OK, I’ll admit it, it makes me laugh. I’ve played it for a few friends and even shared it on the net (like
here now). In fact I’ve watched it several times. And giggled again.  But is this ad in poor taste of by its very nature is it effective?  And of course the more important question: is it right ad for the advertiser?

Is it a Good Ad or just distasteful?

The test of a good ad that can be often be summed up by using the ABC’S which is Attention, Branding
Communication and Stickiness. 
Attention: A+  This ad definitely grabs the attention with a high degree of humor.  It’s certainly just as funny as a Seinfeld or Friends episode. And for many, like me, it has sharing power that is perfectly for social media.

Branding:  C+  Its does not seem to do a good job with the brand.  Yes, K-Mart is definitely
  at the uncertain stage of the Brand Love Curve, so what it really needs is to help separate the brand from the pack.  Other than scoring for “this brandis funny”, this doesn’t really separate K-Mart out from the pack?   I’d likely give this a higher score if the brand was targeted to a younger audience or if it was in an edgier category, the joke would have been a perfect fit for (e.g.  EB Games or West 49)
Communication: B+   If K-Mart’s only objective is to establish that it does shipping, then it would be A+, but because of the vast needs for the brand, I’m a bit surprised they can turn K-Mart around by offering free shipping.  This does nothing to separate the brand:  LL Bean can ship pants, but LL Bean has pants I want shipped.   The other weird part of the communication is that 90% of the visuals are IN the store yet the real big win is there’s an on-line play.  If it’s IN the store, most items in a mass merchandiser store are so small that you don’t need them shipped.   So I’m saying mixed.

Stickiness: A  It certainly sticks and the amount of sharing and talk value it has generate helps.
It may be polarizing to certain segments of the mass audience–some may be offended–so it may stick for the wrong reason with the wrong circumstances.

So overall, I’d rate the ad a solid B+ to A=.  Very funny Ad. 
  
But, is it the right Ad for K-Mart? We’ll cover that topic in our next Blog Post.  Stay tuned…
 
 
Recently had a question about setting a marketing budget when considering small business marketing. My take on this topic is unconventional yet very simple: I’M NEVER BEEN A FAN OF MARKETING BUDGETS. 

You read that right a 25 year veteran marketing guy just stated he doesn’t believe in and not a fan of setting traditional marketing budgets for simply budget sake. Benchmarks, yes, especially when expressed in percentages but what if you set out a 12% marketing budget and the campaigns you implemented
work tremendously? Do you sit tight? We like to see our small business marketing clients think in terms of ROI (Return On Investment) each and every time and also what the lifetime value of a client/guest/patient means long term as well as from a referral perspective. 

So perhaps[s we need to seriously consider these questions:
- If we were able to develop programs and ampaigns that when implemented would increase your business and profits of $1,000,000 each time,
what would you willing to invest to make that happen? 

- Would you allocate 10%? Keep in mind that would leave you with $900,000 in gross profits. 

- How about investing $200,000 which would still leave you with $800,000? $300,000 to make $700,000? Even if we invested 50% you would still
derive $500,000 in profits up front.
Not too bad of a deal for you as the business owner, right? But that’s only scratching the surface. Perhaps the bigger point is that once we have those customers in the door and on our list, you have an opportunity to sell to him/her over and over for many years to come. Especially (and in particular) when you have your other programs in place to properly service that new client to ensure s/he sticks around for year and years. So the real point here is lifetime value, right?

So perhaps the real conversation needs to be switched from, “What’s the least amount we can spend to acquire a customer?” to the far more important question, “What’s the most that we can/will spend to acquire a new customer?”

When you truly understand the true LIFETIME VALUE of your client/guest/patient ANY business owner or anyone braking into business would find the money to get them on board. It’s the vast difference between ‘Getting a Customer to Get a Sale’ and the far smarter way to think about it: ‘Making a Sale to Get a Customer’.Think about that one for a moment…  

When we sincerely grasp this concept, it’s a real game changer. 
Rich Sadler - - - America’s Marketing Director
 
 
Surely you’ve done it.  Come on, you can admit it. We’ve all done it from time to time. I know I have on occasion. Heck, even my own dear ole’ Mom admits to doing it.  

