Author: Bonnie Harris

I was on the phone with a friend of mine this week who was frustrated because one of her clients was pulling all their money out of one medium, to sink it into another.  I wonder when businesses will finally get it that there isn't a silver bullet, single item that will market them to success. What works is the mix...and although it's frustrating to realize that you have to juggle several balls at once these days for marketing to stick, it's what you have to do. It's really not that hard, and it doesn't take as much time as you think. People often ask me how I can come up with a good blend of marketing channels so quickly. Well, part of it is just experience . But another part is a quick rundown I do when I'm working with, or pitching a client. You can do the same thing if you're educated about your business. 1. First, I find out about the target audience. After they tell me "It's everyone aged 8-80! Everyone loves our product/service/etc"   I remind them that reaching this target market would probably require a billion gajillion dollars. So...who buys their product most often? Where do they live? Boil it down into a quick description of a couple of target segments, something like this: "Moms, aged 28-45, who live in the Minnetonka area, work part-time or stay at home and like crafts. They like Facebook, Pinterest and 50 Shades of Grey (or is it Gray?)"

Your biggest marketing resolution for 2013 shouldn't  have anything to do with sales, or social media or content marketing. Your biggest marketing resolution for 2013 should be stellar customer service.  As a marketer, I see my efforts destroyed time and time again by poor customer service. It takes a lot of money to get a new customer, but not a lot to keep them. Yet I'm constantly fighting the fact that the bridge between marketing and customer service is either shaky, or non-existent. As a marketer, here are several ways to make sure that customer service and marketing are working together well. 

I've been writing quite a bit about content marketing and the appeal of having your intellectual capital on full display online. But a client asked me this question the other day, and I thought it was worth answering. Are promotional materials (swag, tchotchkes, doodads or whatever you call them) still worth it? The answer has to be a resounding yes! Promotional materials are an excellent add-on to an integrated campaign. Mugs, t-shirts, a URL on the back of your car...all of these are excellent reminders and for the most part, really inexpensive impressions. One of the most memorable promotional pieces I saw once as a  pencil that changed color depending on the mood of the user. That was certainly a conversation starter for the brand. (Here's the URL for that product, if you're interested: http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/pencil-personalized.htm ) Here are a few ideas that work well for "on the ground" marketing to supplement your online work: