Tag Archives: strategy

Marketing in a Flash

In A FlashLet’s say that business is slow, so you want to market a new product you’re selling. How can you get the word out “yesterday” and get measurable results?

Direct mail. A simple flyer can be created in a day or so. Printing and attaching labels (if you do this in-house) is another day or so (depending on your mailing list size). If you’re sending via bulk mail, or you need to use a printer’s services to print postcards, etc., you’ll need more time. Minimum time until seen: 1 week.

Print. If you already have a regular print campaign (in a publication), then it’s simply a matter of creating the new advertisement and waiting until the next submission date. Minimum time until seen: 3 days (for a daily publication).

Radio/Television. If you already have a campaign, then you need to record (and edit) a new message. If you need to create an ad, it’ll take time to interview agencies, hire talent, negotiate contracts, etc. Minimum time until seen: 2-3 weeks.

Press Release. To create a press release and submit it to the “wire” takes less than a day. There’s no guarantee that your press release will ever be published.

Blog. Respond (on-target) to a well-visited blog and introduce your solution. Minimum time until client contact: immediately (if your comment is approved).

Telephone. You can start calling your existing clients as soon as you’ve crafted your “message”. Minimum time until client contact: immediately (once you’ve got them on the phone).

Email. You can start emailing your existing clients as soon as you’ve crafted your “message”. Minimum time until client contact: 1 hour.

Internet Pay-Per-Click (or Pay-Per-Action). Creating a campaign is as simple as signing up, bidding on your keywords, and establishing an account. Minimum time until seen: 1 hour (immediately, once the account is established).

Internet Viral Video. Create a (series of) funny or novel (short) videos. Upload them to a free video directory. Start blogging (or have your friends blog) about the video. Minimum time until seen: immediately (once you’ve uploaded it and told people about it).

How Can I Attract Delegates To My Symposium?

I have six weeks to do a regional symposium and series of workshops involving 600 pre-screened delegates. Using a random quota sample list of 2,400. Will I be able to have 600 delegates attend, using a two letter drip marketing campaign?

I will pay the delegates’ way, if necessary, offer perks, provide national TV coverage, and have them participate in family financial workshops, global environment forums and interact with the top three candidates running for President from both parties.

I have ten weeks to accomplish this task, including the first four weeks devoted to website fund raising and also engage in our PR firm’s scheduled series of news conferences, book signings, and private party fund raising events.


It depends on the appearance and content of your letters. I understand why you need them, but why do they need you (what’s in it for them)? You’re giving them a “working” vacation, but more than that, what problem are you solving of theirs?

As a “Concerned Citizen”, how will their appearance matter? Why will they feel “heard”. If you need their input, why can’t they simply answer a questionnaire. If really only need them to attend for their smiling faces for TV coverage, then you need to make that clear.

Politically, people can be distrustful of the “process” and marketing of candidates. You don’t want to disenfranchise them any more. If you’re sincerely looking for input to create a list of the core issues for representatives of your region, and are willing to make this sharing two-way, then you have a higher likelihood of success.

It’s all in the presentation of your marketing message.

What Is A Sub-Domain?

My hosting company offers up to 6 websites hosted for the one low price. I created a website which is ranking very well and have now created a second site (unrelated in topic) to the first site on the same hosting plan. I now realize this second website is considered a sub-domain of the first website according to my CPanel, although they have completely different domain names. Will this 2nd site be considered of lesser importance by the search engines or is this whole sub-domain thing just visible to me in my CPanel? Should I move the 2nd site to a separate new hosting plan


You might be confusing subdomain with the folder structure of your website.

A subdomain is a name that comes before your domain name. In the case of www.google.com there’s also images.google.com, maps.google.com, etc. Each of these are websites in their own right, but their names share the domain name. Search engines see these as their own website. Subdomains are a handy way to organize a logical “entity” of a website.

The folder structure is how the websites are organized on your web hosting server. If your package provides 6 websites, then it’s probable that each domain’s files & folders are kept in a single domain folder (which in turn, is kept in a folder for you, the hosting user). At the “top level” of your web hosting folder, you’d have a different folder for each domain.

The cpanel allows you to map a folder to a (sub)domain.

You DO want your different (unrelated) websites to have different domain names as a start of your “branding”.

How Can I Get More Customers For A Nail Salon?

