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Laura Lake

Laura's Marketing Blog


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25 Marketing Tips That Will Revive Your Small Business Marketing Efforts

Monday May 26, 2014

I know when you work inside of your small business day in and day out or serve as a marketing manager for a company there are days you just can't think of new marketing ideas.  Your creative spark seems to be missing and you are in a marketing mental block.   You aren't alone, we all face days like that.

I've found that when I'm in that situation if I just take a little time to thumb through marketing tips and ideas, but searching for them online can be a time suck. If you have found yourself in a dry-spell this week's article may just be what you are looking for. I'm going to share with you 25 marketing tips that I always find take me from stuck to productive within a short period time.    These tips are broken into 5 sections:

  • General Marketing
  • Product Marketing
  • Service Marketing
  • Online Marketing
  • Content Marketing

Perhaps these ideas will work for you as well and help you in reviving your small business marketing efforts.  Learn 25 marketing tips that will revive your small business marketing efforts.

Oh, and if you have a marketing tip that you'd like to share? Just add it to the comment section.

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Out of the Office Messaging that Leaves Customers at Ease

Monday May 19, 2014

Out of Office Messaging
Are you planning a vacation?  Have you created a plan to ensure that your customers are taken care of?  One of two things happen when people go on vacation, their customers either feel comfortable and at ease or have a great deal of anxiety not knowing what to do if they need you and your service.

Learn how to build confidence in your customers and help them in feeling comfortable while you are out of your office. By doing so you not only strengthen your customer service, but you will also enable yourself to enjoy that much needed vacation and R&R.

Going on vacation?  Take care of your customer anyway.

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NFL Draft Picks Live and Die by Publicity

Monday May 12, 2014

Michael Sam
Press coverage -- and rumors -- can mean the difference between a star quarterback going from a first-round hopeful to being the 74th pick. The publicity a lesser known college player gets, say a middle linebacker at a small college, could determine whether a they get picked at all. And unlike corporations, college players can't rely on advertising or marketing campaigns.

It's all about press coverage and word of mouth.

What Can Work for NFL Draft Hopefuls - and What Doesn't Work?

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Image credit: Michael Sam of the Missouri Tigers
Joe Robbins/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

How to Calculate Your Brand's Value

Sunday May 11, 2014

Brand equity is one of the few assets in business that can provide a sustainable competitive advantage, but how do you determine your brand valuation?

There are several methods to use when it comes to determine the value of your brand and I think it's fair to say that brand valuation can really be more of an art than a science, but it can help in identifying and developing the value proposition behind your brand.

Just look at the top five brands in the world and their valuation

  • Apple                   $104.3 billion
  • Microsoft             $56.7 billion
  • Coca-Cola            $54.9 billion
  • IBM                        $50.7 billion
  • Google                  $47.3 billion

Brand can often be seen as something intangible and it's difficult for people to understand the value that brand brings into a company.  As you can see strong brands carry a great deal of value.   Learn how to calculate your brand's value.

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Close More Sales with a Lead Nurturing Process

Thursday May 8, 2014

Lead nurturing is a fundamental process to sales.  Not everyone who contacts you initially is ready to buy, but you can help in providing them with education, information and key points that can help move them into the decision process.  This is what we call lead nurturing.

Just consider the following statistics:

  • Organizations that nurture their leads experience a 45% life in lead generation ROI over organizations that do not.  (Soure: Marketing Sherpa)
  • Nurtured leads produce, on an average, a 20%  increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (Source: DemandGen Report)
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

Have I convinced you yet?  Let's try just a few more.

  • Only 25% of leads are legitimate.  This means the other 75%  are not ready to advance into the sales process. (Source: Gleanster Research)
  • 65% of B2B businesses have not established a lead nurturing process. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
  • Companies that implement lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower costs.  (Source: Forrester Research)

As you can see lead nurturing greatly increases the chances of turning a prospect into a customer.  The process of following up with your leads can prove to enhance the buying decision of your process.  So, why is it most companies don't have a lead nurturing process in place? It's simple, they don't know where to start.  But, that excuse ends right here and right now.   I'll show you how to Close More Sales with a Lead Nurturing Process and even walk you through an example of the lead nurturing sequence.

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Marketing Jobs with the Best Future Outlook

Monday May 5, 2014

The landscape of marketing career opportunities have changed dramatically over the last decade.

I'm often asked what marketing speciality people should focus on in order to have a successful career in marketing. There are so many options when it comes to marketing that deciding which area to focus on can be a little daunting and intimidating.

So, what are the best jobs in marketing that have the brightest future?

I'm glad you asked. There are three areas of marketing that are getting a lot of attention and recruiting for these positions are at an all time high.

Those areas include:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Multichannel Marketing
  • Ecommerce Marketing

If you are looking at what area of marketing to focus on as you start your career or if you are looking to jumpstart your marketing and move into a new direction, these are three areas you want to pay attention to and I tell you why in this week's article Marketing Jobs with the Best Future Outlook.

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4 Small Business Marketing Steps You Need to Put Into Check

Sunday May 4, 2014

I think the biggest mistake small businesses make in marketing is making everything so difficult for consumers to understand that they don't get it.

Small businesses often make the mistake of trying to compete with the "big dog" companies that have larger marketing budgets. I daily watch small businesses try to market like big companies, when in fact they've missed the core components that will get a person to buy their products or services. My first piece of advice is stop trying to compete with the "big dogs" - find your own niche and your own market and become one of the big dogs.

Are you making mistakes that are costing you customers?

To succeed in marketing your marketing must be strong enough to move a customer from the point of just attracting their attention to inspiring them to actually take action - which is making a purchase from you. There are four steps to doing this. There are four small business marketing steps that you can use to evaluate and put your marketing into check, today I want to share them with you.

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How to Write a Marketing Brief

Saturday May 3, 2014

There are tools in marketing that can often make our jobs a little easier even though in the beginning they will require an investment of time and effort.  A marketing brief is that kind of a tool.  It is used to lay the framework and foundation of a marketing initiative or campaign.   If it's done correctly it can help in to not only save time and frustration, but it can also save money.

You may be wondering what is different between a marketing brief and a creative brief, so let me explain. Creative briefs are often seen as too generic, complicated or hard to complete.  Your marketing brief should enable you to streamline the process and paint a clear picture of your marketing objectives and goals.

Learn how you can create a marketing brief in ten steps that will help you in verifying any delays as well as marketing results at the end of the marketing initiative.  10 Steps to Creating an Effective Marketing Brief That Saves Time and Money

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Methods for Tracking Offline Marketing Efforts

Tuesday April 29, 2014


I'm often asked "Laura, what is the biggest mistake companies make when it comes to marketing?" The answer is easy.

The biggest mistake, I see is when a company doesn't track their marketing efforts. They simply spend their marketing budget and then they cross their fingers. There was a time that it was difficult to track marketing efforts, especially commercials and print advertisements. That's not the case any longer, so there is really no excuse to not tracking your marketing efforts.

Tracking and monitoring your marketing efforts and advertisements will help you in allocating your marketing budget in marketing campaigns that you know will work. There is nothing more devastating to a company than to spend money on an advertisement that produces little or no results.

You can track your offline marketing efforts, so that you have the knowledge that you need when it comes to knowing what worked and what didn't. The result of tracking is an accurate measurement of what marketing efforts were effective and no longer depending on inaccurate guesswork to determine where you spend your marketing budget. Let me share with you a few tracking methods that I use when marketing offline.

Your Turn: How do you track your offline marketing? Do you use a different method that I have not mentioned? I'd like to know.

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Demand Generation = More Leads

Sunday April 27, 2014


90% of business buyers say when they're ready to buy, they'll find you.

Will you be ready?  If you aren't sure, you won't want to miss this.

What is demand generation?

It's about building and nurturing key prospects and customer relationships for an extended duration.  Is serves as a vital function to businesses that hope to generate interest and therefore producing more inbound leads.

And, what business doesn't want more inbound leads?

Effective demand generation requires you to understand the following:

  • Buyer personas
  • Buying process
  • Information required to take the next steps in purchasing

To be honest, most in marketing have forgotten the value of the above when it comes to sales.

Demand generation programs are designed to consist of touch points that interact with the consumer throughout the conversion process and sales cycle and it makes us address all three of the items I listed above.  There is no shortcut.

It's essential as marketers that we understand our customers more and their buying process.  In doing so, we have the ability to increase the lead generation of our businesses.  Learn how to create your own demand generation strategy.

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