hamlet-v2-posterTo be.

Or not to be.

That is the question.

And once it is answered in the affirmative, then suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune no longer matter.

Just do it.

There’s your Shakespeare.

So what do you do when it comes to marketing your small business against a sea of troubles?

Three things: get real, get digital and get friendly.

1.  Get Real.

Forget the past and forget what you think works, especially when it comes to advertising.  If you are advertising in print, for example you really need to  know who is seeing your ad.  Ask you ad sales rep what their distribution is and make him prove it to you.  I don’t care what he SAYS to you, make him prove it.  And forget pass-along readership, it’s one of the biggest myths going in print advertising.  Unless it is extremely targeted, dump it.

Get a new plan together.  That’s what marketing is after all – the overall mix of activities you engage in to get customers.  Advertising is a part of that and I see many small businesses in Orange County still doing the same thing they have been doing for years.  Jeez guys, the game has changed! ….which leads to…

2.  Get Digital.

It sounds strange to say this but there are just a lot of small businesses out there that are doing close to nothing online.  We are so immersed in it at Waxpoetix and Big Head Design, that we are truly shocked when we meet with prospective clients and see how little they are taking advantage of the cheap and simple tools available to them online. Email marketing, for example, may seem a bit dated to us marketing folks, but it is still very effective for ramping up a new program for a business that had nothing prior.  Constant Contact, for example,  is going to start seminars in Orange County soon and Mail Chimp can help you out as well.  We also work closely with Promoterz, which is more of a customer experience tool that also captures some good data than can help you improve customer service.

3.  Get Friendly.

We say it all the time here.  You gotta make friends!  We have more partnerships than we can shake a stick at.  So many that we think we are going to form a consortium soon and build an entire new business around that.  Getting online, as stated above, helps too because of the speed at which you can network on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, to name a few.  Time to get close to those good customers.  That ‘s killer marketing.  Staying tight with the influencers and your most loyal clientele.  They will get you word of mouth and they will stay with you in times like these.

So take arms against a sea of troubles!

For when you have shuffled off this mortal coil, you don’t want to look back and say….Damn! I should have used Twitter…