Monday, May 19, 2008

Wendy Maynard, the Marketing Maven's Ideas on Effective Marketing Materials.

This is a blog post from the Marketing Maven and I must give Wendy every credit for it. Someitmes you find something that just speaks to you and cannot be improved upon. These are Wendy Maynard's ideas on Effective Marketing Materials.

A mistake that entrepreneurs and business owners make is trying to create their own marketing materials or to have an amateur - a friend, relative, or neighbor - design their materials. It may seem like you are saving money by doing your own logo, business card or website; however, the reality is that you are making a VERY costly mistake that can make your business more likely to fail.
By trying to create your marketing materials cheaply, you end up looking…well…cheap. Many business owners do not realize the high cost of this mistake. They do not understand that by having a logo, stationery, brochures, and other marketing materials that look unprofessional and poorly designed is creating a sub par impression in the minds of new prospects.
When you are in the building and growing phase of your business, you need everything you do to accelerate your success. Your logo and marketing materials are the first impression people get of your company - a professionally designed logo contributes to your success by enhancing your business visibility and credibility.
Your marketing tools should move your prospects closer to making a purchase. You cannot afford to look unprofessional and "thrown together" because you won't look like the expert you are, and you won't attract your dream customers. If a prospective customer views your materials as unprofessional or confusing, you will lose them to a competitor.
Here are specific reasons why unprofessional marketing hurts you:
1. Your business does not look reliable and trustworthy. Customers may assume your company is more likely to fail because you have not taken the time to create a stable branding presence. No matter what business you are in, people want to purchase services or products from a company that appears established and secure. They want to know that you will be there for them if they have a problem or need your products/services in the future. Well-established, sound businesses need to look that way.
2. You appear less capable. Larger, successful businesses would never conduct business without professional, custom-designed marketing materials. Using marketing materials designed from templates or by an amateur gives your company the appearance of being flighty and inexperienced. You are less likely to attract professional clients when your business doesn't appear professional. It may give people the impression that you don't care about quality and attention to detail.
3. You are less likely to stand out. By using homemade marketing materials, you not only make your business look confused but you also have a problem differentiating your company from your competitors. You don't have a solid branding strategy, your core-marketing message isn't being reinforced, and you aren't memorable.
People make decisions on where they make a purchase based on first impressions and imagery. Anything your company puts out in front of prospects and customers must be of the highest quality. If your logo, website, business cards, and brochures aren't well designed and professional, why would prospects think your services are any better?
Your appearance sells your company first!
Here are some specific tips to help you with the first impression you make through your marketing materials:
• Never hand out a homemade business card.
• Don't print out your own marketing materials.
• Go to a professional designer to create your marketing materials, especially your logo.
• Make sure all of your links on your website work. Avoid "under construction" and simply hide the pages that aren't completed yet.
• Add your website URL to all of your printed materials.
• Avoid clipart in your printed materials and never use jumping animals or rotating whirly-thingys on your website.
Remember, people make decisions on where they make purchases based on first impressions and imagery. Anything your company puts out in front of prospects and customers must be of the highest quality. If your logo, website, business cards, and brochure aren't well-designed and professional, why would prospects think your services are any better?
ACTION ITEM: Conduct an audit of your current marketing materials. What is your logo like? Your business card? Website? Brochure? Are there specific items that need to be designed, redesigned, or rewritten? If so, which ones? Keep in mind, your appearance sells your company first! Spending money to have your marketing materials professionally designed is in investment in the future of your company that will pay off 100-fold over time.
(c) 2006 Wendy Gray Maynard

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wendy Maynard, the Marketing Maven, publishes Maven Marketing Strategies, a weekly marketing strategy ezine for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more fun, get your FREE TIPS now at

Monday, May 5, 2008

Episode 38 Monday Morning Marketeer, Creating Customer Loyalty--Suspects on the Web

There are about six recognized stages to creating Customer loyalty.
These are: Suspect, prospect, first-time customer, repeat customer, client and advocate.
Today I am only talking about two: creating suspects and prospects.

Here is one major way to create suspects: Give them information, after all this is the information age. You can do this with Talkcasts or Podcasts, or Free Webinars, done properly they are all really the same thing.
This is how I use them to educate my suspects, fans, listeners, followers, whatever you want to call them. They are people just like you and they are important to me. Do they make me money? No not directly, but what they, you do is increase my credibility in my field and you, they who are not reading this, spread the information I provide by word of mouth, which, “hello” is hard to get but “FREE.”