At one time of another we’ve all seen an item on the shelf in a store that we were interested in and thought: “MMM, wonder what I can get this for on-line?”. And lets face it with technology being what it is,
there’s a heightened chance that you have in fact on more than one occasion scoped some type of commodity of one sort or another and then went and bought it on eBay, Amazon or any one of
dozen available consumer websites.

We’ll there’s actually a name for this type of activity and it’s got retailers of America up in arms. Its called “Showrooming.”  It’s the practice of checking out a product in-store only to buy it online at a discount. 
 
And a new study regarding Showrooming behavior shows how it affects our retailers.  

Bottom-line folks, if you care about Small Business Marketing, Advertising or Promotions and/or if you own or operate any type of retail establishment selling products (or even services in some cases) this will a very revealing report and graph you’ll surely want to check out. See chart below (and click for the story) >>>

More on this practice and how best to combat it and WIN in a subsequent blog posting… stay
tuned. Rich Sadler
 
 
One of our clients was out to dinner and met up with some fellow business owners who were asking his about the amazing exposure he’s recently gotten in the marketplace and the incredible meteoric
rise in his business.  

He explained that it was a result of hiring his Own Marketing Director and frankly was unable to answer the HOW but he loved the results nonetheless. 
 
The next day he called to convey the conversation and query me - here’s a bit of a recap of our conversation:  

Mike: “Rich, how exactly are we growing so fast? I mean from 17% occupancy (he’s a boutique hotel in the USVI) to nearly 90% is just unbelievable? What are you doing dousing our little  area
with crack?” (Mike’s got a great sense of humor – always keep me laughing) 
 
Me: “Mike its actually quite simple: Keep in mind: there are three and only three ways to grow any business. 
 
1) Get more customers
2) Get those customers you do have to buy more stuff. 
3) Get those customers you do have to buy more often. 
 
So how we are accomplishing these objectives is this:

1) Get more customers – adjusting and augmenting the main Paradise Cove website, developing additional videos and increasing P/C’s presence online through SEO / SEM. Also direct response campaigns to potential guests already on island as well as market segments: Travel Agents, PADI members, Sailing crowd, Wedding parties and groups. Every business has these types of opportunities –
we just have a knack of finding them!


2) Get those customers you do have to buy more stuff – we opened P/C Café, Internet access service, Inspiration Hall and soon the Business Center. Also may add Specialty Advertising items such as P/C t-shirts, caps and hats, towels, souvenir items, etc. I’ve never seen a business that didn’t have loads of additional things that could be offering clients and customers. 

3) Get those customers you do have to buy more often – Book & Bonus Specials, like our exclusive to the Caribbean: Book 5 Nights, Get 2 Nights FREE! This meant the length of the stays are longer which directly increased your bottom-line! Any business can do it – there’s always a way to up-sell, cross- sell and in fact if you’re offering great value you owe it to your clents. 

To substantially augment all three above we should initiate a team effort to increase the number of Affiliate Agreement / Joint Venture Relationships we have on island (and off) – such as adding more
excursions partnerships, restaurant partnerships, entertainment relationships, etc. Must be an on-going strategy and team effort with all staff members participating.”

There you go, that was our conversation. A Short Story that is as Instructive as it is Simple. Now Mike can go back to his entrepreneur friends and tell them how he did what he did. 
 
He’s a genius! 
 
 
Ok, this is our last in our little series on this Small Business Marketing blog post. The question that started this stream of thought, Q & A and is below and you can find my answers to question two by clicking here.  

