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Guest Post: Tips to keep the Marketing Machine on the tracks

Posted by Ilise Benun on

With Peleg & Ilise in Boston for the HOW conference this week, previous guest mixer Jennifer Neal of K9 Design agreed to pick up some of the slack. In this post, she talks about some great tricks for keeping marketing duties under control.

Before my metamorphosis into the design world, I was a head hunter for 8 years. We had, back then, what we called “Prime Time” — this is 9-5, otherwise known as "business hours". You never did things during “prime time” that could be done on "off hours". This becomes almost everything but calling!! I still have that mentality in my head and herein begins the problem.

I am trying so hard to do ALL the marketing things I should be doing that my efforts are getting derailed due to lack of time.

Now I need to find time to prospect, time to call, time to follow up calls, time to attend events, time to find events, time to read blogs, respond to blogs, time to send out packages, time to create packages…UGH! Oh and then there’s MY job… the client service, account rep, accounting and mother part.

Somehow it’s getting done – but I am in OVERWHELM.

So, I read the "what to do when you are in overwhelm" post a few weeks back and by the time I got finished prioritizing my list, I had a very busy notebook with lots of pretty icons – but no work done yet. (although after all that, I did have a clearer picture of what to start on first.)

I am always looking, as you probably know by now, to make this "marketing thing" easier. One of the areas I always seem to fall down on is the database management. There is always a new contact to add or a change to be made. The biggies are the brand new entries. I find myself saying "Oh, I’ll enter that in later – after “prime time" and then the pile of post prime time becomes a monster.

So how do I tame my database beast? This is what I do.

Tip #1 – Mondays are prospect days (I go on the web searching for my target’s contact info). Once I have them and their details, I copy and paste from the web into the notes section of my database or anywhere there is a lot of open white space for notes – I add their name to the appropriate field and I SAVE it. Even if that’s all I do I now have a record for them and they are on my call list for the next day, so I know I am going back to it.

The next day, when I go to that person – as I am calling them, holding on the line or being transferred, I am tidying up that entry. Cutting and pasting the proper info into the proper fields. Adding the web site link, adding all of the email addresses etc. I find there is always a field I can add to.

Then, as I return to that entry over time I am perfecting it and before long it’s picture perfect. We all know there are fields we need more than others – like e mail addresses – those I do those first so that if I need to send out an email message before I get back to it – the info is there.

Tip #2 Take good notes. I know that sounds obvious, but it really is key. My notes are very full and when I return back to them in a month’s time I am so glad I took the time to record our conversations thoroughly.

Here is a sample entry:

March 26 – 2008. Sylvia was very open, they use many different design teams and have no agency of record. Didn’t feel what I send her was enough to base a decision on. Send our whole portfolio and send another copy of the magazine – she sent it around. Would like to see the whole package. DO NOT SEND MONTHLY E MAIL.

This way, I know exactly what I am walking into the next time I talk to her.

I know these are really basic things – but when you are trying to put the whole Marketing Machine together from scratch, it’s these little things that help to keep it on the tracks.

Hopefully, these little tips help you in some way. I’d love to know what you are doing to keep your Machine running efficiently.

Colleen’s note: I would reeeeeally love some more of these tips in the comments, too. And if you’ve got something more substantial to share along the lines of marketing and promoting a small business, feel free to hit us up with an email: we’re always looking for guest posters, and if you do it regularly, you even get your own cutie-pie icon!

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