Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Retail Spending Posts Increase

This article is from the Counselor...

It was a happy holiday for retailers, which experienced a 3.6% increase in sales during the holiday shopping season according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse. While the figure remains well below the gains posted in 2007, it does represent a noticeable uptick compared to the 2.3% decline in holiday sales one year ago. The National Retail Federation had originally predicted that retail sales this holiday season would drop 1%. "Last year the economy and consumer spending were in free fall. This year we're talking about an environment that has stabilized, that has seen a leveling off," said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research at Spending Pulse.

Online spending was the star of the season, showing a 15.5% increase in sales (in part due to a major snowstorm on the east coast the weekend before Christmas). Consumer electronics, footwear and jewelry all posted impressive gains between 5% and 6%. Luxury items (.8% increase) and apparel (.4% decrease) both struggled, though men's apparel did post gains of almost 4%. The most discouraging sign for retailers is poor gift card redemption rates. A sampling of malls by Taubman Centers revealed a rate of 10%, compared to a normal rate of 30%-40% in good years. Retailers count on gift card sales to generate revenue the week after Christmas and throughout the month of January.

The final data for the holiday shopping season won't be revealed until January 7. Heading into 2010, retail shopping experts are predicting that discount stores especially will continue to thrive. "We're still looking at a challenging year, but any retailer offering more for less is going to be in a better position," Phil Rist, a consumer analyst for BIGresearch, said.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Great News for Hasseman Marketing

We are extremely excited to announce that Amy Hasseman will be re-joining our Hasseman Marketing Team full-time! As many of you know, Amy has been the Executive Director for the Coshocton County United Way for the past 3 years. Her efforts there have been great for our community, but I have been wanting her to come back to us for some time now. I finally convinced her!

For those of you who don't know Amy, she is a veteran of the promotional products industry. She began with JII Promotions right out of college and sold in the industry for 10 years. She also had a stint on the supplier side (Elliot Calendar Company) as well, so she knows the industry inside and out!

Amy has been working with us "behind the scenes" for the past 3 years, handling all of the bookkeeping. But we are excited to have Amy jump back into the sales side of the business as we look to grow HMC for the future.

She officially begins at the office after the first of the year, but you can shoot her an email at Please join me in welcoming Amy to the team.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2010 is Coming....

I got this via email from Dale Limes. I thought it was great whether you are in sales or not. Check it out!

Become A Selling Machine
10 Great Tips to begin the New year
Selling superstars aren't born, they are made. The truth
be told, they are self-made. They are selling machines.

You can become the quintessential salesperson if you stay
focused and work hard.

Here are 10 steps to follow if you want to become a selling

1. "Yes I can!" Begin everyday thinking and saying aloud
"Yes I can!" The choice is pretty obvious here. You're either
thinking "Yes I can" or "Yes I can't."

You have to believe, truly believe that you can do anything
you set your mind to doing. It's an attitude and attitude
determines your destiny.

2. "I will" versus "I'll try." Trying accomplishes nothing,
nada, zippo. Doing - gets things done. Begin every day
with the intention of doing instead of trying. Once again
this is an example of an appropriate mindset if you want
to become a selling machine.

3. Becoming rich is a state of mind and so is becoming poor.
Which do you prefer? Put a crisp $100 bill in your wallet. Not
many people have crisp $100 bills in their wallets.

The $100 bill won't make you rich but it will make you feel
good just knowing it's there. It's also a great way to rid your
mind of any negative thinking about money.

4. Establish daily written and prioritized goals. Begin each day
with purpose and passion in the pursuit of your daily goals.
Push aside all interruptions and distractions until your written
goals are achieved. Purpose and passion elude most people.

If you doubt me, make note of all the people you see in a
single day that strike you as having purpose and passion.
It might be days before you spot one. With purpose and
passion you'll standout from the competitive crowd - and
that's a good thing.

5. Don't complain and don't explain. Just go about your
business energetically and enthusiastically. Your enthusiasm
will fuel your purpose and passion - so don't leave home
without it.

Complaining and explaining creates negative energy. Just
stay focused on your daily goals and you'll stay on track and
accomplish more than ever.

6. Go buy a composition notebook. Call it your success or
idea journal. This is the place to keep all of your good ideas.
Make your life your laboratory and keep tabs on what works
and what doesn't work.

Write down your thoughts and action steps. Include words
of wisdom. Include everything that inspires you. Include
everything that's noteworthy. This is the place to also keep
your favorite quotations.

7. Take chances and don't fear failure. I didn't always think
this way, but now that I do I realize it's a much better way
to live your life. Our country is what it is today because of
the cumulative risks taken by all the generations who came
before us.

Every once in a while some radical thinking is needed to
shake things up in your life - personally and professionally.
Of course this is easy to say and hard to do.

Just think "Yes I can."

8. Become a student of selling. Read good books. I just
finished reading "The Dip" by Seth Godin. It's an excellent
book. It's short and sweet - only 80 pages. Read articles.

Turn your car into a classroom and listen to CDs everyday.
The quickest way to become a master of selling is to become
a student of selling first.

Establish a written goal to invest $1000 every year for your
personal development. Most people don't recognize and
appreciate that the size of their library influences the degree
of their success.

9. You can become a master of change or a prisoner of change.
Time in your territory doesn't make you an agent of change.
Only the acquisition and implementation of new ideas can. I
know salespeople who have been in sales 20 years. Yup - one
year repeated 20 times. This is no way to live your life.

Once a month ask yourself what can you start doing, stop
doing, or change what you are doing? And ask this question
at the end of every selling day. "How can I do it better?"

10. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for everything
you have. Say thank you to everyone who buys from you.
Say thank you to everyone who helps you make the sale. And
it wouldn't hurt to say thank you to your Creator.

We live lives of abundance in the United States. It's always the
right time to show your appreciation for what you have.

You'll sidestep all the Willi Lomans "Death Of Salesman" when
you stay focused on becoming a selling machine!

Don't settle for the ordinary when you had the opportunity
to become extraordinary!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Economic Indicators Improving

Both retail sales and consumer sentiment in the U.S. have increased in recent weeks, exceeding projections and prompting new hopes of a stabilizing economy. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales rose 1.3% in November, while new survey data shows December's consumer sentiment index has risen six points to 73.4. "Confidence improved in early December mainly due to widespread price discounting by merchants attempting to spark holiday sales as well as somewhat more positive expectations for economic growth and employment," said Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan surveys of consumers.

