by Chris Denny
for a Professional Outsourced Marketing Department, visit http://www.LeadOptimize.com
Copyright 2009. the content of this report should not be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the author.
Table of Contents
1. Marketing Overview
a. What is Marketing, Really?
b. Your Marketing Strategy
2. MUSTS for Any Marketing
a. Basic Marketing Principles (your checklist)
b. Tracking Results
3. Online Marketing
a. Website Tips, Pointers, etc.
b. Getting Traffic to Your Site
4. Offline Marketing
a. Sales Materials
c. Press Releases
e. Writing & Speaking
f. Magazines, Newspapers, Print
g. Yellow Pages – careful! Not so fast!
5. Great Resources for Small Businesses
What is Marketing, Really?
Let’s start with Philip Kotler’s definition of marketing because, as anyone who has taken even one
college-level marketing class probably knows, he is basically the father of marketing. He didn’t write the
book on marketing. He wrote most of them and influenced the others.
How is this for dry? Mr. Kotler said, “marketing is the set of human activities directed at facilitating and
consummating exchanges.” Could that be any broader (or more boring)? Fortunately, he clarifies that
with the following1:
Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at
a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the
identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it
designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.
Marketing is often performed by a department within the organization. This is both good and bad. It’s good because
it unites a group of trained people who focus on the marketing task. It’s bad because marketing activities should not
be carried out in a single department but they should be manifest in all the activities of the organization.
In my 11th edition of Marketing Management, I describe the most important concepts of marketing in the first
chapter. They are: segmentation, targeting, positioning, needs, wants, demand, offerings, brands, value and
satisfaction, exchange, transactions, relationships and networks, marketing channels, supply chain, competition, the
marketing environment, and marketing programs. These terms make up the working vocabulary of the marketing
Marketing’s key processes are: (1) opportunity identification, (2) new product development, (3) customer attraction,
(4) customer retention and loyalty building, and (5) order fulfillment. A company that handles all of these processes
well will normally enjoy success. But when a company fails at any one of these processes, it will not survive.
At the risk of over-simplifying Kotler’s statements here is my breakdown of the key points from above:
Marketing is a science and art.
You need to give value.
Marketing must be carried out profitably.
A major function of marketing is to research the market and provide the right products and
Marketing is often carried out by a department. While it is good to have dedicated experts, it is
important that all departments in the company be marketing oriented.
Read the 3rd chapter again.
Read the 4th chapter again.
For most small businesses - especially those just starting out – a good functional definition of marketing
is “Profitably create, attract, and retain customers.” Focus on the science part of marketing. The
art/fun part will come naturally but it’s the science part of it that will keep your marketing focused and
Your Marketing Strategy
So, what is your marketing strategy? Many small business owners oversimplify their marketing strategy
into something along the lines of “get more sales” or possibly to something more specific like “grow to
sales of $1 million by January 1, 2012.”
The purpose of this report is to give you a lot of useful tools – not to write a book about marketing
strategy – but you absolutely must have your strategy in mind as you design, develop, and implement
your marketing. Consistency (you will see this again) is one of the most important aspects of any
marketing system. So, please remember consistency. Please say it to yourself now and repeat it about
Specific Strategy Development
This might sound a little like “goal development” or a motivational speech you have heard and it should
because the principle is the same. You need to be specific about your strategy. You should be able to
word your strategy as, “We will have sales of $1 million at 35% gross margin by January 1, 2012. 75% of
those sales will be commercial clients with the remaining 25% consisting of sales to high-income
When developing your strategy think in terms of who, what, why, where, when, and how. Try to
answer all of those in your statement. You might even include something like “60% from online sales”
or your goals might be around specific growth rates such as “we will grow at an annual rate of 20% in
online sales and 35% in offline sales.”
Being clear about your marketing strategy will help you be deliberate about the marketing and spending
decisions you make.
MUSTs for Any Marketing
Basic Marketing Principles
These are the basic marketing principles you should live by. Keep them in mind and with everything you
do for marketing treat them as a checklist and plan how they take part in every marketing activity.
