Category Archives: marketing

Ways to Reach Your Target Audience Offline

Here are some basic ways to reach a target audience that’s not online because let’s face it, there are still a lot of people that don’t use Facebook, Twitter and hold your breath… Google.

  • Support causes special to your audience.
  • Organize an event for your audience.
  • Gain credibility of thought leaders.
  • Create a subscription-based newsletter with valuable information.
  • Utilize Print, Radio and Television Ads.
  • Run a contest.
  • Give samples.
  • Produce a cable access TV show.
  • Distribute coupons.
  • Use a referral campaign.
  • Create a campaign based around a holiday.
  • Create your own holiday.
  • Team with a company that offers a vertical service.
  • Attend social gatherings.
  • Find interest groups that can benefit from your product/service and:
    • Offer or sponsor a class/seminar of interest
    • Offer to speak at a meeting
    • Give samples

 

Advertisements

Why Your Press Release Was Ignored

Here are a few reasons your Press Release was ignored:

 

  • It was not well-written.
  • It did not tell the media outlet why their audience would be interested in your news.
  • The story was not news worthy.
  • It got lost among the hundreds of press releases the outlet receives everyday.
  • It was sent to the wrong person in the organization.
  • There was no follow-up.
  • The timing was wrong.
  • It got caught in the spam filter. 

I could go on but the point is this. Getting your story covered takes much more than writing and distributing a release. It takes research, follow-up, relationship-building and sometimes a little luck. Think about it; there’s a reason media relations is considered a skillset. 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Some Things Are Free

Want a list of free ways to start, run and grow your business? Entrepreneur.com has a great article here.

 

And, in the spirit of free, cafe30.com has launched its small business challenge, My Marketing Needs Help. Three businesses will be chosen to win a Marketing makeover.

 

If you haven’t already, nominate yourself or another business for the challenge. All the information can be found at the link above.

 

Enjoy!

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Fairy Godmother of Marketing

For the past few weeks I have been playing a “Fairy Godmother of Marketing”. There are so many small business owners that are good at what they do, but their branding and marketing efforts do not reflect their talent (see previous post for examples).

 

So, with no ulterior motive (okay, maybe I was in the holiday spirit…) I began offering free advice. This has sparked my newest project.

 

Beginning January 1, 2009 I’ll be launching a new challenge, My Marketing Needs Help. It’ll be for small businesses that need assistance with their marketing – online, print, media, etc.

 

People will be able to nominate themselves and/or other businesses that can use some help. I’ll be choosing three winners for a complete marketing makeover.

 

Also, cafe30.com will be devoting the next 6 weeks to basic marketing tips. So, even if you’re not a winner you can get some guidance.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Five Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Unprofessional materials. This includes everything from business cards on the wrong paper stock to brochures printed on regular copier paper to poorly designed websites. With so many affordable options there really is no excuse.

 

Typos. It will get your resume filed in the trash and it will do the same for your business’ reputation. Hire a proofreader, or at the least get an English-savvy friend to review your writing.

 

Poor phone etiquette. No one wants to call a business and here “Hello.” Maybe “Hello, thank you for calling…”, but not just “Hello.” And we especially don’t want to hear your child answer the phone. If you are running a home-based business, invest in distinguished ring. It’s only a couple of dollars and when the phone rings you’ll know it’s a business call. Plus, you can train your kids not to answer the double ring.

 

Inconsistent message. If your messaging is based on newly designed technology, your CEO should not show up to the pitch meeting with a mobile phone circa 1988.

 

Disregard the customer experience. Your excellent product will not bring loyal customers if the person that answers the phone is rude, orders arrive late or people don’t feel appreciated. A great experience is just as important as a great product.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Emails I Read Daily

Vital Juice This is a well-designed email that offers nuggets of health information. It’s not overwhelming, takes a couple of minutes to read, and serves as a daily reminder to live healthy.

 

Ad Age The online version of Advertising Age, this is a compilation of news and opinions. I get a dose of daily news and links to some of my favorite bloggers (check out The Big Tent) in the same email.

 

Daily Candy We all need a little sweetness in our life. Whether it’s an announcement about a new spa opening, a great event coming up or a new product hitting the market, Daily Candy is a great source for “in the know” information. It gives me a break from the “serious” things that try to take over my day and it constantly adds things to my “I WANT THAT” list.

 

HARO (Help A Reporter Out)  I think of HARO as the media matchmaker. Journalists post their source requests and they get responses that are on target! The bonus is that members of the email list are from a variety of industries and backgrounds, not just the traditional media machine.

 

Which are your favorite and why?

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

The Yard Sale Wagon

The “doom and gloom” message of the economy is not helping your marketing campaign. At best, it’s getting lost among the many other products and services using the same message. At worst, it’s just annoying (I received 9 e-mails today with recession specials…).

 

Clients and consumers with a strapped cash flow want to feel like they are getting the best possible product or service for their money. Most people feel this way, even if they have plenty of disposable income!

 

They want to feel like they are purchasing a viable product or service from a viable company, not a yard sale. They want to know if they need further assistance a month or a year from now, you’ll be there to provide it. They want to know that they are getting a premium product, and that the price is reasonable.

 

Instead of jumping on the yard sale wagon, why not accentuate the positive? Tell your current and potential customers what is so great about your product or service. Show them ways that you can help them function more efficiently.

 

Instead of focusing mainly on price, why not focus on the value you add? When price comes up, go into the discussion with all of the information you need to explain why you are worth the quoted price. Negotiations may be inevitable, but price shouldn’t be the door-opener. It should be your great product/service.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe