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Testimonials are great, but your marketing machine needs more

By Leo Valiquettetestimonials1

I love Tom Kumagai.

As a spokesperson for Toyota, that is.

He is the modest building inspector from Chatham, Ont. who has appeared in television commercials for Toyota with his 1998 Rav-4. His mileage on the vehicle is well past the 600,000-kilometre mark. Previously, he owned a 1980 Toyota Corolla that he took to more than 400,000 kilometres.

Kumagai attributes the reliable performance to the fact that he keeps to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule and only trusts his local Toyota dealership to do the work.

There is nothing boastful about these advertisements. There is no need to be. The facts speak for themselves. And while not all Toyota owners have the same experience, and the automaker itself deals with quality issues and recalls like any other, the understated tone of these advertisements gives them weight and authority.

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Never expect mission-perfect prose in the first cut

By Leo Valiquettewriting

Ernest Hemmingway once said in an interview, that he rewrote the last page of A Farewell to Arms 39 times because he was having trouble “getting the words right.”

Effective writing is about much more than appropriate comma use, subject-verb agreement, passive versus active voice, or avoiding exclamation marks and adverbs. These details are important. They are the nuts and bolts of writing, the technical stuff that, if diligently policed, gives prose its final polish.

But the essence of great writing is much more subjective. Great writing engages, entertains and educates. It distills ideas, opinions and concepts into provocative new forms that find resonance among audiences they haven’t before.

As Hemmingway’s timeless example illustrates, great writing seldom emerges in the first draft, no matter how skilled the writer. It is an iterative process. Review and revision by wise readers who are representative of the intended audience, as well as eagle-eyed editors, is crucial. Review and revision is the difference between good and great.

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Great articles roundup: Failed and winning marketing, lessons from a startup and inbound marketing strategy

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By Hailley Griffis

This week’s article roundup is all about marketing, courtesy of Huffington Post, CopyBlogger, Forbes and ClickZ.

First up, why marketing campaigns are bound to failure and the mistakes you might be making. Next, we see the importance of providing relevant content to your audience and look at the winning difference this content can provide. We follow that with the lessons one founder learned going from the corporate world to the startup world and how he has improved his marketing. Finally a very detailed post goes over how to create an inbound marketing strategy.

Why your marketing campaigns are destined to fail

Jun Loayza is very familiar with the classic mistakes a lot of marketers make. Drawing on the hundreds of marketing campaigns he has implemented, Loayza recaps what he’s learned from his failures. The first is being too focused on traffic, and not giving enough thought to conversion. He then talks about properly pitching the product and whether or not people can talk about you with ease. Read More

Great articles roundup: Be an entrepreneur now, startup hiring, online media and marketing that doesn’t sound like sales.

linkBy Hailley Griffis 

This week’s article round-up starts off with more great pieces about entrepreneurship and startups. First, we have a post from Entrepreneur that talks about why right now is the perfect time to be an entrepreneur and a post in the Huffington Post’s Small Business section all about startup hiring and more specifically, the kind of people that you do not want working at a startup. We picked up some great marketing stories this week as well. In the Social Media Explorer, we found an article that talks about the incredible fragmentation of the online marketing world, why that is a problem, and how to fix it so that your online media is gaining as much traction as possible. Finally, in Small Business Trends, we read a great piece all about how to make sure your marketing efforts don’t come across as a sales pitch. Hope you enjoy our weekly roundup, let us know what you think in the comments.

3 reasons it’s the perfect time to be an entrepreneur

Just today, Jim Joseph published an article talking about why right now is the perfect time to be an entrepreneur. And it’s true, never before has there been so much collective support in favour of startups and entrepreneurs. This is beneficial for everyone because startups are the backbone of the economy, and with so much support, startups are much more likely to succeed. The last point that Joseph makes adresses  social media as an important and accessible tool for startups to use in order to propel their marketing efforts

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Marketing lessons learned from a weekend camping trip

sale-300x300By Leo Valiquette

In this socially enabled age, it could be argued that “try before you buy” has become as anachronistic as a laptop case with pockets for floppy disks.

As a consumer, why bother to waste the time when you can simply turn to product review sites and customer review ratings?

Because opinion is seldom objective, that’s why.

Many negative reviews say more about the reviewer than they do about the quality or performance of the product. It’s impossible to appreciate and factor in all the variables that could be influencing another buyer’s reaction. They may have had unrealistic expectations, their needs may not have not have been an appropriate match, or they could have been looking for features and functionality that were not present and are not relevant to you.

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