According to government reports, sales in November were lifted by strong receipts from gas stations, as well as increased purchases of cars, food, electronics and sporting goods. Additionally, sales of building materials jumped 1.5% last month, while mail and Internet orders rose 1.2%. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in November fell to 10% from a 26-year high of 10.2%, as companies cut 11,000 workers, the fewest monthly number since the recession began in December 2007. Adding to these positive trends, it is expected that this week's meeting of the Federal Reserve will not result in significant monetary policy changes, with interest rates already at historic lows near zero.

Despite the improving indicators, though, a separate report found small business owners continue to struggle. A new survey from American Solutions, a conservative-action group, shows two out of three small businesses plan to lay off a worker in the next six months. The survey also indicated widespread dislike for President Obama's latest small business recovery plan, which proposes a temporary suspension of the capital gains tax. By a three-to-one margin, respondents instead would prefer a cut in payroll taxes.

Get Your Marketing Plan in Order for 2010

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you are ready for a blessed holiday season. This time of year is a great time to plan for a successful next year. So here are some tips to make sure you are planning BIG for next year.

1) Be targeted this year. Don't just throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks! Great companies target their customers properly and measure their results.
2) Know your Marketing Tools (in your area). Some companies market nationally but to a specific audience. Some companies market locally or regionally. It's important to know those customers because then you can know the best marketing tools to reach them.
3) Figure out the numbers you want to spend.
4) Create a Marketing Theme. This can be for the year, for the quarter or for the month, but create a theme to build your marketing around.
5) Match the Tools with the theme and budget and make 2010 a BIG year!

Want more great marketing tips? Get the book Think Big Marketing For Small Business! You can find more information at or by contacting me!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Study: Increased Marketing Yields Revenue Bumps

Got this from The Counselor Promo Gram

Need evidence about the viability of your marketing investment? A new survey clearly equates increased marketing spending with increased revenue generation. Of the 259 businesses polled, the 65% that increased their marketing expenditures experienced an increase in revenue over the same period. The survey, which exclusively examined businesses with one to 20 employees, was just released by Hurwitz & Associates. Thirty percent of those that kept their marketing spend flat saw a boost in revenue. This left only 5% of businesses that invested more in marketing encountering a revenue decline.

"Now is the time for people to market. I don't think there is any question," says Gary Garton, owner of Garton Specialties (asi/202132). "If they market now and keep their name out there they can improve their position when [the market rebounds]."

The Hurwitz survey also proved the damage that can be done to a business when it decreases its marketing budget: 41% of respondent that decreased their marketing expenses experienced a decline in revenue. "It's always a good time to market. You can't not be out there," says Sharie Stewart, owner of Abacus Enterprises (asi/101830). This is particularly valid for distributors, Stewart says. "Too many things happen in this business. Contacts move around, especially in this economy. People lose their jobs and others step in. If you don't stay on top of it, you can lose the customer. Even in the good times a really good salesperson is always prospecting."

Of those polled in the Hurwitz study, 46% used digital marketing methods – social media, e-mail newsletters and search were the most used avenues.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Promotional Products Prove Advertising Medium of Choice

IRVING, Texas—In a 2009 study of the advertising purchasing habits of end buyers, respondents ranked promotional products as their top advertising choice over mainstream media, including television, newspaper and internet. The study, a survey of more than 1,000 buyers, was conducted by researchers at Louisiana State University and Glenrich Business Studies for Promotional Products Association International (PPAI).

Participants were asked to evaluate promotional products, television, direct mail, newspapers, consumer magazines, trade publications, internet and social media with regard to eight attributes associated with marketers’ needs. Of those, promotional products outranked the other media in five categories: Ability to achieve long-term memorability at the cost of paying only for a single exposure; flexibility to fit the cost of the medium to available budget; ability to bond audience to advertiser so as to promote repeat business; audience friendly (i.e., not so likely to offend or be regarded as a nuisance); and ability to generate traffic (e.g., stores, tradeshows, events). For more information regarding this study, visit

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Seminar for Chamber Members

In conjunction with the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce, Hasseman Marketing will be hosting a FREE marketing seminar for local businesses. We are excited to provide this opportunity to small businesses in our area. The class is based on the book Think Big Marketing For Small Business and is limited to the first 50 people!

Please contact the Chamber at (740) 622-5411 to make your reservation.'s a FREE Marketing Seminar for the first 50 people. I can't wait to see you there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some Great Tips When Creating a Business Video

With 2009 winding down, now is a great time to either consider a video before the end of the fiscal year...or plan for a project with the new budget. Here are some quick tips to help ensure an effective video that is on time and on budget!

1) Have a vision with what you want in advance. So many people have no idea what message they want to portray or what they want it to look like. Though you need to leave it to the professional to make it work, you having an idea of what you want will help them create what you want...on the first try!

2) Use Faces to Sell the Vision. People's eyes are naturally attracted to faces. Use closer shots to really show the emotion of the video.

3) Use Testimonials to tell the story (when appropriate). If you can get your clients to tell your story for you, it's very powerful. They have no agenda in the video, so their story can have more credibility and be more powerful.

4) Keep it simple...keep it short! Make sure the video is not just interesting to you...but to the viewer. Get your message across and then give them an opportunity to contact you. Our attention spans are very short these days. Remember that when you are creating the video!

Need more great tips like this? Check out the book Think Big Marketing For Small Business today! If you are interested in a video production project, please contact us at (740) 622-7429!

9 Lessons from the Lemonade Stand

I was out looking for brilliant marketing tips to share and came across this article. It is simple...and so true. Sometimes we make it too hard. Let's take this lesson from the 9 year old!
The other day my daughter, Sophia, announced that she wanted to set up a lemonade stand.

Seeing as how I didn’t really want to spend the better part of my weekend selling lemonade, I tried to talk her out of it by showing her how much she’d need to spend to buy the lemonade mix, get the cups, that sort of thing.

Regardless of my best efforts, there was no changing her mind. She wanted to go into business and there wasn’t anything I was going to do to stop her.

So as I succumbed to my role as venture capitalist in her first business startup. I decided that at the very least, this would be a great chance to teach my daughter about counting money, basic business principals, that sort of thing.

We sat down with a pad of paper and started writing the business plan.

It didn’t take long before Sophia, becoming completely exasperated with my efforts to teach her about price structure and ROI, looked up at me and said:

“But Daddy, I just want to give it away. Our neighbors are so nice, I just want to give them the lemonade.”

Wow! What do you say to that? She hit me with a complete game changer that I didn’t expect.

Suddenly, the lemonade stand had taken on an entirely different meaning.

So we put away the business plan, she drew up a sign and my wife helped her mix a pitcher of lemonade.

Just as we were about to open for business, Sophia came in from the back porch with a sprig of mint she had cut from a pot.

“Can we put mint in the lemonade?” she asked. “I want to make it extra special.”

