Sword and the Script

Marketing Persona: profile of a social SMB



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by Frank Strong

What does the persona of an SMB that’s engaged in social media look like?  It falls generally into these characteristics:

  • The SMB earns $20-30 million in annual sales
  • It has 1-3 people in it’s marketing shop
  • Spends $10,oo0 a year on social media
  • Uses about 3 different tools to manage social media
  • Added social media to the list of existing duties of a marketing person

That’s pretty darn precise, no?  How do I know this? There’s a new survey out by my employer, Vocus and Duct Tape Marketing, which I had a role in analyzing the data. The study Path to Influence: An Industry Study of SMBs and Social Media, which is freely available is unique among surveys in that it’s scientific; it’s statistically valid and has a confidence interval. In other words, the data is rock solid — and so too is the marketing persona.  Read More…

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A chance conversation with a small business entrepreneur



Word-of-mouth.  That’s the only marketing Curt said he does for his small business.

Clean cut, casually dressed, and the adoptive parent of three children from Ethiopia, Curt is a pediatric dentist that sat next to me on a recent flight back from the Netherlands Antilles. We talked marketing for the better part of a couple hours; I asked a lot of questions and listened.

Curt isn’t a marketer, he’s an entrepreneur, with a small practice and handful of employees.  The biggest hit he takes on a vacation isn’t the cost of airfare or a room at a resort – it’s the fact he isn’t billing — and that is easily 4 or 5 times the cost of his vacation.

“If my hands aren’t wet, then I’m not making any money,” he told me.  In fact he said he tells his staff that all the time.

His take on pediatric dentistry is simple:  good communication, a light-hearted manner with kids, and the knowledge that the parents rather than the children are his patients. His staff is forbidden from mentioning words like “ouch” or “boo-boo” or anything remotely similar in the office.  He rattled off about 20 such words and phrases; I can only remember two, but then, armed with an electric toothbrush, I’m not afraid of the dentist.

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Small business; smart marketing



by Frank Strong

This post is about basics and it starts with a mantra that’s been around a long time and it goes something like this: Every employee works in marketing.

It’s one thing to have a mantra, it’s quite refreshing when you see it in action. Michael & Son Services, Inc. is a home maintenance company offering HVAC, electrical and plumbing services, among others. Last week one of their technicians came into my home upon request in order to assess an A/C issue. Here are five observations I had that makes me think they do a great job in small business marketing:

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