Category Archives: Marketing

Articles about marketing your business

Federal candidates miss the mark

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

We are in the longest election cycle in our history. Agony or opportunity for the candidates?

Most of us would say agony, too many TV commercials, door knockers, impersonal phone calls interrupting my day. I wonder if any candidate takes a moment to think about how best to engage the electorate.

federal electionIn the past, I have actually heard candidates say they knocked on every door in the riding. I would like to be a fly on the wall for some of those conversations.

But, is that the best way to engage the electorate?

Most business people understand the value of relationships and how important they are to growing business. Word of mouth is still the strongest marketing tool in the arsenal.

Imagine a candidate with a solid network of supporters who were each asked to talk to 10 friends and they were asked to talk to 10 friends and so on.

I can feel the love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Marketing, Word of Mouth

A slip of the tongue can build your business

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Most marketing experts believe word of mouth is the best form of marketing. And word of mouth from a trusted source, well, that’s pure gold.

After two years battling the lawn gods I decided to get a company to come in and weed and feed.  I happened to mention it to a friend and he told me the company he uses is excellent. I trust him so that’s who I went with and he’s right, they are excellent.

HilltopsWord of mouth. Today, the potential is so much better because of Social Media.

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

If consumers value word of mouth and marketers believe it is effective, then why aren’t marketers more focused on it?

“The problem is that for the last few years, marketers have been focused on “collecting” instead of “connecting.” In other words, brands are too caught up in collecting social media fans and they are forgetting to actually connect with them. Having 100 really passionate fans that love your brand or product is exponentially more effective than having 10,000 “fans” who signed up just to win a free iPad from you,” she says.

So, if you could master the one thing that consumers trust above all others to drive sales for your company — would you ignore it or leave it to chance?

So Kimberly says if you want to win the marketing race in 2015, you need to unleash the power of word of mouth.

Engage, equip and empower, she says. Be part of the conversation, give your customers a reason to talk about you and help them to share the experience with their friends.

Sound advice.


Leave a comment

Filed under Marketing, Online marketing, social media, Uncategorized

Getting naked and making music

stephen2 By Stephen Rhodes

I don’t know Selema Gomez and I am not likely to ever meet her. She is a singer with a new album on the horizon. It seems at the tender age of 23 she has some concerns about how new albums are promoted so to provide a lift she has taken off her clothes. And on Tuesday the Internet was abuzz with the news, a month before the album is to be released. Mission accomplished.

revivalNow, I am not a prude, but I fail to get the connection or why she feels it necessary to make it. The black-and-white image shows a topless Gomez, with her legs crossed and her arms and hair covering her up for modesty. The former Disney star first posted a teaser message, saying “This is my…” before revealing the racy photo with the caption “REVIVAL,” which is the title of her New album.

In a recent interview, she said, “I’m not the best singer in the world, but I know how to translate emotion…I’m just finding my strengths now as an artist. I’m becoming a young woman and I’m comfortable with my sensuality. It’s just kind of not try-hard. It’s just perfect. I think, to me, that was exactly what I want people to see for the next chapter for me.”

All these ex Disney stars feel compelled to tarnish their squeeky clean images.

I know sex sells. 

Selena Gomez has 37 million Twitter followers, 43 million Instagram followers. Why does she need to take her clothes off to sell a record?

tapestryCarole King released one of the best selling albums of all time in 1971. Tapestry sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. In 2003, Tapestry was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Carole King had no Twitter or Instagram followers and did not take her clothes off to sell her music.

In the early 70s word of mouth was enough. Tapestry was that good.


Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, Marketing, social media, Uncategorized

Is your business coming out of labour?

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Labour Day represents the final push for most small businesses. A good, bad, mediocre first 8 months can become magic in the final four.

But it’s unwise to enter the final stage of the year without understanding where you are relative to where you thought you would be at this point. And if that metric is out the window at least where you are to last year.

labour pushIf you are on your plan and it’s working then great. If not, why not?  A plan that isn’t measured is not a plan; it’s a Hail Mary. So, hopefully you have some indication of where your business is not performing and can make adjustments. Look at marketing, online and traditional. Look at sales and customer service. Is it working? Get rid of what isn’t and focus on what is?

Be bold. You have time.  Talk to your staff. Talk to your customers. They can all provide input.

And, of course, track any adjustments you make.







Leave a comment

Filed under Marketing, Online marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized

Where Do You Leave Your Fingerprints?

JBMG_5500aBy Jeff Bowman

Our fingerprints are a sure-fire way to identify us. We leave them everywhere, and we never give a second thought to it when we touch something. The same holds true with our businesses. We are leaving our finger prints on so many things that to trying to figure out all the places they could be is an impossible task.

Now, of course this may not worry you in the least, but it is beginning to worry me. As a strategist who works with businesses every day, and tries to find the most optimum way to gain market reach and exposure, or consolidate branding messages, I am responsible for leaving those fingerprints as well. If you haven’t yet figured it out, the fingerprint I am talking about is digital, the amount of data that is left on the internet, where today, any smart phone or tablet can access it. Like the “footprints” that were the buzzword only a few years ago, we are leaving these digital fingerprints any time we put any type of information anywhere on the web.

My fear is not that my fingerprint is using up valuable resources that will someday in the future affect the next generations, but that we are getting to a point of what I refer to as “Communication Smudge”. Just touch the screen on your device and the amount of information that we are bombarded with becomes a blur. Getting a message out becomes increasingly difficult. How do you market your product or service electronically and actually get seen? It often reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who. Our message is like the tiny world that sits atop a dust speck on the top of a clover that Horton the Elephant finds in a field.iStock_000005044123Small

Each minute the amount of “stuff” added to the web is simply astounding, and causes the “smudge”, one message just melts into the next. A recent article posted by Neil Spencer illustrates in dramatic style what gets pumped online every minute of every day, and the finger print remains eternally. Here are some highlights:

  1. Over 204,000,000 emails
  2. 48 hours of YouTube uploads
  3. 571 new websites go online
  4. 684,000 Facebook entries
  5. 100,000 tweets.

I didn’t even mention the number of blogs, “likes” and apps that are committed to internet pipelines each minute.

Where and how it will it end? I don’t know. Your digital fingerprints are helping to clog up the system. Perhaps we will reach a point where face to face interaction will once again be the norm and business intelligence won’t come from a touch screen. Pass the Windex!




Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, blogging, Communications, Facebook, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, social media