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Digital Directory
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AUGUST 2013



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When Should A Dealer or Manufacturer Stop Marketing? Would You Say, When You Land A Big... A REALLY BIG... Account?
by Marsha Friedman

I should say not! Recently, a colleague asked me, "What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?" Every mistake can be rewarding if you learn from it, I said. One painful mistake has stuck with me for years. THE LESSON: Don't ever stop marketing because you think you've reached the point where you don't need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, "Don't put all your eggs into one basket." It's true.

I'll share a short story. Years ago, my public relations company connected with a large publishing house that served many prestigious authors. The first few of its authors we accepted as clients had such successful campaigns, we quickly became the publicity firm of record for this publisher. I thought we'd tapped the mother load! The business we got from the publisher eventually became about 80 percent of our business. We were so focused on delivering for these authors that we became much less focused on (marketing) getting our company name out to prospective new clients. Eventually we stopped marketing. Our newsletters ground to a halt. Networking ended.

Why bother? We didn't need new clients! We had a whole basket full of beautiful golden eggs and we were happily skipping along without a care. And then the publisher ran into serious problems and our golden eggs were cooked almost taking my company with it.

Faced with only a few clients and no prospects, we got busy fast and cranked up the marketing department (me!) again. It took awhile to regain the momentum we'd lost but, we rebuilt a list of prospects and clients - only this time from a diverse array of sources. It was a terrible but powerful experience that demonstrated very clearly: No matter how great things seem to be going, you never stop marketing.

Yesterday's story is old news. Look for fresh new ways to stay in the public eye. Use the internet - write personalized letters, especially to the top prospects. Do a blog. Do speaking engagements (for free, if necessary). Don't reply on only one outbound means of attracting new clients.

Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to businesses, professional firms, entertainers. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

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