Archive for the ‘Step One – Know Your Customer’ Category

Leverage Promotional Items or FLUSH YOUR MONEY! – Marketing on the Go-Episode 8

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Unless you get your hands on an incredibly spectacular promo item, chances are the money you spend on that branded pen, flashlight, calculator, drink cosy, letter opener, water bottle or __________ (fill in the blank) will go right into the bottom of a drawer or file 13 with the rest of the promo items your prospect has received in the last year. WHAT A WASTE! And forget tracking ROI – impossible.

There is a way to make your branded swag (promotional items) investment dollars work for you. Leverage them to generate leads … which in turn will deliver measurable results (ROI) … AND prospects which you can then convert into customers. With the holy grail of successful marketing being a responsive qualified list, it’s critical to use every possible opportunity … and one such opportunity can come from your swag.

Watch my latest Marketing on the Go episode here to find out how you can generate ROI from your marketing dollars …

It’s my new rule … don’t proceed if you can’t get a lead. Make it yours and watch your list grow.

All the best to your marketing success. Now … go get at er!

Charlene Brisson,


Outdoor signage-billboard advertising lessons from the road.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Driving the highways of North America provides a remarkable education for marketers. In particular, mile-after-mile of outdoor signage (billboards ) show us how advertisers deliver their marketing messaging in both effective and ineffective ways. With the tremendous marketing training resources available online and offline, and often at very reasonable costs,  marketers with a budget should have no excuse to spend their marketing dollars on just plain BAD ads.

 What makes a bad billboard?

On a recent trip from San Diego to Houston I was bombarded with useless signage that displayed

  • unreadable font styles and colors
  • text that’s much too small to be read
  • too much text
  • and my personal favorite – confusing messaging – leaving viewers who may care bewildered and uncaring

So, what makes a great outdoor ad?

On the other hand, there are some truly effective marketers entertaining us out on the road and those providing a valuable service by giving us their message in an effective and easy to process manner. Drivers are looking for products and services – so make it easy for them.

Here are some tips …

  • Keep it short – in fact try to keep the message to 5 words – 8 at most!
  • Be clear and concise – you can still be confusing using only a few words – so make sure people can INSTANTLY understand what you’re trying to say – 80 MPH is pretty fast and doesn’t leave a lot of time to process. The more simple the concept, the
    greater the impact.
  • Simple and BOLD fonts – san serif is best.
  • Capital letters are hard to read – stick to lower case.
  • Yellow makes a great accent – but a terrible font color – stick to primary colors with depth – red is always safe
  • Frequency is critical.  One billboard along a 100 mile stretch is like 1 drop of water in the local swimming pool.
  • Humor can be effective, but can also backfire – so be cautious.
  • Think outside the box and add something to your design like an add-on – there are some fabulous ones out there. I particularly like the spicy chickens and of course, the success (and 911 calls) from the man maneequin and bear sitting on the BMW billboard will be case studied for years to come (see photo below).
  • Save marketing budget or get twice the frequency by partnering up with another relevant business. And, if you sell major brands (online or offline), you may be able to access “co-op” dollars from them to appear on your billboard.
  • Include a “call to action.” What do you want them to do – call, text, visit your website or exit now?  What are they likely to have access to in the car?
  • Follow the 3-Step Marketing Model – (Step One) Identify your IDEAL BUYING customer, (Step Two) Craft a Message that Speaks to your IDEAL BUYING Customer and (Step Three) use this effective tactic ONLY if it reaches your IDEAL BUYING Customer – otherwise, use these same best practices for other platforms.

Here are some of my favorite examples of the good and the bad which just may provide you with some business marketing ideas …

Short and great humor gets big marks for an effective billboard campaign.

Don't think that everyone has your same sense of humor. Is it worth it to eliminate 51% of potential customers - unless, of course, you're not going after women at all.

Billboard Advertising

This is really thinking outside the billboard advertising box!

Terrific add-on to this already cleverly written billboard.


Exit NOW ... not Exit Here, Exit in 2 miles or just plain Exit ... Exit NOW!


Could just be me - but this one takes WAY too long to get. Confusing and ineffective.


Keep in mind that ALL of these billboard advertising tips also work as best practices for most ad campaigns using a variety of platforms – radio, tv, print, online display, emails, etc.!  I’d LOVE to see any of your favorites – so please, send them my way!

All the best to your marketing success.  Now … go get at er!

Charlene Brisson,


Buc-ees billboard campaign delivers best practices-Marketing on the Go Episode 7

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I love long road trips on highways I’ve yet to travel. I get to see some terrific outdoor billboard campaigns that offer up great ideas and successful advertising best practices that can also be used to create solidly responsive campaigns using other advertising platforms. Nothing like reaching the ideal buying customer with a powerful message that reaches them exactly when they need you most -- that’s the 3-Step Marketing Model!

Here’s a quick video I recorded on a recent road trip as part of my 3-Step Marketing on the Go series where a Buc-ees billboard campaign really caught my eye and provides some valuable business marketing ideas!

All the best to your marketing success. Now … go get at er!

Charlene Brisson,


Pillows, Signage, Timing – Marketing on the Go Episode 6

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

I’m in Wilcox, Arizona, its HOT and a storm is brewing!  So I pulled over to catch some air and share a few marketing observations on the road.

What is it that your customers want, need and where are they in their decision making process? If you haven’t done the “customer roll play” lately, you could be missing out on important clues to delivering the right messaging and accomodations that will deliver more sales.  In this episode of Marketing on the Go, I relate my travels to the right timing of your message, the importance of COMPETENT directional signage for a pleasant customer experience which ultimately leads to postive interaction with your company – AND return business!  PLUS … how pillow talk is being used by (some) smart hotels that are listening to their customers.



Who are you and why should I care? 3 ways to boost FB Fan Page “likes” and draw the right prospects.

Saturday, August 7th, 2010
Creating a Facebook Fan Page (or Group page) can be a valuable tool for any business – small, medium or large – to not only connect with potential customers, but also to attract, communicate directly with, build relationship and introduce your product or service to prospects. One way to attract new Fans is to invite Friends of your Friend Page to “like” your Fan Page. Another is to ask Friends to suggest your Fan Page to their Friends. Well, if you`re anything like me – you get hundreds of these invitations each week. But even if you only get a few invites each week – we simply don’t have time to spend researching who it is that is asking us to “like” their page.  As Fan Page administrators it’s also in our best interest to have people who WANT to be there and are interested in and will participate in the conversation.     

It all starts with how you set up and brand your Fan Page.  The two most obvious branding opportunities are your “thumbnail photo” and “page name.”      

Here’s how most people brand their Fan Pages – they use their photo or logo and name the page their personal name or business name.  Well that’s great if you are a famous person like Tony Robbins or business like Starbucks.  But what if you aren’t well known or your business name doesn’t say what you do?       

And I should like your Page … because? 

Sorry Roger – I don’t have time to do the research. Ignore. NEXT!

Nice logo – but, please throw me a crumb. What’s your product? Ignore. NEXT!

Just not getting it and can’t read the tag line. Ignore. NEXT!

Keep it Super Simple

Your goal is to make it as SIMPLE as possible for people to quickly identify with what you have to offer and “like” your page. You ONLY get a couple of seconds to grab attention, so make it count.    

Simple Way #1

Write your name and then a definition of what you have to offer. Example: Charlene Brisson (my name), Marketing and Communication Specialist (what I have to offer). Be careful, because once you’ve created your Fan Page name, you can’t change it – so get it right before you start getting too many fans. I had to redo mine three times. If you’re a business and your business name doesn’t spell out what you do – add it to the business name. Here’s a good example of a woman who tells people who she is in her Fan Page name. I can decide immediately if I’m interested in what she can provide me with.

You just can't mistake what Judith is offering with the description after her name.

Simple Way #2

Choose the descriptive identifier that will help people decide if you are worth following. If you selected the wrong description when you created your page, oh well – that just means that your name and photo will have to make up for it. I haven’t found a way to change it after the fact. 

To create a page or group scroll to the VERY BOTTOM of your FB Friend Page and click on Advertising - click on Pages on the left menu and then +Create a Page on the top right.

Simple Way #3

Use a photo that represents the image you want to portray or a bold graphic that is readable and has impact. You can update and change your photo anytime, so if you don’t get it right the first time, try, try again. I LOVE this example from Jennifer Cloake and you can’t miss what Stephen has to offer.


The Good, The Bad and the Unreadable

Here are some Business Fan Page Invites with GOOD graphics.

Not zoo animals - but if I was looking for a photographer for my pets - I would be attracted here.

The tag line can’t be read on the graphic – but the graphic and large text of “entrepreneurial moms” says it all to the right prospects.

There's no question what this page has to offer foodie prospects.

Nice strong graphic that stands completely alone, even without reading the name.

Here are some Business Fan Page invites with BAD graphics – but GOOD names.

Most seniors simply can't read small text! Because the graphic is horizontal, it reduces VERY SMALL into a thumbnail. Redesigning into a vertical logo will allow for larger text and easier readability.

The photo is very difficult to decipher an image from. Would suggest a much more simple graphic that is clearly identifiable when reduced to a thumbnail.

Another difficult to read graphic when reduced down to a thumbnail. I'd take out the bottom strip and increase the top section to enhance the size of Virtual Author Assistant. The name is GREAT as it really zero's in on their niche!

And it all starts with …

Managing your FB fan and friend pages all starts with knowing who your IDEAL customer is – Step One of the 3-Step Marketing Model. Unless you know exactly who your market is, it will be impossible for you to position yourself on FB (or any social media) in a way that will attract the right people that are interested in what you have to offer.

All the best in your marketing success …

Charlene Brisson, 3-Step Marketing Pro