9 NOT So Random Marketing And Business Observations

I’m staring a new series here: Harty Nuggets! Every week, I’ll publish new insights and observations that caught my eye. Moved my heart. Stimulated my brain. And made my blood boil!

What am I observing exactly? That’s the fun of it! We’re talking TOTAL free-flow mode here. Rest assured, these are not off the cuff comments and opinions without some thinking behind them. Of course, you’ll be the final judge… and you can’t beat the cost, right?

Why am I doing this? Well, after 25+ years of marketing. And 50+ years of living, I’ve learned a few things along the way. (With the scars to prove it.) And by presenting these observations in list form, they’re easier for you to scan, consume, and benefit from!

In fact, these insights have yielded plenty of ROI and saved my bacon more than once. And if they can help save yours—all the better!


My 9 Observations

for the Week of January 8th, 2012:

1. Tone setting first, goal setting second. I always feel better when I set the tone for the year first at a high level. Only then do I drill down to goals. Find out my 3-step process here.

2. Your network DOES equal your net worth. I spent years building up my network, and let it wither. No more. I’ve recently connecting with the following in my network:

  • Business coach to Fortune 500 Companies (Like Wall-Mart and Firestone)
  • A top Business Strategist that wants to include me in a global PR push
  • One of the biggest SEO thought leaders on the web (First book published in 2002.)

TIP: Set aside time each week and reach out. BUT, don’t get attached to the outcome. Just connect and let things flow from there.

3. Masterminds are ALL POWERFUL. But there are some caveats. I am currently in three masterminds. One has over 90+ marketing and technology minds just an IM away on Skype. ALL in one place! (Because it’s a group.)

I’ve also had masterminds that failed. Make sure to set expectations. And find mastermind partners that share your values. But not necessarily your skill set.

4. Digital PR is NOT a magic cure. I talked with two colleagues today. One has had really good Online PR success. The other? Not so much. There are many reasons why. That’s why you follow a process. There’s a lot of valuable info about my Online PR methods right here on this site. Look around. Download something. Take action.

5. No matter what business you’re in, you’re in the expectations business.  Work with clients? Set the expectations before you do ANYTHING else. I recently had a situation that didn’t have client/agency roles clearly defined and we’re now in a bit of a conflict.
6. Story TRUMPS all. Was catching up with my friend and colleague David Bullock today. And we shared a similar lament. Too many businesses let tactics drive marketing and decision-making. Instead, focus on creating a compelling story first, then roll that out into which marketing vehicles are the best fit first.

Sure, I’m being Captain Obvious here. But then why do so few businesses get their story right? You don’t need to be a billion or million dollar brand to hatch the right story. You just need to think like one. It’s hard to argue with Apple, Nike, Virgin and all the others…
7. Have Webinars peaked yet? They no doubt will by the time I start doing them regularly. (LOL) Here’s the thing: if you’ve on a few marketers’ lists like me, you’re getting hammered with webinar announcements. Can you name 3 webinars you attended truly impacted your business in a positive way?

Yes, I get that webinars are cost-effective. And a great vehicle to sell. But SO many marketers do webinars and squander trust right from the get go. So even if they have good content, you might not stick around for it.

Webinar pet peeve: lots of joking around with the speakers in the beginning. My time is valuable. Don’t try and prove how clever you are. Get to the damn point!
8. Email marketing is tough. And getting tougher. Deliverability is down. Spam is up. Clickthrough rates are off. And clutter is everywhere. What’s a marketer to do? Here’s what THIS marketer is doing: I’m overhauling the operations side this month, and then the content side after that.

Take NOTHING for granted. And make email marketing part of your overall marketing strategy instead of being lazy and just sending out affiliate emails for a quick buck.

Email marketing pet peeve: FTC regulations state if you are an affiliate you need to identify yourself as such. How many marketers really do? From all the marketing emails I receive I’d say it’s less than 5%.  Can you really trust these marketers’ recommendations? Especially when they’re not transparent about their compensation (as the FTC requires) them to do as an affiliate?
9. What would my system do? No you don’t need a bracelet to remind you. First, do you even have systems? If not, check out the systems resources from my friend and colleague Beth Schneider at Process Prodigy.

Systems aren’t just for big companies or those with employees. I have an entire system that slots over 235 tasks I have into 8 buckets. Don’t you think that’s a lot easier to manage than a task list that goes on for pages? And even worse, makes you feel guilty you’re not getting enough of them done fast enough?

That’s it for last week’s observations. This week I’ll have a whole new batch. And I have no idea what they’ll be. Stay tuned!

Please comment: which observation do you connect with most?

Marc Harty is an online publicity expert, professional speaker, Internet marketing consultant and CEO of MainTopic Media, Inc. Marc’s Online PR Made Easy can help anyone at any skill level generate targeted web site traffic on autopilot.

  • Howard “OutSourcerer” Tiano

    Let me be the first to comment on your tasty Harty Nuggets! Excellent first post, plenty of nuggets and takeaways.

    I think SHORTER webinars will be more in vogue soon. 2+ hrs. is a huge time commitment.

    And re: the story: I think too many marketers forget the huge opportunity they have to spin a great story to your business/message…too many online press releases are relegated to the link building dept….

    Good luck on your Harty Nuggets…I’ll be nibblin’!


  • Sydney

    I most relate to your comments on systems. I admit to a weakness in that area and I am impressed by 
    235 tasks into 8 buckets. Wow, Marc, just wow!

  • Love it, Marc. It will be tough to come up with stuff this good this every week, but I expect you will do it. In fact, I’m counting on it.

    #6 hits home with me. People love stories. Companies and entrepreneurs who take time to develop them reap big rewards.

  • Howard,

    Great to hear from you! Got your theme for 2012? And I agree…in fact I forget which marketer was doing 15 minute webinars.? Certainly cuts down the chit chat.

    ~ Marc

  • Hi Sydney,

    Thanks for commenting. I may do a webinar or product on my systems. It’s kind of fun how it all came about. And it keeps me sane! Well, most of the time… 🙂

    ~ Marc

  • Hi Jim,

    Well, being in the PR business, we know how far a good story can take us, right?

    I’m looking forward to seeing on Harty Nuggets evolves. It won’t always be opinions like this one. It’s really what’s on my radar for that week.

    And if I get stuck for a nugget, I can always count on trusted colleagues like you to come to the rescue!

    ~ Marc

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