Author: Bonnie Harris

It's important to change up your marketing efforts and try new things...without throwing out the things that work.One of the hardest things to measure is the synergy that develops when you combine marketing mediums. It's the basis for integrated marketing communications (IMC) concepts but no one has really captured where the actual motivation occurs to get your customer to buy, call, whatever.  To keep tweaking your marketing recipe you constantly have to look for new ways to get your message out there...here are a few ways to do that each month that won't take much time.

Marketing - as opposed to sales remember - is one of those proactive tasks that seems to get pushed aside for more urgent ones. An astute commenter in my last post mentioned you need to always be planting seeds for future business to grow. Just like your workouts if you put marketing time on your schedule each week and hold it sacred, you'll see the benefits very quickly. Here are some tips for finding the right time to work on your promotions, social media, advertising, whatever you consider 'marketing'.

How much time should you spend on a weekly basis doing marketing and promotion tasks? It will vary of course but there are some rules I've learned working with a broad swath of companies and industries over the past couple decades including B2B, B2C, online and retail.Feel free to poke holes in my theories here...but tell us all WHY so we can learn from your successes.

[caption id="attachment_928" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Wax Marketing mug to the first 5 who ID this photo"][/caption] I got so many questions about my last post "7 Steps to Bigger Marketing Muscle in 2010" I thought I'd give you some detail on each one of the steps.  Measurement seems to be really tricky for people - but it's actually pretty simple. Once you have some basic measurements in place and you feel a need to go deeper, visit KD Paine's measurement blog - she's the real guru. I'd love to hear specific examples of how people are measuring their own results, so comment away! Here's my quick and dirty take -

I  tell my clients that marketing is a lot like working out - you have to be consistent or you won't see results. No one expects to see muscles popping out all over after one visit to the gym. For the same reaons you can't expect immediate, lasting results from one promotional campaign. As you look toward 2010 and what will surely be a better year for all of us, it might help to build a marketing practice that looks a bit more like a workout schedule. Here are few ways to do just that.

[caption id="attachment_887" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="John Wooden, the greatest coach of all time"][/caption] A couple years ago I started a coaching service called Waxcoach - it was a fun and inexpensive way to help small business owners, authors and entrepreneurs learn the basics of PR and tactics for doing it themselves. And then I got REALLY busy working on some high profile campaigns like Dan Buettner's The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest , Yale University's Weight Bias Campaign and others. Time's a bit more manageable now and I'm really excited to announce that I'm doing one on one coaching again. Here's the scoop - it's pretty affordable, you just buy a package of hours - minimum of 10 at $125 per hour. Folks who read this blog also get a 30 minute phone consultation totally free.

There are so many books out there for business owners on how to do your own marketing and/or public relations. Frankly most of them say the same thing - know the reporter, don't be too salesy, etc. Here are my top five picks - not only are these books current, they go into real tactics that you can use right away. I think if you read these books, whether you're a  small business owner, author, entrepreneur.... you can  start promoting or upgrade what you're already doing and get some results fast.
  1. Obviously social media  is one of the best (and cost-effective) ways to promote your business, service, book, whatever.  The definitive manual (and New York Times bestseller) on the subject is Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Smith and Brogan describe not only HOW to use social media, but WHY you want to use it and most importantly, how to measure your success.  The book covers the basics of social media so a newbie can learn but also dives into the more sophisticated aspects of the medium