Horses, H2O and Humans

Horse  Drinking imageHorses, H2O and Humans

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a rant in this space. I’ve been inspired by Alex at Heyo and Derek at Social Triggers and even my buddy Jake at Embark Marketing. So here goes.

Cowboys used to say that you could lead a horse to water but that you couldn’t make him drink any. So the horses that wouldn’t drink any died. Which reinforced the cowboys’ belief that horses offered water that they wouldn’t drink were really stupid and thus deserved to die.

If you were offered water, would you drink it? I don’t mean Evian or Nestle or some other fancy water that you pay far too much for. I mean good old-fashioned water say from a tap in your kitchen. Or, if you are old enough to remember doing it, from the front end of the garden hose, after letting the water run for a while, of course, so that it was nice and cold and didn’t taste like rubber?

You probably might answer those questions with reservations. It would probably have something to do with whether or not you were thirsty at the time, right? But what if you weren’t thirsty at the time and a few minutes later your water supply was cut off by some catastrophe? Would you last as long as you might if you had drunk the water even if you weren’t in desperate need of it at the time?

Knowledge is like that. You might not think you need it when it is offered. But when disaster or drought strikes, you surely could have used it after your refusal to drink from the cup when you didn’t think you needed it, couldn’t you? How do you know when a piece of knowledge, a piece of expertise, a piece of experience or some advice on avoiding a mistake will be a critical element in shaping your future and the future of whatever endeavors you are engaged in?

I’ve been offering my knowledge to you for well over a year now. Many of you have taken advantage of it, particularly the free stuff, including the website resources list, the calendar of events, my monthly newsletter and maybe even these blog posts. And I’m thankful that my efforts to provide value for you are appreciated at some level and that you are finding them useful.

I have to say, however, that sometimes my efforts to bring knowledge to you so that you will have it in your time of need seem to be unappreciated or ignored. Not always, but sometimes. I did The A to Z Blog Book. $24.95 on Amazon, now $9.95 on Kindle and $20 if you get one from me personally, autographed or not. Several hundred ordered it during the free promo period on Kindle. Two were kind enough to write reviews, and very nice ones at that.

I just did the Probiotic Marketing Infographic. OK, the name is funny because it is a take-off on the TV commercials touting prebiotics, probiotics and other “features” of yogurt. Clearly a borrowed interest kind of name, to which I don’t normally resort,  but an infographic filled with tremendously valuable information on how best to market what you sell to the most likely prospects in the most effective way in any case.

I’ve been promoting these things heavily on Google+, Facebook and Linkedin. A few of you are drinking in the knowledge offerings, and many of you are complimenting them with “likes,”  but not nearly enough of you to justify the effort that it takes to lead you to the water. It reminds me of the cartoon showing an Indian chief ignoring a Gattling gun salesman because he was too busy fighting a battle with bows and arrows. You’ve seen the cartoon. And you’ve thought: what an idiot. But have you looked at, let alone taken advantage of the knowledge offers in The A to Z Blog Book or the Probiotic Marketing Infographic? Not according to my Google analytics! So what does that make you?

How much is a good idea worth if it increases your sales, bumps up your profits or helps you stay in business? How much is being prepared in advance worth? I have bunches of stories about how a few ounces of prevention can save tons of time, effort, money and grief. But you have to make the effort and the investment in learning these prevention techniques before you need them if they are to be of use to you.

Please give some thought to these issues. Buy The A to Z Blog Book in one form or another. Order the Probiotic Marketing Infographic. They don’t cost very much. And they contain the kind of information you really need and won’t find anywhere else in this world. Or be like the horse that is led to water and refuses to drink. It is your choice, and I hope you choose to drink in this valuable knowledge before you succumb to the results of not doing so.

As always, thanks for reading and please do bombard me with comments pro and con. Featured Author on Business 2 Community  

Image credit: <a href=’’>vipdesignusa / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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The 2013 A to Z Blog Posts

2013 A to Z Blog Book Cover - Print VersionThe 2013 A to Z Blog Posts

The 2013 A to Z blog posts have been moved to electronic and printed books called The A to Z Blog Book now available on Kindle in electronic form and from Amazon in print form.


