Category Archives: Graphic Design

Don’t let your marketing become ‘Tyranny of the Urgent’

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Are you balancing the important marketing with the urgent marketing?

I was talking to a business owner this afternoon, when she used the phrase “tyranny of the urgent.” It got me thinking about how business is run, sales are made, and marketing is planned and executed.

In Charles Hummel’s 1967 essay Tryanny of the Urgent, one important point Hummel makes is striking a balance between what is considered urgent, and what is considered important. This issue is really all about time management. As a cotton mill manager once told Hummel “Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.”

What are examples of urgent marketing?

Business owners are under pressure to increase sales, make payroll, handle employees, and many other things. Under this pressure, marketing that I would consider urgent is any type of marketing that is reactionary. When a competitor runs a coupon, you run a coupon. When a car dealer runs a giant inventory reduction sale (which by the way is cliche…because what sale isn’t meant to reduce inventory?)…they are trying to make a month-end sales quota. This is urgent (and reactionary) marketing. Selling price before value…another example of urgent marketing. It’s looking for the quick-fix, the quick buck, the easy sale.

What are examples of important marketing?

Important marketing is, at times, going back to the basics. It is creating, and maintaining, your customer list. It is making sure you have your graphics, logo, and pictures organized on a disk for easy access when marketing materials are needed. It is building a marketing plan, so that you can be proactive, rather than reactive. It also keeps you on budget. Important marketing is building a website rich with content, and search-engine optimized, so that you can start the marketing process to your customers before they become your customers.

6 things you can do to shift marketing priorities from urgent to important

  • Write a marketing plan.
  • Organize your business logos and pictures into one easy-to-find place.
  • Get your database of customers updated
  • Do a website evaluation…is your website doing what you need it to do?
  • Consider getting professional marketing services. The small business owner can’t do it all themselves. Consultants of any kind bring valuable outside opinions and experience to the table.
  • Begin each week with a list of the most important things that will grow your business. Create another list of the tasks for the week. Schedule time with yourself to work on the first list.

One of my favorite phrases is: Business is a series of interruptions…interrupted by more interruptions.

Let’s all try to get out of the interruption trap. Ever go through a day and know you worked hard, but thinking back, can’t remember what you accomplished? Yeah, it happens to me too. Remember, it’s not about time. We all have the same about of time…24-hours per day, 7 days per week. It is about the priorities.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.


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Website BC: What to do Before Construction starts on your website – A 9-point checklist

website checklist

Use this checklist before starting your website

A lot of time and effort can be saved if you organize yourself before putting together a business website. Here’s a handy checklist of the things you need to gather before construction begins:

  1. Company logo. If you have a high resolution logo (300 dpi), that’s perfect. Most logos will be converted to gifs around 100KB or less, however, higher resolution is better to start.
  2. Pictures. Start a file on your computer with pictures you are going to use on your website. If you don’t have pictures, or are limited, there are several sites where you can buy stock photos for a few bucks each. I use most www.istockphoto.com most often for projects. Good selection for under 5-bucks per image. Another one I frequent is www.dreamstime.com and find plenty of high resolution images for under 5-bucks each.
  3. Keywords. This is important. Good web SEO is based upon keywords being used in your html, content, and alt tags. So make a list of 20 keywords that you want your potential customer to be able to search by to find you. This aids the designer, content writer in the early phases of the web project.
  4. Your goals. What is the purpose of your internet site? Write this down. Maybe it’s to secure leads. Maybe it’s to save money on printing. Maybe it’s to interact with the customer. Maybe it’s to position you as an industry expert. When you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, a web designer and writer can better help you with the construction of your website.
  5. Your target market. Who are your customers? Know the age, location, income, and other demographic and phsychographic characteristics of your target audience.
  6. Content. You need to have a plan for how many pages your website will be. Your front page directs viewers to inside pages. What will those inside pages contain? You don’t need to write the content yet, but it will really help to get a site map developed for your website if you know what you want the viewer to learn about your business.
  7. How often will you update the site? If you want to update the site (and I strongly recommend you do update regularly)…how will you do it? Do you want to hire someone for this, or can you do it yourself? Which areas will you update? Can you have a Latest News section, or a blog, or a newsletter? Another important reason for updates is that the Google bots look for new content. It will help your page ranking and searches to have updates.
  8. Deadline. Do you have a season or special event that you need to have this done by?
  9. Budget. I get asked this all the time. You have three options.
  • Cheap: self publish it, or use a template, or get someone “hungry” to do it for you for under $1000.
  • Average: Prepare to spend $3500-$4000 and you can get a very nice website. Good companies with good reputations are in this price range.
  • Above Average: In my opinion, anything over $5000 is considered more than the norm. I know, it’s done all the time, and website development of 10K-25K is not uncommon. With those projects, there are special features, interactivity, and other bells and whistles that are jacking up the cost. Sometimes it’s worth it…you be the judge.

Having these nine items nailed down will help your web developer, and these can all be done prior to the first meeting.

    -30-Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

    website: http://www.258marketing.com
    email: chris@258marketing.com