Integrated – your various marketing methods should support one another and be….
Consistent – consistent message, look, message, feel, brand, message, quality, and message.
Multi-Method Approach – connect with people in multiple places. It is better to connect with
the same person 8 times than to connect with 8 people once. It is even better if than one
person sees 4 postcards, one email, 2 magazine ads, and your website.
Simple Message – Keep your messages simple. “Message creep” is what happens with most ad
pieces because we want to tell them all about everything we do. Sorry, not everything you do is
special. Keep your message to what’s special about you.
Repeat – make commitments to the marketing methods you use. Send repeat mailings to any
list, attend club/group meetings repeatedly, commit to 6 months of ads in the magazines (you
get a better rate anyway). One time does not work in marketing.
We will touch on these topics throughout this report.
Tracking Your Marketing Results
Track track track. Effectively tracking your marketing efforts will ensure you make the best decisions
with your marketing budget. If your marketing efforts pull in just a few more leads a day, your business
would grow a lot faster so make sure you are dropping the stuff that doesn’t work and improving what
does. Here are some ways to effectively and inexpensively track your marketing efforts.
***Remember you can use tracking in multiple ways – not just to tell whether a certain piece is working.
You might use one or more of the tracking methods below to measure results by geography, age,
gender, and more.
Tracking visitors and other statistics about your website is simple. Use a website analytics program such
as Google Analytics to analyze your site’s visitors, pageviews, bounce rate, and much MUCH more. You
can see which pages on your site people visit most and even learn what links they are using most on
each page. This is powerful stuff. Make sure you know how many people are on your site and what
they are looking for.
Dedicated Phone Lines
This is one of the best ways to know if an ad, website, postcard, sales letter, or any marketing is working.
Give each individual marketing piece its own dedicated phone number. This used to be expensive and
required some hefty call-tracking software but there is a super easy and cheap way to do it now…
SUPER TIP: Set up a free Skype account and buy a Skype phone number for $60 per YEAR. Use the
Skype phone number on your website or any other marketing campaign. You simply forward your Skype
phone number to your main phones lines and answer those just like normal. Skype provides free call
reports for your Skype number(s) so you will know how many people are calling from that marketing
Cool, right? I know. This is so cheap you should consider doing it for just about every campaign you run.
You can buy as many phone numbers as you want and there is no reason you can’t switch a phone
number from one campaign to another. When one campaign ends, simply use that dedicated phone
number for another campaign. First create a Skype name then buy an online number. This is
technology people have wanted for generations.
If you hate dealing with this kind of thing, call me or contact us at www.LeadOptimize.com and we will
set your accounts up for an hourly fee.
Specific URL’s (website addresses)
This is another simple way to measure leads or interest from a specific campaign but it requires that you
either know how to work on your website yourself or that you are ok with paying someone else to do
this from time to time. Use a specific URL for certain campaigns that leads people to a unique page in
your site that is unavailable from anywhere else. You can then use your website’s analytics software to
see how many people visited that unique page. For instance, if you want to track the effectiveness of a
postcard campaign offering free teeth whitening you might use the URL www. MyDomain
.com/whiterteeth and keep an eye on the traffic for that page to tell you how much interest your
postcard campaign attracted.
Promo codes are very simple but tracking is more manual, especially on the phone. Print campaigns, for
example, will simply have a unique number printed somewhere on them. When someone calls, you will
simply ask for the promo code. If they visit your website, your contact form might have a space for a
You may have heard promo codes used on the radio before with statements like, “mention this ad and
get $10 off” or “make sure to say ‘Super Ace’ when you call.”
This one almost seems too simple but I have to mention it. You can use a dedicated email address in
your ads. They are easy to make and can even be made for free with Gmail, Yahoo, or other free email
services. Use a dedicated phone number or URL first, though.
Website Tips, Pointers, etc.
Do you have a website? If the answer is “no,” then stop messing around and get a website – a
professional website. You are losing money as you read this (but keep reading for now).