And with that, on a Sunday afternoon in a quiet neighborhood, she was open for business.

Within a few minutes, one of our neighbors who had heard about the project came over with 50 cents to buy a glass of lemonade. Twice the price my daughter was originally planning to charge.

“But it’s free” Sophia told her.

“That’s OK. I want to pay you for the lemonade”, she replied.

Not knowing what to do with the money, Sophia put it in a cup and set the cup on the table (where everyone could see it).

Before long, more neighbors came by, each one giving her at least 50 cents. When a car would pass, she would jump up and down and scream, “Free lemonade” hoping they would stop.

For the most part they didn’t. However, at one point, one did and the driver handed her three dollars for his glass of lemonade – 1,100 percent more then if she’d gone with her father’s suggestion of 25 cents per cup.

By the end of the day, Sophia had made a whopping eight dollars at her “free” lemonade stand.

When it was all said and done, I realized that although my original business lessons didn’t stick with my daughter, I learned a lot about marketing.

Here are nine lemonade stand tips that you can use to market your services:

1. Give people something for free and they will feel obligated to return the favor
When you help someone, it creates a natural desire to return the favor. As a web designer, provide helpful tips on your blog, participate in forums offering advice and helping non-designers, share ideas on Twitter. In doing so, you’ll not only build trust, but also develop relationships with potential clients.

2. Give potential customers a taste of your offerings
Offer free themes or templates with an easy upgrade to “pro” versions. Provide free stock graphics that hint at potential identity or branding packages while demonstrating your creativity. Just be sure to make it good. When users are excited about the base product, they are much more likely to upgrade.

3. Make it “Extra Special”
Don’t just offer lemonade. Put in that extra sprig of mint. Make everything you do something “extra special” and clients will take notice. Not only will they come back for more, they’ll tell their friends.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your “Neighbors” (Network!)
One of the first things my daughter did when she opened her stand was run next door and tell the neighbor. After getting his lemonade, he called two other neighbors to tell them about the lemonade stand – both of whom came right over with “donations”. Don’t be afraid to tell friends and colleagues about your services. You never know, they may talk to your next big client later that day.

5. Do What You Need to Do to Be Seen
It wasn’t enough to just put up a sign. My daughter’s advertising consisted of jumping up and down screaming “free lemonade” at passing cars. While it might seem extreme, it worked. How are you “screaming” about your business?

6. Be Persistent
Even though most of the cars passed by, my daughter didn’t give up. Finally, after many failed attempts, one of them did stop—doubling her income for the day.

7. Build Anticipation
My daughter’s first customer knew about her project and was there as soon as it opened. Don’t just launch your new web site, let people know it’s coming. Drop hints, show them screen shots, make them look forward to the big day.

8. Find Good Partners
My daughter’s little brother kept drinking the lemonade – not the best partner. However, her friend from down the street was out there with her jumping up and down screaming, doubling their advertising efforts.

9. Advertise Your Popularity
Once my daughter’s cup started filling with coins, people were more likely to “donate”. Don’t be afraid to advertise your popularity. Place download counters, comment counts and subscriber numbers in prominent places. Just make sure the stats are high enough to warrant a little bragging.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Advertising Tax Breaks In Jeopardy

Three U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would eliminate the federal tax deduction on advertising for prescription drug medications. If passed, the bill would significantly increase the cost of advertising for pharmaceutical companies, possibly leading to smaller marketing budgets. "Health care spending is out of control," said Sen. Al Franken, one of the sponsors of the legislation along with Sens. Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse. "This bill represents a small but significant step towards reining in unnecessary health care costs."

The bill, called the "Protecting Americans from Drug Marketing Act," may be attached to the much-debated and sweeping health care reform legislation, although it may also be proposed as an amendment to be reviewed by the entire U.S. Senate. Franken estimates that eliminating the tax breaks would bring close to $3.5 billion a year in revenue to the federal government. However, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) estimates that disallowing the deduction would raise the marketing costs of drug companies by up to 35%. According to AAF, the advertising industry provides $6 trillion in annual sales in the U.S. and 21 million jobs.

The introduction of the legislation will likely complicate the already $829 billion health care reform bill, creating friction between legislative committees and pharmaceutical companies which continue to lobby for reduced government restrictions. If the bill passes, it would alter the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which has been the subject of lengthy recent discussions on Capitol Hill. In fact, earlier this week, leaders of several marketing and ad specialty companies spoke to legislators to ask for even further tax exemptions tied to the 1986 code. That lobbying effort is being driven by The Incentive Federation, which is hoping Congress will include wellness award tax exemptions within the health care reform bills.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Study Says Great Recession is Over

A survey of key economic forecasters shows the nearly two-year-old U.S. recession is likely over, based on recent growth trends. The survey data, released by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), predicted real GDP growth expanding at an annual pace of 2.9% over the second half of this year. "The great recession is over," NABE President-Elect Lynn Reaser said. "The vast majority of business economists believe that the recession has ended, but that the economic recovery is likely to be more moderate than those typically experienced following steep declines."

The NABE survey, conducted in September, predicts an economic rebound of 2.6% in 2010. Much of the anticipated turnaround is drawn from an expected rebuilding of business inventories, following a lengthy period of reduction of unsold goods. While certain data is positive, respondents still don't expect a rapid economic recovery, largely because of high unemployment figures.

Additionally, analysts expect the U.S. dollar to weaken further this year and into 2010, but did not see this trend as an obstacle to rising demand for imports. The survey also found economists do not think inflation will be a barrier to growth, with the Federal Reserve expected to keep interest rates low. "The good news is that this deep and long recession appears to be over, and with improving credit markets, the U.S. economy can return to solid growth next year without worry about rising inflation," said Reaser.

Despite current and anticipated future growth, the recession label will not likely be lifted soon. The National Bureau of Economic Research, which is viewed as the defining voice in officially dating periods of economic stress or expansion, typically takes several months to make determinations. Beginning in December 2007, the current recession is the longest of its kind since the Great Depression.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mentioned in Advantages Magazine

I was flipping through the new Advantages Magazine (a publication for the promotional products industry) and came across a familiar face! Check it out!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Trade Show Marketing Mistakes: Ten Tips on How to Avoid

1. Have A Proper Trade Show Marketing Plan: Having both a strategic exhibit marketing and tactical plan of action is a critical starting point.

2. Have A Well-Defined Promotional Plan: A significant part of your marketing includes promotion - pre-show, at-show and post-show. Most exhibitors fail to have a plan that encompasses all three areas.

3. Use Direct Mail Effectively: Direct mail is still one of the most popular promotional vehicles exhibitors use. From postcards to multi-piece mailings, attendees are deluged with invitations to visit booths.

