Category Archives: Advertising

Do you need a mailing list of potential customers?

Pull out your library card and get busy.

The Kitsap Regional Library, with none branch locations and a bookmobile, can give you access to lots of online research tools. All you need is a library card.

For example, you’ve decided what your Class A prospects look like (question #2 on the Bullet Point Marketing Plan worksheet) and you’ve decided that the best way to reach them would be by mailing a postcard.

Excellent. Go to the Library’s website at and select Business under the Research pull-down. Then, click referenceUSA link and sign in using your library card number. Don’t have one, visit the nearest library and get one for free.

Yes the reference USA search tools to create and download a list into a spreadsheet that can be used to create mailing labels (mail merge into Word, then labels, for example). The list can be any geographic parameters, and you can narrow it down by brackets (ranges) of household income.

If you have a problem finding your Class A prospects, ask to speak with a librarian. It will only take 15 to 20 minutes and you’ll be ready to go. If you’ve got a bit more time, ask the librarian to show you more of the helpful things you can find for free using the Library’s website.

Ask SCORE | How can I make business blogging more manageable?

According to Hubspot, B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t. Also, companies who provide relevant content in their blogs get 97% more links to their websites because readers share it.

These seem like very strong incentives to start and maintain a business blog.

Blogging can be an important part of a small business content marketing strategy. It can help you by increasing your online authority, building trust and credibility as readers see your expertise and knowledge of your industry.

It can also improve your chances of ranking better in online searches. Websites that generate new content regularly are favored over those that do not.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How should I measure results of my social media marketing efforts?

Metrics are a powerful tool for judging results, but what you measure really matters.

Many small business owners focus on the number of page “likes” or “followers” they get as an indication of how well they’re doing on social media. However, these “vanity metrics” don’t tell you much about how well your social media or content marketing efforts are working.

In a post for the KissMetrics blog, marketing analyst Lars Lofgren explains, “Vanity metrics are all those data points that make us feel good if they go up, but they don’t help us make decisions.”  Continue reading

Successful marketing takes a bit of creativity.

I often work with SCORE clients who want to create a successful marketing strategy so they can find customers for their products and services. During our conversation, I introduce the Bullet Point Marketing Plan and share a copy of the six-question worksheet.

After they identify their “Class A Prospects” and think about where they might be “hiding,” I ask how they intend to reach them. This can be a bit of a struggle, so I tell a story about some friends who delivered hand-addressed 9×12 inch envelopes to the offices where their Class A prospects were “hiding” and well protected by “gatekeepers.” The envelopes contained a business card, a personally addressed and hand-signed letter, plus a reel-to-reel audio tape containing samples of their work.

This was in the 1970s. They were selling their services as writers, arrangers and recording engineers for radio commercials in Los Angeles. Their target audience consisted of creative directors for advertising agencies who had never heard of these Seattle guys who had just moved to L.A. The “lumpy envelopes” were opened and my friends got lots of calls. The calls turned into lots of business for their new production studio.  Continue reading

Is print media dead?

The following is an excerpt from “Celebrating Bad Food: An Interview With Christopher Kimball” by Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist. The article is a great read if you love food since Kimball is the founder of Cook’s Illustrated, but it’s also a conversation between two innovators with successful publishing businesses in today’s world of new media.

The Federalist: Everyone’s familiar with the trendlines that indicate the death of print. It seems you have an approach that exists outside the rest of the marketplace and has avoided those trends.

Christopher Kimball: If you ask David Carr, and I know David Carr reasonably well, he would say the advertising driven print formula probably is dead…with a few exceptions, like fashion, where it is actually booming. But in general the American publishing model, the Time Inc. model, is under assault and probably is dead. But he’d be the first one to say there are niches where print makes a lot of sense and ours would be one of them.

Our print business is growing. So I don’t think it’s a question of print being dead. I think it’s a question of a publishing model that’s dead. I’ve always felt you should make the reader pay for content because the advertising driven formula was based upon a rare moment in time when you had lots of advertisers with lots of money and not a lot of places to go. It was short term. Sort of like the United States after World War II for about twenty-five years, right? We were the only game in town for ten years. Well that’s changed.  Continue reading

How do small businesses communicate with potential customers?

As a small business marketer with a limited budget, it is critical to spend wisely. Pitney Bowes created the 2012 Small Business Marketing Survey to help you understand just where to focus your marketing dollars.

It provides answers to key questions on the mind of every small business marketer: How are my competitors communicating with their customers? Which emerging channels should I consider using in my marketing program? What opportunities am I missing?

Click image to view PDF document.