I am managing a nail salon in downtown Denver. Currently, there are hotels with nail/salons in them as well as three surrounding nail salon competitors. I have the best location in terms of the busiest location but I want more clientele. I am surrounded by many businesses and the busiest hour for me is lunch time when everyone goes on break. My downtime is the evening time. What can I do to get people to constantly come in at all times? There are many many people walking on the mall and passing my shop each day-what can I do to get them to come in? The shop is rather small and very narrow-it is between a Jamba Juice and a mom&pop ice cream shop and both of the shops get really busy. Should I make a sidewalk sign to show people that we are here? Should I have happy hour?


My wife tends to only frequent establishments that have people in them. So, one idea is to have more people being worked on at your salon. Imagine helping out a local breast cancer or homeless mom’s group – schedule people to come in for a free manicure (etc.). Send out a press release announcing your goodwill within your community.

Do mini-makeovers at the salon. Teach people (teens? single moms?) how to improve their looks easily. You could sign up people through your local community ed program.

Another suggestion – co-market with other stores. While the snack shops might be a candidate, think of the places your clients are likely to go: women’s clothing, women’s shoes, etc. These establishments would be natural partners of yours.

The trick is to simply get people used to coming in your front door.

How Can I Start A Cleaning Company?

What are some tips for starting my own cleaning company? I’m writing a business plan for starting my own cleaning residential and office cleaning company.


The business plan is useful if you’re hoping to get investors. Otherwise, spend your time focused on your strategic plan. Specifically identify: who your audience is, what problem they have, how you solve it, why they should trust you, etc.

You’re looking to identify what makes you different from all the other cleaning companies out there. You need to specialize in something: “green” cleaning products? flexibility – can you do a quick cleanup on short notice? Do you have expertise in cleaning “tricky” surfaces (leather, fancy rugs, etc.)?

Once you’ve done this work, you have the start of an effective plan of action.

How Can I Market High-End Custom Homes?

In this difficult market, competition of new home construction is extreme. My husband builds new homes in urban infill locations and there is a lot of inventory out there. I’m planning 8-10 months out (when our latest project will be finished) and need advice on how to get the “right” realtors & buyers into our home. I work for an independent real estate company and find that I have a hard time getting the heavy hitter agents through our doors. Any suggestions for some proactive planning?


Instead of waiting until the home is done and then waiting to sell it – presell them (or at least, pre-advertise them). For example, imagine a series of postcards (or magazine ad, or emails, or website photos, etc.) which shows the artist’s rendering of the house with the actual home (as completed) overlayed. Potential customers will be able to see what it will look like, and that’s it’s in progress (also a thermometer-like display at the jobsite itself for passer-bys).

Another suggestion: do surveys of potential realtors / buyers. Find out what’s selling, what’s being asked for, and market yourself as meeting the need (and then some).

Thanks for your quick response. I will definitely think about doing the pre-completion marketing campaign you suggested.

As for the survey, I’m not sure how well agents will respond to that? I held a broker open today where we sent out 1500 fliers and no other agents, other than who we knew, showed up. Any out of the box ideas to get the realtors in the door? I feel that our product is superior to the competition but I just need to get the #’s paying attention to it.

Realtors are the middle-men/women. You really want buyers. You might even consider selling homes FSBO, and saving the usual agent fees (instead hiring a lawyer or realtor — depending on the laws in your state — to do the paperwork).

If you want agents to come, you need to market to them. They see homes every day. They generally are content with the facts (sq footage, lot size, #beds, #baths, etc.) and a picture or two. What would make your husband’s house stand out for them? You could dangle a huge agent fee (say 7-8%) as incentive. Or, you could talk to the agents to find out what’s going on. Again, you need to survey your audience (in this case, agents) to find out what they need to make a quick/easy sale.

How Can I Market A Dental Practice?

I need help with a local dental practice. We are trying to build this practice and need suggestions or ideas to build more patients. Mainly quality patients.


The first question is, “How are you different from all the other dentists in your area?”.

Do you have advanced training in something special? Do you specialize in children? teens? pregnant women? seniors? Do you speak multiple languages in the office? Are you a holistic dentist? Does your office provide a “spa-like” environment for the patients?

Assume that everyone who wants a dentist in your area already has one. Why should they switch to you, someone they don’t know (yet)? Perhaps you guarantee no waiting? You accept all insurance? You offer a new method of reducing pain? Preventative care? You need to provide a compelling reason to have people choose you because of something that annoys them about their existing dentist.

Getting people new to your area is a slightly different process – they don’t know anyone, so it’s W.O.M with the neighbors unless you’re part of the “welcome to our town” package.