The Kindle Electronic Version is available at no charge until May 28th.  If you act fast you’ll save $3.95. All I ask is that you write a review.2013 A to Z Blog Book Kindle Cover

You’ll love this book!  Order your copies today!

Here is the information on the Amazon Print Version available for $24.95:

The A to Z Blog Book: 26 Articles to Entertain, Inform and Intrigue you. Order The A to Z Blog Book - Print Version

Authored by Jon Turino
List Price: $24.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Full Color on White paper
112 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1489552747
ISBN-10: 148955274X
BISAC: Business & Economics / Marketing / General
26 Articles to Entertain, Inform and Intrigue You. Starting with the letter “A” for The Power of the Word “ASK” and ending with the letter “Z” for Zero, Zip, Zilch, this book includes another twenty-four articles ranging from Decisions, Decisions… to Emotions, Empathy and Engagement, KISS — As In Keep It Simple Silly (or other “S” words), The Likeability Factor, How’s Your Perspicacity?, Truth, Trust and Transactions and many more.
You’ll love this book!  Order your copies today!

Contents include:

  1. The Power of the Word “Ask”
  2. “B” is for Benefits…
  3. The “C” Words
  4. Decisions, decisions…
  5. Emotions, Empathy and Engagement
  6. Features, Flash and Other “F” Words
  7. Go for the Guts
  8. “H” is for Help
  9. iWords
  10. Jargon and Junk
  11. KISS — As In Keep It Simple Silly (or other “S” words)
  12. The Likeability Factor
  13. Markets, Messaging and Media
  14. Networking Necessities, Niceties and No-No’s
  15. Are You Omniscient?
  16. How’s Your Perspicacity?
  17. Questions, questions, questions…
  18. Are You Responsive to Your Customers?
  19. Success Stories and Strategies
  20. Truth, Trust and Transactions
  21. Usury of a Different Kind
  22. Voracious, Vexing and Very, Very Necessary
  23. Wondering Why
  24. X-Ray Vision
  25. YOU Deserve Some Thanks!
  26. Zip, Zero, Zilch



Time for a Commercial Break

cropped-JTphoto+Logo_940x198.jpgTime for a Commercial Break

I spent some time today putting together a set of small videos that I’d like to share with you. Some have to do with free offers – the website Event Calendar and the Marketing Strategy Development e-Book – and others have to do with asking you to spend some money with me.

The very inexpensive offers are The Piano Story and the Marketing Plan and Marketing Strategy Worksheets. Very inexpensive and very, very useful to you.

The more expensive offers have to do with the Instant Strategy Session and the Monthly Mentoring Mode. Certainly more costly but much more in depth and personalized service for you.

I’d love to do business with you and I hope you’ll both enjoy these short videos and respond to their calls for action. Because I could use the business and I’m betting that you could use the help! Just click the links above to visit the applicable pages and view the videos.

Thanks for reading – and watching. And please do let me know what other products and services that you would find useful.

Smite Those Tactics!

Whac-a-Mole ImageMarketing tactics are insidious and prolific. They keep popping up on what seems like an almost daily basis. SEO. Content. Backlinks. Tracklinks. PPC. AdWords. Promoted posts. Featured items. Offers. Text messages. Mobile apps. Interactive cable TV. Webinars. Teleseminars. e-Books. On-demand presentations. Gadgets, widgets and plug-ins. And the list could easily go on. In fact it does go on!

Are you inundated by the latest “must have” tactics in your marketing strategy mix? If so, I suggest that you smite those tactics until you step back and take a broader view of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t succumb to the siren song of any new tactic until you figure out if it will do you some good.

To whom are you marketing? Are you in the B2B or B2C business? What are the demographics of your markets in terms of age, occupation, income and interests? What kinds of activities are your prospects interested in and how do they find out about them? Mightn’t that information provide some valuable insights to guide you in the selection of your messages and the media you use to deliver them?

