Author Archives: Chuck Sink

Keep marketing simple!

For marketing communications, keep complexity and sophistication in storage.

There are those in business who relish sophistication in processes and systems. The more thinking and creative engineering that go into technology, products and services, the better they will perform (or be perceived to perform). But when it comes to marketing, sophisticated ideas just muddy up your messages.

If you have a brand identity or important message to convey, keep it simple, even if there are nuances. Why? Because the rest of us are mostly babes in the woods. Remember that only you think exactly the way you do and can perfectly connect your own dots. Those dots you so easily connect may appear disparate to the rest of us so it’s your responsibility to make certain that we know what dot #1 is all about before you start confusing us with dots 2 through 17 all at once.

What about those subtle nuances that really differentiate us, you might ask? If a nuance is what differentiates your product or service then your messages should be all about the nuance. If that nuance must be fully understood by your audience, make it the primary message.

If the value proposition is complex, build your case in understandable stages.

Once you add more than two or three ancillary features or components to your main value proposition, you dilute, spread around and complicate your main idea. By all means, be well prepared to articulate every granular detail of your value delivery but save those details until your audience wants or needs to know them.

A Simple 4-Step Approach

If you need to make your message understandable and actionable, there’s a methodology you can use called AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action). To apply AIDA in your marketing messages and throughout your selling process, take your prospect through these communication stages:

Attention – First you need them to notice you and listen. Make a bold, singular promise.

Interest – Once listening, build interest in how you will enrich your customer. Begin to reveal some key features that will help them. You can further differentiate your offering with nuance and sophistication as long as your prospect wants to remain engaged. This is really the make or break stage because interest can be lost as quickly as gained. You must move them into wanting your product, or there’s no sale.

Desire – One way to know if your prospect has reached the desire stage is by the questions they ask. If the questions focus on recommended service levels, budget ranges, or what actual implementation involves, you and your prospect have reached the closing stage of the sale and are ready for…

ACTION – Unless your message is acted upon, why bother with branding, great web design and advertising? Why have salespeople? Marketing and sales cost a lot of money so they have to work! Your calls to action can be anything from e-commerce or direct contact links on your website to full-blown presentations and contract negotiations, depending on what you’re selling.

It’s best to hold your most sophisticated or complex product/service benefits for when you may need them, such as convincing a senior engineering team that your technology is superior. Give them the building blocks to decide for themselves.

In marketing, the complex features do belong somewhere on your website with a clear navigation path. If your home and landing pages have a strong primary message, your visitors will go deeper to learn what they need to know, and hopefully place an order or call you with questions.

Content is gold. You have limited mind space and attention spans to work with. Avoid muddying the water by keeping your initial marketing message simple. A powerful first impression can set the ball rolling from attention to ACTION faster than you expect.

Stick to your business and stay out of the pulpit.

Gillette (Proctor & Gamble) wants to be the corporate hero of the day as they roll out their “shaving toxic masculinity” ad. If you haven’t seen the spot, it’s all about how men often act like jerks, are bullies and treat women badly. Its message is actually age-old and classic; that men should act like gentlemen and teach boys about respect and kindness to all, regardless of our differences.

Gillette blew it in my opinion. Their marketing group projected their own cultural and political bias onto their target audience and many of us are turned off by their overt condemnation of all masculinity as “toxic.”

The message of respect and kindness itself is good but the thrust of the ad presupposes that disciplined respect by men is a new, progressive idea and that men need to clean up their act, never mind our unshaven faces. If there’s a positive side for Gillette, the brand will gain additional support from the market segment in which the message resonates, but that would be a hard segment to measure.

The Marketing Risks

I believe the risks for Gillette are twofold. 1) They have annoyed a sizable portion of their customer base because the ad’s tone implies that most men have been jerks all along but things are different now and they better get with the times! 2) The ad’s video news clip collage panders to progressive political leanings and the #MeToo movement. It will be seen as an insincere play on promoting social justice.

As a longtime Gillette customer, I’m very annoyed! Why did this corporation jump headlong for no apparent reason into a politically charged cultural movement, attempting to shame men and correct their behavior?

The only behavior of mine that Gillette has any business in whatsoever is my grooming behavior.

As for social behavior, I will look to my Church, family, friends, neighbors and colleagues for feedback and correction, and so should the rest of Gillette’s audience in my opinion. There are no moral and spiritual leaders in the marketing team at Gillette or all of Proctor and Gamble and they have no business assuming moral authority in their advertising campaigns.

