’s customers better than your competitor does… they tend to become YOUR CUSTOMERS instead.

4) When it comes to controlling business expenses… FREE is good.


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4 thoughts on “Not Rocket Science, Just Marketing… Part II

  1. Correcto Mundo, Steve!
    The new landscape of marketing for the small business is online. The business that are quick to adapt are the ones that will be able to stay alive and thrive.

    The number one single best asset a small business has is the owner entrepreneur themselves. By going online they will be able to use this asset to it’s full potential. They will be able to show their expertise by providing stories, how-to’s, and other valuable information to their potential customers.

    Additionally, something that is usually under utilized in traditional marketing is the personalization of their business. Going online can provide this human touch. It is the human touch that will differentiate their businesses from others. People are curious animals and love to read about others and are looking for people who are just like they are. So it is not uncommon to find small business owners sharing more about their lives than just their businesses.

    And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are also some brick and mortar businesses that are now capturing their expertise in videos and creating marketable products based on their expertise. Just last evening I ended up at a page that was marketing their Tango lessons on CD. So a small dance studio is now marketing products to the world.

    I’d follow Steve’s advise and get online as soon as possible.

    Thanks Steve!

    Chris Kilber
    Home of 101 Free Traffic Generating Strategies

  2. Chris, I knew you spoke Russian, but… Теперь вы поражают меня своим командованием Испанский Итальянский Ала сленге … Correcto Mundo!

    And as usual, Chris, you nailed it. People don’t want to do business with corporations… they want to have relationships with people.

    I can LIKE the sandwich I just ate… but I can LOVE the person who made it for me. Assuming, of course, that I really get to know them.

    Have a great day, Chris!


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