Welcome once again to The Corporate Muse! We're happy to share
our marketing and writing tips and ideas with you in issue #4. And as always, we appreciate suggestions
Make Marketing Count
So you’ve decided to embark on a marketing campaign, but you’re not sure which approach to take. Maybe you’re new to the idea or perhaps you’re an old hand but still have questions about
what works and what doesn’t. Let’s explore some of the options, shall
- Advertising – Great gig if you can afford it. Advertising offers maximum exposure. One
well-executed advertisement can reach a large number of prospects with very little effort. Key elements: repetition and the possibility of public renown tempt even the most
circumspect buyers. The big drawback is, of course, the price
tag. Good advertising costs dearly and results are sometimes hard to
measure. Few small-to-medium size companies are fortunate enough to have the kind of budget that allows for such
expenditures. While television awards the best
coverage – it’s also the most expensive. Radio and newspaper, less
costly alternatives, still get the word out about your business. If you have the
funds, advertising can be well worth the money in giving you citywide or even nationwide recognition.
- Websites – The World Wide Web has changed how America (and the
rest of the world) conducts business. We are more connected than ever before
in history. Anyone, anywhere can learn about your company by typing it into
Google or Yahoo. If you haven’t already, why not tap into this ready-made
resource by setting up a website featuring information about you and your company? The cost, depending on how you go about it, can be minimal. Hiring a web designer is the priciest way to go, but there are low cost or even free
templates just a mouse click away. Log your information into one of these
and the only other charges will be for registering your domain name and a maintenance fee as low as $5.00
or $10.00 a month. Keep in mind
that people read Web pages differently than printed text. Short paragraphs, bullets, and an "inverted
pyramid" structure are proven tactics to engage your readers. Having a functional, well developed website gives access to your establishment 24
hours a day, seven days a week, which makes it an invaluable tool.
- Brochures – If you’re looking for an opportunity to clarify what
you do in an attractive, portable package, the brochure is your answer. An 8
x 11½” sheet of heavy paper, lengthwise, divided into three columns and printed on both sides, allows ample room to
convey your business story. Customers can learn all they need to know about
your company in a presentation they can take with them and share with other prospective clients. A brochure begs to be attractive and every word must count, so it’s imperative to
carefully plan what you want it to say and how you want it to look. The
initial cost of copy and layout will be moderate to expensive (depending on whether you tackle this stage of the process
yourself or hire professional writers and/or designers to do it for you) with reprints produced at a much lower
rate. Most businesses will profit from having a brochure available to
distribute when asked for more information about their operation. It’s
particularly useful if you have a difficult to explain or unusual business.
- Telemarketing – You know, those annoying “unknown name” or
“unavailable” numbers on your Caller ID. All irritation aside, this approach
works. It has to or why would they continue to call us? Think about it, no one in his/her right mind would phone people day in and day out,
just to be screamed at or have the phone slammed down in his/her ear if there wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of the
rainbow. Face it, as objectionable as we find unsolicited calls, the method
does its job. The question then, is it right for you? One advantage – the price – free (if you have phone service) and everyone loves
free! You can ease the discomfort by restricting your list to names
generated from sign-up sheets at your office, store, or website. To execute:
write a script, preferably one that includes a special bargain for any takers, and decide on a specific number of calls
you’ll make each day. The major obstacle, besides the possibility of
cauliflower ear, is the National No Call list. If you’re contacting other
businesses, this rule doesn’t apply. And the bonus? The plausibility of connecting with someone actively seeking the exact product or
service you represent. What can be better than that?
