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Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies Paperback – 31 Aug 2012


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From the Back Cover

Harness the power of marketing and watch your business grow

If you want your small business to grow, you need a marketing strategy that works. But how do you get people to notice your business without spending a fortune? Packed with savvy tips for low–cost, high–impact campaigns, this friendly guide is your road map to launching a dynamic marketing campaign and taking advantage of the newest technologies and avenues for outreach.

  • The big picture get an overview of marketing that strips away the mystery, gives you the background you need, and puts you in a position to jumpstart your program
  • Brand yourself find helpful advice on defining your business position and brand and creating marketing communications that work
  • Keep connected discover how to leverage blogs for business success, and how to use social media to pull customers to your business
  • Break the mold put a twist on so–called traditional marketing tactics like ads, mailers, promotions, and publicity
  • The cornerstone of business find out how to capture prospects, turn those prospects into customers, and develop customer loyalty

Open the book and find:

  • Real advice for marketing in today′s screen–connected, customer–empowered world
  • How to use the Internet and social media networks as your most essential guerrilla marketing tools
  • Instructions for generating publicity
  • How to set your marketing goals, objectives, strategies, and budgets
  • Ways to establish an online presence
  • Ten steps to a great marketing plan

Learn to:

  • Develop the right marketing strategy
  • Harness social media as a marketing tool
  • Establish your position and brand

Tools and worksheets on the companion CD

Bonus CD Includes

Worksheets, checklists, and charts to aid the small business marketer

About the Author

Barbara Findlay Schenck has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years, with clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. In addition to her experience as a small business strategist, she′s also a bestselling author and nationally syndicated columnist. Visit her website at www.bizstrong.com.


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Wealth of Resources 7 Sept. 2012
By Holly Kolman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Small business owners are experts at providing a product or service, but that doesn't mean they are experts at * marketing * their businesses. As a member of a co-working organization, and as a social media marketer, I meet small- to mid-size business owners and solopreneurs on a regular basis who are confused by all of the choices available to them to market their businesses. They are intimidated and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, and the time and monetary costs associated with getting new customers.

In her book, Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies, Barbara Findlay Schenck has done a great job of laying out the different marketing options available to small business owners in a simple, clear manner.

Because of the breadth of information included, I would highly recommend this book to people who are considering opening a business, people in startups, business owners who want to grow but have limited insight into what that requires, entrepreneurs and students. Even seasoned marketers will pick up some new strategies. I would also recommend this book to anyone considering hiring a marketing or advertising agency to learn the buzzwords and gain realistic expectations of what their service provider should be able to do (and not do).

She starts by getting the mindset right so business owners will see through their customers' eyes to get the message right. This is a step many business owners fail to take, and when it they do, it makes them seem out of touch. So, +1 to the author for touching on this crucial insight first. I would encourage all business owners to read that part thoroughly and not gloss over it. Getting the message right comes first, promoting it comes second.

The rest of the book is a buffet of advertising, media buying (including billboards and outdoor ads which I almost never see in small business marketing publications), public relations, sales presentation information and everything in between. It also gives a good amount of information on social media and mobile marketing (my personal favorites). There are some sections on branding (choosing a business name, etc.) and how to get a website set up, whether to host it yourself or use a free service, pros and cons of each, supervising a web developer, etc. She does a really good job of covering technical subjects in a non-techie manner, which is so important for small business owners. There are also sections on online directories, and calculating market share.

She presents the information in a very clear, simple (but not simplistic) manner. I learned a lot from the book and will be implementing what I have learned.

One thing I have found in my day-to-day interactions with business owners is that no marketers do everything, so they can only recommend strategies from their own toolboxes. The real beauty of this book in my humble opinion is that, in addition to her own expansive business knowledge, the author has consulted experts in each of the marketing disciplines included in the book to help business owners decide if a particular marketing strategy or channel is right for them.

There is also a bonus CD with worksheets, checklists and charts that are organized by book chapter, plus a list of forms. Many of these checklists contain advice from subject matter experts, and include advice on how to hire an agency, tracking forms for social media and a blog editorial calendar, model release forms, checklists for radio and television advertising, LinkedIn tips, how to write an elevator pitch, what to include on a website landing page, what to say by phone or email to introduce your business, and many more. Usually, you would have to hire and pay multiple consultants to get a stack of forms like this, and I know because I have done it! Buying this book is much cheaper.

I judge the value of an information product in this manner: If I learn one new thing that I didn't know before or find a new way to increase my productivity that will enable me to make a sale that will be equal to or greater than the cost of the book, then the book is worth it. This book is more than worth it. Thank you, Barbara Findlay Schenk, I will be recommending your book to my clients and colleagues. Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book in exchange for an honest assessment of the book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Normally hate "Dummies" books but... 7 Oct. 2012
By jmiers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been on a reading binge trying to get up to speed on marketing for my small business, and this is just one of the texts I've gotten to help my learning curve. With this being the 3rd edition (meaning there have been a lot of edits and customer requests have been included and it's a obviously been a successful title or there wouldn't have been a 3rd edition) and a compilation of worksheets, checklists, etc. on an attached CD making it even more valuable than a stand-alone text.

This is absolutely another must-read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Low-risk, high-reward investment for small business owners 21 July 2013
By Jared Castle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I shared this book with four friends, who are small business owners, each looking to improve their marketing strategies. They own businesses in different industries - restaurant, education, beauty and landscaping services - but shared a similar problem, not one had the capital to sign a five-figure contract with a professional marketing firm.

According to the Census Bureau, about three quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll; most are self-employed persons operating unincorporated businesses. Hence, the audience for author Barbara Findlay Schenck's book is undeniable as there are more than 20 million companies that fit into the small business category.

Over the course of six months, each of my friends reported back to me that the Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies was a useful resource. We discussed the challenges and opportunities each business faced. As limiting as small budgets are they also spur creativity and a willingness to try anything.

We talked about the advice and direction provided in Schenck's book. The following highlights came from my conversations with the four small business owners.

Chapter 1: Framing the Marketing Process

Schenck lists four reasons why her book is for small businesses with comparatively micro-budget marketing resources. The four differences - dollar, staffing, creative and strategic - are why small businesses can't approach marketing in the same way international companies can.

Chapter 3: Seeing Your Product through Your Customers' Eyes

"When sales are down or customers seem dissatisfied, small businesses turn too quickly to their pricing in their search for a quick-fix solution."

Chapter 6: Taking Stock of Your Business Image

"Many businesses boast that their signage is their most effective means of attracting first-time visitors. But before banking on your sign to draw people in, realize that when people respond only to your signage, they're making spur-of-the-moment, drop-in visits - perhaps at a time when they're short on both time and money. Instead work to achieve destination visits by making impressions and cultivating interest well in advance of prospects noticing your sign and walking through your door."

Chapter 7: Forging Your Brand
* A brand is a set of beliefs. It's a promise customers believe.
* A brand isn't a logo. A logo is a symbol that identifies a brand. When people see your logo or hear your name, a set of images arises. Those images define your brand in their minds.

Chapter 9: Hiring Help When You Need It

When to bring in marketing experts
* When you're creating a long-life marketing piece;
* When doing your own marketing takes you or your staff away from more profitable activities;
* When the budget for a single marketing effort exceeds $10,000;
* When your annual budget for marketing communications reaches $50,000.

Chapter 13: Creating and Placing Print and Outdoor Ads
* "...four out of ten people say they still get their news from newspapers. Your mom is one of them, which supports this conclusion: You better know your customers before you abandon traditional advertising altogether..."
* "If your target audience is younger - especially the 18 to 29 age group - you're pretty safe ruling out traditional newspapers in favor of messages delivered via web-connected devices and TV.

I would have liked to see one chapter dedicated to guerrilla marketing, an advertising strategy that utilizes low-cost, unconventional approaches that can be tailored to most small businesses. Describing what guerrilla marketing is easiest by identifying what it is not, i.e. traditional media (radio, print or TV advertising). Since guerrilla marketing is risky, it is not appropriate for business owners who can't step outside their comfort zone.

Successful guerrilla marketing is memorable, newsworthy and "sticky," and is sometimes referred to as both stealth marketing and extreme marketing. Time, energy and imagination are the primary resources in place of budget. Guerrilla marketing involves "brand activation that isn't 100 percent permitted by the city, event or establishment," according to Adam Salacuse, Founder and President of ALT TERRAIN, which plans and executes "successful guerrilla marketing, wild posting and one-of-a-kind street marketing concepts."

Overall, Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies offers solid advice that is easy to read and implement. It is a low-risk, high-reward investment for small business owners.

Rating: Five stars
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Tools 7 Oct. 2012
By RG69 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Really excellent tool for the small business owner. The corporations have whole departments devoted to marketing. The smaller business has basically themselves and a very limited budgets. This book gives a ton of tips and advice how to market your business and get the most bang for your buck. Sometimes the best ways to get your name out there are actually very inexpensive, it just takes some legwork. Really excellent edition to the "Dummies" line.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great resource for a high-level overview into marketing 23 Oct. 2012
By Todd Justman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In business school you learn that marketing consists of product, price, place, and promotion. This book doesn't begin to cover those bases in depth, but it does give you a great overview into branding, online marketing, a tiny bit on pricing and product development and many, many other aspects of marketing. It seems like there are areas left uncovered in the realm of marketing but as I page through I do find small treatments of a wide range of topics. How to work with an ad agency, whether you even need one, and how to place ads, mailers, and even broadcast media commercials.

A really nice feature with this book is the companion CDROM with additional content. It contains mostly checklists in PDF format. The disk doesn't require an installation, but instead runs a little program that separates the material by chapter. I had no problems making it work on my Windows PC. As you read the book you'll see references to various forms and worksheets. Some are pretty good, some are ok. In the end for this audience I think they are great - readers likely aren't going to be doing a ton of deep dive into some of these topics (i.e. competitive analysis). if you're looking for deeper dive this isn't the book for you, but at 360+ pages you know the book is scratching the surface on a lot of things.

On the section on email marketing, it was good to see a discussion on CAN-SPAM Act. That's required on any discussion of email marketing. The section on social media starts with defining your objectives. Again, this is another key aspect. And the book helps you be frank about whether you are willing an able to support the workload when diving into online channels. Spot on.

There's a lot to be learned here, however. One website referenced here lets you search 160 social media websites to see if your company name has been taken. That alone is probably worth the cost of the book! Every page has great kernels of insight. Like many other dummies books, this one delivers.
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