The #1 Tip for Hitting the Target with Marketing

Marketing isn’t something I was always confident about.  When I first started out in business, my degrees were in Political Science and Organizational Behavior.  I had very little marketing experience until I went to work for a transportation company in Southern California and, within a two week span, went from a role in purchasing to a significant role in marketing–a huge change that was an even bigger learning experience.

My marketing experience was trial by fire and reading.  I just started reading books on marketing and learned as I went, and it was that experience that gave me enough knowledge to do some marketing on my own when I later set out as a business consultant.


Marketing Target

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If somebody had asked me when I was 25 where I saw myself career wise in thirty years, I would have had no clue that my career would be all about marketing . . . that I would be the Chairman of the world’s largest referral marketing organization.  Sometimes we go places in life we never expected to go but I wouldn’t change a thing about the career path I chose.  I am passionate about helping people grow their businesses and achieve great success through effective referral marketing and after spending over two decades devoted to this work; I really enjoy knowing that the work I do allows me to pass on the marketing knowledge and experience I’ve attained in order to benefit to others.

I was recently asked what my top marketing tip would be and I think it’s really all about building the brand–either the brand of the company or of the individual, depending on the kind of business that you’re in.  Name recognition–that’s the biggest challenge, especially for small companies.  It’s not the same for everybody because every business is a little different and people’s skill sets are different.  For me, in my business, brand building has largely been about writing.  Before the internet I was trying to get articles in newspapers and magazines.  Now it’s much, much easier.  In this age of blogs and social media, even small companies have a global reach.  The problem is all the white noise that’s out there: with so many people wanting a piece of the action you have to be able to stand out.  So, for me, the top marketing tip would be to write, write, write.  Become an expert in your field so people want to follow you because when they follow you, they’re more likely to do business with you.


I’d love to hear how you’re making your mark with marketing–what is your top marketing tip for the other business owners out there reading this blog?

3 thoughts on “The #1 Tip for Hitting the Target with Marketing

  1. Dear Ivan,

    Thank you very much for the valuable tip in the blog…

    ” Know the customer’s business. Read (About the customer), Research ( About his business ), Respond with confidence after creating a connect between product/service offered by us to the customer’s business ”

    This would be my humble marketing tip. I believe that when the customer knows that we know about his/her business, the person/company and/or brand gets a place in the heart/mind of the customer.

    Warm regards,

  2. Ivan, for me I write as much as I can but it’s the sustainability of it that I sometimes struggle with. If one were to have a blog how often should one write? I think you write once a week, video once a week, and podcast once a week. Is that correct?

  3. Please let me add to this conversation. Dr. Misner is spot-on when he suggests that we all write, write, write, because even in this internet age your writing is your passport to authority, speaking engagements, and a successful career. But please make sure that you have someone looking over your shoulder before you hit “publish.” It’s such a complete turn-off when someone who is staking out “expert” territory has multiple misspellings and punctuation/grammar mistakes in his or her writing.
    Here’s a good story that illustrates to power of the written word to improve your bottom line.
    I drove 4 hours last month to attend a workshop run by a fellow who has started a “referral-based” networking/coaching business that looks quite a bit like BNI. I’d met him before and, after seeing all his mistakes (including misspelling the host organization’s name two different ways!), had offered him an hour consultation about editing his marketing materials, which include a magazine that he publishes. The typos and jaw-dropping mistakes in his materials had me chomping at the bit at the opportunity.
    So, he’s pitching his “program” to the 20 or so people in the room via a PowerPoint. There were 27 slides in his PowerPoint with at least one major mistake (and some had multiple mistakes). I went up to him afterwards, reintroduced myself, and again offered the hour-long consultation. He laughed, and said he didn’t need it, but didn’t I want to sign up for his coaching? Didn’t I want to pay $1200/year for the chance to sit at his feet and absorb his wisdom?
    Well, wait, I said, you had 27 mistakes in your PowerPoint. Twenty-seven.
    Oh, he said, laughing, you’re the only one who’d see that. The PowerPoint is good enough.
    Say what? “Good enough”?
    Bottom line: I kept my money in my pocket. His bad writing cost him money.
    So, yes, write, write, write. But when you write, write well. And then hire an editor. Not your mom, not your spouse, not your college sophomore niece or nephew. A bona fide editor. And watch your influence blossom and listen to your cash register sing.

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