Here’s the Marketing Kicker

My advice is to keep all of your business messages on point. Attempting to use your company’s platform to influence the culture will only divert your attention and resources away from your primary business purpose – serving your customers.

I believe the best marketing is sincere marketing. So far, my best shaves have been with Gillette razors. They make excellent shaving products and that’s the only message I want to hear from a razor company that profits from my continued patronage.

Business Growth in 2019: Who’s with me?

I’m reading all this leading-edge news on LinkedIn, the WSJ, Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes, you name it. All the experts seem strangely gleeful as they talk down the economy, stating with certitude that we’re headed full steam into a downturn. They don’t know exactly when but they’re almost sure it will be 2019.

Don’t follow the leaders down!

This is how I’m seeing things play out in business news as the year 2018 ends. I hope I’m wrong, but this stuff is predictable and I’ve closely studied economic cycles for more than 30 years. Negative chatter is contagious and creates “headwinds” against continued good economic times. But you can set your sails to tack against headwind and make a lot of forward progress.

I’m sorry to say this, but there are no executives of large American corporations who strike me as inspiring moral and ethical leaders. I cannot think of a single one. But there are numerous small business, independent enterprise and nonprofit leaders to whom I aspire and whose example I would like to follow, some I know personally. They are people bent on serving instead of controlling. These are people who stick with principles no matter what, and I’m talking about moral, ethical and economic principles. They enjoy enduring success.

The small business community needs to coalesce around the idea that the prevailing thoughts and decisions made by the leaders of large corporations and government (silent partners) often go against a stronger economy and the good of our country and society.

Do they still teach real economics?

If you subsidize something, you will enlarge it or encourage more of it. If you tax something, you will diminish it. This is a macroeconomics principle – an immutable law of economics.

If you serve your customer with value, you improve his position and therefore build more demand for your products. If you create more work or complexity for your customer and charge him for it in the process, you will damage him and lose his business. He will tell others about the bad experience as well. This is simple microeconomics which follows the macroeconomics principle.

Be solution oriented!

Why not put these immutable economic laws to work for our own businesses and multiply our numbers by example?

networkingAny strong network of small business and enterprise leaders can work together in the markets and within their own companies to more effectively beat back negative economic forces, including politics and negative chatter aligned against them.

Put your best networking, service, sales and marketing game on, starting now!

Growth in 2019, 2020 and beyond is not only possible but probable if business leaders will get in the trenches with their people and demonstrate how much they care about the future. Leaders in great small businesses always do some heavy lifting with their teams to shore up conditions in the company and better serve customers. The also stay committed to their brand identities and work to build their reputations.

Business Growth Tactics for the New Year

In 2019, a strong leader will:

  • Work closely with their salespeople and give them real leads instead of simply demanding more calls.
  • Spend considerable time on production floors and job sites performing needed tasks and adding production value as well as developing employee relationships.
  • Spend a lot of time with customers, learning what they really need, carefully considering how they or someone in their network can meet those needs.
  • Be a committed brand manager, constantly nurturing the brand in the market by continually directing and helping to manage strong marketing campaigns.

If a bad recession in the overall economy does happen, your market share and brand awareness will determine how well you ride it out or even grow right through it.

Top-of-mind brand awareness is priceless. Those who have it usually earn it, and they remain in the market like flashing beacons as their competitors fade from the promotional stage.

I’m going to increase my marketing budget now and step on the gas even more during 2019. I also pledge to follow the sales, production and customer service advice listed above.

Are you with me?

Use Technology Right: Stick to Your Business!

Smart phones build us up and tear us down as we choose.

The information technology age has enabled me and countless others to start businesses and create great careers for ourselves. Publishing and broadcasting are no longer the exclusive realms of big business, requiring large amounts of capital. The internet has leveled the playing field for anyone with an interesting or worthwhile message to compete with major media networks for audience attention.

Thankfully for my business, this includes advertising and public relations. I want to make clear that I’m extremely grateful for what technology has enabled me to do; create a job I love and serve more people every day.

I prefer the desktop experience when working, but lately, I’m using my phone more out of efficiency and convenience. If I can do something easily and quickly on my phone to serve a client, I’m all in! However, I’m human and prone to instant gratification like everyone else. That’s where the smartphone can be dangerous to productivity and progress.

