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DANiEL WiLLiS, blog


Marketing is easy. Answering questions about marketing is not. It's a little like trying to describe what is going on when you are walking*. Here are some questions that often go begging for answers. It is not an extensive list, but they should get you thinking.**

1) What leads your creative marketing, organizational documents or collateral documents?

If you are a restaurant, does your menu market your business or is it your word of mouth? If you are an artist is it your work or your "outlandish" behaviour? If you are a seller of widgets is it their functionality, or how they solve a problem for your ideal user?

2) Are you “brand guardians” or “creative marketers”?

A brand is not a logo. A brand is a totality of the way you are responded to in the marketplace. If you are a guardian, how you work inside the constraints is key. If you are a creative marketer worth your salt, you'll end up being a brand guardian eventually.

3) Is it time to challenge the use of your brand?

Be careful when you answer this one. There are many stakeholders and one of them is signing the front of your paycheck. Strategic and Marketing plans required.

4) Do you have your brand pillars and do you refer to them?

Steve Jobs (Apple), Sk8r cultr (Mountain Dew), Shock and awe - now defunct (George W. Bush), You want to go where everyone knows your name (Cheers).

5) Do you know your organizations values? Mission? Goals?

If you do not know where you are going any road will take you there.

6) Does your organization benchmark your marketing efforts?

If only 50% works, it is important to know which 50.

7) Do we have regular strategic meetings?

Not too often. That can be the sign of a rudderless ship.

8) Why are you using the tried and true?

Not necessarily a bad thing if you are doing the same pieces year after year, but you better have an answer ready.

9) What are your primary marketing tools?

If every tool in your kit has an invoice attached, you need another profession.

10) What is your annual spend for promotion?

And what else could you do with that money?


*When you walk you kind of throw yourself forward into a face plant with your back leg trusting that the front one will stop you from hurting yourself.

*Special thanks to the evolved thinking of Chimpanzee Marketing for leading the Branding and Marketing Strategy Workshop on May 30, 2012. Presented by Chimpanzee Marketing & the Culture in Niagara Group.

NIAGARA RIDE SHARE - Adding video to your mix of website content should be a priority.

Providing content on your website that search engines like is important. Adding video to your site, as an instructional video or an overview or even a funny commercial style video can help you get listed in more search engines.

You Tube is an incredibly important search engine and video helps get you into that game.

When Search engines are embedded in search results they are almost always from major video sites, such as You Tube and Vimeo.

Embedded videos make people stay on your website longer and search engines acknowledge that through higher rankings.

Search engines also take other aspects into consideration, such as how often the video is viewed; viewer ratings; shares; number of comments; subscribers and how often the video is embedded elsewhere.

Take note that your video should be clearly marked with your brand so that when it does appear around the Internet you get credit!

A good tip is to ensure that you use he tagging areas provided by the upload service. That includes a title, description and keywords. Use the field completely by entering a long description with a lot of keywords.

Have you included a link to your website? If the service provides one, put your URL in the link field. You can also put your domain in the first line of the description to ensure people see it.

Finally, encourage commenting from friends and social fans; search engines like this!

You can visit PUBLICITA’s You Tube Channel here and watch a few of the videos I have created for clients on a budget.

Don’t forget to leave a comment! Thanks

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I am often asked about where one can get most traction for new business. Where appropriate, my answer might focus on what direct benefits I get from networking, but I know that while important, listing business benefits alone that I receive does not fully tell the story about my experience with networking.

So upon greater reflection, here are my Top Ten Reasons for making the effort to go forth and network.

10) Networking gives me a sense of place.

Educational and social meetings are held in various places around Niagara. In the past year or so, I have been to at The REX in Welland, Verge Insurance, Critelli Furniture, Hunters Pointe Golf Club, Niagara College to name a few. When welcomed into these places as a member of the networking group, I get to understand them better, to see places I may not get to otherwise. I am actively exploring my Region.

9) A sense of community.

Running a small business can sometimes be isolating. I work long hours in a focussed attempt to make my business a success. Networking events get me out of the office and in front of like-minded people that can share their ups and downs of business ownership. They are a great class of people - Intelligent, hard working and fun.

8) A chance to contribute.

Whether making an introduction between business owners or helping shape ideas, the Networking allows me to contribute to the success of others.

7) A chance to promote my business.

Through membership guides, a paid promotional announcement, networking at events or listings on websites. My membership helps put my name in front of potential clients.

6) Adds credibility.

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I am serious about my business and my membership shows that. Although not every one may have an understanding about the benefits of using my services, they all understand that I am representing my business when I show up..

5) Provides discounts.

I find formal offers to members in published guides and discounts offered in person are real money savers not to be overlooked. There is no secret handshake, but over all I have found that members go above and beyond for other members and with 6 or 7 events per month, it is getting so you cant swing a cat without hitting a few.

4) Increases my profile in the community.

The badge I display on my website, the small advertisement in the publication. Iconic symbols associate my business with a greater group. On top of that, and because I engage on multiple levels, I am personally seen at events and in meetings. It a Region of this size it is not uncommon to meet members at fundraisers, at the supermarket and at the rink too.

3) Helps professional development.

This is probably the most important reason why I am an avid networker. I can watch others and learn or go to formal learning events; I can see keynote speakers and participate in forums; I can get referrals and resources from members. When I am active in my networks I become better at what I do.

2) Supports the greater good.

These organizations promotes business in Niagara. My membership means I am working, in my own small way for a better Region.

1) A reason to update my wardrobe.

In my business (Online Marketing), I am often heard and not seen. Getting out from behind my desk for a meeting, social event or educational luncheon gives me the opportunity to put on a shirt and tie, get out to see some old friends and meet some new ones. Without networking I fear my lapels might be to wide, my eyeglasses too square or my iPhone too dated. Fashion advice for men is hard to come by and that alone is worth the price of admission.


Membership has it's privileges. What are your reasons for belonging to the groups that you do?

Please share your comments below.

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