Who buys the largest quantities of what you sell, and where can you find more of those kinds of customers? Are there uses for your products or services outside your existing customer base that could be exploited with new messaging? Would new media selection help your message go viral? Is going viral what you want? Can you support that level of activity?

The right hierarchy for your marketing strategy decisions is goals first, strategy second and tactics third. So if those tactics are distracting you or diluting your overall goal and strategy work then I suggest you smite them until it’s time to consider which of them you’ll actually want to implement to support your plans.

Comments, as always, are solicited and thanks for reading.

Featured Author on Business 2 Community

Social Media ROI Baptism

Baptism-imageSocial Media ROI Baptism (with apologies to clergy everywhere)

There’s an old joke about a man whose pastor decided that it was time for him to be baptized into the faith. So the pastor took the man down to the river and, after saying the appropriate words, dunked the man’s head into the river for a few seconds. When the man’s head was out of the water and he had shaken the water off his face, the pastor asked him if he believed. The man said that he wasn’t sure.

So the pastor said some more words and dunked the man’s head into the river for several tens of seconds. When the man’s head came out of the water for the second time and he had caught his breath and shaken the water off, the pastor asked him again if he believed. And again the man said he wasn’t sure.

Getting frustrated, this time the pastor regaled him with a full sermon on why he needed to believe and held the man’s head in the river for a full minute. When the man’s head was finally released and he spluttered and shook the water off and took several deep breaths, the pastor asked for a third time if the man believed. And this time the man said that he did indeed believe.

Just to make sure that the baptism had really been effective, the pastor asked the man what he believed. And the man replied that he believed that the pastor was trying to drown him.

With so much emphasis on social media these days, one could wonder how much of the blog postings and social media content to believe. This is especially true now with the focus on social media return on investment (ROI).

Do you believe that social media has value in building your relationships with your prospects and customers? I certainly do. Do you believe that you need to post interesting and relevant content in order to nurture those relationships? I certainly do. Do you believe that you need to interact with your customers, sometimes in almost real time, via social media? I certainly do.

Do you believe that you can put absolute numbers, in dollars and cents terms, on the results you are gaining from your social media efforts? I certainly don’t. And you can immerse me in words and arguments and articles and posts until day turns into night and I think then that I’ll only believe that you are trying to drown me in “facts” until I acquiesce to believing something.

Don’t get me wrong here. I do believe that our social media efforts, properly directed and executed, are important. And that they do provide a return on our investment in both tangible and intangible ways. But when I’m asked to prove it with debits and credits and dollars and cents I’m afraid that I have to revert to faith alone. Because I don’t believe anyone has yet to come up with a proof that an accurate equation exists.

I’d love to have your opinions on this viewpoint. And thanks for reading.

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 3

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 3

I’m going to continue posting the materials from my online course entitled The Marketing Plan Seminar in 2013 so that my followers can get a feel for the kind of work that I can do for them on a consulting basis. If you can’t wait for the installments to be posted you can order the complete course at at any time. In the mean time, I hope you will enjoy each small installment and please do give me a call if doing so triggers something for you where I can be of help with an Instant Strategy Session or working with you longer term with the Monthly Mentoring Mode.  Enjoy!

Elements of a Marketing Plan -- 3 - Slide8
This image goes with the accompanying video that is part of the online Marketing Plan Seminar. This is slide number 8.

While we need to answer the first three questions on this slide, we really need to think about the fourth bullet — how will we convert leads to prospects to (new) customers and how will be both retain and convert new customers to repeat customers.

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 3

We’re really asking three questions here. Who are the real target markets we’re trying to reach, what messages that hopefully will resonate with these target markets are we trying to convey, and what is the best media to use to get those messages to those target markets in the best and most cost effective way.

Order the complete course today so that you’ll be ready for 2013 and won’t have to wait for the next twelve slides!

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 1

I’m going to continue posting the materials from my online course entitled The Marketing Plan Seminar so that my followers can get a feel for the kind of work that I can do for them on a consulting basis. If you can’t wait for the installments to be posted you can order the complete course at at any time. In the mean time, I hope you will enjoy each small installment and please do give me a call if doing so triggers something for you where I can be of help with an Instant Strategy Session or working with you longer term with the Monthly Mentoring Mode.  Enjoy!

