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How do I
Differentiate My Business?
3 Cleveland Women give advice

At the November 19, 2005 meeting of the John Carroll University Entrepreneur's Association, three talented Cleveland Women shared their marketing and branding expertise with the audience.

Kathy Ross told the crowd that they should "Garden and Gather. That is, define and begin the process remembering to:

  • Identify the challenge
  • Organize others for the team - build collaboration
  • Define the scope - time frame, resources, budget, outcomes
  • Commit to open ideas
When doing a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)analysis
  • Be realistic - don't embellish
  • Be short and simple - very specific
  • Keep competition in mind
  • Remember, it's subjective
Jeanne Hauer, Regional Marketing Director of Anthem and author of Millionaire Women, said that the Rule of 3 (you need 3 exposures to a potential customer) may now be the Rule of 5.

When looking at your business, ask yourself

  • Who cares?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What matters to them?
  • What are their hot buttons?

Other tips included:

  • Have written deadlines and clearly defined ownership of the plan
  • Don't make this common mistake - It's been a tough year so let's cut the marketing budget - wrong! That's like hoping to have crops in summer without sowing seeds
  • Move money around - look like you are everywhere - not always the same publications, events, etc.
  • Do joint ventures, strategic relationships, events
  • Have a sense of urgency - Nobody was ever bored into buying anything
Sara Stashower suggested that we use testimonials from satisfied customers and clients. We should contact prospects quarterly, if not monthly.

The three experts recommended the following books:

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