Allen T from New Hampshire asks: “Rich, I’ve heard a lot of about Email Marketing and Pay Per Click. As you know I’m on a budget and have been burnt and ripped-off before my non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’ scammers. My question is: should we add these in and make them part of our Marketing Plan or maybe not? Thank you” 

Rich answers: Allen, there’s a few things to consider here and I’m thrilled you asked the question. In fact within your question are really three chief factors and I’d like to address each of them separately:  
 
a) non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’
b) small business marketing ‘on a budget’
c) make Email Marketing and Pay Per Click part of our Marketing Plan

Let’s continue with the final for: #3:  EMAIL MARKETING AND PAY PER CLICK PART OF OUR MARKETING PLAN?

- Proper Email Marketing is going to take funds to attain a list– time to do that is down the road when money is flowing and we can afford a Quality List and Know it will work because the timing is right and we have all the other pieces in place.

- PPC (Pay Per Click) can be very expensive and until the site and our whole marketing structure in place we’ll not really derive all the use out of the funds for this method anyway… need every dime to count… so this one has to wait until funds are flowing as well. 
 
The focus has to be on maximizing whatever funds are available and get clients and members. The best, most efficient and effective way to do this is through natural means. Throwing a lot of money at it won’t work anyway… it’ll just cause even more frustration. 
 
All we’ll need to do (at least in the beginning phases) is to stay in line with Google’s original Mission
Statement:  "To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Since they hold 77% of the online market, we’ll simply feed that beast (as well as the other engines) - by being relevant! 
 
Then we’ll attack the other techniques and methods (including Offline) that require funds later. Make sense? 
 
Whether you are a seasoned business owner or new entrepreneur, let’s face it its vital to learn How to Promote Your Business or if it’s not your thing, hire it out. Either way, conducting wise and effective Small
Business Marketing will always pay off huge dividends. Best of all – done right – will explode profits and increase your bottom-line! 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Find out more about author, trainer and master marketer Rich
Sadler by visiting his website www.profitrichseminars.com or take advantage of the
tremendous benefits to you and your company by hiring Your Own Marketing
Director:  www.yourownmarketingdirector.com

 
 
Let’s continue where we left off from our last Small Business Marketing blog post. The question that started this stream of thought, Q & A and is below and you can find my initial answer to question one by clicking here.  

Allen T from New Hampshire asks: “Rich, I’ve heard a lot of about Email Marketing and Pay Per Click. As you know I’m on a budget and have been burnt and ripped-off before my non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’ scammers. My question is: should we add these in and make them part of our Marketing Plan or maybe not? Thank you” - - 

Rich answers: Allen, there’s a few things to consider here and I’m thrilled you asked the question. In fact within your question are really three chief factors and I’d like to address each of them separately:  
a) non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’
b) small business marketing ‘on a budget’
c) make Email Marketing and Pay Per Click part of our Marketing Plan

Let’s handle the next one, shall we? #2: SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING ON A BUDGET

Allen, since your BtoB business has unfortunately expended a lot of funds needlessly I’m of the considered opinion that we shouldn’t do things like Email Marketing nor do we need to spend any money on Pay Per Click quite yet. 

No reason to waste any more money learning How to Promote Your Business, right? Not a single dime. Let’s actually DO classic Small Business Marketing and make every penny work to its maximum, what do ya’ say?

That being said, allow me to clear up a huge misnomer out there: HUGE BUDGETS ARE NOT NECESSARY for proper and strong Business Growth –It’s a myth that it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to conduct effective Small Business Marketing. There’s always a way to be affordable!               
 
Granted having a sizable budget is going to certainly make things easier and work a bit quicker and smoother but often those who are out there toting that huge budgets are a must and ‘the only way’,  specially in Internet Marketing’, are similar to the Wizard of Oz saying that he’s Great and Powerful.
As the old saying goes: “Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain”   

If you don’t have a huge budget you may, in some way, have an advantage over those that do possess deep pockets. Reason I state this whether you are doing BtoB (Business to Business) or BtoC 0(Business to Consumer) it’s easier to make huge mistakes when you have huge funds. You tend to shoot then aim. Versus when you are working on moderate or limited funds you have to Aim Then Shoot. 

