SMART Marketing and PR

S = Strategy to Meet Goals
M = Media Mix
A = Art & Creative that Sells
R = Research to Identify Buyers and Measure the Results for ROI
T = Tactics & Channels that Fit the Situation

Monday, December 28, 2009

Traditional Media: Motorola TV Spot that Works

Finally. Motorola has a spot that works. It speaks for itself. They should have hired Ogilvy a long time ago. I just wonder if they are buying any media so others can see it. You decide and let me know if you've seen it on TV:

Click Here then Click on "The latest spot" to See the Commercial

2009: Year of the Social Network

As 2009 draws to a close, it's clear that the year was a watershed for social networks and the firms that own them. The year saw major changes at sites like Facebook and Twitter as millions of non-technical users became regular users of social networks. See the numbers:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

E-Marketing Outlook for 2010

SMART Marketing & PR is advising clients to act on the following advice in 2010.

This will be a year in which social network advertising will intersect with other types of advertising.

• Integrate Social Media Into Your Advertising
- Find Customers, Where They Are, Online
- Contact Your Repeat Customers (easier to keep than get): LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Prospect for New Customers Based on Your Best Customer Profiles: Groups in LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Create Content Once – Publish Many Places
- Use the One Campaign, One Message Technique and A/B Test: Don’t Sell – HELP!
- Use the Mixed Media in Multiple Channels That You KNOW Your Customers & Prospects Use
- Separate Landing Pages & 800 Numbers for Each Channel to Measure Results
- In Addition: Social Ad Networks Will Expand
Expect more momentum behind advertising that is targeted based on information from social network user profiles. News Corp.’s Fox Audience Network (FAN) and services from startups 33Across, Media6° and others are already up and running. Meanwhile, some advertisers, such as Discovery Channel, have tested ad formats that are personalized on the fly by using Facebook profile data.

• Continue Search Engine Marketing and Target the Right Social Networking Sites and Groups in Those Sites.

• News Release, News Release, News Release at Least Twice a Week. When you are successful at this, the press will come to you – the expert.

• Expand Your Content Marketing Strategy. Helpful Content is King and It Makes You the Expert in Your Field.
- Twitter is Expanding. Make Sure You Follow the Influencers and More Importantly, Get the Influencers to Follow You.
- Think Beyond the Desktop. Mobile is Moving Into the Mainsteam!

> Look to the 55+ Age Demographic for Internet Usage Increases
Does your product or service "fit" the 55+ market? Internet usage will continue to rise, as consumers find more ways to access the Internet. Plus they have CASH. The continuing proliferation of laptops, smartphones and Internet-enabled TVs, MP3 players and gaming consoles will be the main force behind this trend. Teens and young adults are already active Internet users with many devices. The change will be seen among adults ages 55 and older, many of whom have always had an interest in consumer electronics and now are discovering social networks and other media.

• Traditional Off-Line Media Must Have Online Measurement Components
Set Up Separate Landing Pages and 800 Numbers For Each Channel/Ad. Measurement Saves You Marketing Budget.

If you need help implementing this advice, contact me!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

SMART Marketing at the Right Place to the Right Audience

Even a fifth grader Gets It.

This sign is on a community dog "Poop Can." It's advertising a dog sitting service.

STRATEGY TO MEET THE GOAL & TARGET: The message goes only to prospective customers. It does not intrude on anyone who would have no interest in the service, like in a mailbox or a doorhanger of a home without a pet.


CREATIVE THAT SELLS: Hand drawn picture of a dog that attracts and headline that lets you know what's for sale instantly.



Most Lemonade Stand Entrepreneurs Get IT Too!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Citizen 2.0

Check out this SlideShare Presentation. Don't let the date on this presentation deter you. This is a movement that is long in coming, just like Government 2.0 has been evolving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TiVo to Provide TV Viewing Data to Google

It's all about tracking and measurement. That's what makes SMART Marketing successful.

Every executive has an opinion. True life stories:

- They'll "order" you to use Grateful Dead like music in a radio spot because they're a fan... and then tell you to jack the volume up real loud so you can't even hear the message. Without measurement, you won't be able to fight back.

- Others will tell you to run TV commercials on a mass media channel (because they like the channel) to drive traffic to some small real estate development buried in the middle of that vast viewing area. If you don't measure the results, that executive will continue to ruin your sales and waste your marketing budget.

