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News Flash: An Online Press Kit is Vital
Few things are as valuable to a company as mentions in the press. Reporters are a busy bunch, however, so it's vital to maintain an up-to-date, user-friendly and accessible online news section. MORE

Making Your Small Business Look Big
Small companies don't have the branding and marketing budgets of their bigger competitors. But savvy moves can neutralize this disadvantage and let their strength--the ability to create a closer link to customers--shine through. MORE

Blogs Add the Personal Touch
Blogs Add the Personal Touch
Broadband logs--Blogs--are a great way to provide information and insight to existing and potential customers. The biggest benefit is a bit more intangible, however: These minimally structured, highly personal Web-based meeting places can strengthen relationships. MORE

PR Insight You Can Put To Good Use
* PR encompasses more than you realize. PR includes targeted business and trade publicity; hard-hitting publications; opinion research; speechmaking and other customer-group appearances; as well as various communications programs. It's more than publicity, more than a story in your newspaper or an appearance on local TV. Read more

Ask Customers For Their Opinions
Listen to your customers' comments. I wouldn't try to argue or rationalize or "Yes, but" them. I'd objectively and respectively and devoutly want to see how they view my company and my people and my business, and I would ask them about the competition. I wouldn't pussyfoot around. I would say, "Let me ask you this question: Do you buy from the competition? If not, why not? If so, why? If so, what do they do that I don't do better? What do you like about them more than you like doing business with us? What about their products? Are their products better? Are their salespeople better? Read more

The Four P's Of Marketing
There are two sets of famous letters in marketing. Each was designed to summarize broad aspects of marketing. Read more

Top 10 Marketing Ideas - Part V
1. American business is learning there is substantial long-term value in long-term relationships with suppliers. The concept where a supplier is considered a trusted employee--one with whom is shared concerns, praise and complaints and with whom there is a stated commitment to ride things out over the long haul. Read more

Top 10 Marketing Ideas - Part IV
On any given Saturday or Sunday, you can find couples out shopping for major appliances. They'll go from one appliance store to another looking and checking prices. There is some school of thought that they will buy from the last store they visit (if not immediately, eventually). One appliance store I heard about makes SURE their store is the last one a couple will visit. After they've visited with the salesperson and are about to leave, the staffer goes over to the store's freezer, takes out a half-gallon of ice cream and gives it to the potential customer. Nice gift, of course; relates to a major appliance, of course, but the couple now HAS to make a beeline for their abode. Read more

Top 10 Marketing Ideas - Part III
More or less in order here are the ways that advertising sources generate sales leads (from least to best): billboards, newspapers, radio, standard TV, magazines, co-op direct mail, self-standing direct mail, card decks, direct response TV and the Yellow Pages. The hidden gems for lead generation here are the card decks (packs of postcard-sized business return cards). Card decks are generally inexpensive and usually yield very good responses. They are mainly used for business-to-business, but there are household versions, too. Note: the quality of these leads is often lower than some other media, but that can be addressed in various ways (better offer, stronger follow up etc.). Read more

Starting And Expanding Your PR Program
Build on a firm foundation. Successful PR programs require experienced staff who work closely with the organization's management team. Experience provides judgment about what works and what doesn't, what's worth doing and what isn't. Read more

Top 10 Marketing Ideas - Part II
1. A book to read. There are a few hot books always coming to market. This isn't one of them. There are a few books that become classics. This is. It's David Ogilvy's: Ogilvy on Advertising, and here is why it is good. First, there is so much crummy, wasteful advertising out there, it would be a shame if yours was among it, and this will help you avoid that. Secondly, Ogilvy grew up in MARKET RESEARCH and later used that as a nearly scientific basis for good advertising. What's important in business (and in advertising) is to understand what your customer is thinking about and you don't truly know until you ask. The book is great reading. Read more

Top 10 Marketing Ideas - Part I
Here is Part I of Top Ten Marketing Ideas...designed to stimulate thinking about a wide range of marketing areas in your business. Read all five parts, print them and make copies for your co-workers and get those marketing juices flowing. Read more

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