Chapter 5: Crafting your Marketing Message

Marketing Plan Podcast_WEB BANNER

How can you make a good first impression?

Your only given one chance to make a first impression, and often times it can make or break a new relationship with your customer. Your initial means of communication is your marketing message, a consistent, creative line that customers pick up when they first come in contact with your brand. While its easy to be succumbed into using that line to boast about your brand, customers really don’t want to hear it. What customers do want to hear, is a marketing message full of personality, promise, and contrast.

Chapter Five of The Marketing Plan Podcast will guide you through three principals to help you create the perfect brand message to seal the relationship with future customers. You can view Chapter Five’s notes here.

itunesInterested in the new show?  Please subscribe in your feed reader or ITunes at

Jay Ehret signatureThanks for listening!
Jay Ehret
Dean of Marketing Know-How
The Marketing Spot


How to Create Great Advertising

Topic: Creativity and Advertising

Guide to advertising and creativity

Podcast Episode #80 of the internet show about small business marketing

If you want to make your cash register ring with advertising, what do you do? Get creative. But just what is creativity and how do you use it to create great advertising? In this episode of Power to the Small Business, author, advertising expert, and ad agency creative director Luke Sullivan tells us how we can create great advertising.

Host: Jay Ehret – Chief Officer of Awesomeness at
Guest: Luke Sullivan – Creative Director at GSD&M and author of Hey Whipple, Squeeze This
Length: 29 minutes

To receive new episodes by email, use the link below and enter your email address. (We keep these private and don’t give or sell them to anyone)
Subscribe to Power to the Small Business Podcast by Email

What is Great Advertising?

The convergence of advertising that is fun, exciting and interesting, with advertising that makes the cash register ring.

Luke Sullivan’s Creative Process:

  1. Fully understand the business, what it does, what it wants to accomplish, who it targets, who the competition is.
  2. Figure out what the business has, that people want, that the competition isn’t giving them.
  3. Sit down with a pad of paper and a pencil. Face a blank wall. Don’t look at beautiful settings, instead turn yourself inward.
  4. Then draw a little square on a blank sheet of paper. Fill it with something interesting.
  5. The objective is to take everything about the business and burn it down into a single idea that is interesting. It might be a visual, and idea, a movement.
  6. If you can’t get your idea into that little square, it’s not a big idea.

Selected Advertising Quotes from Luke Sullivan:

On the necessity of creativity in advertising:

“It is not required. But that means all the weight goes on to your product… When you don’t have a great or breakthrough product, then maybe you are going to need to align some marketing in your favor. Then, I think creativity is the best business tool you have to unfairly beat the competition.”

“Creativity needs to be in service of a commercial purpose. If it’s just creativity for creativity’s sake, well then it’s just art.”

On creating great advertising:

“You need to figure out the one thing; the one thing that you can tell your best customer that will get them to lean in and talk about your product.”


Luke Sullivan’s Blog:
Buy Luke’s Book: Hey Whipple, Squeeze This

Get updates on: The Marketing Spot Group Coaching

To receive new episodes by email, enter your email address. (We keep these private and do not give or sell them to anyone else)

Advertising Creativity: Generating Creative Ideas

The Internet Show About Small Business Marketing

Advertising Creativity Podcast

Podcast Episode #71 Creativity in Advertising

Don’t you hate trying to come up with ideas for your advertising? The stumbling point is creativity. You know you should do something different so your ad doesn’t look like every other ad out there. Most people don’t think they are creative, so how do you generate creative advertisements?

In this episode of Power to the Small Business, we turn to Tom Altstiel for our creative answers. Alstiel is creative director and parter at Prom Krog Altstiel in Milwauke and he joins host Jay Ehret to discuss creativity in advertising. Altsteil is also co-author of the book: Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, and Design. Altstiel and Ehret discuss what real creativity is and how you can create creative advertising.

Guest: Tom Altstiel – Creative Director and Author, Milwaukee
Host: Jay Ehret – The Marketing Spot, Waco, Texas
Length: 27 minutes

Email subscribers and feed readers – If you don’t see the player, click here to listen to Advertising Creativity Podcast
You can also download the mp3 file here: Power to the Small Business #71 (for personal use only)



Creativity Definition: Presenting ideas in a way that most people don’t expect.

  • People must be able to relate to your idea
  • It is memorable

What is real Creativity in advertising?

  1. Unexpected – Presenting the familiar in a new and different way
  2. Relevant – Resonate with your intended target audience
  3. Strategic – Must be able to extend the idea into a campaign, and more than a one-time use

Benefits of creativity

  1. Builds your brand
  2. Creates long-term awareness
  3. Extends your marketing budget




“You need to present ideas in a fresh way so that they’ll be more memorable. And the benefit of that is you’re able to spend less to get your message out.”

“Ultimately, the market decides if it’s good creative. If it gets attention, if it resonates with the target, if it motivates someone to take action, then it’s a great idea.”

“Humor…gets people to like your brand. It doesn’t necessarily get them to buy something. And if the objective is just brand recognition, I think humor is an excellent choice.””


Tom Altstiel’s Agency: PKA Marketing
Buy Tom’s Book: Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, and Design
Premium Webinar: The Complete Guide to Facebook for Business
Free Advertising Webinar: Straddling The Fence

You may also be interested in reading: If you’ve ever said, “I’m not creative,” this is for you.