Facts must overrule personal preference. This announcement is another big win for measurement ammo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Inc. 500 Increases Social Media Marketing Use to 91%

Social Media Marketing is in use by the Inc 500. Forty-three percent of the 2009 Inc. 500 reported social media was “very important” to their business/marketing strategy. An incredible 91% of the Inc. 500 is using at least one social media tool in 2009 (up from 77% in 2008). In addition, as they ramp up their usage, the Inc. 500 companies are also seeking to protect themselves legally, with 36% having implemented a formal policy concerning blogging by their employees.

Click Here to Download a PDF of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Study

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Internet Participation & Control

Recently I told a client in response to his question, "When we start to participate on the Internet, how do we control it?"

My answer, “How well are you controlling it now with less than 10 mentions on Google and each of the important influencer websites – and 7 of the 10 are negative info about you. When you participate you have some control. Maybe not all the control you would like. But more than you have today when you don't participate at all.”

Mike Brown

Social Media Evolution: The Eight Stages Of Listening

As Social Customers Become More Empowered,
Organizations Must Have A Listening Strategy

As we approach 2010 planning companies need a strategy around listening. Sadly, most companies, and their agency partners don’t know why to listen or how. As a result, they must identify which stage of listening they are at, and then set a goal on which stage they see to aspire in 2010. Click the Link for the Full Article:

Web Strategist

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marketing that is Working Right Now: Customer Research

What is working right now in this tough market as the best, reasonable cost, mix for any organization is finding out who your customer types are (profile them) and then do the following:

- Events
- News Releases (not necessarily to the press)
- Web Promotion
- Radio Advertising
- E-blast Newsletters
- Direct Mail Advertising
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Social Networking (Social Media Marketing, SMM)

All must be highly targeted at your top purchasing demographics and done as a campaign – not a series of unconnected media activity. It works right now!

The strategy starts by figuring out exactly who your buyers are and creating unique events for them, and people just like them. This article will cover customer research and future articles will cover the events and the media mix shown above.

Who are Your Customers? Once You Find Out, You Can Find More Just Like Them.

Find out the demographics and other information about your best customers. Check with your top sales people, look at customer records, hold focus groups with your customers, call them, poll them, find out as much as you can about the following:

- What is their household income?
- What is their age?
- Where do they live?
- Single, married, kids?
- Have they bought before?
- Why did they buy your product or service?
- Was there a particular benefit, feature, message that brought them to you?
- What media do they use: Which TV channels, radio stations, websites, magazines and newspapers, etc.?
- How did they hear about you? Careful! This is tenuous at best. Most won’t remember or won’t tell you accurately for a number of reasons but if most say the same thing it might be reliable.
- What are their favorite charities?

You’re looking for trends, not private or individual information.

After you figure out your best customer data, create customer profiles so you can use the information to:

- Create events to appeal directly to them
- Decide when is the best time to have an event and advertise
- Figure out where to have events
- Position your product or service vs. the competition
- Create a message to use to write news releases and other copy
- Target web sites you can use to use to promote (including social networking sites and groups)
- Promote on specific radio stations
- Get potential addresses to use for direct mail

Next article, Unique Events!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"If It Bleeds It Leads" Just Doesn’t Work Anymore

I think we're in a great position to offer more for news and advertising. What do you think?

Our mantra at IBM in the 1980's was to change the communication world from one-to-many, to many-to-many communication, as we were inventing multimedia technology and predicting what the Web would become.

We believed that newspaper companies would either evolve into web-based media companies or not make it. When I showed Web prototypes to the NY Times in 1990, they just scratched their heads in amazement.

Back then, some said nobody would read that much on a computer screen. Now we watch our teenagers, heads bent over all the time, looking at a cellphone screen.

I’m just surprised newspapers haven’t totally switched or gone under yet.

TV has taken a long time to adapt because the engineering architecture of TV and a computer are completely different and incompatible; and, it’s taken a while for the network (transmission pipe) to get big enough and fast enough.

Radio and other audio were pretty easy to move to the web. I remember getting voiceover talent to come into our studio and do recordings. Now, most of the VO talent lives in Costa Rica, Hawaii, wherever they want, and they have an in-home studio with ISDN lines to deliver what they do. We listen-in while they’re recording.

I pass by Rush Limbaugh’s house here in the Town of Palm Beach everyday and it’s funny to think he’s about to go live on the air from his “compound” on the beach, referring to his small studio space as a "network."

