The MadAveGroup Blog

Want to build credibility with prospective customers? Use testimonials. If you know of current customers who would be willing to boast about your company in writing, put them to work: ask each of them for a testimonial letter. In most cases, people are more than willing to vouch for companies they enjoy working with, so don’t be afraid to reap a little of the goodwill you’ve been sowing.

It’s one of the many great lines from the movie The Godfather: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” While “enemies” may be too strong a word to describe your competitors, keeping track of what they’re doing makes good business sense. Subscribe to their newsletters. Collect their collateral and print ads. Monitor their websites and broadcast advertising. Doing so will give you insight into their sales and marketing strategies, and keep you up-to-date on their product offerings.

Once you’ve finalized your marketing pieces - whether it’s a direct mail or post card campaign, a brochure or series of print ads, TV spots, emails or materials in any other format - share them with all of your employees.

Why?

A classic example is the music industry. Record companies give CDs to radio stations in hopes they’ll play certain tracks, generating interest in - and sales of - their music. Radio benefits from the free programming and giveaways.

What would you rather read about in this space: our company’s most recent accomplishments, that shiny new plaque I just accepted at our industry’s annual conference, and the new headquarters we just built? Or would you prefer to spend your valuable time reading something that’s about you and your needs; an article that will help you get ahead or improve your company’s marketing?

With the advent of satellite radio, web-based programming and, of course, the iPod, consumers no longer need to rely on traditional radio alone for news and music. There’s still a big audience to reach via the AM and FM bands, but listenership is shrinking so if you decide to advertise on radio your spots need to be even more effective.

Kermit the Frog was right – it’s not easy being green.

But if you’re determined to hitch a ride on the green marketing bandwagon, do it right.

Sure, it’s straight out of your Marketing 101 textbook, but the S.W.O.T. analysis is still a great tool that can be applied in many different ways.

Does the “Contact Us” page on your website only allow visitors to reach you through an “info@” email box? If so, consider adding a few more options.

My wife and I attended a conference in Wisconsin in the spring of 2008. The goal was to learn about different ways we can improve our church.

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