So the best Strategy to deploy when it comes to Small Business Marketing is to start out doing those things that will maximize your funds and then dip into the Paid Marketing pool a bit later by funneling the funds from the results back into the campaign(s). 

Noticed I mentioned RESULTS! ‘ll cover more on this topic later but know there are very solid ways to Produce Big Results with a Small Marketing Budget. 
 
Stay tuned for more…
Click here for more in this series…

EMAIL MARKETING AND PAY PER CLICK PART OF OUR MARKETING PLAN?
 
 
Picking up from where we left off in our last Small Business Marketing blog post. The question that started this stream of thought, Q & A and is below and you can find my answers to question one 

Allen T from New Hampshire, USA asks: “Rich, I’ve heard a lot of about Email Marketing and Pay Per Click. As you know I’m on a budget and have been burnt and ripped-off before my non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’ scammers. My question is: should we add these in and make them part of our Marketing Plan or maybe not? Thank you” - - 

Rich answers: Allen, there’s a few things to consider here and I’m thrilled you asked the question. In fact within your question are really three chief factors and I’d like to address each of them separately:  
 
a) non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’

b) small business marketing ‘on a budget’

c) make Email Marketing and Pay Per Click part of our Marketing Plan

Let’s continue with the remainder for: #1:  Non-Performing So-Called‘Internet Marketers’

FINDING A SUPERSTAR FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING - II

1) Look for a Small Business Marketing organization that has a track record. And one who preferably has a strong and talented team behind them. It’s also a good idea to ask about their operational approach and philosophy. Do they seem to do hit & run style marketing and turn clients at a rapid pace or do they do so more on the basis of establishing long term relationships. 
 
2) Will they tell you like it is or do they flower the reality just to get the business? Although I have  grimaced when doing so, we have on many occasions, regrettably had to point out the foibles from those who came before us. Frequently didn’t want to but I feel we owe our clients that much. You must get the straight scoop from your Advisor or Consultant - even and especially if it’s painful!  
 
3) Attempt to locate Small Business Advisors who understand and practice Targeted, Direct Response
Marketing. And then pick one for whom this unique style of Marketing is not just a passion and a true love but it’s also a full time profession – or close to it.

4) While admittedly it may be a rarity, try to find a Small Business Marketing professional who may do at
least a portion of his/her work on the basis of performance. Granted no true professional can do it solely on that basis (beware the one who may make this claim – they’re likely to do more harm than good) as there are unavoidable hard expenses. But it’s a very good thing for them to have some skin-in-the-game and a handsome incentive to do your bidding well, right? 
 
5) And lastly… find someone who believe in your business and can articulate so – nearly as well as you can. Bottom-line is this: unless they truly believe in what you’re doing and the integrity of your goals and aspirations, they won’t really be willing to focus their skills, expertise and time and that of their team on your project. And least not properly and in-line with your Hierarchy of Priorities.  
 
A final word of caution with this topic: once you find that right Small Business Marketing professional be absolutely sure you are ready for it. Because you can very easily go from a serious Marketing Problem to having a very real Capacity Problem quite quickly.  


 
 
Recently received a GREAT question from a new Small Business Marketing client that I’m posting below (name changed). Happens to be a query we’ve gotten often so let’s address it thoroughly here and now. 

“Rich, I’ve heard a lot of  about Email Marketing and Pay Per Click. As you know I’m on a budget and have  been burnt and ripped-off before by non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’scammers. My question is: should we add these in and make them part of our Marketing Plan or maybe not?”
- -  Allen T, New Hampshire, USA. 

Allen, there’s a few things to consider here and I’m thrilled you asked the question. In fact within your question are really three chief factors and I’d like to address each of them separately:  
 
a) non-performing so-called ‘internet marketers’
b) small business marketing ‘on a budget’
c) make Email Marketing and Pay Per Click part of our Marketing Plan

Let’s handle them one at a time shall we? #1: Non-Performing So-Called ‘Internet Marketers’

Truly I wish the fact that you have had several so-called ‘internet marketers’ come through your business and not perform was an anomaly. But unfortunately when, as a business owner you’re learning How to Promote Your Business and trying do Small Business Marketing either by yourself or hiring any Small Business Advisors, sometimes it’s going to happen.   

Tend to think it’s happen to us all at one time or another. Frankly I haven’t the first clue as to why someone would not do a job they’ve been tasks to do, but I suppose you have that sort in every field of endeavor. And yes certainly it seems to be prevalent in some ‘Internet Marketing” circles. Of course once we’ve been burnt by so-called professionals with little to no success it’s entirely understandably that we become somewhat gun-shy and skeptical. Make sense. Granted Allen I know you have already done much of the following (as you hired us) but it’s a good exercise nonetheless. A few brief points on that subject of locating a great Advisor or Consultant resource for proper and strong Business Growth: 

FINDING A SUPERSTAR FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING
1) First things first: A vital point to keep in mind here is: Most will tell you they are “in the Internet arketing Business”. I say THERE IS NO SUCH THING! You’re either in the ‘Marketing Business’ or you’re not. The Internet is simply media. It’s a tool, like any other. Like billboards, brochures, newspaper and magazine ads, business and rack cards, etc. Granted the internet is a very powerful and extremely  economical tool, but a tool in your toolbox of methods nonetheless. I’d strongly recommend picking an organization based upon the fact that they do all types and style of Marketing: Off-line and On-line. And as I tell my team members all the time: the only prerequisite for any technique or method we deploy for our clients is: Results!     
 
Click here for more in this series…

FINDING A SUPERSTAR FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING II

 
 
Hi folks, those who know me well, know I’m not as computer literate as most people so you may have to bare with me as I do what I can to manage this blog. So lets get started with one of the issues I'm most known for... the fact that Most Business Owners get Marketing Backwards
As you may have read in the Introduction and Getting to Know Rich section, I started working in the conventional advertising world in 1987, starting in broadcast industry. Because I’m blessed to be a very fast learner and extremely tenacious it wasn’t long before I was honored to rise to the top of that profession – and also became the very first Co-op Director in Florida working with major corporations all over the country and calling on some of the top advertising agencies on the globe.

Becoming very frustrated with what I perceived as a system of clear disservice and ineffectiveness to the clients, I struck out on my own and systematically discovered a magnitude of secrets and eventually developed effective, efficient, Results-Driven marketing techniques and strategies. More on that as go along here but first and foremost we have to really lay the ground work for the fact that I’ve truly come to believe that most businesses don’t need to advertise at all.    

That’s right, I advocate that most businesses do not need to engage in conventional advertising and if and when they do, typically just become Advertising Victims. The key is recognizing the vast distinction between Advertising and Marketing and understanding the vital Marketing Triangle: the Message, Market, Media match; 
Step number one; MESSAGE: MUST be to create our USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What sets us apart from others in our industry (or may provide the same solutions that our products provide)?

HINT: Answer the following question: “Why Should I, Your Ideal Client Or Patient, Do Business With You Versus Every Other Option Available To Me?... Including Doing Nothing…

Step number two; MARKET: will be to identify the market in which we want to attract (in most cases also identify whom we want to repel: do not want to attract). In many cases we will want to approach several segments / categories of the market and will address each group/class with a different message

Step number three; MEDIA: will be to pick the media we choose to apply our message to our chosen market. There is not bad or erroneous media necessarily but it’s typically how and what we say to that market and therefore what media is to be utilized to reach them.  
What is essential, absolutely critical requirements to becoming a great Marketer:

The ability to fog a mirror!

Almost requirements:
1. The ability to count
2. The ability to read
3. The ability to talk /communicate

Non-requirement but Sure Would Help in Your Endeavors
1. The ability to weigh risks against rewards

That’s right, the whole point here is anyone can become a great marketer; with a good bit of effort and some time invested. The great news is no one needs to become a great marketing when you can hire Your Own Marketing Director…

(surely you know I was going to eventually mentioned that, right?)
See you soon, Rich