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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Better Local Marketing
Read all the PowerBlog ReviewsEditor's note: Welcome to the sixty-third in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs.

"Virgin" Blogger Gets It Right

By Lynne Meyer

Kevin Stirtz, president and publisher of Coffee News Twin Cities, Burnsville, Minnesota, USA, is very new to blogging. In fact, he's a veritable "virgin" at it, having just started three months ago -- on February 2. New to blogging or not, however, in my opinion he gets it right.

Truth in advertising is a rare these days. That's why what you'll find at the Better Local Marketing blog is so refreshing. True to its name, the contents really are all about better local marketing, with tons of real-world tips.

Beyond his own considerable experience as a small business owner, Kevin regularly talks to other business owners, tapping into what works for them for local marketing and what doesn't. "Far too much marketing is done by shooting from the hip or is based on how good the local advertising salesperson is," he notes. "All too often, small business owners make decisions about their marketing with little or no good information."

Kevin adds, "I really hate seeing people throw money away on marketing that does them very little good." So he started his blog to share the information he has gleaned about better local marketing.

While Kevin's blog contains lots of good information about what works, he's also not shy about telling readers what doesn't work. In his March 28 posting titled Affiliate Programs Don't Work in the World of Local Marketing, he describes an "offer" a local retailer brought to him to become an affiliate of their store. "This type of deal fails to pass muster in several ways," he says. Concluding that "the deal fails what I call 'the business model test'," Kevin warns, "I won't do business with someone who wants to pay for just a small part of the service I'm providing. Neither should you."

By reviewing his many examples of successful marketing techniques, as well as abysmal marketing blunders, small business owners can save themselves money, time and headaches. Kevin makes postings to his blog several times a week, and he's generous about sharing web sites, other blogs and articles he finds valuable. In addition, he provides links to what he considers to be good marketing resources. One such link is to -- surprise -- the U.S. Postal Service.

Kevin even uses popular TV shows to provide pointers. In his "Marketing Lessons from 'The Apprentice'" posting, he points out and analyzes what the winning team did right and why the losing team bombed, resulting in Donald Trump pointing his finger at one of them and saying "You're Fired!" (To his credit, Kevin demonstrated tremendous restraint by not commenting about "The Donald's" comb over.)

And talk about value added! Kevin enables readers to purchase, download and print out the 21-page guide -- "Five Minute Marketing" -- he developed for a local marketing course he teaches. And check this out. Beginning mid-May, Kevin will be hosting monthly workshops on "Improve Your Marketing" at a local coffee shop.

Bottom line -- I've bookmarked Better Local Marketing, and you should, too.

* * * * *

-- Lynne Meyer, APR, is a regular new resource here at Small Business Trends. Lynne is a senior public relations professional with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of marketing communications, including writing, media relations, strategic communications planning, special events and crisis communications. Lynne is president of her own marketing consulting firm, A way with words, and can be reached at lynnemeyer@cox.net.
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