The stock market plunges, soars and plunges again. Retail sales are down, unemployment is up. The Fed makes an unprecedented cut in interest rates.
Time to consult a higher power.
Rebecca Booth, aka “The Marketing Goddess,” has spent her adult life in marketing and what she has to say can help you in your small business. So, if you’ve been downsized and turned your hobby into a business, or quit work to raise children but have a business on the side, or worked for a Fortune 500 firm but now have a mom and pop store, or are consulting in your career field after retirement, take heed. Booth says, now is not the time to pull back on advertising.
She says now is the time to increase market share.
The strategy holds true with the stock market. The wise stay in the market. The wiser increase their contribution to buy while stocks prices are low.
Now, some of you might call this column a shameless plug for The Press.
Can’t argue with you.
But, ask yourself, can a Marketing Goddess be wrong?
Let’s check her credentials: B.A. degree from BGSU in fine arts specializing in creative writing, public relations and graphic design; a career in the creative end of marketing at large and small companies in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago; a current list of clients that include the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and a board member with Women’s Entrepreneurial Network and past president of Association for Women in Communication.
Today, Booth works out of her childhood home in Genoa. She came back to Northwest Ohio at age 40 to help her then-ailing mother, Rose. She decided to stay and launched her own marketing consulting firm, Imagine That! This year the business celebrates its 10 th anniversary.
Her specialty is creating “agency caliber work for small companies.” She teaches marketing classes and has written a book for the small business owner entitled Marketing in a Box. This workbook is a simple guide which teaches business owners how to attract clients by spending one hour-a-day marketing.
Booth says the single biggest mistake small business owners make is not devising a marketing plan and budget Both keep you from “jerk marketing,” that impulse to buy the special offer of the day that will most assuredly come from sales reps from newspapers, radio, television, coupon books, web sites, etc.
A typical budget is four to six percent of gross sales, but effective advertising can be done for as low as $1,000 annually.
Booth’s first step is networking, a low-cost, but sometimes, time intensive strategy. Get involved in business and service organizations, don’t just go to meetings. “People buy from people they know and trust,” she says.
Your first prospects are people you know. Booth provides worksheets in her book to help identify these potential customers. They come from previous jobs, schools you’ve attended, family, hobbies and church, to name a few.
Booth provides many other low cost ideas about marketing which she calls “the root of all income.”
“If you’re not making a profit from your marketing, you’re wasting your money,” she adds.
As far as newspaper advertising, Booth offers the following advice:
- Spread your budget out over many small ads versus a few large ads;
- Use short snappy headlines. They work better;
- Concentrate on the benefits to the consumer in the body copy, not features of the product;
- Use white space. Too much copy makes your ad gray and readers will likely overlook it;
- Be patient. It takes 7 to 16 impressions to get on someone’s radar screen.
- Booth also gives tips on how to generate free publicity and how to work with reporters and editors.
One last word. Create a snappy slogan or jingle, one that’s easy to remember. For instance, “It’s not a great deal unless it’s a Dunn deal.”
Booth takes her own advice. She uses humor in her slogan, Rebecca Booth, Marketing Goddess.
By the way, how does one become a marketing goddess?
Divine inspiration, naturally.
Booth said on the eve she launched her business she went to bed and prayed for guidance. When she woke she had the name Imagine That!, the slogan, Marketing Goddess and the logo, a jester juggling many balls in the air.
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org