4. Give Visitors An Incentive To Visit Your Booth: Whatever promotional vehicles you use, make sure that you give visitors a reason to come and visit you. With a hall overflowing with fascinating products/services, combined with time constraints, people need an incentive to come and visit your booth.

5. Have Giveaways That Work: Tied into giving visitors an incentive to visit your booth is the opportunity to offer a premium item that will entice them. Your giveaway items should be designed to increase your memorability, communicate, motivate, promote or increase recognition of your company.

6. Use Press Relations Effectively: Public relations is one of the most cost-effective and successful methods for generating large volumes of direct inquiries and sales.

7. Differentiate Your Products/Services: Too many exhibitors are happy to use the "me too" marketing approach. Examine their marketing plans and there's an underlying sameness about them.

8. Use The Booth As An Effective Marketing Tool: On the trade show floor your exhibit makes a strong statement about who your company is, what you do and how you do it.

9. Realize That Your People Are Your Marketing Team: Your people are your ambassadors. They represent everything your company stands for, so choose them well.

10. Follow-Up Promptly: The key to your trade show success is wrapped up: Trade show leads often take second place to other management activities. The longer leads are left unattended, the colder and more mediocre they become.

What a Great Event!

A great big Thank You to all of you who had the chance to attend the annual Hasseman Marketing Customer Appreciation Event. We think it was the best one yet! We hope that everyone who attended got some great ideas and are ready to kick off this 4th quarter with a bang!

Didn't get a chance to make it? Check out what all the hubub is all about! Here are some video highlights of the event at!

Report: More Businesses Looking To Staff Up

"Now hiring" notices haven't been all that common of late. However, this trend may soon be reversing itself, according to recent research from Careerbuilder and Robert Half International. The "2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Report" polled 500 employees and 500 businesses. The survey found that 53% of employers said they planned on hiring new full-time staff within the next 12 months. Forty percent said they were eyeing temporary or contract workers. Less than a quarter (23%) said they had no hiring plans at this time. The results are some welcome news, considering the United States unemployment rate hit 9.7% in September.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Study Proves Value Of Recognition Programs

A new joint study shows employee recognition programs can dramatically improve worker engagement and job performance, as well as positively impact business results. The study, conducted by several organizations, reviewed current incentive programs of major companies like Scotiabank, Delta Airlines and MGM Grand. "Companies often focus on compensation and bonuses as the means to motivate employees," said Beth Schelske, vice president of the ITAGroup, Inc. "But, especially in our recessionary economy, recognition programs are a proven, low-cost method for creating improved productivity in organizations."

The report, titled "The Value and ROI in Employee Recognition," showed that some of the most successful recognition programs are inexpensive but clearly concentrate on specific job performance goals. Additionally, the study identifies the best ways for companies to develop and implement recognition programs. They include: providing a wide variety of recognition rewards; emphasizing recognition of increased quality in performance; and linking reward activities to specific business objectives and cultural values. "Without question, this new research points to the critical importance and measurable impact of employee recognition, especially when it comes to improving the bottom line," said Rodger D. Stotz, chief research officer at the Incentive Research Foundation.

The study was released this week in Chicago at the annual Motivation Show, which focuses on incentive programs. The study was produced by the Human Capital Institute, the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement and The Incentive Research Foundation.

Article from the Counselor Magazine

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Customer Appreciation Event Thursday

As of today's post, the Hasseman Marketing & Communications annual Customer Appreciation Show will be tomorrow (Thursday October 1st) from Noon to 6pm. We are very excited about all of the things we are going to have their for clients. Of course we will have the normal food, fun and festivities. But we will also have giveaways, vendor booths, special advertising deals to folks ready for a big 4th quarter...and more!

I will even have my book there for sale!

It's going to be a great event so please join us. It is at the Ohio National Guard Readiness Center which is by the airport in Coshocton. Please contact us at the office if you need directions.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great notes from Promo Peers

Halo/Lee Wayne Vice President Terry McGuire was nice enough to share the new book with my colleagues at Halo/Lee Wayne and the response was great. Thanks to all of you that commented on the book...and especially that said you already ordered!

I am continuing to look for venues to speak to different businesses and organizations, so let me know if you need a speaker. And if you are interested in getting a signed copy of Think Big Marketing For Small Business, then you should try and attend the Hasseman Marketing Customer Appreciation Show on October 1st! I will have copies there and will be glad to sign!

Don't want to wait? Click here for a hardcopy version of the book!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The word is spreading!

Think Big Marketing For Small Business is now available at and! You can just go there and put the title in the search feature...and there it is!

Please help us spread the word! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Think Big Marketing Available in Soft and Hard Covers

The new book Think Big Marketing For Small Business is available in both softcover and hardcover from the publisher. The response to the book so far has been great and we are very excited about the upcoming October 10th official release.

Interested in a softcover version? Click here!

If you want a hardcover here!

Think Big Marketing for Small Businesses helps you create a targeted marketing approach that is sure to be on the mark! And since Think Big Marketing is written for the busy small business owner, it is quick and easy to read! So don�t wait another minute to take your small business to the next level�get this book and start thinking big today!"

Friday, September 11, 2009 is taking off!

It's great to see things take off when you have something going right. has a growing viewership that we hope to keep going! If you have not had a chance to check it out (or you haven't in a while) now is a great time. Please visit the site...there are a lot of new videos out there!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Optimism with Entreprenuers

Got this from Counselor Magazine!

Surveys: Business Owner Sentiment Increases
In taking a hard look at the mood of small business owners during the second quarter, the Intuit Payroll Survey found one common denominator: a positive attitude. More than three quarters (78%) of the 1,022 small business owners polled said "I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel." Even further, the National Federation of Independent Business just reported that its optimism index increased in August thanks to improved expectations for future business and real sales volume.

"Small business owners are bullish on their own abilities, but bearish on the factors they can't control," says Cameron Schmidt, director of marketing, for Intuit Employee Management Solutions. "It's a classic example of the mindset of the American entrepreneur. Self-reliance trumps government hand-outs, and even in the gloomiest economy there are opportunities to seize."

The poll also asked business owners, when times are tough, what is the most important thing to have in your office? Not surprisingly, more than half (54%) said work to do. Forty-three percent said a sense of humor. Jack Gurka, owner of High Impact Promotion (asi/225025), says, "My first thought is you need to have promotional products in your office." But a sense of humor doesn't hurt either. "You can definitely get caught up in all of the doom and gloom. Plenty of good things have happened in the past two years. There are some good sectors and good indicators in other areas. Sometimes we forget not everyone is jumping off of the roof."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another nice review!

I just recieved this email from Steve Schillig. Steve is the Region Director for the Small Business Development Center in our area.


I read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am actually in the process of going back and creating an outline based on your concepts that I will use when assisting a client with their marketing plan. The section on “Press Releases” was especially beneficial to me as I realize that it is truly an underutilized marketing strategy.

Good stuff! Get your copy of the book today!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Got a nice email about the book!

I received a nice email today from a business owner, Tom Edwards, who purchased my new book. I feel like I am on the right track when a successful business owner says, "I wish I had read your book 28 years ago!"

Hopefully I will see many more!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Seth Godin's Blog

If you are interested the least bit in marketing, then I encourage you to check out Seth Godin's blog. Author and marketing extraordinaire, Seth Godin is a truly original thinker. I love reading it! Here is a recent post that I thought was cool and wanted to share!

I think this is a big idea, but your mileage may vary.

I've been having great success with a hybrid of the yellow legal pad and a printed presentation from Keynote (or Powerpoint). I use it during small meetings where more interactivity is useful, and where the group is too small for a laptop to be the best way to present slides (I think running a presentation says, "I talk, you listen...")

Here's how it works:

Create a presentation. A good one, not one filled with bullet points. Instead, graphs, images, a few words to anchor a discussion. A page might be nothing but a blank 3 x 3 grid.
On every page, remove some of the information.
Print the presentation out (horizontal, not portrait).
Bring it to Staples and have them spiral bind it with covers. (Not that cheap plastic comb, though.)
Get a good pen.
Now, when you make your presentation, sit next to the person you're meeting with and go through the booklet page by page, writing directly on each page. As you work your way through the ideas in the booklet, the two of you can talk about what's in front of you and mark it up.

It's not a brochure, it's the outcome of a working session. Leave it behind when you go.

Let's Crank Up The Pre-Orders

The big release date for Think Big Marketing for Small Business is coming up fast. So if you want to place your pre-orders (and I am sure you do!) then feel free to do so! If you want more info on the book, please check out some of the posts and linked articles below.

Click here to place your order today!

Thanks for your support!

Customer Appreciation Show is October 1st!

Mark Your Calendars!

Plans are coming together nicely for this year's Customer Appreciation Show. We have a great line up of food, fun and vendors to make this year's event the best one yet! So please carve out some time to stop and see us at the new location (Coshocton Armory) on October 1st. We have the hours scheduled from Noon until 6pm so you have plenty of time to come when it's convenient for you!

Customer Appreciation Event
October 1st from Noon to 6pm
Coshocton Armory!
Great food, fun, drinks and prizes!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Book Signing?

So since the official release date of the book has been set (October 10th in case you missed it) several folks have suggested I have a book signing. I am considering doing one in Coshocton and am looking for suggestions.

What about my office? Any thoughts?

Friday, August 28, 2009

A nice article about the book

Well you have to love nice press about the book. Here is an article in the Coshocton Tribune about the new book!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The New Book...In Hand!

So now it feels real! I have copies of my new book Think Big Marketing For Small Business in my hands! After a long process, it is exciting to see the fruits of my labor. If you are interested in getting an advance copy, please let me know. They are $20 and I will sign them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Release Date for the Book!

We have an official release date of the new book Think Big Marketing for Small Business! October 19th is the date the publisher has named, but don't wait! You can actually place pre-orders now with the publisher.

"If you are looking to increase sales and profitability for your small business, then it's time to start thinking big! In Think Big Marketing for Small Businesses, you can learn to:

�Create Your Think Big Marketing Plan
�Decrease Your Marketing Waste
�And Reach Customers Right Where They Are!

Think Big Marketing for Small Businesses helps you create a targeted marketing approach that is sure to be on the mark! And since Think Big Marketing is written for the busy small business owner, it is quick and easy to read! So don�t wait another minute to take your small business to the next level�get this book and start thinking big today!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Survey on Social Media

Survey: Industry Firms Use Social Networks For Business

A new ASI survey confirms that social networking is gaining popularity as a sales and promotional tool among distributors, suppliers and decorators. Nearly 90% of survey respondents feel social networking already is or will become a good way to publicize their business in the future. In addition, more than half of those surveyed expect to increase the amount of time they spend using social networking sites over the next two years.

While there's no consensus about which networking site will be most relevant in the future within the ad specialty industry, LinkedIn and Facebook clearly hold significant value today. Almost 76% of distributors and 70% of suppliers use LinkedIn for business, while 59% of distributors and 62% of suppliers have Facebook accounts. The vast majority of respondents are aware of Twitter, however only 12% of distributors and 18% of suppliers currently have Twitter accounts. MySpace is commonly known as a social networking site, but only 20% of distributors and 15% of suppliers use MySpace for work purposes. Among respondents, the usage of YouTube is mostly personal, with very small numbers of distributors, suppliers and decorators using the video sharing Web site for business.

The survey also shows that a significant number of respondents who use MySpace (22% among distributors) have inactive accounts. By comparison, there are very few LinkedIn accounts that are inactive. Respondents are also more likely to have separate business and personal accounts for Facebook and Twitter.

A total of 1,364 industry professionals responded to the survey, which took place earlier this summer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This project has been a long time coming for me, so each step is exciting! I just got this proof for the cover from the publisher. What do you think?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Great words of Wisdom!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer,Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taughtme.. It is the most-requested column I've ever written.My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column oncemore:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends andparents will. Stay in touch
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what theirjourney is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; Godnever blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second oneis up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take nofor an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years,will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything youdid or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Great Sales Story!

I got this from Dale Limes ia email...I love it!

Successful Case History Story of the Week
shoe leather, bold moves, and a little bit of luck

The following story came from a discussion this week with Jim, one of our pros in Denver. I didn't ask Jim for permission to share his story, but I know he won't hate me. Jim has been working hard to get in the door of a large corporate account in one of those big office buildings with limited success. He had a phone relationship with one of the key buyers, but never secured a meeting......yet. He decided to take a bold step, and just go there with the hope personally dropping off some information, and hoping for an informal meeting.

As Jim entered the office building, he knew there would be a security desk, and a visitor pass would be needed. That is where his first stroke of luck came to fruition. He waited at the large desk for a few minutes, but there was no security guard in sight. Some salespeople would leave knowing they shouldn't go further, but not Jim. He decided to go to the elevators, not knowing what floor he needed, and try each one until he either met his destination, or got thrown out. He pushed the button for floor two, but for some reason the elevator went piece of luck. Going the wrong way, the elevator went to the parking garage where he picked up a passenger. Asking this person if they knew where to find his target, she said, "sure fifth floor- we have the whole floor." "Oh, so you work there," Jim said. "Yes in marketing, who is it you are going to see," she said. Jim gave her the name, and she said, "I will take you right to him, I am going to see him too." Pretty good luck so far right?