Beware of The Enemy Smartphone!

I often find myself picking up my phone because I know what it can do and because it’s there. For no reason at all, I can pull myself away from an important task to get an update on… I don’t know… There must be something new and cool going on somewhere in my network or the world, right? Why do I rob my myself and others of this valuable time? Because I’ve been conditioned by our culture to “be connected 24/7.”

Now I’m working hard to counter that bad influence! I’m training myself to ignore the amazing shiny object that beckons me with audio-visual notifications.

The do-not-disturb setting or off button can work wonders. And it’s amazing how people move on with their lives after texting or emailing you if you don’t respond right away. Of course, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” However, when I hear my phone ring, I try to pick it up immediately because people making the effort to speak with me usually deserve a returned effort and who knows what opportunity might spring from a real live conversation?

A Touch Too Much!

My new phone is amazing with all its dazzling color brilliance and crisp graphics. Everything on it calls for my fingers to activate it by the slightest touch. In fact, my phone is always ready to open an app and order something online if I simply touch it the wrong way. For example, a travel insurance policy order was placed on my phone apparently by an inadvertent screen touch on some Google ad that I didn’t notice was open. I had to spend significant time on the phone to cancel the order! That’s dangerous in addition to time-wasting. Touch screens tend to be a touch too touchy, in my opinion.

Check it less and reduce your stress!

Technology has, unfortunately, shown us it’s power to diminish happiness as much as enhance it. There is a whole class of addiction surrounding the socially-fueled highs people get from interactions on their devices. At least one of Facebook’s founders even admitted that they designed the platform to hook people on instant social recognition, and they have been successful in that quest.

Oftentimes, the “conversations” that go on in social media will tend criss-cross, with no direct human presence, and lead to anger and stressed out feelings. Just not worth it! People can certainly abuse communication technology and I for one am attempting to align it with my goals and values.

It’s really all about making sensible choices. What tools will provide the most leverage for the task at hand? Are you using the tools to produce or just be amused?

When it comes to business communications, I’ve found nothing works quite like the telephone. Sometimes, keys in the ignition and some road time is what it takes to leverage your business relationships.

Learn From an Expert

My friend and colleague Carol Phillips of Health Design wrote a great article that inspired me to think about how I’m using technology to communicate and get work done. I’m trying to avoid the useless entertainment and chatter that often lead to stress and regret. You may want to read Carol’s excellent article about a more balanced approach for using technology to enhance life rather than detract from it.

Finally, I invite you to call my smartphone at 603-345-7223 if you have questions about using technology – in a good way of course – for your marketing communications.

Organic SEO in 2018

To get the most out of any media channel or public space, it’s usually necessary to invest some money in it. Then you need to keep your messages consistent. Certainly, this is true of Social Media now as well as in Google if you want to immediately drive targeted visitors to your site. And even many of those “targeted” visitors can wind up being “tire kickers” or they may find your site out of context because of industry-specific terms or keyword confusion.

When you understand the pitfalls, paid search can boost web traffic and sales very quickly when properly executed. In the world of paid online advertising, you need to understand the Google platform and this is best reserved for specialists. It also takes a significant ad budget to generate enough clicks to make paid search pay off.

Great SEO Results – Naturally

But today we’re focusing on Organic SEO, that is unpaid, high internet search engine optimization results based on the structure and content of your website. The good news is, your website can rank and perform highly in search engines if you simply do a good job with your website development and content quality as well as keep it maintained!

Many businesses are in a position to forego the high cost of a Google Ads campaign if they don’t need to push results immediately but instead want to grow their inbound leads and sales results over time. With a little patience and conscientious website development & maintenance, Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will start to visibly deliver your website to people searching your site’s keywords and phrases. This process may only take several months or a year to start showing impressive results!

Your site’s organic ranking will get higher and higher as your content quality improves and more people reach your site through searches and link referrals.

Content Relevancy and User Experience

The ticket to high organic search engine ranking is the situational and contextual relevancy of your site’s content to an established industry or the specific needs of a target market. Another critical factor is the quality of user experience (UX). The time people spend on your website; how they interact with it and download information can affect search ranking considerably.

Ask yourself these crucial UX questions: Do people who search for your product & service expertise get rewarded when they land on your website? Just how authoritative is your site’s content when judged by an objective marketplace? How well do your competitors’ sites stack up against yours? Are you envious of competition websites? How current is your information? How quickly do you respond to the market with updated content about technology changes or new trends? Do you have an active blog with videos, downloadable content and easy contact forms?