- E-Mail – With the advent of the computer age, companies can
now procure email lists and quickly send notes to interested parties (i.e., how many of you started receiving The
Corporate Muse). Through email, the world becomes your oyster. No longer limited to your local area, your business can increase
exponentially. If you have access to the Internet, it costs you nothing but
the time it takes to compose the message, compile the addresses and send it out. A word of caution here – credibility is key. Legitimate communication usually comes in the form of emails associated with a website
(for example, firstname.lastname@example.org). People tend to immediately delete messages from so-and-so @ “yahoo.com” or “juno.com”, etc. Spam
guards present another problem. Many corporations won’t accept emails from
any name they don’t recognize. Because it’s economical and readily available
it might be worth a shot – you really have nothing to lose.
- Direct Response – Direct mail letters, sales letters, postcards,
brochures, booklets and large packets of data comprise part of the inexhaustible potential found in Direct
Response. From a simple postcard to a colorful envelope full of irresistible
offerings, you can enlighten, enthrall, and/or entice your audience. Postage
ranges from $0.23 on up, making direct response mail relatively inexpensive. The USPS even has a variety of postcards conveniently stamped and ready to
go. Add that clever message tumbling around in your head and you have a
winning combination! Everybody gets mail and most people will at least check
out an inviting submission. The greatest benefit of
Direct Response – it’s the only market strategy with true
measurability. You'll know exactly how well it's doing because you'll get instantaneous responses
through increased traffic or phone calls. Careful assessment of these
results will give you a clear picture of how to proceed with your next promotion. In the meantime, you’ll reap the rewards your Direct Response Campaign
We’ve outlined only a few of the many techniques to move your merchandise or introduce your firm to the
public. What works best for you may be a poor choice for the guy down the
street – and visa versa. Keep in mind; if you do nothing, your business will
flounder. On the plus side, active marketing might not have to be a forever
kind of thing. Established industries rely mostly on referrals to stay
busy. So whenever you find satisfied customers, don’t forget to ask them to
recommend you to others. Marketing plans should be reevaluated yearly. Make
sure you take yours out, dust it off, and see how well it’s working for you before the next year comes around. And if we can assist you in any way, don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an
© QuickSilver Copywriters 2005 – Andy & Shawn Catsimanes; http://www.quicksilvercopywriters.com/; mailto: email@example.com; Sign up for The Corporate Muse:
With Blogs - Part 1
By Priya Shah
Marketers have found
that blogs are excellent tools for communicating with their audience. Anyone who has something to sell or an idea to promote can
benefit from using blogs.
Corporates like Nike
are using blogs to build branding. Microsoft and Sun are using them to communicate with the developer community.
Blogs have a number
of advantages that make them excellent tools for communication.
They are cheap to
install and require little or no technical expertise. So the entry point for blogging is very low when compared to the expense of
hiring a website designer.
While building a
website is often out of the reach of most solo entrepreneurs, anyone can start a blog. If you can’t write or hate to write, you
can start an audio or video blog. The possibilities are endless.
Blogs also help you
create content that search engines love, and encourage linking from a number of other bloggers who write on similar topics. This
makes them excellent tools for getting high search engine rankings and boosting your visibility.
They also encourage
immediate responses from your readers and customers, so you can get feedback, tweak your campaigns and respond better to the
Blogs, and the RSS
feeds they come with, help you syndicate your content online, boost your reach and influence and allow readers to control their
communications with your company.
Your blog can be
your selling point and help your prospects opt for you and your services over those of others.
Whether you’re an
individual, entrepreneur, small business, consultant, coach, book author, independent filmmaker, actor, model, travel guide,
work-at-home mom - someone who wants to promote their individual skills and talents or interests – there is immense potential in
using blogs to promote your business.
In part 2 of this
article series I cover some tips that will help you ensure your blog is a good marketing vehicle.
Priya Shah is the
CEO of eBrand360 and writes the Marketing Slave
This article may be
reprinted as long as the resource box is left intact and all links are hyperlinked.
Block And The Menopausal Mind
Okay, I admit it;
I’m over fifty and have attained that glorious womanly right of passage.
Anyone who’s been
through menopause or has been forced to face it with someone they love knows the previous statement drips with
sarcasm. For those plagued with symptoms, the transition will probably be less
than enjoyable. After all, who wants to wake up in a pool of her own sweat,
flinging blankets hither and yon and minutes later frantically scramble to cover herself on account of the
shivering? Or stand in line at the supermarket when that oh-so-familiar feeling
hits as moisture beads along her bang line and trickles toward her eyebrows?
Distressing as hot flashes are, losing the ability to access facts, stories and words she’s known all her life can be even
more nerve racking.
And don’t even get
me started on leaving keys, purses, and dare I say, children in the oddest places.
Experts don’t always
agree on the part hormones play in the dreaded fuzzy-headedness, but most say waning estrogen levels contribute to a woman’s
inability to think clearly during this stage of her life. For “cures,” physicians
instruct us to eat right, exercise, limit caffeine (like that’s possible), take vitamins, reduce stress levels, and get plenty
Okay, so I’ve done
all that (with the noted exception of eliminating coffee – however, in my defense, I have modified my usage by mixing half
decaf and half regular) and I still struggle with forgetting my point in mid-sentence. And it goes beyond maddening when trying to compose the next great American
(For more info see:
http://www.womentowomen.com/SYMfuzzythinking.asp & http://www.menopause-online.com/memory.html.)
Since finding the
right word at the right time is what writers do, a sudden attack of lethologica can be lethal for those of us who consider
ourselves wordsmiths. Every writer, male or female, suffers the inability to
create now and again. Our fear of staring at a blank page or an empty screen,
willing the words to come, has engendered shelves devoted to the subject in many a bookstore. But what about the forty to fifty-something woman, can she realistically differentiate
between the two? And even more essential, does it matter?
No. Yes – if you’re a woman entering this phase of your life and have yet to seek
medical attention, now might be the time. Treatments are varied and individual
and I’m not qualified to direct or advise on the matter, but I do recommend you research it thoroughly and listen to your
body. You’ll know what works best for you when you hit on it. No – I find the same methods that ameliorate writer’s block also ease memory
lapses. Discovering ways to restart your engine, so to speak, is the key
Here are a few
things that have helped me:
1) Walk away from it. More often than not, the minute I remove myself from my desk, the word, phrase, sentence or
paragraph pops into my head. And I can’t tell you how many brilliant ideas have
surfaced while flying down the highway at 65 mph (so don’t forget your hand-held recorder).
2) Do something physical. Exercise increases endorphins helping us feel good about ourselves. Doctors target depression as one possible reason for fuzzy thinking. I schedule vigorous workouts every day because they improve my disposition and energy
level. Consider the thirty minutes to an hour necessary replenishing
3) Take a bath. At
a writer’s conference several years ago, I learned a wonderful fact about water.
It contains negative ions, which counteract the positive ions abundant in wind, fumes and dust. (http://www.portalmarket.com/negion.html.) Without delving too deeply on the subject, this explains why people become rather grouchy
under relentless windy conditions. Negative ions are the reason immersing
yourself in (or even just getting near) water alters your mood and enhances your creativity. Think about it – how many times have you had a mind-blowing epiphany while taking a
shower? Don’t be afraid to jump in!
I hope you found
these useful, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a couple of
sites that might interest you: http://www.sff.net/People/LisaRC/advice.htm & http://tinyurl.com/97thq.
have to admit, I grappled with practically every word on this page. Part of it
naturally occurs from a desire for excellence in my craft (that, and those occasional "senior moments"). Let me encourage you to press on. This
annoyance can last from two to thirteen years, but don’t despair. There’s hope
and there are ways to combat it. Hang in there and keep this mantra in mind, “I
am woman, hear me roar!” Good luck. (SKC)
© QuickSilver Copywriters 2005 – Andy & Shawn Catsimanes
We have good news! Past issues of The Corporate Muse can now be accessed on our Website
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you next month!
Andy & Shawn Catsimanes
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