Hire a Professional
One of the biggest mistakes with website is picking the lowest bidder or, even worse, your neighbor’s
kid or nephew or whoever it is that you were told “knows how to make websites.” Believe me,
everyone who sees your site can tell that you went the cheap route. The simple fact is that websites
are not that expensive anymore so go with a professional web designer.
If someone you know really does know how to make professional websites, you can get started now
with a cheap hosting plan from ipower.com. The domain name is usually free with your registration.
They have fantastic technical support and a super-easy-to-use website. Start now and you will have a
new domain name and hosting plan in about ten minutes. Lead Optimize uses ipower for our own sites
and for clients’ sites.
What is the Purpose of Your Site?
If your designer does not ask about the purpose of your site, first be wary about his experience then
make sure you tell him what you want the site to achieve. So, what is the purpose of your site? Here
are some possible goals of your website. You probably want your website to do some mix of the
Disseminate Information to Clients, Media, Employees
Generate Sales Leads
Be a Sales Tool for Salespeople - to reference or even “walk” prospects through a process over
Present a Professional Image
You should be able to prioritize the multiple purposes of your site. Doing so will help guide you and your
designer through decisions about what kinds of content you need, color schemes, images, and all the
other minutia of developing an effective website.
These basic tips apply to almost any website, regardless of the purpose. If you have something more
specific in mind or have additional questions, feel free to contact me directly at (832) 628-0987.
Provide multiple contact opportunities on EVERY page (please give me your phone number)
Cross-link (cross-promote) your products in the body copy every chance you get
Use tracking software such as Google Analytics
Consider using a phone number dedicated only the website
Use quality images – not faded or dull and make sure they make sense. Ask a friend if he/she
knows what the picture is about
Use simple font
Generally stay away from images that spin, flip, or blink (generally)
In today’s world, your website will probably become the central component in your entire marketing
mix. With that, make sure it is attractive, professional, and, most importantly, effective.
ScrEEEEEeeeeeeCCCChhhhh (tires screeching).
Check out that first point again. Provide multiple contact opportunities on every page of your site. Your
name and a link to your contact form page should be at the top and/or side of every page and within the
copy with things like call us at (832) 628-0987 or contact us online to discuss your marketing system.
Don’t be super “salesy” but PLEASE don’t make me look for your contact information when I see
something I like.
Getting Traffic to Your Site
“I want my site to be at the top of Google” is what everyone says about their website. Not just some
people – everyone. So, let’s look at a few of the most important - and most often understood- ways to
accomplish this – Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Pay Per Click (Google, Yahoo, MSN)
Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns work. That’s it. They work – and they basically all work the same way.
Here’s how, basically anyway.
1. You create an account with (pick one, Yahoo)
2. You connect a credit card to your Yahoo PPC campaign (and set daily max budget)
3. You create a list of keywords related to your products along with ads that will show when
people search on Yahoo for the keywords you chose
4. Someone searches for one of your keywords, sees your ad, and may click on it
5. By clicking on your ad, the person is sent to your website and your Yahoo PPC account is
charged a small amount for the click
6. You ONLY PAY WHEN THEY CLICK ON YOUR AD (thus, Pay PER Click)
Again, that is the basic version but now you know how PPC campaigns work. There are other ways to
run a campaign and an experienced PPC manager can do a lot with your budget but that is the gist. The
price per click varies greatly depending upon how many people are running campaigns around the same
keywords as you. By the way, be wary of services offering X number of clicks for X dollars per month.
Seriously, just be wary. Know where your money is going.
There are skeptics who say they know of people who lost money on PCC campaigns and so on and so
forth. Heck, they might be right but in my experience, when a PPC campaign did not work, it was always
because of flaws in the website itself – flaws that could be fixed. Fishing Analogy: If your PPC
campaign is the bait, a bad website is a net with holes in it. You can bring in as many fish (visitors) as
you want but they are just going to swim right on through.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization refers to the practice of using certain design principles and methodologies to
improve your site’s position in search engines with the goal of receiving a higher percentage of the total
Simply put, SEO is about designing your site in a way that gets it listed higher in search engines. It
involves everything from the pages’ code, to the content of each page, and even the way your files and
images are named and labeled. Other factors include the quantity and quality of incoming links (outside
sites linking to your site), the words used in the links from those sites, the age of your domain, and how
long it is registered for. The factors used by search engines to rank websites are largely unknown and
are presumably too numerous to list anyway. Like the price per click in a PPC campaign, the difficulty of
SEO for any site depends upon the level of competition for that site’s products/information/keywords.
Here are some basic tips for SEO in your website. If you want more help with your SEO, call me at (832)
628-0987 or contact me through the Lead Optimize website.
Design SEO into your site when it is initially being built
Write the pages of your website using keywords you expect people to use when looking for your
products or services
Don’t try to “trick” the search engines EVER – they’ve already seen it and will punish you with
horrible positions (seriously)
Get links from other websites to your website – industry sites, vendors, clients, etc.
Use unique Title and Description tags for each page
Submit your site to Google at http://www.google.com/addurl/
Other Online Marketing
There are numerous marketing opportunities online. Consider social media venues such as Facebook,
Twitter, and LinkedIn and but don’t spend all your time there. Social media shouldn’t be your focus –
maybe give it 5 to 10% of your marketing attention.
Make deals with other websites to exchange links and promote each other’s products on your sites and
through your newsletters – which brings us to newsletters.
Use a newsletter. Collect email addresses from your clients, your website, industry events, tradeshows,
chambers of commerce, and more. Look up the CAN SPAM laws to avoid trouble (and GIANT fines) and
make it SUPER EASY for people to unsubscribe from your newsletter. Send purely helpful information at
least as often as you send self-serving information. Newsletters are great. It is the cheapest way to
contact people again and again – simply to keep your brand in their minds.
One message applies to everything in this section. KEEP YOUR MESSAGE CONSISTENT. Are you the best,
prettiest, cheapest, fastest, #1, Best Quality, Lowest Risk, Cleanest, Coolest, Friendliest……? Don’t
confuse your prospects with a different message on everything they see. KEEP YOUR MESSAGE
Brochures, cut sheets, sales letters, and business cards. Decide which you need and don’t need and
make nice ones. Double, triple, and quadruple check them for errors THEN have someone else do the
same. Then, check them again. Once they are printed, it’s too late. Once a prospect gets bad materials,
Use your sales materials as you need them. If you are just starting, don’t spend a fortune creating an
inventory of brochures unless they really are a major part of your marketing and sales strategy.
DO get business cards and pass them out like they are going out of style. They are cheap – usually 5 to
10 cents each. Give them to anyone and everyone and ask them to pass them out, too. Go as crazy or
be as conservative about that as you want but don’t be cheap on business cards and don’t make them
yourself. If your business cards have perforated edges they say, “Hi, I don’t have enough to do so I
make my own business cards.”
Postcards – TWO IMPORTANT POINTS
I love postcards. I love them because they work. That is, they work when you use the two main points I
am about to tell you. These principles actually apply to all offline marketing, by the way.
1. Mail repeatedly. Send your message to the same list a minimum of three times. Expect the
response rate of your postcards to increase with each additional mailing.
2. Keep your message SIMPLE – one message.
Oh, and be consistent about your mail schedule and message.
Four Main Ways to Use Postcards
There are four main ways to use postcards. There are others but these are the most common.
Announcements (New Products, Locations, Reach)
Warm Up or Follow Up for Salespeople (bonus op here)
Brand Building with Postcards
It’s simple. Brand building is about developing and solidifying a connection between your
products/services and your brand in the minds of your prospects. That is, you want your brand to come
to mind when someone decides they need the products you sell. They may not need your product when
they see one of your postcards but they will need it eventually – and they will think of you because your
simple message has crossed their desks 7 times in the last 2 or 3 quarters.
Announce with Postcards
Postcards are great if you have a new product, location, or special news you want to announce –
especially if you have a list that knows your company (existing clients or the local market, for instance).
Send announcement cards until you feel like the message has stuck.
Make sure your announcement/news is integrated into your website and other sales materials, too.
Postcards are great for promoting special offers and events and another great thing is that you can
easily track the results by saying “bring this card in for an additional X% off” or something like that. If
you are promoting an event, consider using the cards brought it as entries for a door prize or raffle. By
their very nature, postcards with special offers typically have better response rates than other
Update your website and other materials with the offers or events promoted in your postcards.
Sales Warm Up, Follow Up, or Personal Brand Building (the special opportunity)
Postcards can inexpensively make life easier for any salesperson. Cold calls are less cold when the
prospect has already heard of you three or four times. Postcards get more attention when they follow a
call or personal meeting.
And, here is one of my favorite ways to use postcards – to build the “brand” of an individual
salesperson. You can actually build the brand of the company and the salesperson at the same time
AND prospects appreciate that they can call John personally instead of just the 800 number (and
operator). Lead Optimize runs these programs for a few salespeople and they work great. For about
$75 per month those salespeople have marketing/sales support and automatic lead generation while
branding themselves as the person to call about their products.
Postcards work. To reiterate the initial point, regardless of why you are using them keep your message
simple and repeat your mailings.
Press releases are highly misunderstood and can be very effective. A press release is an announcement
or statement sent to media (newspapers, websites, radio, tv, other) for the purpose of getting publicity
or attention for a new product, a cause, news, changes, or other events. Your press release can be sent
directly to individual media outlets if you know where and who to send it to or it can be sent through a
newswire service for wider distribution to numerous media outlets. With most systems, like those we
use at Lead Optimize, you can target the recipients geographically, demographically, by industry, and by
a few other factors. If your news is interesting enough, it may be “picked up” by a media outlet who will
distribute it even further for no additional cost.
The Press Release Gamble
Press releases can be great. They are basically no-brainers for large companies who can easily afford
them and whose news and announcements are sought by media. For small companies, press releases
represent something of a gamble. Is your news or products interesting enough to be used as content in
a magazine, newspaper, or radio show? If so, your small investment in the press release will be well
worth it. If not, then, well, at least you have a nice document to use for your own distribution and on
Just be honest with yourself about how unique your product is. If it is truly interesting and unique, get
the help of a professional to word it effectively enough to make other people see the light, too. The
math of the gamble is easy. Think of the cost of an ad or editorial in a mid-size newspaper or magazine
(can be thousands or tens of thousands, depending on the products) and compare that to the cost of
your press release (usually between $200 and $600) and the probability that it will be “picked up” and
further distributed by some media outlet.
At Lead Optimize, we use an outstanding newswire service that is both low-cost and greatly reduces
your risks because you are assured placement in many online locations from Reuters to Yahoo Finance
to Google News and more. Clients usually report receiving multiple leads as a result of their press
release in the days following its initial distribution. After that, being further distributed in paper or on
radio is just a big bonus. Visit our website for more information about press releases from Lead
Networking is priceless. Get out there and do it. Join your local chamber of commerce (or two or
three), breakfast groups, lunch groups, Rotary club, or whatever and be active in it. Take part. Make
friends, help others succeed, pass out your business cards like they are burning your hands.
Big Tip: Ask the people you meet all about themselves – what they do, how they do it, how they
started, who they are, kids, spouse, hobbies, etc. They are special and you sell what you sell but they
are special. By making others feel like the most special person in the room, your product or service will
suddenly seem great to them.
Writing & Speaking
If you know enough about your product or service, you can write and speak your way to wealth. If you
don’t know enough, then start learning and come back to this later.
See the section on networking (just above) and start offering yourself as a writer for group publications
and a speaker for events. There are people trying to find content for newsletters, magazines, and
websites and speakers for events, engagements, and dinners. As an expert in your field, you can
actually help them get their job done by offering your time. Charge if you want – or don’t – but make
sure you can pass out your cards and brochures at events. Consider offering a coupon or self-addressed
stamped envelope for lead generation.
Make sure your website says what you’ve got going on. Consider sending postcards to announce your
speaking engagements (you will really look like the expert if you get a bunch of people to come hear you
Magazines, Newspapers, & Print
Magazines and newspapers offer good opportunities that usually require great big budgets. If you can
put your ad in a niche-oriented magazine that reaches your ideal clients your ad might be well worth it.
Like with postcards, commit to your ad for a while – usually no fewer than six months. While some
people will contact you with the first ad, you can expect your response rate from the ad to increase with
each additional publication. Subscribers will see your ad repeatedly and start to recognize your brand
Of course, make sure your ad is consistent with your other marketing efforts.
Yellow Pages – Not So Fast!
“Yellow Pages” have traditionally been a no-brainer for most new businesses. If you were not in the
book you were lucky to exist. Things have changed so think long and hard about whether or not you
need to buy an [expensive] ad in the print version of the Yellow Pages, Yellow Book, or any of the others.
For most businesses, it is likely that you can apply the same money somewhere else and get WAAAAY
My biggest problem with print books is that they require long contracts whereas you can try numerous
other marketing methods without contracts or with contracts of only 3 or 6 months. I can tell you this –
the last person you should get advice from is the person selling the ad space.
I have done a handful of research on what works best in print phone directories. Feel free to call me
about your unique situation but here are the basics on what services people use the print phone
directory to find:
Local services such as plumbing, tree services, or daycare (but even these are increasingly
getting online or putting their ad dollars in online lead generators like ServiceMagic.com).
Businesses that are generally perceived as being low-tech (see above).
Businesses whose clients are often low-tech or low-income such as certain law services or bond
Services aimed at people aged 50+ because they are more likely to use the print directory.
Pay less attention to the examples above than to the ideas of the principles themselves.
TIP: If you do decide to place (or keep) an ad in the Yellow Pages, negotiate a special tracking number
so you can measure whether the ad works or not. I have a client who was paying $400 per CALL (!!!!)
and the tracking number made the decision to kill that money-sucking ad an easy one. The books
produced by the phone companies almost certainly offer tracking numbers. If they don’t offer them or
won’t throw it in for free, consider paying for it and if it seems too expensive (it probably is) consider
using a Skype number like I mentioned in the section about tracking your marketing results.
Marketing Check List
These are the Marketing MUSTs repeated but they are so important I have put them into a checklist you
can use for each marketing campaign you initiate and each method you use. Check that each has been
considered and used in your marketing activity and write the specifics on the line provided.
Integrated with _________________________________________________________________
Consistent with _________________________________________________________________
Multi-Direction Approach _________________________________________________________
Simple Message _________________________________________________________________
Repeat (how long ) ______________________________________________________________
Call Lead Optimize at (832) 628-0987 or visit us online if you are interested in a full-service outsourced
marketing department for your business. Lead Optimize marketing professionals will get to know you
and your company and build, implement, and manage your marketing system for you. We even
occasionally attend sales and staff meetings to get to know you better.
Great Marketing Resources for Small (Any) Businesses
Web Hosting from iPower
Excellent 24/7 custom service
Free domain name with hosting account
Free marketing services such as Google and Yahoo PPC vouchers
Easy-to-use control panels
Skype Online Numbers
$60 or less per year (and you can buy shorter subscriptions)
Forward to your main lines – the way you do business daily will not change
Immeasurably powerful information
Inexpensive quality printing
DIY designs on totally professional materials
Huge range of products
Flex Marketing System from Lead Optimize
Capped monthly budget
Full-service marketing agency at your fingertips
Like having a complete marketing department without dedicating to offices, equipment,
employees, training, or other costs
Keep your marketing going consistently and professionally while you focus on your business
Google Submit – add your website to Google’s index for free
Yahoo Submit – add your website to Yahoo’s index for free
Bing Submit – add your website to Bing’s index for free (this is Microsoft’s search engine)
Marketing Ideas from the SBA
CAN SPAM Overview from the Federal Trade Commission – know these rules if you are going to use