They hit the fifth floor, and Jim's new friend took him right to the contact who said, "Jim I have been looking forward to meeting you, thanks for coming in." Flabbergasted, Jim thought- great , this is good stuff so far. Remember, Jim has no badge, and is not supposed to be in the building.

He is now standing with his main target who he only knew by phone, a marketing buyer ( new friend ) and what happens next? A young lady walks by and says, "Jim Woodburn! What are you doing here? I was going to call you this week". Turns out she was a buyer who left Jim's largest account, and Jim didn't know where she was. She turns to the other two and says, "Jim is the best promotion person in all of Denver. I was just going to look him up so I could get him to order some items for my department." Wow! Humble Jim just had the call of his life, and it all started by being bold, and taking a risk that many others would not take.

Moral of the story- Phone and email have become a primary, if not semi-exclusive means of communication for many in today's sales world. Getting out of the office, and into the brick and mortar of key businesses can present opportunities that neither of those approaches can. By nature, most salespeople don't like cold ( or in this case warm ) calling in person. However, you may miss out on opportunities to have chance encounters, unexpectedly hit if off with someone in person, and learn more by being there than you ever can on the phone or email.
Question- if you were in Jim's situation, and there was no security guard at the desk, would you have proceeded to the elevator, or left the building? As you plan you work over the coming months, schedule time to be out of the office, and inside the brick and mortar of new opportunities. You never know just how good, and lucky you will be!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stay Targeted!

Here is an exerpt from my upcoming book, "Think Big Marketing For Small Business." I sent this to a friend today and thought I should share!

Stay In Front of Clients All Year
What if you could spend $10 per quarter on your very best customers (the 20% that is responsible for 80% of your business) in order to thank them for doing business with you? No problem. What if in addition to that “thank you” perception, that $10 kept you in front of your customers all year long? Seems like a no-brainer when broken down like that, huh? Well, that is exactly what the right promotional product campaign can do for your company!

When I meet with new clients to discuss their promotional needs, I first talk with them about building their “foundation” for their marketing campaigns. This “foundation” consists of items that will stay in front of clients all year long. These items have a very low “cost per impression.”

The cost per impression (CPI) is calculated by dividing the cost of the item by the number of times a customer will actually see your advertising message. For example, if you spent $20 on a promotional watch for your top clients, then the cost per impression would be figured by calculating the number of times that client would look at a watch and see your advertising message. The average person looks at their watch approximately twice per hour and we will be conservative by saying only 10 hours a day. Assuming the watch lasted a year (based on only 300 days) then you are looking at 6000 “impressions.” Wow! Now divide the cost of the watch ($20) by the 6000 times the customer looked at the message and you come up with $.003333. Now that $20 gift becomes a very affordable marketing campaign. Factor in the fact that this message goes ONLY to where you want, and it becomes even more exciting!

So we consider these low CPI items when we build the foundation of their marketing campaign. So what are these magic promotional items that last a long time and keep our marketing message with them? Ironically, these are often the items some clients feel are less exciting. Examples of some great items with a low CPI are mousepads, notecubes, watches, magnets, and of course, calendars. Each industry is different and there are some great items with low CPI for each industry. Just consider where your clients or customers spend their time, and figure out what product can be there all the time!

Calendars…Your Silent Sales Person
At the end of the day, you want your advertising dollars to be as effective as possible…that’s the point of this book. So I would be remiss if I didn’t spend just a moment on calendar advertising.

If you are already on board with calendar advertising, then this might remind you why. But if you are not a believer, just give me a minute on this. Calendars are the ultimate in targeted promotional advertising. Obviously they (by their very nature) spend 24 hours a day, 365 days a week on the wall, on the desk, in the home, even in the pocket of your customer. They are always there…your silent sales person.

Consider this…85% of all people who have a calendar on their wall know exactly who gave it to them. And of those, 95% do business with that person! There are no “gimmies” in advertising, but utilizing calendar advertising as one of your “foundation” items is close. And let’s put it to the CPI test! The average person looks at their calendar 10 times a day, 350 days a year. Go ahead…do the math.

In addition, a nice calendar can either accompany or be your year end gift to your clients. It’s a nice marketing touch to thank them for their business anyway, so why not have something that will remind them of you all year long?

Obviously you need to spend a bit of time considering what kind of calendar to hand out (there are a lot to choose from). You know your clientele, so you need to consider what they would like to receive. In addition, make sure it is a theme you can be comfortable with as representing your company’s brand. And of course…you can always do a completely custom calendar. The price for printing one has come down considerably in the last 10 years.

More info on the book coming soon. Are you staying targeted?

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Postive Article

Saw this and wanted to share!

Think and Grow Rich, Especially “Right Now” by Phil Barlow

We’re in the midst of the worst global recession since the 1930s. It’s certainly the most challenging business climate I’ve experienced in my career. It seems like everywhere I go people are talking about “sustainability” or the ability to endure. I guess that’s to be expected, especially considering all the bad news we hear about those who are failing. What a shame! It doesn’t have to be that way. As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t be that way.

Most of what we’re hearing and seeing centers on how bad things are. I don’t dismiss the adversity we all face, however I also believe every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. Since there are so many people caught in the rut of distress, it’s easy to let down our guard and end up in the downward spiral with them. Don’t let that happen! Take charge of your life! Take action and exercise your privilege of choice. To a large degree, we control our destiny by shaping our thoughts. When mixed with a purpose, persistence and a burning desire we can transform our thoughts into reality.Now is the time to focus on possibilities.

Now is the time for action. Now is the time to get back to basics and exhaust all our energies on finding new and better ways to do things. It has been said that we can create anything we can imagine. Rather than dwelling on the negative influence of our environment, wouldn’t it serve us better to exhaust our efforts on new ideas?

Imagine what would happen if you focused your attention on the following question: “What fundamental problem that, if solved, would revolutionize the way things are done?” Wouldn’t that get the creative juices flowing? Better yet, consider how your world would change if you could find an answer to the question.

Never has there been a greater opportunity for someone willing and able to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. Just think about how the world has changed in the past few years. New leaders, new inventions, new ways of marketing products, new cures to diseases, new approaches to every aspect of business and personal lives.

Behind this demand for new and better things there is one quality one must possess to win. That is Definiteness of Purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it. To accomplish this requires practical people who can, and will, put their thoughts into action. If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it with a burning desire, don’t let anything stop you from doing it.

Those who succeed in life usually have their “aha” moment at a time when things appear to be the bleakest. It’s safe to say, we don’t have to look very far to see some kind of crisis. Don’t let that stop you from truly considering what is possible and appropriate for your life. Now is the time for new ideas. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to Think and Grow Rich.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We Wrote the Chapter on Direct Mail

Here is an excerpt from the new book Think Big Marketing For Small Business. Check it out and look for the book coming out in the next month or so!

Direct mail is an important part of many successful small business marketing plans. But I have also seen so many small businesses waste thousands of dollars by doing it inefficiently…or just plain wrong! And let’s face it, as postage and shipping costs continue to go up and up, screwing up here can cost your business a lot!

Targeting the List
As you can imagine (since we have been harping on targeting your marketing so far) we believe in making sure whatever list you have is a targeted one. Even if you are working from a very large list, do your very best to make sure this is a list with people who might want or need your product or service.

So much advertising and marketing is wasted on those who have no interest whatsoever in the product in front of them. Hence the term “junk mail.” Don’t waste your money to create junk mail! If you work to make sure the group of people is pre-disposed to having a need for your company and its product or service, then your likelihood for some direct mail success increases exponentially!

Make the Letter Count
I must admit, I am not a fan of just sending a letter in an envelope. To me that is WAY too easy to dispose of. But I also understand that cost is often an issue and you will sometimes want to reach a great deal of folks with a small budget. So let’s take a look at a couple of quick thoughts on your basic direct mail letter.
Colored Envelopes Get Attention: I know that white envelope is cheaper. But when you consider the cost of the letter based on the return, the extra couple of cents might be worth it if the percentage return increases. Think of ways to get the recipients attention…and colored envelopes might help!
Handwrite the Name and Address: This might be the oldest trick in the book…but it works. People are much more likely to open a hand addressed envelope. And of course if you can get them to open it, you are way ahead of those neatly printed ones that end up in the circular file. As a side note, if you don’t have time to handwrite thousands of letters (I know I don’t) then there are services out there that will address them for you.
Keep it concise: There are several schools of thought on this, but I am always in favor of the Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) method. If it takes me a long time to wade through a message, it is more likely to be tossed. Catch my attention early and you might get me to stay around!
Use a Postcard: Reconsider whether you need an actual letter to tell the story. Often you can tell your story faster on a postcard and you get attention right away. The potential client is less likely to throw the message away before he/she sees it if she HAS to see it in order to throw it away! Full color has come way down on things like this so you can produce a nice, eye-catching piece for not too much money.
Consider your offer carefully: Most direct mail offers something. At worst, it’s information that perhaps your prospect didn’t have; at best, it’s something none of your prospects can afford to ignore. If your offer is a free car for responding, your response rate will go through the roof, but your cost will be too much. If you offer a packet of salt from a diner…it may not cause anyone to respond. Offer something beyond information to cause your recipient to take action! What that is depends on your audience and your business; it doesn’t have to be much. Which segues nicely to…

Use BuMpY Mail!
If a letter is the only way to communicate your message, or if you want to include several things in the mailing, you will have to use an envelope. What I recommend in these cases is to use what I call BUMPY Mail! Put simply, this is when you get a letter in the mail that has “something” inside of it. It could be a pen, or a keychain, or a damn koala bear for all we know. But there is something in that envelope that makes in bumpy…and we HAVE to know what!

Of course there are going to be additional postage charges for something like this. But as we know, we need to judge the cost on response rate. If you want to get your letters opened…make the envelope bumpy!

Don’t Forget Packaging
So let’s combine the bumpy mail concept with the post card concept (or even the colored envelopes) and take it to the next level. We spend SO much time in business worrying about the grammar, spelling, the message, the font, the logos, and the offers on the inside of the package, that we often forget about the package! So I would encourage you, as a small business owner, to spend just as much time on the outside of the package. Done correctly, this will help get the attention of the recipient and lead them to the “secrets on the inside” of the envelope.

What do I mean? Well of course we have mentioned that you could use colored envelopes. Okay. And don’t forget about making the package bumpy…got it. What else can you do to make it stand out? Can you print “Free OFFER inside” on the envelope to make it more interesting? Yep. What about telling people, “Don’t Open Unless You LOVE Money?” Okay…you’ve got my attention. The fact is, spend more time thinking about what would move your trigger as a consumer on the outside of the package or box!

Find Your Watermelon!
One of my favorite examples of this comes from a trade show I attended years ago. I was at a class and it changed the way I viewed packaging in marketing. The presenter was talking about the importance of utilizing packaging. In doing so, he told us the story of a colleague that HAD to get a message to just 6 people. She could not take the chance of her recipients missing it in the mail or simply thinking it was “junk mail.” What to do?

So the ingenious woman took a Sharpie and wrote the message on 6 watermelons! She played hell with the post office, but after a LOT of conversation, she got them mailed overnight to the 6 destinations. At this point the presenter stopped from pacing to look at the group and said, “So I ask you. You come to work Monday morning and there is a Watermelon sitting on your desk…do you read it?!” The class erupted in laughter and applause!

The moral of the story is: Stand Out if you want to be noticed in direct mail. Do something wild and out of the ordinary if you are looking to land that big fish. One of my favorite mailers that a sales person I know does is a large Rubber Duck. It’s about 12 inches tall…and it’s a real Rubber Ducky! He includes a funny letter and the response rate is phenomenal!

So find your Watermelon…and watch your response rate go through the roof on direct mail!

Follow Up Is Key!
As is the case with all business, follow up is so important. You can have the best direct mail campaign, but if there is no follow up, there will always be a ceiling to your success. If you can better target your market so that you can better follow up on your mailers, then you will find that direct mail can become an enormous part of your Think Big Marketing Success!

Check out the new book for more information like this with great Case Studies to boot!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A New Study on Targeted Marketing

New Study on Advertising MediaA new study by the PPAI conclusively finds that adding promotional products to your advertising mix can substantially increase your advertising effectiveness.

Though we all knew that's nice to see it in the form of new research. In the study, adding a promotional product to the mix increased the favorable attitude toward the ad in all cases (up to 44%). Want to read the entire 55 page document for details? Check out the link!

Customer Appreciation Event Announced!

Soaring For Success Customer Appreciation Event Date Set!

We are excited to announce the date of the annual Hasseman Marketing & Communications Customer Appreciation Event! Please join us on October 1st for food, fun, and great promotional ideas! The event will be held at a new and improved location--The National Guard Readiness Center! It's a bigger venue that will allow for more suppliers, more ideas and more fun. The theme this year is Soaring For Success and we hope that you will join us as we look to help you end the year strong!

