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Archive for August, 2010

 

I hope that you are finding creative ways of staying cool in this “alright-I’ve-had-enough-of-the-heat” weather we’ve been experiencing this summer.  It’s hard to believe that a mere 6 months ago we were being walloped with snow!

Being inside, in the cool air conditioning, has given me some time to hone my culinary skills and with that I have rediscovered, of all things, the onion!  In the past, I stopped using onions as much as possible, for several reasons which we need not get into, and recently decided to give them another try.  As I’m enjoying them in various sauté concoctions, on burgers and as part of my famous macaroni salad, I started thinking about how marketing is very much like an onion and I’ve come to several conclusions.  Read on to discover what marketing and onions have in common.

First, because I deleted onions out of my diet almost completely I realized that I was missing out on the flavor enhancing that this delectable vegetable used to add to my meals.  It reminded me of how many businesses have cut their marketing programs down drastically over the last few years, mostly for budgetary concerns.  But in recent months, marketing is making a comeback.  We are now starting to see our clients add marketing back in to their recipes for success because they realize that the key ingredient to more sales is marketing!

Onions, like marketing, have many layers and only a skilled professional can peel each layer, carefully and patiently to reap the rewards of a hearty and tasty meal.  The layers of marketing can be complex and difficult to extract, but with the help of a creative marketing firm (or a sharp knife for your onion) you will be well on your way to successful marketing programs that will increase customer awareness, brand your company and generate more sales.  The layers of marketing include traditional marketing, which is made up of the “4 P’s”, product, price, placement and promotion.  You can segment your target market and direct your efforts to just the customers that you think will buy from you.  Anyone who’s had Marketing 101 knows that such efforts present themselves in the physical, such as print advertising and public relations, direct mail, industry trade shows, printed brochures, TV, radio, billboards, posters and yellow pages (remember those?!).  Traditional marketing offers many layers within the layers of marketing, much like the fruit of the delicious onion that becomes more potent as you get deeper into the center.  Beyond the layers of traditional marketing, comes the new marketing and all of the opportunities that the internet (I still love the term world-wide web) has created for all of us sales and marketing type people.

New marketing, which is web-based, does not follow the rules of traditional marketing.  The layers of new marketing are made of things like e-mail marketing, search engine marketing, blogging (sounds like something you do when you are sick), online news releases, podcasting and videos, social media marketing and the scariest thing ever – viral marketing!  The idea is to reach as many people as you can, utilizing the new marketing methods for as little cost to you as possible.  Sounds easy, right?  Like my grandmothers super-secret recipe for chicken with dumplings, new marketing is a huge undertaking and, as with traditional marketing, you can spend a lot of money on internet advertising and various other new marketing media and still not reach the customers that you are trying to do business with.  So – what do you do?  Which do you choose?  Here’s my answer:  Don’t choose between them, choose both of them!  What I have determined is that there will always be a need for traditional marketing and you should never completely cut it from your marketing plan and budget, for like the onion, it is far too valuable to your overall goal to leave out of the recipe.  My recommendation is to find the right combination of both traditional and new marketing that will increase your exposure, keep you in constant communication with your current customers and help you reach new customers and markets all while maintaining your sensitive budget.  Fortunately, 20 Twenty Graphics specializes in just this kind of planning and implementation of one of the most important ingredients in your overall success – Marketing! 

All this talk about food has made me hungry, but since Grandma’s recipe is not available at this time, here is a Betty Crocker recipe for a very tasty onion soup that I’m sure you’ll enjoy! 

Golden Onion Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large onions, cut into fourths and sliced (1 1/2 lb)
2 cans (10 1/2 oz each) condensed beef broth
2 soup cans water

Parmesan Croutons

1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 slices bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 
 
1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 13×9-inch pan, melt 1/4 cup butter in oven. Toss bread cubes in butter until evenly coated. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp.
2.  Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. In 4-quart ovenproof Dutch oven, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Toss onions in butter mixture.
3. Bake uncovered about 2 hours 30 minutes, stirring every hour, until onions are deep golden brown. Remove from oven; stir in broth and water. Heat to boiling on top of stove. Serve with croutons.

 

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