Free Marketing Advice - 2020

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Of the twelve months of the year, few of them offer you the opportunity to do a little self-promotion than November.

There are reasons galore to do simple and effective promotional “extras” to boost your sales or your brand image this month.

Let’s start with Veteran’s Day on November 11th. Think about honoring our veterans all month with discounts if you are in the business of selling products or services. Or do something as simple as running a Facebook message asking people to stop and say a little prayer of thanks for the unselfish men and women who have given up a time in their lives to protect our freedom.

And if you know a business is “veteran owned”…give them at least a “thank you for your service” attaboy.

In the words of Dorothy, “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.”

Neither are we. The pandemic took care of that. So, let us look ahead. In terms of marketing, where do we go from here? I would be very rich if I knew the exact answer to that one. But I can offer some simple advice, based on doing this for many years.

Follow your own yellow brick road…in other words, follow the trends that have risen to the top since we started the Covid-19 journey, and use this learning to help you plan your strategy for 2021.

September is traditionally a month where you put your brain in gear and investigate the elements of next year’s marketing plan.

There are things in play today that are planning considerations, but are out of your control – like the continuing pandemic, the date we get a vaccine, the result of the Presidential election, etc. These are factors to keep in mind of course but focus your real energy on planning elements that you CAN control. You have just so much capacity in your thinking tank. That must be your priority.

By this time each month, I usually put my brain in gear, reviewing my marketing toolbox to find some wisdom that might be useful to you.

This month the message is different. Like all of you, I’m trying to figure out how to balance “business as usual” with an eye on the news, hoping to hear that a vaccine is developed and we can really get back to life as we knew it.

The old toolbox is not my “go to” resource these days. Day to day working life is networking on Zoom, wearing a mask everywhere you go, while keeping things moving in the right direction, safely.

I’m making the assumption for this month’s Marketing Morsel that your business is getting ready to return to normal (sort of). Or maybe you just re-opened.

In either case, a marketing tool you should be ready to use is the NEWS RELEASE.

So the topic of our July Morel is NEWS RELEASE TIPS.

Happy summer, Morsel readers. While the “stay at home” experience is still fresh, let us capture it for the proverbial timecapsule.

This month I am putting you to work. Please write a 60 word or less answer, to this question – What has being at home for two months taught me about myself?

Send your essay to me by email, along with a digital photo. I will weave the collection into an article I will write (including my own entry). I will share the article with you when it is finished. Deal? Good.

I have been fortunate enough to stay positive during this unprecedented time. Today we are one day closer to “the new normal”.

No marketing lesson this month. Just a fervent “stay safe” prayer for all those in the unemployment line, the healthcare community, first responders, restaurants and closed retail stores, postal workers, and anyone accepting responsibility for dealing with the public, so our lives can function. Thank you for your sacrifice.

I consider myself lucky to still serve my clients, despite the absence of regular in-person meetings. I have been able to create awareness of stories that demonstrate the goodness in the human spirit. Here is a sampling

You can’t make this stuff up. We are living life like never before. The marketing implications of the COVID-19 challenges we are experiencing are mind-blowing. All we can do is stay under control, assess the situation we are in, and plan for the future with the cards we are dealt. And stick to the belief that God remains on your side.

By the time you are reading this April Morsel, we are one day closer to “business as usual” (ever the optimist). I’m trying, along with the rest of you, to make use of this “down time” at home to look seriously at what’s called a “Situation Analysis” and deal accordingly with “Marketing Strategies and Tactics”.

You, the reader, are in business, just like me. There are times you are faced with the reality of changing something in order to keep from going stale and predictable, and to keep ahead of the curve in your industry.

What you need to avoid, in all cases, is to make changes that confuse or upset the customers you have so carefully nurtured and served over the years.

Keyword – dialogue. Share your thinking with key constituents and listen objectively to their responses.

Do not underestimate the importance of listening to what they have to say. You will likely learn something new from them.

Our January Morsel treated you to some wisdom from the late great BBDO CEO Charlie Brower. Thanks for all the nice feedback!

I promised we would look ahead this time. I can think of no other guide to future marketing expertise than renowned guru Philip Kotler (look him up), to challenge our brains with six thought-provoking questions from his latest book, Kotler on Marketing. Kotler co-authored textbooks I used in college classrooms for almost twenty years. Thinking caps in place? Here you go:

  1. “Has your company prepared for a scenario of how your business will probably look in five years? Which players in the task environment will be helped or hurt by the Information Revolution? Where will your profits be made in the value chain?”

A young Advertising Agency guy named Jack got his start in a giant worldwide company named BBDO in the 1960’s, the Mad Men era of the advertising industry. Jack leaned a lot from top BBDO leaders. One of them, the CEO of all of BBDO, Charlie Brower, retired with a memo to all of us. “It would be ungracious to creep away without giving my friends a chance to ignore my advice.” He then shared “16 things I have learned in my 43 years in the adverting agency business.” I kept the memo and pass on Charlie’s wisdom this month. It is still timeless.

  • The expedient thing and the right thing are seldom the same thing.
  • The best way to get credit is to try to give it away.
  • You cannot sink someone else’s end of the boat and still keep your own afloat.
  • It is not important to come in early and work late. The important thing is why?

SkyLimit Marketing

SkyLimit Marketing
19 Springhouse Drive
Myerstown, PA 17067

Tel:  (717) 269-0288
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