To receive new episodes by email, enter your email address.
(We keep these private and do not give or sell them to anyone else)

Delivered by FeedBurner

A Great Tagline is the Best Brand Communication Tool

On this episode of Power to the Small Business, we welcome Jim Morris. Jim creates compelling, evocative advertising. He also writes a weekly column for the Advertising for Peanuts blog. His specialty is creating taglines. His most famous tagline is for Flintstones Children’s Vitamins: We Are Flintstones Kids, Ten Million Strong . . . And Growing. Jim has created taglines for both large and small companies.



Jim Morris – The Communicaterer

Length: 28 minutes

(Feed readers and RSS subscribers – Click here to listen if you don’t see the player)
(Firefox users may have to refresh your screen to see player)

You can also download the mp3 file here: Download Show (for personal use only)


Taglines & Your Brand

I asked Jim about the importance of having a tagline. He believes that a good tagline is the single-most powerful, condensed, compact expression of your brand that you can have. Taglines show their value when you need to get your brand in front of people and connect with them in little space and time. The tagline is the first articulation of your brand.

However, a tagline is not an explanation and shouldn’t tell a long story. It needs to encapsulate the feeling you want people to have about you. For that reason, you should take great care in creating one. The key is having a clear sense of what your brand is.

The Don’ts of Tagline Creation

  1. Don’t brag or engage in chest-beating. Talk to the customer and not yourself.
  2. Don’t participate in tagline fads. Avoid formulas and plays on words based on popular sayings
  3. Don’t use one-word taglines.

The Do’s of Tagline Creation

  1. Start with a creative brief: a one page document that identifies:- Your goal- Your target- Your most compelling attribute
  2. Translate your brand promise into a tagline filtered through your brand personality.
  3. Decide on a voice, face, personality, and attitude of your brand.
  4. Find a professional to help you develop a good tagline
  5. Once you get a tagline, commit to it and put it on everything you do.

Jim Morris – The Communicaterer

Jim’s personal website with examples of his work and contact information

Tagline Blog
Jim’s pithy column on taglines


Bob Bly: Direct Mail Copywriting Tips for Small Business

Episode #9 of Power to the Small Business:

The internet show about small business marketing.

Writing Effective Copy for Direct Mail

Bob Bly has been called “America’s Top Copywriter.” He is author of The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells. In this episode of the podcast, Bob shares the keys to writing direct mail that gets results.

Power To The Small Business – Episode #9: Direct Mail Copywriting Techniques
(Feed readers and RSS subscribers – Click here to listen if you don’t see the player)
(To download the mp3 file to your computer, right click here and save)


Show Notes:

The four biggest secrets from getting response from DM
1 Start with your customer, their fears, needs, concerns. Not with your product.
2 Find an emotional connection with your prospect, not just a factual connection.
3 The most important piece of your direct mail package is your sales letter. Never mail just a sales piece and an envelope. Always include a letter.
4 Always have an offer. What’s the incentive to respond now?

Writing effective direct mail copy
Write conversational copy in a personal me-to-you form.
2 Use short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid jargon and use plain, simple English.
3 Follow a logical order called
The Motivating Sequence

The Motivating Sequence
Do something to get attention.
2 State the problem your product solves or the need it fills for the reader.
3 Introduce your product as the solution to the problem or the answer to the need.
4 Overcome skepticism by providing proof
5 Ask for action, or ask for the order.


Reference Websites

Bob’s website:
Bog’s direct response enewsletter and four free reports:
Landing page tips: The Landing Page Guru

To listen to all of our podcasts on small business marketing: Power to the Small Business
Our company website: The Marketing Spot


Pay Per Click (PPC) Demystified

Episode #8 of the internet show about small business marketing.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Demystified

Amber Benedict of Hanapin Marketing and co-author of the PPC Hero blog says it’s easy to get started with search marketing. All it takes is $5, fifteen minutes and Google Adwords. But that doesn’t mean you should do it.

Like many of the shiny, new marketing tools, search marketing gets a lot of hype. But before you dive in, take 25 minutes to learn whether or not this hot marketing trend is right for your small business.

Power To The Small Business – Episode #8: Pay Per Click Demystified

(Feed readers and RSS subscribers – Click here to listen if you don’t see the player)
(To download the mp3 file to your computer, right click here and save)


4 Things You Need To Know About Small Business Advertising

Power To The Small Business – Episode #2: Small Business Advertising

Outspoken veteran adman George Parker weighs in with important tips on small business advertising. Parker is author of MadScam: Kick-Ass Advertising Without the Madison Avenue Price Tag, and writes the AdHurl and AdScam blogs. He is a freelance writer and creative director and practices his craft in Boise, Idaho.

After you listen, please join the conversation with a comment or question in the comments section below.


Guest: George Parker – Author, writer, creative director

Topic: Small Business Advertising

Length: 31 minutes


  • Should you even advertise?
  • What results to expect from your advertising
  • Decide what you want to spend
  • Determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
  • The three things you need to create great ads.
  • Where should you advertise: New Media vs. Old Media
  • Who should write your ads?


For more about our company: