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Making a Mark with Marketing . . . How Are You Making Yours?

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Marketing isn’t something I was always confident about.  When I first started out in business, my degrees were in Political Science and Organizational Behavior.  I had very little marketing experience until I went to work for a transportation company in Southern California and, within a two week span, went from a role in purchasing to a significant role in marketing–a huge change that was an even bigger learning experience.


My marketing experience was trial by fire and reading.  I just started reading books on marketing and learned as I went, and it was that experience that gave me enough knowledge to do some marketing on my own when I later set out as a business consultant. 

If somebody had asked me when I was 25 where I saw myself career wise in thirty years, I would have had no clue that my career would be all about marketing . . . that I would be the Chairman of the world’s largest referral marketing organization.  Sometimes we go places in life we never expected to go but I wouldn’t change a thing about the career path I chose.  I am passionate about helping people grow their businesses and achieve great success through effective referral marketing and after spending over two decades devoted to this work; I really enjoy knowing that the work I do allows me to pass on the marketing knowledge and experience I’ve attained in order to benefit to others.

I was recently asked what my top marketing tip would be and I think it’s really all about building the brand–either the brand of the company or of the individual, depending on the kind of business that you’re in.  Name recognition–that’s the biggest challenge, especially for small companies.  It’s not the same for everybody because every business is a little different and people’s skill sets are different.  For me, in my business, brand building has largely been about writing.  Before the internet I was trying to get articles in newspapers and magazines.  Now it’s much, much easier.  In this age of blogs and social media, even small companies have a global reach.  The problem is all the white noise that’s out there: with so many people wanting a piece of the action you have to be able to stand out.  So, for me, the top marketing tip would be to write, write, write.  Become an expert in your field so people want to follow you because when they follow you, they’re more likely to do business with you.

I’d love to hear how you’re making your mark with marketing–what is your top marketing tip for the other business owners out there reading this blog?

 

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12 replies
  1. Glen Coleman
    Glen Coleman says:

    After reading your book “Givers Gain” four years ago, I decided to attempt to rebuild a failing, existing small business, using referral marketing as the primary marketing strategy. BNI is an integral part of that strategy, of course. Tracking the results shows a definite growth spurt with the whole-hearted implementation of each BNI strategy, such as asking for referrals – by name and wearing a simple, readable name tag as part of regular business attire. Active membership as an Ambassador in the Chamber of Commerce has produced visibility that simply cannot be purchased elsewhere. I get a kick out of it when people tell me, “You know everybody!” In reality, I only know several dozen people who know – a lot of people. I approach every networking opportunity as an adventure – To discover how I can help someone do something important to them, which quickly produces mutually profitable relationships.The best sales advice I can give is to quit selling. In my business, there are no sales, there are only purchases. I believe that if you have an excellent product and/or service, (Why would you have less?) if you properly educate people and properly build relationships, when people have a want or need for your product and/or service, they will buy from ONLY you. Why would you want it any other way? Enjoy Networking To The Fullest!

    Reply
  2. Itzik Vilc
    Itzik Vilc says:

    We also write and actually have the largest information website in our biz.

    this is making us a leader on our field in Israel and caching lots of long tail keywords traffic.

    The best tip i can give to marketing by writing is: do not be afraid of writing “biz secrets”.if you give lots of free information people will love you for that and become your customer.

    Reply
  3. Gery L. Deer
    Gery L. Deer says:

    As a professional commercial writer and marketing consultant, one of the most important things I do for clients is help them understand the difference between advertising and publicity.
    Learning the benefits and limitations of each can help a business owner make better decisions about where to spend marketing dollars.

    Reply
  4. Bob Salvas
    Bob Salvas says:

    A key marketing tip I give is to make sure the business has a loyalty marketing strategy. In other words, they need to communicate and promote to their existing clients. Far too many businesses are so focused on gaining that ‘new customer’ that they let their current customer walk away. A happy customer that you communicate with not only sticks around, but they often buy more stuff and even refer their friends (love that ‘referral’ word!). My opinion is that 30%-60% of your marketing budget needs to be dedicated to current clients.

    Reply
  5. Lynette Evans
    Lynette Evans says:

    One of the most important things that I’ve done that has helped me gain more business is the small details and extras I try give my customers without a charge. It may be something that takes only a half an hour of my time or less, like when one of my local customers ordered a custom table throw from me at Xpand Your Brand, I ironed it for him upon it’s arrival because he needed it soon and I wanted it to look great for him. Things I do like this make my customers a customer for life and they even tell others what I do, which in turn makes them a customer of mine also! I love it!

    Reply
  6. Michael Ng
    Michael Ng says:

    Be someone who have great value and willing to share, just like in Facebook, what we share do matter to others as well as us ourselves. I always ask a question – are you a leader or just a follower? What can we learn from a leader? A leader leads – educates and sets a good example to everyone who follows the leader. Perhaps my marketing tip is to be as open, friendly, down to earth as possible at the same time, do something you like most and share it with people around. you never know who will follow you.
    Believing in yourself, accepting yourself do play a key role into marketing. it too build confident and trustworthy to people who are looking at you. You attract them not about how good you are but what can you help them with. People always have a need, are we solving or improving their need?

    Reply

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