Elements of a Marketing Plan - 1 - Slide6
This image goes with the accompanying video that is part of the online Marketing Plan Seminar. This is slide number 6.

This slide illustrates the first thing that you’ll want to do in developing your marketing plan: market research. Have a look and a listen to this one. The better your research the better your plan will be.

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 1

You’ll want to make sure that you take a real objective look at your markets — people who are really likely to be intersted in what you can supply. You’ll want to estimate the size of your market(s) and segment them into niches where appropriate.  “Everyone” is not a well defined target market!

You also need to identify competitors, not only for your product or service but also for the overall dollars that are available from your prospective customers for your type of product or service. Look also at barriers to entry. How expensive is it to enter the market? What regulations or licenses could impact your entry into the market? And what about physical location needs and alternatives if you are considering a brick and mortar based business.

The more complete your research, the better your planning results will be.  Don’t skimp on this step!


10 Reasons Not to Hire an Expert

Calvin & Hobbes - Math HomeworkI’ve been curating a lot of articles lately and re-posting them for the edification of my friends, fans and connections and several of those posts have been lists of 5, 10, 12, 20 or more things you can do to improve your business, life, social media strategy or anything else. In fact a lot of experts say that the titles for your posts should have numbers in them and that lists make for good content. So here’s mine!

1. You know more about the subject of how to solve a given problem than anyone else possibly could. Especially someone from outside your organization who lacks the in-depth participation that you have in the original creation of the problem.

2. You know that an outside expert will ask you a lot of irrelevant questions in an attempt to get to the root cause of your problem and you really don’t have time to answer a bunch of those kinds of questions.

3. You worked with an expert once that your company hired to solve a problem that you couldn’t solve on your own and that expert simply presented your solution to management in such a way as to get it accepted while giving no credit to you.

4. You can’t pay an outside expert $125 an hour to quickly provide recommendations to solve the problem you’ve been wrestling with for weeks or months and that has been preventing my ability to grow my business.  Too expensive!

5. You’ve been doing things this way for years and the last thing you need is some wise guy in a suit with a briefcase coming in here to tell you that there might be better ways to do things. So what if you’re working 60 hours per week? You don’t need any help.

6. Strategy, schmategy! You’ve just got to get the message out to everyone possible that they are just dumb if they don’t buy your product/service. Don’t these experts realize that you wouldn’t be in this business if you didn’t know what you were doing?

7.  You don’t need some expert telling you that what you’re currently doing isn’t working as well as you’d like it to. You already know that! You just need to work harder at what you’re doing and get your people to do so as well.

8. You’ve heard all about this “working smarter” stuff and you just don’t believe in it. The old ways have always worked for you in the past and all of this newfangled stuff is just going to make more work for you.

9. How can anyone without detailed knowledge of the ins and outs of your particular business help you by showing you how generally successful goals, strategies and tactics that work for others could work for you?

10. You don’t have time to talk with any experts. You’ve got too many problems of your own to solve!

Hope you enjoyed this.  Isn’t is amazing how many people — not you, of course — fit these examples?  As always, I’d love to have your comments — pro or con or just plain different.  Thanks for reading and don’t be shy.


Is Social Media a Passing Fad?

social-media-iconsI’ve been reading a lot lately about predictions for the coming year. Many of those predictions have to do with social media — whether or not it will stay relevant, whether or not anyone will figure out how to really measure its return on investment (ROI), how many social media “agencies” will survive, etc.

These are interesting questions and remind me of days past when similar questions surfaced and when there were as many answers and opinions — mine among them with this writing! — as there were people brave enough to venture them.

How do you measure the impact of social media expenditures on your bottom line? Do you have real numbers in terms of dollars spent vs. dollars gained or in terms of debits and credits or do you just know that social media is working for you?

