Thursday, June 26, 2008

Farmers Market Gets It Right

This week I got a call informing me that I was the "Santana Row Farmers Market Customer of the Week." Doesn't that sound grand? I love it.

A bit of background: Every summer weekend I do a trip to one of the many farmers markets in the area -- at least a half a dozen within a 10 mile radius supply me with ample fresh fruit and vegetables (and honey, olive oil, bread) grown within 50 miles of my house.

Last week I went to one that I hadn't frequented yet this year, and filled out a form to get on the mailing list. Three days later I got a call, informing me I was the "Santana Row Farmers Market Customer of the Week."

For this honor, I won a basket of veggies from the participating farmers. (To which I say, "HOOORAY - count on finding a big pot of vegetable soup on the stove next week.")

They could have just called and said, "We're happy to inform you you won last week's drawing." But I much prefer that they dubbed it an honor, and named me "Customer of the Week." If there were such a thing as a Resume of Daily Life, this sounds worthy of being listed as one of the honors bestowed upon me.

It's a thank you for shopping here, an honor implying I'm somehow worthy, and a recognition of good luck all wrapped up in one phrase.

The marketing person got it perfect...kudos to you, and thanks for allowing me to have this brief queen-for-a-day moment.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Small Business Press Release Tools

Duct Tape Marketing has a helpful entry with ideas for small biz press releases titled The Press Release Triple Threat.

It lists these three free tools that a local business can use to help get some things in the works that will send traffic to your site:
  • Instant Press Release - use this tool as a guided template for creating and formatting your press release properly
  • Press Release Grader - Take your written press release here and run it through a process that can help tell you how to make it even better.
  • PRLog - with a strong release written, you can come here and to get your release distributed to thousands of news sites and feeds.
Generally I'm opposed to junky PR methods, including sending out reasonably unimportant news. But this is a search engine kind of thing - and these tools look simple and just right for the kind of announcements a local business might have: a new employee, an upcoming sale, a change in hours, or even spotlight on a specific item in stock. Note that none of these are tools you'd use if you are making a signficant announcement or are trying seriously to reach the media.

Check out the above, and check out Duct Tape Marketing - let me know if you try any of these tools and if they work.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You Need a Great About Us Page

Most of you have heard my rant about the importance of the About Us page - way, way, way too many sites have a lousy About Us page. (Like those diseases advertised as 'silent killers,' a bad About Us page costs you money & customers that you never even know you lost).

Anyway, Marketing Sherpa has provided some back up data about why it is important to have a good About Us page. (Company information becomes crucial to people who want to buy from you or do business with you -- not at first, but at the crucial negotiation phase).

The story is only open to non-subscribers until early July, so I'd suggest you visit it now, and glean the good information which includes WHY it is so important, as well as some ideas on WHAT should be included: 1. Up-to-date material 2. Customers - (Who else do you work with?) 3. History 4. Location(s) - 5. Boards of directors/advisors 6. Media coverage 7. Blogs/thought leadership