You know what the answers to the above questions should be. All you need is some focused dedication and your website will generate the inbound leads your company needs to keep growing.

High organic search engine performance is reserved for the businesses that take their websites seriously and continually maintain them. It’s really that simple.

Affiliations get you found online!

Most people in business today want to be found online by people searching for their unique products and services. A great website with strong SEO efforts is the foundation for this but there’s a lot more to developing business online, especially if you’re a highly experienced professional.

You need to have your own name and hopefully links on other great websites, and we’re not talking about social media pages. We’re talking about your credentials, independently validated and promoted by respected organizations and companies.

For example, a custom builder of a featured home in an architectural magazine’s website is contacted directly by a wealthy prospect looking for artisans capable of creating similar features in her dream home. A link to the builder’s website further demonstrates to the prospect that she’s found the right construction partner.

Build up the flanks to bolster your online marketing campaigns!

I had the recent experience of noticing a slowdown of new business leads. On that very day I received an email from someone who found me through her online research. I was first found by this person on my faculty page through my affiliation with Plymouth State University. She had to read through my CV before finding my business name and then Google searching for my website, which further demonstrated our professional work. It’s a nice new opportunity for my business and we have a kick off meeting scheduled very soon.

Believe it or not, there are people who research and thoroughly read things on the internet, and take what they read seriously. If you’ve been written about on a site with much higher traffic than your own, well, that’s good right? Then get your name out there in some juicy, high traffic places like universities, respected media outlets, trade associations, established customers and the like.

Hitch your star to some high up wagons and make sure your own website experience is great when people link off the affiliate site to yours.

Specialize to better affiliate.

Developing a niche or sub-specialty in a specific industry is a great way to affiliate your brand name nationally or globally with industry leaders. People from every business category are always looking for the best quality, or that perfect-fit vendor. So I’ll close with one more example.

A local promotions company I’m familiar with took themselves out of the advertising specialties (commodity) business and positioned the brand in a couple of niche industries that happen to be easily penetrable. The product focus is very specific and now they are known nationally as leaders in this field, even though any of their thousands of competitors could readily produce the same products. Thanks to their affiliations in these industries, they are the nationally recommended suppliers and their corporate sales soar above their generalist local competitors.

If you’re really great at something, team up with the people, businesses and other organizations that you can help most. Then work reciprocally in your affiliation links to help users of your products and services find the very best of what they’re searching for.

Stop Riding The Marketing Cycle!

A sales and marketing phenomenon I call the “marketing cycle” is similar to general economic cycles as dictated by the law of expansion (growth) and retraction (recession). In economics, business activity ebbs and flows, not always in a predictable way as the global economy is endlessly dynamic. The only thing predictable is that the cycles will repeat eventually over time. In sales and marketing, it’s a bit different in that the cycles are more predictable and result more sharply from specific actions or lack of actions. The challenge is to manage your team’s actions against the headwinds of human nature.

The marketing cycle for most businesses is far more manageable than the overall economic conditions in the country but it is extremely hard to get a handle on, and this is because, well, we’re all human. We tend to concentrate our time and effort on either the most urgent situations or else what we feel like doing; what seems the easiest route to ‘get it done’ in the moment or for the day.

Unpacking the Marketing Cycle

The marketing cycle looks like this:

Business is great. New customers are responding to an effective and sustained marketing campaign. The sales team has been “crushing it” from several months of highly motivated prospecting and lead generation, meetings and closed deals. Business is so good in fact that it’s all hands on deck to service customers and snuff out the fires from so much growth and not quite enough hands to go around. Everyone is busy and cash is flowing.

At this point, management decides it’s better to back off on the marketing campaign a while to better manage growth. This is human nature and seems logical. It’s also the exact moment at which the inevitable ebb in sales that’s so predictable in the marketing cycle begins. But we always fail to grasp it at the time! I’m speaking from my own experience and I’ve witnessed it working in several companies over many years.

When business is great, you focus everything toward serving your current customers, even your marketing messages focus on current users, because it’s the natural thing to do. It’s as if we have “built-in forgetters” concerning new business development when customers and their cash are flowing in volume. And so, the wider market ceases to hear from you and your brand fades from awareness.

