Elaine Fogel

marketing tactics

Guy Juggling Many Office Things While Riding a UnicycleIt’s OK. I give you permission. Your smaller business or nonprofit doesn’t have to do every imaginable marketing tactic under the sun.

This holds especially true if you work in an environment where you regularly hear: “I just read an article about [fill in the blank] and we should be doing that.”

Answer: No, you shouldn’t!

Marketing is NOT a hodgepodge of the flavors of the month.
It isn’t something you want to change every time a new shiny tool comes along. There’s more to it than that.

To succeed with your marketing efforts takes thought, strategy, and perseverance, not having a profile on every social media site. Every business and organization is different - some have similarities, but no two are exactly the same. The ideal is to develop a marketing plan that best suits your organization, taking into account its human and financial resources.

A marketing plan not only helps organizations define where they are going and how to get there, it also helps pinpoint the specific tactics that are doable. If your organization cannot possibly manage everything on its marketing tactics list, it’s time to pare it down and focus on the “best bets” - the ones with the most promise or that have proven to be successful.

If your business or organization is locally-based, you probably don’t need that many tactics that target the entire planet. You’ll want to find those marketing channels that help it reach its targeted, local market segments. And, even if you work nationally or globally, you’ll still want to identify the marketing channels that help your organization reach its target audiences.

Another benefit of a marketing plan is establishing responsibility and accountability for marketing efforts. Gone are the days when the “marketing department” was solely responsible, whether that encompasses one individual or several. Today, everyone must be a marketer, engaging customers (donors, clients, volunteers, etc.)

Tom French, Laura LaBerge, and Paul Magill summed this up well in a McKinsey & Company article entitled, “We’re all marketers now.”

Companies of all stripes must not only recognize that everyone is responsible for marketing but also impose accountability by establishing a new set of relationships between the function and the rest of the organization. In essence, companies need to become marketing vehicles, and the marketing organization itself needs to become the customer-engagement engine, responsible for establishing priorities and stimulating dialogue throughout the enterprise as it seeks to design, build, operate, and renew cutting-edge customer-engagement approaches.”

This principle can be scaled for every organization - no matter its size.

So, sigh deeply. You don’t have to do it all in marketing, nor should you try. Be strategic for the best possible outcomes.

Is your organization trying to do too much? How is it managing? Do you have any tips to share?

YoutilityJay Baer’s new book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype, comes out this week. As one of the marketers who received an advance copy, I want to share some highlights with you, especially because they make so much sense.

Many marketers have been advising clients and blog readers to make their businesses amazing. “The reality is,” says Baer, “your business probably isn’t amazing, and you probably won’t have the opportunity or time to make it so.”

His advice is to create marketing that people genuinely want and “focus on solving problems, answering questions, and creating long-lasting customer relationships by doing so.”

When your company is useful, he says, committed to informing customers rather than promoting to them, they will reward you with trust and loyalty. This approach encompasses the content marketing philosophy. Providing valuable information that people want, helps them make better decisions and helps them do better at what they do (B2B) or improve their lives (B2C). The key to success here is to truly understand your customers’ needs “on the way to creating Youtility.”

Baer divides the book into three parts: “Turning Marketing Upside Down,” “The Three Facets of Youtility,” and “Six Blueprints to Create Youtility.” He uses several company case studies to make his points including Angie’s List, Clorox, McDonald’s Canada, and Scott’s Miracle-Gro. The strategies and tactics he describes serve as good examples for companies of any size.

He also delves into the most important and most often overlooked audience - your employees. “In a world where personal relationships and social connectivity are the coin of the realm, your employees are your single greatest marketing engine.”

The book is an easy read with good concepts and ideas. Baer even includes a an easy reference guide at the back with key points from each chapter.

I suppose if I had to give you a one-sentence summary, it would be one of Baer’s key points: “If you sell something, you make a customer today. If you help someone, you may create a customer for life.”

So true. Order your copy now and after reading the book, come back here and share your thoughts. (affiliate links)


Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype


Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

It’s Small Business Week and I thought I’d share some interesting tidbits from the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, 2013.

Small business owners contribute to their employees’ happiness through:

  • Flexible hours/work from home options (45%)
  • Health/wellness benefits (33%)
  • Additional amenities (healthy snacks, free lunches, massages) (31%)
  • Discounted services and/or goods (31%)
  • Allow use of social media during work hours (24%)
  • Team building activities such as sports or excursions (23%)
  • Time to volunteer (13%)
  • On-site child care services (12%)

Effective marketing tactics for small business owners include:

  • Word of mouth and customer referrals (86%)
  • Networking with other businesses (53%)
  • Advertising (i.e. print, broadcast, radio) (52%)
  • Direct mail or email (45%)
  • Social media (41%)
  • PR and media relations (33%)

Here’s an excellent infographic from Sage:


Feel free to share! If you have any good small business stories to tell, please do!

My Book is a 2016 Finalist!
My Book is a 2016 Nominee!
Small Business Book Award Nominee badge
Check Out My Book!
Sign Up For My Newsletter!
Subscribe to My Blog

Use your favorite feed. 

I Contributor to:
My Company
Solutions Marketing & Consulting
Archived Posts