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HAPPY SUMMER. TIME TO TACKLE A TOPIC THAT IS NOT TOO SERIOUS.   

I first wanted to ask, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” but could not build on that as a Marketing Morsel. So, I chose this one instead - “Is marketing an art or a science?” I guess the answer depends on which side of your brain dominates your thinking.

So let us prepare for the debate. In this corner stands the CEO. He or she is the science person. “All decisions must be based on solid data.” Left brain rules here. They conclude that the purpose of marketing is to influence the behaviors of other people. So, we rely on data about human psychology and how people react to stimuli determined by facts and figures. Data, they conclude, drives marketing decisions that are strategically more effective. Since the CEO is “the buck stops here” person, it is a good idea to listen to what is being said.

This month the dictionary is our guide to success in business. I have chosen to share some key words that keep me focused on each task I tackle and motivate me to perform better today than I did yesterday. No two of us are alike, and I assume each of us lives by our own words of inspiration. Here are a few of mine. Perhaps you will share yours with our Morsel readers as well. Send them and I will create a “collection post” on my website. Let us start with:

PERSISTENCE.

I learned a lot from having McDonald’s as a client for over 25 years. Here is an example - Founder Ray Kroc once said “Press on. Nothing in the world takes the place of persistence.”

PASSION.

Love what you do, and it will show up in the work you produce. It is always better when attacked with passion.

My wife Pat and I celebrated 60 years of marriage on April 15th. This has inspired this month’s Morsel message. It is not the normal “here’s a tip for you”, but a reflection of what dealing with the cards you are dealt mean in terms of some basic core values – loyalty, commitment, reliability, and respect. These standards apply in both life and business and keep the balance of life in proper perspective.

Loyalty and Commitment – When you sign on with a life partner, you commit fully to the “better or worse” vow and stick with it. Pat struggles with dementia now, and I must stay loyal and committed to keep us together as a couple. I have added another dimension to my life – the role of caregiver. Like everything else you want done right, it requires study and learning to do the job as best you can. This cannot be done in isolation. God has blessed me with a support team that allows me to keep the balance in my personal and business life. Special thanks to Pat’s cousin, Pat Cox, who is there for us when a “pinch-hitter” is needed when I must leave for necessary business appointments. LIFE

Let us celebrate the season by discussing the task of springing into action when you are giving the responsibility of managing a project.

So where do you begin? Answer: At the end (the goal line).

Determine a realistic date when the project must be delivered, then work backwards, and fill in all the appropriate dates. You also need to delegate responsibilities. Most projects are a TEAM EFFORT, and everyone involved needs a clear understanding of their individual responsibilities as well as a commitment to stick to the dates established.

As a project manager, you must establish a budget, set goals and objectives, get agreements up front, and then execute a plan of work with a strict timetable. Frequent and clear communication is your responsibility every step of the way.

It is March. I am Irish. So, I get to talk about something I really enjoy focusing on – The Tag Line. No business worth its salt should be without one.

The tag line is short sentence or phrase that captures the reader’s (or listener or viewer’s) attention, and it is immediately clear what your company means to the audience it seeks love from. You don’t have a tagline? Now’s the time, as Nike would say, to Just do it. This great line has nothing to do with shoes, and everything to do with why they connect with their audience.

Go ahead. Start with some brainstorm questions – How do you help people? Who are they? Why are you different from your competition?

Keep it short and simple. If you go over 8 words, trash It, and start over. Like a good neighbor State Farm is there, just made it under the gun.

I was proud to work on Mayor Capello’s marketing and vision committee a few years ago and develop the line Lebanon the Place to Grow (i.e., grow your family, your business, your education, etc.). It is still in use.

It is that time of year Morsel readers.

While the old GOAT and the young GUN and their teams figure out how to score more points than the other guy on February 7th, marketers are deciding if this this the right year to plunk down $5.5 million to communicate to 100 million or so viewers to endear themselves to the world for a full thirty seconds. What is the right tone this time in a pandemic filled world? Does levity work in this atmosphere? And what about a message about Unity?

It is a marketing dilemma expressed succinctly by a top ad agency professional, Bill Oblerlander, (quoted in the NY Post) “For the Super Bowl, you generally go big or go home. I think brands are going home, I think brans are going home rather than spending millions of dollars and not getting it right. They are saying, “Let’s wait until the s--- storm clears.”

Let me begin with an observation we all share. The sooner we put 2020 in the rearview mirror, the better! We all spent less time being “out and about” this year. No complaints here. I spend a lot of time writing for a living, so the change in my life was not as drastic as others. I feel blessed in that regard.

But here comes 2021, vaccine and all. It still feels like a year of transition, as we feel safe enough to emerge from hibernation, and cautiously test the waters to see if a “return to normal” is still possible.

What have you learned in 2020 that can make you better prepared for the immediate future? And what will you do next? (pause while you think about it). I like to think that my best days as a writer are ahead of me. And if I want that statement to hold up, I need to do things that can actually make it possible.

SkyLimit Marketing

SkyLimit Marketing
19 Springhouse Drive
Myerstown, PA 17067

Tel:  (717) 269-0288
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