At first, you notice that business volume is steady rather than rising. Then you might lose a customer or two through attrition of some kind, maybe to a competitor, and you suddenly realize you and your team have more time on your hands and margins are thinner. Uh oh, Time to fire up the forgotten marketing and selling machines again, with increased urgency and limited funds. And so it goes…

End the Cycle of Sales Urgency (and Stress)!

A few things can be done to minimize the stresses caused by drops in sales that occur as a result of being a victim to the marketing cycle.

  • First thing is your product and service quality. You must fulfill your promises or your brand will lose precious market trust. Referrals are precious and result from real quality.
  • Second, you need to resist the temptation to focus on operations and production at the expense of keeping marketing campaigns funded and managed. You also need to direct your sales force to keep hunting when business is great, trusting customer service to others in the company.
  • Third, if business is good, invest in a new employee or subcontract the support that can dedicate their efforts specifically to the growth side of your business, and don’t back off when business is booming, for a change! You will need all the brand awareness you can get next recession. If sales slow down and revenues decline, keep the marketing and sales effort at full pitch, for a change. Find less critical areas in the business to cut costs, for a change.

Implement these three strategies and see what happens to your revenue curve over the next 2 or 3 years.

Rather than rearranging the deck chairs every time you get really busy, try adding another chair to increase and sustain your crucial marketing activities, for a change!

Applying discipline to managing the marketing cycle in this manner will have the happy effect of keeping business and cash flow strong enough to avoid the anxieties of economic hardship during those inevitable slow periods. You’ll have the assurance that market share and top-of-mind awareness are always in your favor.

Is Social Media Dead?

It’s been a while since I’ve written about social media (and it feels gooooooood).

One headline I just saw in my newsfeed was “Is Social Media Right for Your Business? The short answer was “YES.” Their point was that every business MUST have an “online personality” represented on Facebook, Instagram, etc. or they’ll lose to competitors who do.

I immediately pondered and thought, “What about the companies not using social media who win business from companies that do?”

I can think of too many examples including clients and other successful businesses I work with. I just pulled a job from a business swimming in a rich Social Media broth and gladly gave it to one that still uses dialup internet on an as needed basis. Landline phone only. The owner is eyeing a nice retirement soon, BTW.

For good reasons, many businesses don’t want social media and don’t need it, at least for now.

Expert Advice or Sales Pitch?

Despite what you may hear from some marketers out there (who sell social marketing services), having an “online personality” on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other other platform is not a marketing necessity today. You may choose to position your brand in a manner that works better in other media, including online, such as your own great website and a strong trade presence. Maybe a top-notch personal selling organization drives your growth.

Pay the freight or nothing gets delivered.

The truth is, your customers find your business and come to you primarily through channels other than social media. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time posting a bunch of quality content on social media unless you pay for people to see it, and have a strong value proposition,  just like any other advertising. Then you may gain sales opportunities from the added brand impressions. You know the advertisers courting you on Facebook if you spend any time there. They’re paying and you’re noticing.

So, unless you plan on budgeting for advertising, think of social media as a sidebar in your overall branding and public relations efforts. You want to keep an eye on it and pay to boost it when you need to see results from it.

Now that some of the dust is settling, we’re understanding Social Media’s marketing limitations and weaknesses as well as its continuously fluctuating opportunities.

One thing I’ve learned as a veteran professional user is never expect anything of great value to come out of free or public media space but expect great results from earned relationships.

CEOs and Consumers Decide Differently

B2B and B2C Marketing target the same emotions but different motives.

Does your company sell mostly to individual consumers? If so, your customer targeting can get complicated and may require a high degree of personalization. Consumers’ tastes and preferences in features/benefits run in multitudinous different directions and with choices at their fingertips, you need to build customer personas and tailor multiple sets of messages to different groups or individuals today. That is if you want your brand to stand out and lead your consumer category.

Does your business sell mostly to other businesses? Then your target audience is easily defined! You sell to the CEO or the business owner, often the same person. Simple. And how nice that is for helping you determine your branding and positioning strategy!

This approach is fundamental to having an authentic and effective brand in the business products & services (B2B) world. But some salespeople and even some business owners argue that end users of equipment, software or services highly influence decisions and must be sold first. Engineers, specifiers and purchasing managers are the ones who do all the “shopping” and make the final recommendation and therefore, can seal the decision – or so you may think.

The target of ALL B2B marketing is the CEO.

CEOs and senior executives have a unique mindset and language. CEO’s don’t think like everyday consumers when making business buying decisions. They wear a very different hat for that. Business buying decisions are just as emotion-based if not more so, but for very different reasons.

Think of the business meetings you’ve had with CEOs present. They cut through the minutia and get to the key points fast (even when being patient with others out of courtesy). They are starved for new information that can guide their decisions.

Consider what a respected millennial digital marketer, Miranda Casey, has to say. “Working in the tech industry and targeting CEOs, I’ve come to understand the importance of getting to the point fast and ‘proving the why’ as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s not every day that a company decides to make a thousand or million dollar decision…”

Additionally, the CEO may have his or her own personal motives for choosing a supplier for their business, and nobody can know exactly who else the CEO knows or what else could motivate their decisions. Remember that “blood runs thicker than water” and relationships make a difference, sometimes all the difference — all things being equal, or even not so much. The lesson here is to take the time (and be patient) to build relationships with the CEOs in your target market.

Talking with End Users only FEELS like sales work.

Seasoned B2B salespeople know that top-down selling works much better than the bottom-up approach. Business owners and executive leaders are constantly on the lookout for the best suppliers and partners to help improve their companies and gain competitive advantages. Sure, they are loyal to proven providers but keep an eye on the consistency of quality and value received. If it’s clearly demonstrated to the CEO that replacing a supplier can solve real problems and increase profitability, the old one gets the boot and the new supplier celebrates a business win

Marketing:  Your Intangible B2B Sales Force 

The same principle applies in B2B marketing. Position your brand only for the CEOs in the industries you serve. Don’t try pushing your list of features. That’s a consumer-based commodity approach! Explain, rather, the actual and differentiated results your solutions provide clients, maybe even their competition.

As your messages get through to your CEO targets with the ringtone of relevance, your brand will begin to develop a subtle (even if at first subconscious) mental interest. Then a natural value-focused curiosity will make learning more about your product/service part of their to-do list.

With a continued consistency of strong messages, your pricing and business model will be investigated or directly inquired of – your opportunity to close new business.

Demonstrate category leadership to your target company CEOs and they will wonder if they should be doing business with you.

Incremental Marketing over Capitalized Marketing

I can understand the value in publicity that an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank gives to small businesses vying for capital to expand. Even if the company makes no deal, they come away with brand impressions in the millions. Those who score a business deal, however, just took on a demanding new “boss” with enough equity to call some of the shots, including profit distributions.

What if these same entrepreneurs continued to ramp up sales work, implemented whatever marketing programs they could afford and then applied patience? Would more time and incremental growth render their quest for venture capital obsolete, giving them greater command of fulfilling their business vision? Experience tells us yes.

I believe financial expert Dave Ramsey who says “cash is king and debt is dumb.” Of course, there are exceptions to such truisms and I’ve used credit card debt in the past to successfully leverage my way out of near-bankruptcy, but I believe I was blessed along the way. I paid off the cards as fast as possible and one day I was able to wipe out that debt completely. That very day, my cash flow and profits began to improve dramatically! Since then I’ve accrued some working capital to keep business humming and growing, thank God!

Goal Achievement through Strategic Patience

Mine is a micro-example of many healthy companies that have chosen organic growth over partnered or capitalized expansion. Many of my clients and associate firms have been doing very well without implementing fully integrated and comprehensive marketing campaigns, which can be rather expensive. Instead, we execute affordable, strategic and incremental marketing steps that, over time, provide the building blocks for more comprehensive marketing programs with the firepower to significantly increase sales and grow our businesses all the more.

I want to do more with my website! I want to increase the frequency and value of my newsletter. I want to spend more strategic time on LinkedIn. I want to produce a new brochure and direct mail piece. I want to attend more networking events. I want to start a formal PPC and SEO campaign. I want to advertise more… But I have tons of client and administrative work that must get done, so I’ll only do one out of 6 things on my marketing want-list today.

Next week, I’ll get to one or two more marketing executions as I can afford the time and money. I’m reasonably sure there will be tangible results with each new marketing step I take, as they have consistently produced leads and new business over the months and years – 6 years and counting!

A few of my clients are going through exciting growth periods and this has fueled more comprehensive marketing programs to spread our messages out to additional media channels. This kind of incremental approach over time reduces the stress of “burn rates” and high expectations from partners, banks and investors. The cash in your bank account has no strings and can be more freely spent on the right priorities – yours!