Do You Know How To Reach Your Target Audience?

As business owners adjust their modus operandi in response to the current unprecedented economic downturn, inbound marketing will rise to the top of their priority list.  If marketing to the disinterested is counterproductive in a booming economy then it’s an even greater waste of time and money today.

The days of “inviting everyone to the party” are behind us.  Mass marketing is dead.  It’s time to welcome the era of advocacy marketing where you position yourself/your company as a trusted partner to customers and prospective customers.  By developing and sharing relevant information and guidance you will attract more qualified inquiries.  Build it and they will come.  Even if the prospect isn’t ready to purchase, they’re likely to recommend your product or service to a friend since you have effectively presented value.

The concept of inbound marketing is fairly new and can be comprised of many different mechanisms such as landing pages, SEO, social networks, and blogging.  There are services out there like HubSpot which aggregates analytics from the various mechanisms, however; it’s not a silver bullet.  Content is still king and you are responsible for developing a consistent message across all media.

New Marketing Labs announced on Tuesday that it acquired the Inbound Marketing Summit which should prove to be a very worthwhile event this year.  You’ll have the opportunity to hear Chris Brogan, David Meerman Scott and Paul Gillin share the latest strategies, tools and best practices to utilize new marketing methods to grow your business.

Bottom Line: Stop blasting to the masses.  Perfect your message (A/B and multivariate testing across all media).  Build community among customers and empower them to be evangelists.

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February 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

Google Pulling Plug on Radio Advertising Service

Well, I mentioned in my orginal post regarding Google Audio that it might get yanked and, unfortunately, the word came out today – Read Story.

February 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

It’s Your Network, Stupid: A Business’ Underutilized Asset

I have been working in the technology sector longer than I’d like to admit and, after freelancing on the side for awhile, I recently ventured out on my own. I found that I have a knack for energizing start-ups and small businesses as a “fresh set of eyes” with a perpetual “out-of-the-box” perspective on any business. In mid-December, one of my clients asked me if I could get a meeting with a much larger company in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership.

I didn’t have any contacts at the other company so I logged into my LinkedIn account. When I located the CEO of the company, LinkedIn informed me that I had one contact who was directly linked to him. This particular contact was my manager at a fortune 50 company nearly twenty years ago (I was enrolled in a cooperative education program and traveled out to Oregon from Boston for a 4 month job) I sent an email to my contact outlining the opportunity and asked if he could introduce me to the CEO. That same day he made the introduction, the CEO engaged his VP of business development and we had a conference call two days later. We’re currently negotiating a substantial strategic partner agreement that will be extremely valuable to both companies.

Take the time to build and maintain your business network. Periodically review your contacts and think of creative ways to partner and/or generate leads.  You never know from where your next big business deal might originate.

January 28, 2009 at 2:33 am Leave a comment

Everyone’s A Freelancer

Have you recently received a call from a former co-worker or friend to let you know that, “I’m out on my own so let me know if you need a [insert specialty here] contractor”? Get Ahead of the Pack

Just five months ago there were plenty of freelance opportunities all over the country.  I was able to bounce around craigslist, from state to state, and find all kinds of lucrative opportunities.  Not anymore, Monty! [George Carlin]

Fewer opportunities and a glut of “experts” in the market have created great uncertainty for solo business owners who have typically been able to maintain a steady stream of clients through simple word-of-mouth referrals.  Now is the time to use your client  portfolio and references to differentiate yourself from the newbies.

So, don’t position yourself as a social marketing guru or Web 3.0 visionary.  Just tell stories of measurable impact you have had on the growth of your customers’ business.

January 25, 2009 at 3:07 am 2 comments

Local Radio Spots for Your Business?

What if I told you that you could advertise your business on local radio for less than you would spend on a local  Google Adwords campaign?  When I was working at GotVMail, we used Google Audio to target prospects based on demographics, geography, station format and time of day.   You have access to the top 25 markets in the country with access to over 1600 FM and AM stations.  Google Audio allows you to advertise your local business just like you were a large company without having to deal with the “sales weasels” at your local radio stations.

Google did announce yesterday that they’re no longer selling advertising space in newspapers so let’s hope they don’t do the same with Google Audio.

January 22, 2009 at 3:58 am Leave a comment

Welcome to The Small BizNest Blog!

We’re in the process of developing some great content for small business owners.  Please check back soon.

January 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

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