So once again, mark your calendar for October 1st from Noon to 6pm for Soaring For Success, the Annual Hasseman Marketing Customer Appreciation Show! Please join us!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Think Big Marketing For Small Business

For those of you that have not heard, I am going to have a book published this year! I am very excited about this new venture and can't wait to see the finished product. The focus of the marketing efforts in the book are TARGETED marketing...something I am passionate about.

In addition, I have tried to make the book an easy to read style that will be great for busy small business owners. I will give you more details as it gets closer to publication...but just know that it is on it's way.

And get ready to Think Big!

As you may or may not have heard, Hasseman Marketing & Communications has launched a new venture recently called We are very excited about this new opportunity to bring local video programming to any in (or interested in) Coshocton County. If you want to check out the site just go to and watch some of the local video. And of course we will be adding more and more as we go.

We are also looking for advertisers (of course we are!) and if you are interested please contact us. The ads on the right are only $100 per month and we are beginning to see some great traffic to the site.

So check it out and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Power of Promotional Products

Saw this come across the email today and thought it was interesting!

The Archives of Internal Medicine published a comprehensive research study last week entitled "Effect of Exposure to Small Pharmaceutical Promotional Items on Treatment Preferences." The goal was to find out whether or not ad specialties influenced the attitudes of medical students toward the products that were being marketed.

The findings: Yes they do.

Distributors aren't surprised. "I think it's true. A lot of people at a lot of companies and businesses appreciate a gift," says Kathleen Patton, president of Foley Associates (asi/195770), who often lectures about the effectiveness of promotional products at colleges. Lisa Davila, president of Bdazle Promotions (asi/134454), agrees with the findings of the study about the impact of low-cost promotional items. "It makes complete sense," she says. "The more familiar you are with a brand, the more comfortable you are using it. The more you see a label or logo, the more it makes you feel warm and fuzzy."

Because of the tightening guidelines regarding the use of promotional products in the medical field, four doctors decided to attempt to find out if the restrictions were really necessary. Their premise was that you "often assume that small promotional items are unlikely to influence prescribing behavior," says the report. This attitude is, according to their findings, incorrect. They wanted to know: Do promotional products produce a more favorable attitude and do the policies against them work? The controlled experiment involved 352 third- and fourth-year med students at the University of Miami School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (where restrictive policies are in place limiting drug marketing). They were all exposed to branded Lipitor items without knowledge that they were part of a study. Fourth-year students at Miami had a more favorable attitude (by a score of 0.66) toward Lipitor compared to the control group (0.47). The scores were derived from an Implicit Association Test.

While the findings are powerful, the debate as to whether such influence is in fact harmful is an entirely different story, says Davila. "It's a double edged sword," she says. "There are plenty of products that work but they may not think of it. If it's an allergy medication, many of which are the same, which will they prescribe? Probably the one that's sitting on their desk [in the form of an ad specialty]. On the negative side, it could hurt smaller companies that have a good product and aren't spending on promotional products."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Marketing in a Down Economy

In recent years, we small business owners have seen some tough times. And many parts of the country have not been strong economically since before 9/11. In times like this, the first instinct of many small business owners is to cut their marketing way back…or out completely.

This is a huge mistake. As I once heard someone say, “Cutting out advertising to save money is like stopping your clock to save time.” If you are not constantly marketing your business, you soon won’t have a business to worry about!

During tough times, business owners are faced with tough decisions. Just be responsible…and be wary of making any drastic decisions when it comes to promoting your business. Now is the time to be even MORE targeted than ever before!

Increase Your Marketing…Increase Your Marketing Share
It may sound a bit crazy, but a down time is a great time to really increase your marketing presence! Most of your competitors will be looking for ways to scale back…and they will cut back their marketing. By increasing your marketing efforts, you can increase your marketing share during a tough time. And when the economy bounces back, you will be in a better position for real growth!

Don’t believe me? Check out this study for proof!
In a study of U.S. recessions, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies from 1980-1985. The results showed that business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged Significantly Higher Sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those that eliminated or decreased advertising. By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256% over those that didn't keep up their advertising.

In addition, a series of six studies conducted by the research firm of Meldrum & Fewsmith showed conclusively that Advertising Aggressively during Recessions not only Increases Sales but Increases Profits. This fact has held true for all post-World War II recessions studied by The American Business Press starting in 1949.
So use this time of downturn to plant the seeds for future growth by increasing your marketing efforts.

Become More Targeted
Notice I said increase your marketing “efforts.” I didn’t say dollars. My entire marketing philosophy is about creating targeted efforts, and during a down time that targeted effort becomes even more imperative.

You need to make sure that each and every dollar you spend has an impact on your sales…and ultimately your bottom line. So now is a great time to re-examine the way you are spending your marketing dollars. If you need to cut, consider cutting the low-return marketing items you do. These are often your “habit buys.” Things like this might cost $25, $50, or even $100 per time and probably don’t really give you any return. If you are going to cut something…there’s the place to start.

Now that you have trimmed some fat by eliminating ads that don’t show returns, take that money and increase your efforts that DO generate success. By simply doing this one strategy, you will be pleasantly surprised by the return.

Create A Target List
Each business is different. But when you are re-evaluating your marketing efforts, I encourage folks to create a target list of customers they want to have. If you can’t name specific potential customers, then create the image of what your ideal customer would look like. Doing so will help you to focus your efforts. What would it take to make this person or business (and lots more like them) a customer of mine? Once you have a clear vision of the type of person you want—and what it would take to get them—attack that plan!

Re-Visit Dormant Accounts
When you are looking at ways to create new customers, you also need to consider ways to get old customers back! Sometimes they have stopped doing business with your for legitimate reasons…but sometimes not. Now is a great time to reach out an olive branch to those customers that used to don your doorstep regularly…and see if you can get them to return!

See the People
One of my early sales managers used to say that if you wanted to increase your sales, you needed to “see the people.” With all of the advertising methods, venues, and options, we can all fall into the trap of waiting for customers to come to us. It’s an easy trap to fall into, so don’t beat yourself up if you do it. But one of the best ways to jump start your revenue is to simply go out and “see the people!”

Business is often built on relationships. And you can certainly strengthen these business relationships by showing your customers that you appreciate them. My advice would be to make these visits a “thank you” visit. Obviously you want to use these opportunities to sell yourself and your business. But you will be surprised by how much business will come to you when you show your customers that you care about them…and their business.

There’s no doubt about it. Tough economic times are tough on small businesses. But by re-evaluating your marketing efforts, and making sure your efforts are more targeted, you can survive and position yourself for future growth!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Great Article

It's been a long time since I have posted here...but here is a fantastic article I just read. If you are considering what to do with your marketing dollars this year...consider this!