Free Marketing Advice - 2019

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There is a recently released film called “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, a true story about a friendship between Mr. Fred Rogers and a skeptical journalist. Tom Hanks plays Mr. Rogers.

PR plays an important role in promoting a film like this. A “regular” campaign of news releases and interviews raise awareness of the film and its players. But I was struck by something different in this campaign and a tactic I thought was brilliant.

(sorry, my Brooklyn street-kid personality surfaces sometimes)

If you’re a regular Morsel reader, you are probably aware that I read a lot of marketing- focused books. Continuing education is good for the soul (and business).

This month’s book is The Bezos Letters - “14 Principles to Grow Your Business-Like Amazon”, by Steve Anderson. I learned earlier about Bezos’ rule to have an empty chair in every meeting, representing the customer. It inspired a video I created and entered in a Central Penn Business Journal video contest a few years ago (Of course I won the $10,000 ad contract first prize. That’s why I’m mentioning it here). It motivated me to order this new book.

Full disclosure. I’ve been labeling my Monthly Marketing Morsels as a Newsletter, since I started writing them in 2013.

Finally,…the dawn! The Marketing Morsels have been Blogs right from the beginning.

A newsletter is a printed report of company news, personnel updates, and other related internal stuff. Since I’m a one-man company, I can only share personnel news when I promote my administrative assistant, Maila the Cat, who blocks my computer screen when I try to work.

A Blog is a sharing of knowledge and experience. I enjoy doing this and I’m thankful for all the positive feedback I get. It’s also a personal letter to you once a month. I see many of you out and about in the community, or when I interact on Facebook with former co-workers from all over the world (several in Hong Kong come to mind immediately). Having friends is a blessing.

I’ve been working with clients these days on dealing with the place of Networking in a marketing strategy. Reaching out through ads, commercials, Facebook and Linkedin postings all have their place in the plan.

But the most effective tactic could very well be the tactic you use to develop relationships with people who have the ability to open doors for you on your path to business success. Google that idea and you come up with a name for these people – Center of Influence (COI). This is particularly good advice for professionals in the service sector like accountants, estate planners, financial advisors, services for the elderly, etc. Actually, it works for anyone in business.

I love the challenge of “getting the word out”, especially when you have the challenge of having little or no budget to work with. There are two qualities that need to come into play if you are looking for success…Understand Your Audience and Be Persistent.

Here’s an example of what I mean – the PR campaign story of the 26th Annual Bucktail Reunion, which takes place August 2-4 at the Myerstown, Pa Community Park. It’s a great family-focused event that keeps the momentum going for Myerstown on the heels of their highly successful 250th Anniversary in 2018, a year filled with outstanding community events. Good PR gets media exposure free.

While many of us in business try to decide whether to go “all in” on digital strategy, or stay the course with traditional marketing, one of my favorite marketing gurus Philip Kotler, nails it as usual with his new book Marketing 4.0: Moving From Traditional to Digital. Kotler is the voice of reason and suggests that the two approaches should be blended for maximum effectiveness. It makes sense to me. He builds his case around two “C” words – Connectivity and Co-existence.

Connectivity – An impressive 90% of us are connected by screens – smart phones, tablets, laptops, and TV screens. At the center of it, the internet is the backbone. It gives us the ability to research, learn from each other, and express our opinions. In the world there are 11 billion mobile devices in our collective hands to connect us anywhere we choose to be.

In today’s digital marketing world, there is a type of business worth studying – call it a Platform Business. It’s like the matchmaker. Amazon is a digital platform for buyers and sellers of merchandise. Brick and mortar retailers are becoming painfully aware of our growing habit of people shopping digitally.

Airbnb is a platform for vacationers and property choices. Uber is a platform for people who need to get somewhere and a ride. You get it.

A business like mine is becoming more recognized as a platform between the media and the client, for both PR strategy and content, as well as strategic placement, not only in mass media, but digital entities like Google, Facebook, Constant Contact, Linkedin, etc.

Non-News. We are living in a digital age.

That means your thinking must change when it comes to marketing your business.

The definition of the target audience has changed. It’s less “who we are” and more “what we do”. The customer or prospect is a network of users who connect with you and each other. They use technology to make their needs known. And they have a voice.Listen!

Our re-thinking, according to marketing guru Professor David Rogers of Columbia University (lead professor of an on-line course I’m taking) can be focused on any or all of five strategic approaches.


One of the key things you need when planning is to have a good “Engage Strategy”.

It’s common sense. Unless you engage the audience in the first place, you won’t get anywhere. So how do you do it? Here are some engagement tips I’ve picked up from my online course Professor David Rogers of Columbia University:

  • Do a product demonstration – A good way to get your customer involved in your product. Rogers uses a case history example. Google L’Oreal Zombie Boy. Watch the YouTube Video for Derma Blend Professional Cover. You won’t forget the product. The video landed over 25 million views with virtually no media budget.

I’m straying off the beaten path a bit this month. A recent weekend retreat at a Trappist Monastery in Virginia included reading a stimulating book, The Heart of the Enlightened by Anthony DeMello SJ. The experience has opened my mind to some “Life Morsels”.

DeMello, a wonderful storyteller, creates a-ha moments worth sharing. Here are a few samples of his thinking (my text). Read, pause, and think:

  • We are all booked for the Departure Lounge. Make sure the time you have here means something.
  • A man lands on the moon to collect rocks (How to make a living). The man is awestruck by what he sees (How to live).

This month we continue our focus on one of my favorite marketing thinkers, Seth Godin. His latest book, This Is Marketing, articulates what the profession I love is all about. “Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem, their problem”, Godin says, “It’s a chance to change the culture for the better”. He implies, correctly, that we are in business to serve. You don’t use consumers to solve the problems of your business. You use marketing to solve other people’s problems. People don’t want what you make. They want what it will do for them. Operate with that pointof- view and rewards will naturally happen.

Actually they are not. But that book title by popular business author Seth Godin definitely grabs your attention.

He shares input about the importance of understanding people’s worldviews as a means of creating stories that focus on their self-beliefs.

The Collins dictionary defines world view as the way people see and understand the world, especially regarding issues like politics, philosophy or religion.

SkyLimit Marketing

SkyLimit Marketing
19 Springhouse Drive
Myerstown, PA 17067

Tel:  (717) 269-0288
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