Archive for Marketing

Ace is Not Tide…In Argentina

I have been getting a ton of hits lately from people searching to find out if Ace laundry detergent is the same as Tide. As I have discussed at length, while I lived in Argentina, I was fooled into thinking that Ace and Tide were identical. This ended with me with a rash twice.

In all fairness, I repeat that I was living in Argentina at the time. They had Ace there and not Tide. Due to the increase in searches for Ace versus Tide, I must conclude that there is a version of Ace released in the US. I have no idea if Ace in the US is the same as Tide. I would be interested in finding out though. Leave a comment if you have any evidence that Ace is or is not Tide.

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Guerrilla PR Wired – Michael Levine

Guerrilla PR Wired
Michael Levine

I think this is the first book about business and finance that I actually thought was not really worth my time in reading it. Maybe I normally just make good choices about which books look interesting and educational. This book was certainly not either of those.

Guerrilla PR Wired tries to capitalize on the Guerrilla name (as in Guerrilla Marketing and Guerilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business by Jay Conrad Levinson), but it is completely unrelated. The only thing “guerrilla” about it is Levine calling people with small businesses “guerrillas”, just as Levinson does. When I read “guerrilla”, I assumed it was part of THE guerrilla franchise and was fooled into reading it.

This book is very outdated and too simple to really be much use in public relations or online marketing. It’s expected that a book on online marketing will go out of date within a few years after its printing, but I learned things about the ancient version of the internet that I had no idea existed. Additionally, its simplified view of public relations doesn’t give the reader with much information to actually put together a PR campaign and execute one.

Although, as a person who had no idea what public relations were and what they intended to accomplish, I figure this book at least gave me the jist of the idea. One of the most useful things I learned was to pitch your news releases to local weekly publications. Then, larger publications can become interested in the story and then they might publish it….hence, big follows small.

So overall, there are probably better books to get you started in PR online and offline. Let me know if you have any suggested ones for me to read!

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Getting Business to Come to You – Paul and Sarah Edwards & Laura Clampitt Douglas

Getting Business to Come to You
Paul and Sarah Edwards & Laura Clampitt Douglas

Another great book for a small business looking to establish themselves and learn the essentials of marketing. Getting Business to Come to You focuses your attention on the most effective, low-cost methods of marketing and also gives very useful technical details on the process of creating your own marketing materials.

The four most effective, low-cost marketing methods are

1. Word of mouth. To have a business thrive and grow with only word of mouth marketing should be the goal of every entrepreneur. Not that you can’t give it a kick with some other methods when you want, but what sweet bliss it is to have your customers and new ones beating a path to your door with no effort on your part except your great reputation and service. The key is to get yourself into the mind of the people that matter…your customers. Focus your efforts on those people that will buy from you and get them to give you referrals. Everything else you do is in order to reach this goal.

2. Public relations. PR is your ticket to being established as a leader in your industry. Create a publicity kit and get the media’s attention. Use your publicity to get others to recognize your name and know that you are the expert in your field.

3. Direct marketing. Use it to control how often your business enters into the mind of your customer. A monthly newsletter or a quarterly sale or discount, that they are alerted to via direct mail or email, will keep you in their minds and keep them telling their friends about you.

4. Inventive advertising. New customers will be attracted to your business if you are effective at advertising. Being inventive is the key. Your copy has to stand out from the rest and you have to be creative. Experiment with different media such as bulletin boards, radio and TV shows, yellow pages, trade directories, etc.

This book has helpful lists of when a particular marketing technique is right for your business and when you’re just wasting money. It helps you tailor your marketing campaign to your needs. I especially enjoyed the technical details on such topics as building a publicity kit and writing and designing advertising copy that sells. Other topics were detailed as well, but these stood out as the most important for my business at this time. Read the book and see which ones stand out for you!

While reading Getting Business to Come to You I often found myself putting the book down to implement some of the things I had learned before moving on. For example, when it talked about focusing in on getting your name into the minds of your potential customers, I had to stop and write emails to all the teachers I know to find out how best to let math and science teachers in the Urbana/Champaign, Illinois area know that Quantum Tutoring is THE tutoring company that they should refer their students to. After reading the chapters on advertising I came up with a strategy to post flyers at football games and other local school events; after reading about public relations, I planned to get involved in the local parent teacher associations and set up a booth at the local schools’ career fairs. I also used the tips in this book to create my business cards and letterhead.

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Guerrilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business – Jay Conrad Levinson

I know I’ve been slacking off lately. You’re going to have to cut me some slack, because it’s finals week. Next week will be the start of Christmas break, and then I’ll really get to writing. I have to write a lot during my breaks, so I have a stockpile of articles to post. Otherwise I won’t ever post anything during the time I’m in school. Anyway, this book review is from one of my favorite books so far. There is so much great, practical, usable information for marketing a home-based business. I can’t wait until we get some of our ideas rolling, so I can play around with the techniques in this book. I tried to take really good notes so I could look back and remember exactly what was in the book anytime I needed (since I had gotten it from the library). So, in my opinion they are definitely worth reading.

Guerrilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business
Jay Conrad Levinson

So far this is one of my favorite books. The connection made between marketing for small businesses and guerrilla warfare is brilliant. You my friends are the guerrillas. The giant corporations are your competitors, and you can hit them by being quick, responsive and inventive. Your strength is in being small.

I took copious notes while reading this book, and I would recommend that everyone read them. You can find hundreds of specific techniques that can help you market your startup such as by word of mouth, via newsletter, utilizing networking and developing your niche in the business.

The idea of finding your niche in the marketplace is an amazing one. How many stories have you read on other people’s blogs or in entrepreneurial magazines about people who made a few million selling upscale clothes for little boys, lotions and shampoos for babies made with all natural products or jars of different, fancy types of peanut butter. Those are just a few of the stories I’ve heard lately.

I’ve started thinking that I really enjoy the marketing side of business. This blog is essentially a marketing tool. It lets people know who I am and what I’m doing. It gets my name into places I couldn’t reach without it. I can’t wait until our business is further in its development. Then, I can use everything I’ve learned in this book, about how to use my time and money wisely, to ensure that those most likely to be my clients know about my business.

Anyone that owns a startup business should get this book. Buy it or borrow it from the library. It has so many great ideas, you can really customize your marketing strategy to your business.

Read my notes to get started on some ideas. Check out Guerrilla Marketing’s website. It also seems to have some good articles and information that was contained in the book.

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Color Smart – Mimi Cooper

Color Smart: How to Use Color to Enhance Your Business and Personal Life
Mimi Cooper with Arlene Matthews

Color Smart is a good little resource for color in marketing. It is a simple and direct guide to keep the business owner or prom queen from making a color faux pas. It teaches you to pay attention to the signals that colors send about you and your business, as well as how to impress others by appealing to their color preferences.

Cooper states that people come in three varieties or color profiles

  • Color-Forward: Those who embrace the newest colors of every season and dare to be the first to use them.
  • Color-Prudent: Those who are more cautious to try new colors, but use them in small amounts to add excitement to their life.
  • Color-Loyal: Those who stick with their colors and almost never try new ones.

To relate to others at their level, you’ve got to utilize colors that are at their same color profile. If you want to make yourself look fun, exciting and creative, use colors that are one profile level higher. To seem down to earth and reliable, use one profile lower.

Besides the color profiles of different people, you should also be aware of the signals that colors send. Red draws attention to itself and stirs strong emotions. Oranges imply spiciness and also that something is inexpensive, though it should be used in small amounts. Yellow is best used as an accent color, conveys happiness, and is the easiest color to spot (hence yellow school zone signs, etc.). Greens have the widest variety of signals, which are mostly influenced by their content of yellow or blue. Blue, the most popular color, is calming and soothing, but can be seen as boring. Purple should be used sparingly, but is great for children’s products. Neutrals, grays, blacks and browns are often used as accents, but can be used alone or in combination with themselves.

There are other features that teach you how to do what the pros do in using color. The professionals use these colors to attract our attention, help us recognize products, and reposition their businesses in the marketplace. Cooper also points out that different countries use color in different ways. When marketing to foreign lands you know ahead of time how to best cater to their styles.

So far I’ve used the advice and information in this book to design this blog and plan on using it to with all of our visual marketing techniques. With this book you can learn how to market your business using color. Which signals do you want to send? And how do you want others to see you?

For a great example of the true power of color in marketing see why Ace is not Tide!

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Using Color – Ace Is Not Tide

Let me tell you a story. I lived in Argentina for a year and a half. Upon arriving, I went to the store to buy some everyday essentials. I noticed that the grocery store I was in had a brand of laundry detergent that was packaged exactly like Tide, except that it was called Ace. (This website has a picture and a description if you read Spanish.) Now, when my sister was young, she was allergic to every detergent except Tide. Naturally, my family always used Tide. So what did I do? I bought Ace.

After a few weeks I started to get a rash, which I first attributed to sweating while walking around all day, every day in the sun. However, the weather grew cooler, and I still had a rash. I then tried switching detergents…turned out that it was the Ace that gave me the rash. Apparently, Ace was not Tide.

To make matters worse I moved to an area where Ace wasn’t sold. A few months later I moved again, but this time into an area where good ol’ Ace was sold. Again, I saw Ace in the store, and somehow I had forgotten all about the rash. I thought it was Tide again and bought it. I then thought to myself, “You Cat are really dumb, don’t you remember, Ace is not Tide!”

So, moral of the story is that color in packaging is a very powerful marketing technique. It’s all about brand recognition. I’m sure you’ve even noticed some stores placing their generic brands next to the real thing with similar labeling. It is there to make sure you equate the generic brand with the more expensive brand name version of the same product, and it works! It makes you more certain that the quality will be just as good as the expensive product.

How can you use color in your marketing? Next week I’ll have a review for you of a book about color in marketing that I read and found pretty useful.

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