Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Through This Mess...While Spending Less

Back in January, I opened the new year’s volume of NYUMT by offering “resolutions” to market and promote yourself, one resolution per month, each one a different way to make an impact with your customers.

Now that economic conditions are that much more critical, the need to market is no less critical. But there are ways to manage the process, without breaking your own bank.

Welcome to the March edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

I recently gave a talk to a combined audience of the two leading event planners associations in town -- the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) Now, while my association with these associations is linked to my capabilities as a professional caricaturist ( ), I was given appreciable opportunity to share with them my views as “the marketing guy.”

And, after all, just about all companies can benefit from a good pep talk on marketing. (With the apparent exceptions being the Exxons and Halliburtons of the world…).

The title of the talk was “10 Ways to Market Yourself Without Using Ads, TV, Radio, Billboards or even Brochures”

Let’s go over the first 5, not necessarily in chronology of importance…


· What’s new with your company? New product/service? – send an article out to the press.

· What’s new with you? If giving a talk or staging an event, send out an article.

· With permission, write about a client; use it as case study about your business.

· Send out a compelling photo with caption…from unusual vacation or interesting business trip, etc.

· Create an awards program for a worthy cause dear to you.


· Practice speaking by joining Toastmasters or other business/fraternal organizations.

· Invite clients and prospects to a talk or dialogue at local subdivision clubhouse.

· Join a local Chamber – even surrounding suburbs – and get on the speakers list.

· Ask to speak at your next industry association convention (state or national).

· Co-sponsor (and split the costs of) a seminar with a related industry colleague…i.e. insurance agent with financial planner; printer with website pro.

Trade Shows/Special Events

· Exhibit at a local trade show; share a booth with a colleague to control costs.

· Don’t exhibit at a local trade show; instead, walk the aisles and network freely among visitors and other exhibitors.

· Submit an article to appear in the trade show literature.

· Create a themed event at a local restaurant, inviting a specific prospect clientele.

· Co-sponsor a charitable event (golf outing, art exhibit, silent auction, etc.).


· E-mail a trivia-type question to clients/prospects; the first to answer correctly gets a free gift.

· Is there a movie presently playing that somehow touches on your profession? Tie in free tickets to clients. (“Slumdog Millionaire” for, ahem, bankers and financial consultants..?)

· Coffee mugs, water bottles and pens are cliché; use an item actually relevant to your business.

· Add a coupon for your services to a Welcome Wagon program.

· Promote your business through Val-Pak or Money Mailer coupon/flyers.


· Newsletters can be any size; send out a postcard with news, tips, maxims, etc.

· Newsletters can be e-mailed (“e-zines” such as this one) with all the info, including graphics…

· Co-op with another business that, for instance, could pay for printing through their advertising in it.

· Add an ongoing “newsletter” segment to your website that stays timely.

· Blog. Or vlog (the video version...).

Next month, we’ll go over the remaining five ways to market yourself without spending through customarily big ticket vehicles.

In the meantime, try to keep smiling. People want to do business with those who remain positive.

And I will positively plan on being here again the first Tuesday of next month with another macroeconomic view from “Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.”

Joel Kweskin
And from the "What-Alternate-Universe-Bizarro-World-Are-They-In?" Dept.: TV commercials that show cars speeding along on a highway, on a country road, on a city street. The operative word being "speeding." Like, really speeding...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"This Frenchman walks into a bar..."

Every now and then, I like to turn over this space to the musings and pontifications of friends, colleagues and clients on the art, the science…the alchemy…of marketing. From their personal perspectives.

Welcome to the post-Super Bowl, pre-Spring Training edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Philippe Le Baron is the founder and president of LB4G Consulting, Inc., dedicated to sales productivity through realizing the potential of sales managers and their teams.

Philippe has over 20 years experience in consulting, sales, sales management and sales productivity management on behalf of American corporate business throughout Europe.

During this time, the French businessman has designed his own programs and workshops,addressing business cultures as diverse as the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel, Russia, Switzerland, and Austria.

To adapt his consultative approach to everyone, Philippe developed a global-ready methodology that he has brought to America.

So what approach is Philippe taking these days to help get the message out on his business?

How about…Stand-Up Comedy!

“When I arrived in Charlotte from France about two years ago my sales productivity services were as new to the area as my accent was.

“As I built my American operations locally, I went to market with networking, surface mailing, email marketing, web presence, brochures, flyers, cold calling, you name it. Since my business is very much based on an ‘education’ sale, as opposed to a pure ‘pain’ sale, I quickly realized that earning significant mind share was not easily achieved unless I could quickly talk to a lot of people at the same time to maximize ‘education’ effectiveness.

“Workshops, seminars, talks became my main route to market, and I got my first referrals from these interactions. It also helped me position my services faster to an audience I had not anticipated – the small business owners market.

“Last summer I pushed the exercise to its limits. Willing to develop myself further, and in the search for the best "Toastmaster"-type training I could find, I was attracted by a workshop run by the International House in Charlotte, titled 8 Weeks to Become a Stand-Up Comedian. My initial sense was ‘Let's try this – if I can do it, I can give any public speech anywhere.’

“This took me a little further past my comfort zone than I had anticipated, but I have now performed six times at such Charlotte area venues as International House, Matthews Comedy Zone, Alive in NODA. It also has opened new horizons for my business. Not that I intend to make a living from this (even though I did earn a few bucks from my last performance), but I get called on now for corporate presentations and kickoffs, where the experience as a stand up is actually a plus to my ‘serious business’ pitch. After all, sales people and sales managers can always use a little humor to help them look at themselves, and embrace change faster.

“Last but not least, I found that there were similarities between stand-up and sales management: there is an art piece to it, and there is a science piece to it. And there is actually a process to making people laugh (as one who was schooled as an engineer, I love processes).

“There is a setup: a topic, an attitude and a premise that will, when worded right, lead to a joke that should get laughs...if you are funny (that's the art piece). The same way great sales managers blend their art of managing sales people with the science of sales force productivity.

“I now use both skills and content to resonate with my target audience. It does get my name out there too. It stretches one to new levels. And if by standing in front of an audience you are not otherwise scared s*#%-less – pardon my French – it can be fun too...”

Join us again the first Tuesday of next month for more shtick from Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin