Fun facts and info on advertising, marketing, business, and life in general

Monthly Archives: November 2020

winMost business owners, managers and staff have heard the term #Cross-Promote at one time or another. But many are not quite sure or understand what it really does.

Cross Promoting with other business(es) in your area can extend your (and their) budgets, save you $$$, and generate new customers.

Running contests in your store is a good example.  Find a business that doesn’t compete with you (you would not believe how many times I have heard of contests that have actually LOST customers for the contest running merchant!) – ask them about being part of the contest by providing a prize for the winner.  A small item AND a Gift Certificate to their store (as well as yours) so winner has to actually go into their store to claim prize.   Do not use % Off or BOGO coupons as prizes! Value of prize should be worth enough for people to want to enter and win.  At least $25 but of course the higher the value, the more entries you’ll get.   

Too many prizes are beautiful items or gift baskets OR even worse, I have heard of owners (and marketing professionals) sending prize to winner. HolShprsYou want them back in your business and the other prize contributor stores. Prize(s) should be worth a trip back for the winner.  Contests and prizes are a great way to potentially gain long term customers and create some talk about your business.

Both businesses should hang up signs in the business and on windows facing out explaining the contest, and have both logos, business addresses, web and social media info. You should provide the other business with the signs and flyers – the easier you make it for them, the more likely they will participate in your promotion. I would suggest saying 1 Entry per person per visit. Age requirement. No purchase necessary. There is other fine print you can add to help make contest more successful and run smoothly.

If you want to build or increase an email database, then use forms for people to enter…name, email and/or phone number as well as ZIP CODE. Zip code will give you info on where customers are coming from. Provide the business giving you prizes with the info at end of contest.  Learning how to successfully use the info you gather for future sales, promotions, specials will be in a future blog.

Both of you should promote contest in store, in advertising (if doing any) and on social media.  Contests can also be run on Facebook, and mobile phones or apps but those are subjects for another blog!

Have an entry box in your business, NOT right at front door – you want people to walk through store and see what you have to offer.

  • Contests should not run too long. 1 month is plenty. 
  • Keep it current – be seasonal or topical.
  • Prize should be a good value to winner
  • Prizes should be able to be used soon, so not forgotten by winner
  • Be HONEST when picking winner!
  • Notify winner and give no more than 2 weeks to claim their prize.  

Future blogs will touch on more details and some other ideas to create new customers, and excitement about your business.

If you are interested in talking to me about these and other types of creative and cost effective ways to promote your business, check out my website with contact info.


Sometimes in life we have to learn to take disappointment and turn it around.

A group of us went on an Alaskan cruise hoping to see whales as well as the other beautiful sights to see in Alaska.  Blue Ice Bergs.  American Eagles.  Seals.  Waterfalls.  Quaint towns. Beautiful scenery.  Mountains. Assorted wildlife and so much more…but seeing whales or even one whale was at the top of the list for one person.  It was almost the end of the cruise and no whales.

Soooo…someone made it happen, almost  – and turned it into a funny situation.  The next to the last morning, we all  went out onto to the balcony… and saw THIS…  (our balconies were opened to each others).
A PICTURE of a Whale
from the cruise line’s information magazine was taped onto to the glass of one of the balconies!

Everyone had a good laugh and what was a disappointment became a shared highlight of the cruise.  It was much appreciated and a thoughtful thing to do.  We can always find a way to make someone feel good about a negative situation if we try.  We always say WE SAW A WHALE on our Alaskan cruise – it created a funny and unique memory for us all.

SmileyFaceQuestionMarkEver notice that business owners who say advertising (or marketing or promotions) do not work usually advertise their Going Out of Business Sale? Wait, What? Amazing how advertising works when it’s too late. wink..wink! 

Anyone ever wonder why supermarkets (and car dealers) still advertise?  We all know they exist, we have our favorite stores, and we know pretty much what they sell – but they still advertise, run sales and specials, and do some in store promoting.

In this day and age of social media and Covid lock-downs it is really important to get your business message out to the public.  There are less customers and less of their budgets to go around. There are many options – social media is one. Using Social Media Marketing PROPERLY is low cost and a huge asset in consumer decision making.

Hire a marketing consultant.  It can help your business survive and even grow in these hard times.  You need to get customers in, and get your message to them.  We all know budgets are tight, but if a business does nothing, they will wind up spending their money on going out of business sales, advertising to generate some capital and not take too big of a loss.

No one wants to go out of business – but is happening more and more every day, especially to locally owned small businesses.   Spending a business budget wisely can keep a business going, and outlast this crazy time.  Hiring a professional is a smart and cost-effective way to help your business.

Ask around – get recommendations – and talk to a few potential independent consultants – they can generally provide services that fit your budget.

Trying to save your business is way better (and smarter) than just doing nothing. Don’t wait til it’s too late.  DOING business is better than GOING OUT OF BUSINESS…you have to do one or the other.

Check out my website with some plans that may help your business.