Should Our Company’s Message Focus On Our Solution?

My CEO is pushing for a clear value proposition and I am working hard to help him understand that solution-focused value statements have to be unique for each customer. What solves Customer A’s problems won’t necessarily solve Customer B’s. There is no one value statement. That’s fine, but then what do we do in our advertising which is by its nature “mass communication”? What do we communicate?


Instead of solution-based, make the statements benefits-based, targeted for your audience. You won’t solve client A’s problems the same as client B’s, but the reason that client A and client B both chose you is because you understand their “pain”. Identify you audience’s problem and position yourself as having their solutions.

Use case studies to reinforce that you are to be trusted as well as helping them understand how you work in specifics.

Words That Work

Words That WorkHave you ever wondered how to make people react to what you say? While some people are better crafting words than others, this book shows how the pros do it. Written by the person responsible for crafting the words for the political parties, this book gives rules for effective wording.

Dr. Luntz doesn’t come up with his ideas in a vacuum. He uses focus groups and instant response dial sessions. Ideally, focus groups are (pre-screened to be) homogenous – people reveal their innermost thoughts to people like themselves. The problem with a focus group is that a dominant person can get bully others. A dial session is more personal; everyone in the group hold a wireless dial device which they turn to reflect how much they feel positively or negatively about what they are seeing. The dial session also gives everyone equal input. Both sessions can be recorded and scientifically analyzed. However since a dial session can be larger, you get better data to base your decisions.

Here are his rules:

  1. Simplicity: Use small words.
  2. Brevity: Use short sentences.
  3. Credibility: People have to believe it to buy it
  4. Consistency: Repeat (even it it bores you to tears).
  5. Novelty: Redefine an old idea.
  6. Sound: Rhythm matters.
  7. Aspiration: Say what people want to hear.
  8. Visualization: Paint a vivid picture.
  9. Questioning: Rhetorical questions require personal responses.
  10. Context: Why is this message important?

An effective message must be in alignment: the message, messenger, and recipient must all be “on the same page”. A perfect message delivered poorly isn’t as valuable. Neither is the right message for the wrong audience.

For example, which phrases are better:

  • “drilling for oil” or “exploring for energy”?
  • “estate tax” or “death tax”?
  • “personalization” or “privitization”?
  • “free market economy” or “globalization”?
  • “foreign trade” or “international trade”?
  • “health care choice” or “the right to choose”?
  • “deny” or “not give”?
  • “private accounts” or “personal accounts”?
  • “Washington” or “Government”?

Your message must first educate people (to the problem you’re solving). Then, provide them information about the problem. Finally, you motivate them to solve it.

Saying that you’re using “common sense” solutions gets people to agree sooner.

Don’t sell services, sell solutions.

His ideas have many applications: in your correspondence, marketing, advertising, and presentations. He even provides ways of using language to help you in your personal life: How to avoid a ticket (apologize), How to say you’re sorry (with flowers), How to ask for a raise/promotion (future goals), How to write an effective letter (start strongly), etc.

“People forget what you say, but they remember how you make them feel.” – Warren Beatty

P.S. – Other great business words to use/avoid are listed in Selling For Dummies (Tom Hopkins):

Don’t Say Say
Contract Paperwork, agreement, loan
Cost or Price Investment, amount
Down payment Initial investment, initial amount
Monthly payment Monthly investment, monthly amount
Buy Own
Sell or Sold Get them involved, help them acquire
Deal Opportunity, transaction
Objection Area of concern
Problem Challenge
Pitch Presentation, demonstration
Commission Fee for service
Sign Approve, endorse, okay, or authorize

How Can I Do Fundraising For My Political Candidate?

So this is my first time handling Fund raising events for a State Assembly candidate. I need some advice and direction on how to get donations, sponsorships, and endorsements.


The positioning statement is first:

Why should someone care for your candidate? What do they stand for that’s unique? Why should someone believe that their issues will be implemented (i.e., do they have a track record of success)? Why would I want this person to represent me, my business, my community? What life experiences do they have that makes me think that they have the skills to be effective?

Next, the target demographic:

Who, specifically, is the candidate trying to attract? Why should they care about their position?

Then, target influencers:

Find people who are socially tied in to the demographic. People that throw parties, people in entertainment, hospitality, former sponsors, people who know what your candidate CAN do matters.


Come after you have a groundswell of support. You need to say, “back my candidate, he’s (or she’s) a winner”. You need testimonials.