Social media has created the biggest self-employment boom in recent history. Virtually anyone can lay claim to being a social media “expert,” as they did with website search engine optimization until Google foiled them and created the current content craze. I have personal and business/company/fan pages on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, XeeMe, Biznik and several others. I know how to use promotions and advertisements on most of these platforms. My website has all the requisite social media buttons and even uses a WordPress Facebook plug-in for you to leave comments — which I hope you will, by the way — on articles such as this one.

So am I a social media expert? I certainly don’t pass myself off as one, even though I think I know more than enough to be a little dangerous! But what I most certainly don’t know is how I would measure my effectiveness as a social media expert were I to take someone’s money to do social media implementation and optimization work. So I don’t do it. I do higher level strategy work and farm out the implementation to people who have actually helped my business increase its revenues through their improvements to my social media efforts.

Most of my clients are small companies — one to a dozen or so people who have had no formal marketing strategy training r whose marketing manager got the job because he or she knew how to use Facebook and Linkedin a few years ago. I help them figure out who their real target markets are, what messages will resonate with them and what media is most likely to be most effective in delivering those messages to those markets. It may sound simple, but it isn’t. And I normally do recommend that they invest in social media to at least some extent simply because they “have to have a social media presence” in this day and age to be considered a real company.

But am I giving them good advice? I think back to why we attended trade shows when I was in the electronics and software businesses. We had to be there because our competition was there. Until we became successful enough that we could afford not to be there and to let our customers and prospects know that it wasn’t due to lack of money or customers that we were foregoing our future trade show appearances. We were going to use the money for something that would benefit them more than our fancy exhibit booth and lavish hospitality suite. And they respected that.

Trade shows didn’t die, of course. They still have their niches and their purposes. But they have changed dramatically. And I think our fascination or even obsession with social media may become subject to similar pressures in the future. Because if you can’t measure the ROI for an activity, the bean counters are going to make sure that it is severely curtailed if not completely eliminated.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and will share them with the “gurus” of social media to whom I am connected.  Thanks for reading. I hope you found this content useful.


It’s a Small World (After All?)

Design to Test BookI had the opportunity to participate in an Executive Briefing breakfast meeting this past Tuesday and one of the participants was a man named Dale who was, of all things, a veteran of the electronic automatic test equipment (ATE) world, a world that I inhabited many years ago.

We spoke about how there were 10 big ATE companies in the 70s and 80s and 50 medium sized companies and literally dozens of small ones — his among them.  Today there are two, maybe three big ones, a few medium sized ones and very few small ones. A lot of that has to do with the implosion of the technology world that occurred in the early 2000s, but a lot of it also has to do with a shift in test methodology whose creation I sparked.

Once upon a time I thought it would be good to teach electronic designers, who once worried only about function and not mundane things like manufacturability, testability or yield.  So I wrote the first book and ended up traveling the world teaching and preaching DFT, as it was then called. And I had fun, fame and respect from the electronics test community. “Rambo” of testability. “Pope” of testability. Those were heady days.

You have probably never heard of IEEE-Std-1149 or boundary scan — the so-called “dot one” standard. These are terms that are familiar only to those involved in the design and test of the integrated circuits. But that standard is incorporated in the integrated circuits that are used in  virtually every electronic product you use today — including the device you are using to read this post. I literally changed the world of electronics test.

Creating the IEEE standard became a crusade of sorts for me. The standard got co-opted by some very large companies with their own agendas and thus my one truly altruistic act ended up killing my DFT seminar business.  Go figure.  No good deed goes unpunished!

I tell this story only to illustrate that change happens. In the technology world, in the marketing world and in our own lives.  And we can either adapt to those changes or we’re out of business. I (thankfully) had other things to teach, preach and sell and had supporters who appreciated my high technology hardware and software technical and marketing skills and whose support has gotten me to where I am today — a consultant who can share his marketing knowledge — for a price — with those who appreciate that wisdom and the love with which it is shared.

Do you have a crusade within you? A passion to change the world in whatever way you can? If so, share it with us. If not, let us help you create one. Because it truly is through the passion of individuals that we create change in the world.  Let us hear from you in the Comments section and thanks for reading.