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New Rules...

In the last couple of months, I have been reading a lot of books on marketing, advertising, public relations, SEO and email marketing. The two books that stand out as it pertains to my AlphaGraphics business are David Meerman Scott's book "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and John Jantch's book "Duct Tape Marketing-The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide". Both of these books have valuable insights and advice on how to market in this new Web 2.0 environment and how to save money in this area over traditional methods. I now follow both of these authors on their blogs and twitter postings.

I have been reading all of these books for two reasons: I want to be the best in marketing my three AlphaGraphics centers and I want to be able to consult with my customers on how to market their businesses in this environment. As I stated in my last blog posting, quick printing businesses are becoming more marketing consulting oriented and to become so means to learn all the tricks of the trade.

In this posting, I want to discuss David Meerman Scott's book and how it has effected my marketing thus far. My timing on this book could not be any worse. Just after I finished reading his 2007 edition, he released the second addition last week. David's first book was very heavily oriented in the blogging area with additional discussions about social media, video and podcasting which he admitted were areas he needed to spend more time. Well since that published date, he has expanded these areas and I am sure that the new edition has significant additions to these areas.

With apologies to David for copying the following section, I believe that he said it best in his book. In the first couple of chapters, David described the Old Rules of Marketing and PR, namely,

"-Marketing simply meant advertising and branding
-Advertising needed to appeal to the masses
-Advertising relied on interrupting people to get them to pay attention to the message
-Advertising was one way-company to consumer
-Advertising was exclusively about selling products
-Advertising was based on campaigns that had limited life
-Creativity was deemed the most important component to advertising
-It was more important for the ad agency to win advertising awards than for the client to win new customers"

"-The only way to get ink was through the media
-Companies communicated to journalists via press releases
-Nobody saw the actual press release except a handful of reporters and editors
-Companies had to have significant news before they were allowed to write a press release
-Jargon was okay because the journalists all understood it
-You weren't supposed to send a release unless it included quotes from third parties, such as customers, analysts, and experts.
-The only way buyers would learn about the press releases' content was if the media wrote a story about it
-The only way to measure the effectiveness of press releases was through "clip books," which noted each time the media deigned to pick up a company's release"

David then went on to talk about the new rules of marketing and PR, namely:
"-Marketing is more than just advertising
-PR is for more than just a mainstream media audience
-You are what you publish
-People want authenticity, not spin
-People want participation, not propaganda
-Instead of causing one-way interruption, marketing is about delivering content at just the precise moment your audience needs it
-Marketers must shift their thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy of reaching vast numbers of under served audiences via the Web
-PR is not about your boss seeing your company on TV. It's about your buyers seeing your company on the Web
-Marketing is not about your agency winning awards. It's about your organization winning business
-The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media
-Companies must drive people into the purchasing process with great online content
-Blogs, podcasts e-books, news releases, and other forms of online content let organizations communicate directly with buyers in a form they appreciate
-On the Web, the lines between marketing and PR have blurred"

In "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" David discussed that determining the various persona's of your buyer was very significant in designing your website and delivering your "thought leadership" message through blogs, emails, new releases, white papers, wiki's webinars, e-books, podcasts and videos. He also discussed re-purposing content to fit into these various avenues since the customer is now going to the Web to seek out content and information, not to see an advertisement.

So what have I done for my three AlphaGraphics center since I read this book?
-First, I started this blog. I have written on a number of marketing concepts and thoughts. Some of my postings, I am very proud of, some were just postings.
-From these postings, I have submitted three of them as publishings. The first attempt was brutal, but I finally got the hang of it and am was able to publish on my first attempt the last two times.
-I re-purposed two postings into news releases. One about the Top 10 Ways to Market a Business in 2010" and the other about the benefits of Direct Mail. I also post these news releases as separate pages on my website.
-I issue a monthly email newsletter to my customers using some of the information in my blogs. I now archive the past issues of my e-mail newsletters on an off site website that links into my main website.
-I've improved the keywords on my website.
-I've become active in the blogging community, commenting on blog postings and reading as much marketing information from this source as possible.

I would whole-heartedly endorse this book for all my fellow AlphaGraphics owners (the second edition, of course) and to any small business owner. It really cleared my head about what I needed to do to expand my marketing effort.

So what has this done for my businesses since I started this effort? Well, that is a subject for a later posting.
You can reach us at the following websites;
AlphaGraphics Mesa 480-844-2222
AlphaGraphics Tempe 480-413-1900
Follow us on Twitter: @steveadams291

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