The 15 Basic Marketing Tools - Part 1

"What are the basic marketing tools I need?"

This is something I hear all the time when sitting down with someone who is going to hire us, or is thinking of hiring us, or honestly, wants to get some nugget of something from our conversation that he can use after we part.

This question has been percolating in my head for a while. And many of the basics have made themselves known throughout the writing of my last two books: "The Marketing Checklist... 80 Simple Ways to Master Your Marketing" and the soon to be released "The Marketing Checklist 2... 49 MORE Simple Ways to Master Your Marketing."

So what are the basics? In this blog and my next four, I am going to take a look at The Basic 15, three at a time. If you want all 15, click on the video and watch all of them! On one of the later blogs, I am going to put a link to The Marketing Checklist Radio show that has all of them as well.

BEFORE WE START - This is important: In order to use any of these Basic 15 Marketing Tools, you MUST have a VERY clear idea of who is your main target market and who is your secondary target markets. Failure to know your audience is going to make most of this an exercise in futility. I have written extensively on demographic targeting of your markets, so you should take a look for those blogs before you begin here.


#1 Your Logo is one of the basic marketing tools:

I have worked with hundreds of companies over my career. The number of them with truly memorable logos can be measured on two hands (mine, while better than most, is not one of them... the work continues!).

Here are the basic tips:
  1. Keep it simple. Your logo is a symbol for the eyes. When your eyes see it, the message of what you associate with that logo, both good and bad, is relayed to the brain. When you walk down the soda aisle, and you know you want Diet Coke, you are looking for the familiar red field and white lettering symbol, not the red, white, and blue Pepsi logo. When you are on a long driving trip and are hungry, you quickly scan the signs at the off ramp ahead for a fast food symbol you enjoy. Don't give your customers too much to absorb.
  2. Color matters - In our examples above, a large amount of Red on the shelf means Coke, Yellow arches means McDonalds, a red square is probably Jack in the Box, a yellow shell is Shell gasoline. There are hundreds of articles on how color effects how people feel, so take some time and decide on what works for you. For our Sedona Marketing Retreats, we used black and an orange which mirrored the power filled rocks of the area. We also borrowed the target from another one of our brands, to show congruence.
  3. Typeface matters. It has to be easily readable. Different typefaces offer an amazing variety of meanings.
  4. Keep it easy and flexible. You should have a rectangle and square, vertical and horizontal version of your logo. It should be easily read when it is small on a business card as well as on t-shirts you give to your clients.
  5. Don't do it yourself. The other day, I was called by a client who wants to assist her son in his fledgling company by ordering some promotional products from us. The logo was created in a program that made it difficult to be used anywhere else. A re-draw and update is in his future and we are going to connect him with a graphic artist client.
#2 Your Business Card is one of the basic marketing tools

I wrote an entire book on business cards called "49 Stupid Things People Do with Business Cards... and How to Fix Them" so I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to sharing your message on a 3 ½" x 2" piece of printable materials.

Let me boil it down to the basics:
  1. Make sure you have all the ways people can get in touch with you: Phone, Cell phone, fax, mailing address, email address, web address, vital (repeat VITAL) social media links - whatever way your client wants to contact you, put it on the card.
  2. All information must be up to date. No cross offs.
  3. Easy to read. If you go smaller than 9 point type, you probably have too much information on your card.
  4. Don't ever use the phrase "Well, I just needed something fast" when it comes to your cards. That is your way of acknowledging you do not care enough about your company and the image you have of the work you do. This means, you should never go on line and use the same artwork thousands of others use. That is unprofessionalism at its worst and that is not you. My readers are complete pros! The secret is that your local printer can probably get them to you faster, less expensive and they will look better.
Many people feel you do not even NEED a business card. I think that this is a bit of laziness and a reliance that social media will be the connection. If you want to make a connection with Boomers and older Gen Xers, you need to look professional. If you do not have a card, it is like you are running your business out of a coffee shop or are trying to be too cool for the room.
#3 Your Website With a Blog is one of the basic marketing tools:
You have to have one. Period. Here are the reasons you need a website:
  1. When a potential client is looking for your service you need to be there. With Video.
  2. People look for EVERY service on the internet. When we needed something local, the Yellow Pages was what we grabbed. Now the first thing we do is go to a search engine and type in the key words we think will get us there. With Video.
  3. It is more than a brochure. You need to add reasons for people to stay on your page. More time = better SEO scores. It needs Video.
  4. It MUST be built in WordPress. This is a free program with inexpensive website frames which the search engines prefer. Currently. It easily supports Video.
  5. If the framework is more than 3 years old, it's time to update it. Chances are there are bells and whistles which will make your site better. With Video.
  6. It needs to be constantly relevant. This means updated. Which is why you should blog. Ask me about my " target="_blank">Santa Claus and his Elves story. It explains why you should blog in a very simple and easy to remember method. Or find it on my Youtube channel. It will explain this in detail. With Video.
  7. You need a way to capture information. You have to make your website convert visitors into buyers. With Video. Using a video introduction and an opt in of some sort, your visitors will become part of your fan club. We offer a free report which helps potential clients get to know us. You can do the same thing. With Video
  8. It needs to tell your story. With Video.
Did you notice I added the word VIDEO in several places? Video is your friend. The search engines and your viewers love video.
Here are the reasons you should blog:
  1. Credibility with search engines;
  2. Credibility with clients;
  3. Credibility with POTENTIAL clients;
  4. Build your authority in the market place
  5. It sharpens your skills - your head is always in the game looking for new blog ideas;
  6. It's not hard. Here, I can prove it. Check out this video where we talk about blogging.
  7. Gives you content for Social Media and other purposes. Once you have written and posted your blog to your website, you should add the link to your social media business pages. This brings them back to your website;
  8. Sets you apart from all your lazy competitors. I understand that this is going to take you time. And lots of effort. By the time I write this and add all of the links it will be a two hour process. But when I think that most of my competitors will never do what I am doing, I am charged up and you will be too. That extra mile is just waiting for you; AND
  9. Because I told you to, that's why!

Remember, we live in a Google-centric world and there is information available on most every topic. By adding to that content, you become part of the business solution. Sharyn and I want people who read our blogs to want more - and want to hire us to help them. You can do that too. With Video.

Would you like help with some of these basic marketing tools? Call me at 800-705-4265 and let's get you started down the right marketing path. You can check out more of my marketing blogs at You may even want to read my book, The Marketing Checklist, which is available on Amazon.