Blog Archive

Ten Marketing Tips From Your Dog

American’s love dogs. More than 83 million of our four-legged friends call the U.S. their home. Well, they would if they could talk. The percentage of U.S. households with dogs has tripled since the 1970s. According to the American Pet Products Association, 47 percent of American households now own at least one dog. …

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Handling Media Interviews Like A Pro

“Scott, did you murder your wife?” shouted the reporter. Scott Peterson ignored the question and hurried to his car. Rumors started to surface that he was going to be arrested and he didn’t want to answer questions. Most business owners and executives will never face a scenario like Scott Peterson, …

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Success in Social Media Marketing

If you want the best chance of being successful at social media marketing, you need to first understand and acknowledge that you’re using social media as a tool. This is work, not play. It will take time and effort. That’s not to say you can’t have fun with it, or …

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Becoming a Super Brand – Dos and Dont’s

Your brand is not your product, service or company. Your brand is how people recognize your product, service or company and what they think about it. Branding is a function of marketing. And let’s face it, the super brands usually become super brands because of their marketing. A super brand …

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You Just Need A Better Marketing Message

Your business is not special. I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it’s not. I don’t care how many people you employ, how long you’ve been in business or how many awards you’ve received from Rotary or your trade association. Consider these facts: According to SBA.gov, there are 23 …

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Our Seriously Ugly Dude Mobile Website Ad

We decided to have a little fun with the print advertising that we place in The Business Journal to bring attention to an issue that is slipping by many organizations. A large portion of the people that view the organization’s website are viewing it on a cell phone or tablet. Both …

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Need One Idea? Ask Many Questions

“What kind of animal is this?” asks my 2 1/2 year-old grandson Nico. He and his one-year-old sister Ava are sitting on my lap while we’re reading a children’s animal book. Nico is pointing to the photo of  a strange-looking creature. “That’s a platypus.” I say after double-checking the caption. …

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Farris Develops GrowBIZFund.com

For more than three decades, they have been known as MVEDC. But they were not known by many and even fewer knew what services they offered. That’s a shame because they do important work. The Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation is a partnership of public and private interests focused on …

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Marketing During the National Day of Unplugging

Could your organization continue marketing its products or services during the annual 24-hour “Digital Detox” known as The National Day of Unplugging? Maybe the question is “Should you?” Would your efforts be effective without electronic and digital media? This year’s event started Friday, March 7 at sundown and ended at …

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Come on Baby, Do Social Media Marketing With Me

OK, everybody sing along with me to the tune of “The Locomotion.” (Check YouTube if you want to hear it.) Everybody’s doing a brand new thing now Come on baby, do some Social Media I know you’ll get to like it if you give it a chance now Come on …

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SuperBowl Ads — Mistakes or Money Makers?

Were the 2014 SuperBowl mistakes or money makers? There were plenty of both. None of the spots hit it out of the ballpark like the first E-Trade baby spots, but everyone had favorites. A good TV spot should stand out, connect with the audience and have some call to action …

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17 Things to Think About Before the New Year

The new year is right around the corner. What changes are you going to make in your marketing in 2014? What changes are you going to make in your life? Everyone believes they need to make big changes but the only big change you need is the change to your …

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Good Sales Messages Start With a Good Value Proposition

Every once in a while, the CEO of an organization should have to make a few new business sales calls. Yes, cold calls (gasp!). The CEO should not imitate an episode of “Undercover Boss” by making the call anonymously. And he or she should not be calling friends, associates and …

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Mooney Indoor Billboards

This is a series of “indoor billboards” we developed for Cardinal Mooney High School. They are displayed in hallways throughout the school. The goal is to inspire students and teachers every day. They also appeal to prospective students and parents who tour the school. Note these are draft mock ups. …

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Can You Package Your Passion and Sell It?

In the early years of Farris Marketing, we had a lot of retailers as clients. That’s because — before the age of international retail giants — the Valley had quite a few large department stores, and multi-location clothing, hardware and drug stores that were locally owned. We produced tons and …

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The UnSlept — an Untapped Market

Most nights, I hit the sack around midnight and fall asleep within a half hour. I wake up refreshed and raring to go. Then I look at the clock and see it’s 2:15 a.m. Oh, oh. Here we go again. I look over at my spouse. She is sleeping soundly. …

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The Best Reality TV Shows Sell Hope and Happiness

Most reality TV shows make me cringe. I’m not sure why anyone would find the lives of Beverly Hills housewives and bearded duck-hunters so fascinating that they tune in to watch in record numbers. But when a friend asked me to name my favorite TV shows, I realized that my …

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Is Your Marketing Blending In or Standing Out?

It was the spring of 1966 and we were almost teenagers. Me and my buddies from the sixth grade at St. Nicholas Grade School were pretty excited about going to our first mixed party of boys and girls. We wanted to stand out…show the girls how we were different. We …

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Why is there so much lying in marketing?

Want a fast car? The Isuzu Impulse was faster than a speeding bullet. Want a roomier car? The Isuzu Impulse had more seats than the Astrodome. On a budget? The Isuzu Impulse cost just one dollar. Why do you find those statements hard to believe? Is it because they were …

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Real-Life “Linked In” Lessons in High School

On my first day as a freshman in high school, I spent a lot of time picking up books that seniors and juniors knocked out of my hands. The perpetrators would be laughing 20 feet down the crowded hallway before I could even react. I had to scramble to pick …

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Keep Your Eyes (and Your Marketing Message) on the Prize

A few years ago, I heard Sam Rutigliano, the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, use a story about his dog to explain why his Kardiac Kids were one of the most successful Browns teams ever — even though they didn’t have the most skilled players. Coach Rutigliano told …

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Incentives — How We Are Inspired to Take Action

“Papa! Papaaaa!” pleads my two-year-old grandson Nico. He’s standing on the edge of the pool. I’m in the pool, treading water. He’s getting ready to jump in but he wants me to climb out of the pool and jump with him — as we’ve already done 23 times in the last 24 …

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Marketing Lessons from Our Mothers

Think of all the marketing lessons we learned from our mothers. Naturally. Free. With no college tuition. All we had to pay was attention.  Here are a few lessons I learned from my marketing teacher (my mom): Incentives: “You better clean up your room before your father gets home.” Sampling: …

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Can You See Your Position Clearly?

Just a couple weeks ago, I went to see the 3D version of the Superman movie “Man of Steel” with one of my adult sons. About a half-hour into the movie, I got up and went to the concession stand for popcorn. Within a few minutes I returned to the …

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First and Last Impressions Are the Most Important

The worst pitch of my life took place during August of 2006 in Tampa, Florida. August in Tampa is characterized by essentially constant daily high temperatures — around 90°F or higher throughout the month. Humidity ranges from 58% (mildly humid) to 93% (very humid). That’s great if you’re going to the beach. But it’s brutal if …

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Beeps and Bounces: How Important Are They?

Beep. Beep. Beep. There it is again. That faint, tinny-sounding noise. Beep. Beep. Beep. It’s difficult to hear because oxygen deficit is causing my ears to ring. I’m “sucking wind,” and my labored breathing is the sound I hear the loudest. Beep. Beep. Beep. It’s my heart rate monitor telling …

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Video Killed the Radio Star… But Brings Marketing to Life

It was a Friday night (technically, Saturday morning) at one minute past midnight on August 1st, 1981 when MTV (Music Television), a new cable channel, debuted its first music video. The first video featured the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by a British New Wave duo called The Buggles. …

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How to Write Like Lincoln

This column contains about 600 words. I would prefer it was only about 350 words. That’s because I can cover most of the relevant points I have to make on just about any subject in about 350 words. After that, my concentration and my writing gets kind of weak. Don’t …

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Healthcare Learns Customer Service Is Good Marketing

The first time I was behind bars I was terrified. I didn’t believe I belonged there. I wanted out. “Wait, wait! Come back!” I yelled as I watched my loved ones walk away. Pretty tough situation for a five-year-old. No, I wasn’t some pint-sized Mafia kingpin. I had rheumatic fever …

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The Spy, The Barista, T-Mobile Girl and Me

Get Your Point Across with Creativity FADE IN: INTERIOR, COFFEE CAFE — DAY The cafe, located inside the bookstore in a suburb of Ohio, called Boardman, is nearly empty.  GEORGE, a professional marketing consultant, is the only customer. He’s sitting at a table by the window. Laptop open. Staring at a blank screen. …

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Carmstrong: You can have Lance… I’ll take Carmine

Until recently, millions of us held a guy who wore yellow Spandex in high esteem. He beat the odds and won the Tour de France a record seven times. He rode his custom-built bicycle to championships in exotic locations all over the world. But consider Carmine Cassese, owner of Cassese’s …

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An Image. A Story. A Connection

I looked across the dance floor of the typical large Youngstown-style wedding reception. Past the cookie table that is so unique to our area. Among the men and women in suits and gowns is a young male Marine, maybe 27 or 28 years old. About the same age as one …

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Want to Sell More? Smile More

The Science of Smiling and Sales “I don’t really enjoy coming here.” said the bank customer. “What makes you feel that way?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she replied. “I guess it’s because the people never smile.” The customer I was speaking with was one of many we were interviewing …

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Zig Ziglar, Master of Marketing

I wanted to be in marketing before I even knew what the word meant. I just knew that the “right” words and images could sell products and services, change opinions and even get people to vote or make donations. I wanted to help companies find those words and images, put …

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The Importance of Mission-Driven Marketing

It’s 4:26 a.m. and my alarm goes off for the first time. I hit the snooze and doze off. It buzzes again at 4:31 and the war of voices in my head begins. “Get up and get to the gym,” says one voice. “Stay in bed,” says another. “You ate …

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