Archives for November 2006

Mplanet 2006 Kicks Off!

UPDATE: You can now visit day 2 of my coverage of Mplanet 2006 and day 3 of Mplanet 2006.

I’ve been in Orlando FL, for a couple of days now, eagerly awaiting Mplanet 2006 – but today, I went there.

Held at the splendiferous Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, I was greeted by Rachelle Lacroix from Fleishman, who gave me an exclusive Mplanet bag full of goodies. Everyone who received a bag, found to their surprise an Mplanet 2006 notebook, program schedule and (notably) a special pen – checkout the photos!
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A Lesson From The Garage

I wanted to tell you about a recent small business experience.

I recently decided to stop leasing cars. I’ve leased new vehicles for the last ten years and finally came to my financial senses. So I bought a nice used car – a Nissan that’s about 5.5 years old. It’s in great shape and should easily last another five or six years. One of the benefits of leasing was that I never thought about taking care of the car. I didn’t have to, they were always new and worked great. The lease was always up before things started to happen. Never mind that I was throwing away the little equity I could have established with ownership.

So when the Check Engine light went off on the Nissan after about four months of ownership I started cussing. I knew enough to take the car to AutoZone (a local parts store that is part of a national franchise) that still reads the engine error codes for free. Once I knew the code, I simply typed that into the search engine for the Nissan web forums and within minutes I knew everything I needed to about the error. I knew what was wrong, which parts were needed to fix it, and whether or not I could do it myself. This error in particular is pretty easy to fix on your own, but I couldn’t find time during the weekend to dedicate to troubleshooting the issue. So I asked my coworkers about local garages.
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SBB Invited To Cover Mplanet 2006!

I’ve been very excited this month. It’s been tough enough just to hold in the news but I’m finally able to tell you all!

Mplanet 2006 will be covered here on Small Business Marketing and BrandingThe kind folks at Fleishman-Hillard (A global communications consultancy) have invited me to cover the new and unique marketing event – Mplanet 2006. A world-class event organized chiefly by the AMA (American Marketing Association), with the help of various other marketing firms, including Fleishman. I’ll scour it from beginning to end (29 November to 1 December), right here on Small Business Branding.

I’ll be bringing you all the finest and freshest insight into marketing, as discovered by professionals from General Electric, Nokia, IBM, Best Buy and more than 1000 other marketing leaders.

The event will explore and dissect topics such as new media channels, innovation, future consumer trends, managing marketing in a changing economy, brand relevancy, B2B marketing and IMC. I’ll bring you the cream of the crop and distill away the jargon – bringing you only the most potent and practical advice for your enjoyment.

So, stay tuned for this exciting coverage by Small Business Branding.

Robert Kingston.

How Well is Your Online Advertising Performing?

In my personal opinion, online banner advertising is one of the most effective pay-for-placement marketing mediums you can use when you’re promoting your small business on a local level. The small business world seriously needs to wake up to the power of the web! If you know of any good local websites that are pulling in a large amount of targeted traffic, you need to contact them immediately and request a media kit that explains how their advertising platform operates.

An advertiser-friendly website should allow you to display an unlimited amount of banners, using all of their available banner sizes, and they should be about 50-75% less expensive than local print mediums. Does that sound too good to be true? … Well believe it, cause it is!

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Lack of Creativity is Killing Business

First off, thank you for all of your prayers and support while my son was in the hospital. He’s doing wonderful now. It looks like there will be no side effects and he’ll grow up to be a completely normal kid – or as normal as one can be in our house. It was awesome to see you guys reach out with love and advice. Now, I’m back in the swing of things and ready to help you grow your business!

A few months back that I wrote that I believed the lack of creativity is slowing killing business today. In reading a wonderful book, Mavericks at Work, I not only learned I was correct, but I have data to back it up.

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The Spirit of Your Brand = Secret to Your Success

What do the city of New Orleans; street psychics and your small business have in common? Give me just a few minutes of your time, trust that eventually I will get to the point, and hang with me here. Oh, and you might want to grab a snack too.

New Orleans has always been one of my favorite cities in the US. I haven’t been back post-Katrina, but I imagine most of what I’m about to share with you regarding the city is still very much the same. What I loved about New Orleans is the energy of it. Its spirit.

For anyone that’s ever walked those old cobblestone streets, felt the stifling humidity, smelled the combination of Creole food, jambalaya, and street trash mixed with a dash of “ode de Mississippi River”, it was surreal. Like walking into postcard.

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Lessons from the Startup Front: Getting In Focus

Every day of my entrepreneurial journey I feel like a hungry, novice photographer. A panoramic, awe-inspiring landscape surrounds me. It comes at me like a 3D movie, filling my senses, at once delighting but overwhelming me with its possibilities. Captivated and confused, I am at a loss as to where to point my lens.

My method of dealing with this sensory overload, and the seemingly limitless possibilities, is to click frantically, trying to capture every scene. All the while knowing that amidst the frenzy my lens is often out of focus. But I can’t stop because I can’t yet differentiate between the prize shot and the everyday postcard pic. And I’m so hungry for that prize shot.

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