Get wet all over . . .

I get it, I do. You’re scared. The water looks really cold. It’s your first time without water wings. You just want to dip your toes in and see how the water feels before you really commit.

But you can’t just dip your toes in. You can’t..

You have got to make a cannonball-sized splash the first time you launch your company, product, services or combination of all. Or don’t bother.

Now I’m not saying that you’re to place ads everywhere from the primetime ads during Olympic coverage of Michael Phelps  to your child’s elementary school swim team Facebook page! But, once you’ve identified and narrowed your market to determine exactly where your “low-hanging fruit” is for potential sales, and once you plan to introduce yourself to that market, timid toe dips will simply not work. If you do, You’ll look small, afraid and timid and who wants to do business with someone like that? (Especially for most of my clients — whose job it is to present a confident, take no prisoners attitude to security and threat mitigation. . .now there’s a reason not to look timid, no?)

I get that the budget is limited, but look at all of the options and carve out a mix of places to be and then dive in using the best strategic and attention getting messages. Want to stand out in a tradeshow? Then don’t give away 10,000 pieces of junk that people leave in their hotel. How about giving away 250 of something people might really want, but only to targeted decision makers who commit to an appointment with you and have to come to your booth to pick it up! Or give them something that will surprise them and leave them laughing (ask DKD about our “Flying Pigs” campaign!).

Get testimonials (they’re free!). Let others speak for you. Hound the press with information on why you are unique (but realize that the message you need to give the media is NOT “come buy our stuff because it’s unique” but rather “people who are buying our stuff are better off because they bought our unique stuff and here’s why” – that’s a subtle but really important distinction if you want the press to continue to take your calls and write or talk about you).

Get the slickest, most skilled graphics designer you can find and invest in quality of design, not the fanciness of the brochure because an elegantly designed, simple, two page brochure has just as much impact as a die-cut, embossed, gilded, heavy-weight masterpiece of a brochure. Or consider going paperless and electronically provide everything because really . . . paper is so yesterday.

Be clear about who you are. Come up with three or four consistent, repeatable “go to” messages that permeate every web post, website, brochure, flyer, press release, social media site and ad that you touch. The message may be positioned differently depending on the audience, but there will be a few key phrases and descriptions that carry across all media lines.

And those are just a few pointers, but what I want to drive home is that just dipping your toes in to marketing will diminish your message power — especially if you are looking to make a first impression that will have “legs” as we call it in this industry.

So go. Make a splash! Get wet all over and you will see a better return on your marketing investment.


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