I was asked today what I thought of all the media changes. Here's my answer.

To communicate, inform, market, and sell has almost completely changed and the change is getting faster.

Moore’s Law, once only applied to integrated circuits. Now it applies even more to information.

Since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has increased, doubling approximately every two years. It has continued for over half a century and now they are so small you can put them in ink, along with transmitters (Radio Frequency Identification), so that labels on anything have “item-level intelligence” and can be tracked on a wireless network.

Click to read my blog article about RFID technology and it will blow your mind:

What Item-Level Intelligence Will Mean to Marketers

Because of all this technology, and the masses need for unbridled communication, information is expanding exponentially.

George Lucas told a group of us at a lunch in Las Vegas in the early 1990’s that everyone was going to become a producer… His prediction became reality: YouTube and Google Video is just a start.

I replaced a $5 million post production video studio (2001 dollars) with about $125.00 worth of software on my laptop and still don’t need all the features it provides.

I talk to media advertising reps and members of the press all the time and most are wondering if they will have a job in the next 5 years.

Google now gives advertisers the ability to bid on space and place ads in most offline major market newspapers, much like their SEM AdWords, including a way to deliver camera-ready ads. Plus they offer the 800# and online measurement service for that offline ad – for free.
Newspapers don’t offer measurement and what do you need a media ad-rep for if you can do it all online using Google?

For news, the media covers a very narrow channel of information. People want more than this:

1) If it bleeds it leads (celebrity death is right up at the top, wars and riots if there is a lot of death, airline and mass transit crashes, etc.)
2) The latest sex scandal
3) Stories about animals - mainly cute ones
4) “Newsworthy” information – euphemism for: If it’s very confrontational or controversial, we’ll run it.

That’s it. That covers just about all they publish.

With the many-to-many channels available and a huge body of other information that is of interest to consumers and businesses, the savvy marketing and PR folks among us have figured out a way to do an end-around on the press to deliver stories, so the press aren’t gatekeepers anymore.

If done effectively, the press ends up coming to you.

Media has changed and I think in many respects, if used for good purposes, many-to-many is better. You can be in charge now. Those that don’t adapt quickly will be left behind, and even more importantly, out-of-touch.

Learn Web 2.0 technologies and techniques. Keep up with them as they evolve and get ready for Web 3.0 (more in another article).

Become excellent storytellers and "reporters," and publish a wide scope of interesting content and you will lead your organization to become a stronger brand, engage all your stakeholders, create a much larger lead bank full of qualified prospects, and your reputation and sales will go up!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crafting a Company Narrative

Your company's story is really important. Here's a great article on why, and what you can do about it.

Use Ethonomics When Crafting A Company’s Narrative
By Kaihan Krippendorff

Click Below:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

14 Secrets of Web Lead Generation that Converts to Sales

Social Networking is the latest craze; and, with other relevant websites and qualified email addresses, you can get leads and convert them into a sale.

However, belonging to social networks because you know that you need to be on them for business isn’t enough to get results. You have to do more. Here’s how:

1. Join (at least) these general Social Networking sites: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.

2. Join all the specific professional groups and CUSTOMER groups that are your business targets on Social Network sites and other content relevant websites. Keyword searches will help you find them.

3. Join Press Release sites, content relevant Forums, and search Google and Yahoo Directories for topic relevant sites that allow you to add content.

4. Make sure you complete your profile on all sites if they offer it, including your picture. If a big ol’ ugly guy like me does it, you should too. Visitors don’t like dealing with a logo or some goofy art. Use your picture!

5. Write content that is helpful to the group. Be specific about tips and tricks. Think: What is the best thing I can tell this group TODAY.

6. Write once, publish many. Write complete content so it can be used in many places, including press release sites. Copy the portion that is relevant to each group, forum, or site and publish.

7. Include your contact info, website, and/ or blog on every post. You would be amazed how many people forget to do this.

8. Follow up on every comment to your post… at least a thank you but hopefully more to keep the conversation and idea generation going! Over 10 comments gets double the readership. If you find that a significant influencer is commenting on your post, find out their snail-mail address and SEND A HAND-WRITTEN THANK-YOU CARD IN THE REGULAR MAIL! That’s a touch most don’t think of.

9. Make friend requests with people that make comments that have good input and add value. Send a private email to them thanking them for their comment(s). 80% will connect with you. Now you’re building a QUALIFIED LIST. Only accept friend requests that are qualified.