So on my Techno Granny Show, I operate as a Talkcast similar to a Talk Show and I find someone who uses the technology that I want people to be more conversant with. My guest gets to advertise their business at the end of the show by giving out their contact information. Here are two people who have used helpful information to get the word out about their business—Techno Granny, me and also my guest for the day.

Now the second type of show or training is a webinar, which is also a community call. That’s what Monday Morning Marketeer is. I talk for fifteen minutes about inexpensive ways to market your business, I try to keep the tips either free to implement or under $100.00. Now when I advertise, “Big Business Marketing for Small Businesses.” Do you think people listen? Of course, by showing that I care about the little things that you can do to market your business all by yourself, I have increased my visibility and created a platform for selling marketing that costs a little more than a hundred dollars. I have given away marketing tips but I have gained two things: visibility and an on-line audio portfolio. If you want to know what I know or think about a particular topic, it is probably on my Monday Morning Marketeer, hosed at www.Talk

By the way, did I mention that you can do this to, and to record, advertise and host your webinar or talkcast at , it is free, but hurry because I fear that someday soon, it will become so popular that they might start to charge. I have increased my listeners to my shows to 1,000 per week in live and downloaded format because all of my shows are archived at and you can listen to them—whenever, possibly forever, at least as long as the internet lasts.

Now let’s talk about blogs, let’s talk about you and me sharing information and getting reactions. How cool is this. Blog about what you know is of importance to your target audience, blog regularly and post your blog to sites like Technorati and Digg and other blogposting and hosting sites and guess what if you use E-Blogger, which is owned by Google, it really “Gets Your Google On!”
Post tips of the week, post other bloggers that blog on the same subject but please educate your suspects, prospects, friends, fans and followers with useful and entertaining information. Sometimes a little levity goes a long way.

One of my protégé’s on TalkShoe has a show called Gourmet Eater; his business is Smells Like French Fries. Gregg Matthis recycles restaurant cooking oil. His idea was to introduce Pittsburgh Restaurants to the public and he likes to eat. Each week he interviews one of his current customers or finds new restaurants to hi-light. Everyone wants extra exposure, especially on the internet where Talkcasts and podcast are hosted. Now which call as a busy restaurant owner would you rather get a call to be interviewed on the Gourmet Eater or a call to be prospected by Mr. Greg Matthis of Smells Like French Fries? And I know from his results that it is easier for him to get that appointment after he has interviewed them on his show.

Now let’s talk about You-Tube.


Remember that when you are attracting suspects, fans, friends and followers to drive ideas in this information highway world with a microwave mentality, to create “Buzz,” it must be simple, word of mouth friendly and supported by tools to facilitate customer conversation.
Well Talkcasts, Webinars, podcasts, blogs, they all do that easily and so does U-Tube.

This three-step success formula worked exceptionally well for Blendtec, a small, Utah-based maker of high-end home and commercial blenders.
The fledging company needed more business, so executives brainstormed: How do we earn more market awareness on a shoe-string budget? Their answer? Online videos with a simple, word-of-mouth friendly premise: CEO Tom Dickson, dressed in white lab coat and goggles, blending up a host of everyday objects (baseballs, a Tiki Torch, Transformers, an iPod, a video camera) in a light-hearted, don't-try-this-at home presentation schtick.
‘By Week 3, the company had dropped all other search engines from its budget.’
How did Blendtec facilitate online awareness and conversation? By posting the video on YouTube! Within a week, the Will It Blend? Videos became a YouTube hit. Uploads followed on such other sites as and At the end of the first seven days, the Will It Blend? Video campaign had six million views. But that's not all. Other product makers, anxious to leverage the campaign's popularity, began paying Blendtec on average $5,000 to film promotions for their firms using the Will It Blend? format. Bottom line, the videos became a revenue producer in their own right. Awareness went way up, along with sales. Blendtec reported a 43 percent sales increase for 2006.

Listen to the archived version of Monday Morning Marketeer at:

Next week: Episode 39: 9 AM EST: EPISODE39 - How Important is Your Web Logo Style
Listen Live or listen Later.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: