Entrepreneurs and effective marketing

We worked on increasing the effectiveness of their marketing through understanding the Broken Windows Theory for marketing and how it can increase the effectiveness of marketing for their business. 

Breast Cancer Sponsorship, is it really a good thing?

“Of course cause marketing is a good thing,” I thought to myself. But, the counterargument, “The adoption of social responsibility through cause-related marketing as a business strategy is unethical” by Peggy Kreshel changed my perspective.

Stop putting your building in ads! Features vs. benefits in marketing

A while ago, I watched a local business give a presentation to the local chamber of commerce about their law firm. And they talked about…their building.  Apparently they had just finished a remodel of their offices and wanted to show them off. Slide after slide after slide was photos of the inside and outside of their…

Crisis communications: Think about your competition

In crisis communications, we’re trained to think about all of our stakeholders including customers, employees, partners, etc. But we need to also think about and react to how our competitors will respond our crisis. How will they respond? How will they try to gain market share or serve their purposes during and after a crisis?…

Sometimes it makes sense to make fun of your brand

A few years ago, when I was working as the Director of Public Information and Marketing at Kellogg Community College, a fellow employee who had an interest in marketing came to me with a question about a particular t-shirt being sold in the bookstore. The t-shirt read “Cornflake University” and was a spoof on the Kellogg part of…

Addressing the Question: Measuring Advertising ROI

One of the hardest questions, I think, for marketers and advertisers to answer is the dreaded question “How can I measure my advertising?” because, unfortunately, it just isn’t that simple. That isn’t to say that there is no way to do it, it just is a lot more complex than most would think. So, this…

Time to retire the “elevator pitch”?

“What types of products do you use on your skin?” the esthetician at the spa asked. I named a small list of products and ended with, “…and olive oil.” “Olive oil?  Why on Earth would you use that?” she said surprised.  Then she continued, “Well our products are all natural…” I don’t remember what she said after…

Avoid the copycat “us too” style of marketing

If you’ve ever worked in marketing management, you’ve probably experienced that moment when someone walks into your office or sends you an email with one of your competitor’s ads. The delivery is different depending on who they are and their directness level, but the message is always the same, “They are doing this, so we…

Addressing the Question: Why branding is important

A couple posts ago, I gave my thoughts on how to respond when asked about advertising return on investment (ROI). Today, I’d like to offer my favorite analogy to explain why branding is important. Although the need for consistent communication seems so fundamental to those of us in marketing, advertising, and communications, it isn’t to…

Should churches stick to the “brand” of their denomination?

  The United Methodist Church (of which I’m a member of), has a very distinctive logo that is easily recognized as that of the church; it’s a cross with two flames intersecting it. The logo and brand is pretty well-known, and yet, a large number of churches opt not to use the logo as their…

Sometimes the small things in your business really do matter

  My understanding of the importance of little things in a business began with Western Michigan University marketing professor Ed Mayo bringing in his…soap collection.He had stayed at a wide story of hotels over the years and was demonstrating to us that sometimes the little do things do indeed matter; the shape (sadly a lost…