10. Make comments on other group member’s topics. Add value, good ideas, and compliment / thank the discussion starter. Don’t try to sell anything. Only put your name, website, and/or blog.

11. Ask interesting and thought provoking questions for posts. Shake them up! Be a thought leader! Moderate the discussion.

12. If the site has the capability to do surveys, build an interesting survey. Then publish the results in the group AND outside on relevant websites and via email to contacts that would be interested.

13. You MUST answer comments FAST. If you have a qualified lead on the web, you have to answer them immediately! Not 24 hours. Not Monday. Now! For real estate sales webleads, I gave the sales staff 15 minutes! Customers that come from web leads expect instant response. Let it go for hours and they have moved on. Get a smart phone so you can stay connected…. whatever you have to do to capture, be helpful, and convert that lead FAST.

14. This is a three-step process. First you add value. Then you soft-sell your business and gather qualified leads. Finally, you convert leads that make requests.

Remember, not everyone will “buy” but many will and almost all will appreciate the value you add and how fast you do it. They will provide referrals.

Stay tuned for the next article on Secrets of Web Lead Generation that Converts to Sales. I’ll explain what kinds of web ads work and why.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Technorati Blog Post

Smart Marketing & PR is now percolating in Technorati!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Marketing Mix That is Working Now!

I've been using social networking and the Internet since the 1980's at IBM to create and increase business. It is a low cost way to increase leads, add prospects, and generate sales. This is a MUST HAVE as part of your marketing mix.

What is working right now in this tough market as the best, reasonable cost, mix for any organization is:
- News Releases (not necessarily to the press)
- Web
- Radio
- Events
- E-blast Newsletters
- Direct Mail

All must be highly targeted at your top purchasing demographics and done as a campaign – not a series of unconnected media activity. It works right now!

Subscribe today and follow me as I add case studies and examples of the work I've done, and others have executed, with measurable results.

I'll show the strategy, the creative, the measurement systems, and results - so you can follow the formula that will increase your leads, prospects, and sales.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Top 5" Books That Need to Be on Your Desk

Just added Amazon's "My Favorites" widget. These are my "Top 5" books that I recommend go on your marketing and PR shelf. A couple are new but several are classics. I've been recommending them for years. Check them out!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Social Network Marketing Experiment: Small Retail

About to find out if Social Network Marketing works for a small retail operation. Launched my wife's side business this week: Senora Empanada! She provides empanadas for parties, family gatherings, and events. The wife's meat, vegetable, and dessert empanadas are amazing! Bookmark the site:

Place an order by phone or email. Shopping cart to come. Wish us luck!

Launch is strictly over social networks and our email lists. The food is great. The prices are right on the money. Website has good reviews. Already started filling orders from the "Friends and Family" campaign last week. Let's see how good this social network stuff is!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Content Marketing

Most businesses are starting to realize they are in the publishing business: websites, eblasts, white papers, brochures, technical papers, manuals, newsletters, blogs, Twitter (really short publishing), etc.  

Many of your documents are in Acrobat PDF format – or should be.

It’s great that you provide these documents online to be downloaded.  However, if you only create the document to be downloaded you’re missing a great shot at marketing. 

Smart marketers include helpful “links” or an occasional “call to action” or promotion link from your PDF file to additional content on your website or blogs.  These links are a traffic builder. 

Most people don’t print PDF documents.  They view them on their screen so your links become a marketing channel.

Think of helpful documents you can create for your customers and stakeholders, put them in easy-to-find places on your website, and make sure you link from these downloadable files back to your website and blog.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

News Releases as Marketing

I've been using "news" to market products and services for decades.  Most people don't believe advertising.  They still believe news.  

I started out using News Groups on the Internet in the 1980's when I was at IBM.  Now I use a number of Web and Email channels.

I'm not talking about press releases.  The press has become almost irrelevant because of the web. Create and distribute enough real news about your product, service, and company and the press will come to you.  And even if they don't, customers will learn about your offerings and you will increase leads, traffic, and sales.  Try to do at least two per week.

Don't think of news releases as just print or web.  I produce news in video for TV and web; audio for radio and web; and writing for newspapers, magazines, e-blasts, and the web.  If you want to learn more, get a copy of the book:

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott

You can see examples of the news I'm talking about on my website:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning, and Profiting, from Online Friendships

Companies are working fast to figure out how to make money from the wealth of data they're beginning to have about our online friendships.

By Stephen Baker
BusinessWeek May 21, 2009
Click Here to Read the Article

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Brand Called "Me"

You’ve been laid-off, down-sized, right-sized, or capsized. Maybe all-of-the-above multiple times.

Your “personal brand” is old, worn, and beaten. So is theirs.

All brands go through tough times. American Airlines has fallen out of favor. Nike took it on the chin. IBM got a big-blue butt whipping for over 10 years. GE and NBC, well – you know.

And your friends, neighbors, and colleagues have been through it too. Will they adapt and move to the next big thing? More importantly, will you?


In a down market, in an economy that is spiraling to the bottom, now is the time to make your biggest moves. You must re-brand yourself. You must become "Me LLC."

That doesn’t mean you have to start a company. But you have to think like you are. You have to think like a free-agent.

A free-agent with a championship brand.

Regardless of your age, position, or business, you must understand the importance of branding you. And you are your best brand manager. Even if you work for another company, you need to view yourself as a free-agent – because “sizing” will happen again.

Careers aren’t on ladders any longer. People don’t move up. They move through a marketplace maze just like products or services from a business. Why not use the same branding techniques and advertising that major companies use? With the web, it doesn’t cost that much anymore.

We can show you how to create your brand, protect it, and advertise it.

Know Your Personal Brand: "Me LLC"

What is a brand? The simple answer is: a promise. It’s a promise of the value you provide others.

What makes you different? What do you offer? What have you done to make yourself stand out? What do you do that adds amazing, measurable, unique value?

Can you write it into a 15 word elevator speech? Make sure you phrase it as a benefit to the customer. As a free-agent, your resume must be a marketing brochure about the benefits you offer clients or an employer.

Protect Your Brand

Protecting your brand can be complicated – mainly because of the web. It’s called reputation management. Have you been online complaining a lot lately? Do you comment on blogs? Have you been to questionable websites and left a footprint you wouldn’t want anyone to know about – particularly an employer or a client?

We know strategies that can help you create and protect your web "Me LLC" brand. There isn’t any reason why you can’t launch your new brand or re-brand right now – today.

Advertise Your Brand

The first step is the obvious one: Career Sites. Next is Social Networking sites. And to be a complete branded free-agent, you must create a website and blog.

Website domain names and template driven user created websites don’t cost much today and they are simple to use after you know what you’re doing. The problem comes in if you don’t have the time to figure all this stuff out, learn how to update your sites and social networking sites, and discover the strategy to advertise.

Actually, once you know how to do it, the whole process is easy. Finding it out is hard because you have to learn the software for each site and research the "channels" that best match your brand.

That’s where Brown Ltd. can help. We already know the best websites, the best social network sites and how to manage them, and how to expand your brand with free advertising. We sit down with you for one-on-one training, tailor a strategy that matches your brand, and show you how to do it.

We help you create the sites, plug into social networking, and get you going. The typical cost for a personal branding setup costs less than $500 and can be done in less than a week – roughly 10 – 15 hours of hands-on help.

The value is incredible. After everything is built, you can put as little or as much time into it as you want – it depends on how pervasive you want your brand to be.

So get started creating "Me LLC" today! A powerful brand attracts clients and employers so don't wait. Be your own free agent right now! Contact Mike at 561-756-1674 or

Or to find out more, go to
Cause Marketing Meets Social Media
Brands tap do-gooder impulse to encourage consumers to pass along marketing messages

In this AdWeek article, see how Target uses voting and friend broadcasting to multiply their message. A classic case of SMART marketing & PR.

AdWeek Cause Marketing Story
Case Study: Palm Beach Civic Association is a non-profit that had 200 web visitors a month, a reputation that they wanted to change, a pending crisis because of the economic downturn in 2008-2009, and some hostile stakeholders. Mike changed their brand identity, launched a new website:, and started a news writing campaign with "Monday Morning in Palm Beach" plus other news features every week. Website visitors average 221 per day, their reputation has been changed to the brand they want, they are holding steady in membership, added 17 new directors, and had more press mentions per month than their entire 66 year history. Go to Google or Yahoo and search for "civic association". The new Palm Beach Civic Association will be in the top 5 on the first page in organic search results out of over a million items. Contact Mike to find out how he did it: