Marketing is as easy as P.I.E.

Business coaches will tell you that 80% of marketing is ineffective. But it doesn’t have to be.  Effective marketing is really as easy as P.I.E.

So what exactly is P.I.E.?  Well, it’s not the apple pie pictured here, though that does make us want to dash out to the  store…

The P.I.E. we’re referring to is the target audience that you plan to use as the focus of your marketing efforts.

Here’s the recipe for Marketing P.I.E. success:

P – Purchaser
This is the person who ultimately pulls out his/her wallet and pays for your product or service. It doesn’t matter if the transaction takes place in person or online.

I – Influencer
This is who or what at influences the Purchaser to open his/her wallet and make the commitment to purchase your product or service.

E – End User
This is the person (or animal or thing) that is the end user or actual recipient of your product or service.

Here are some examples of Marketing P.I.E.

Barkley eats the dog food your company makes.
Sarah, his cute “sister,” sees the ads that tell her which dog food will make her puppy happiest.
Mom makes the ultimate purchasing decision.

Grandma is the end user of your organization’s Senior Services.
Her medical team has several suggestions as to what should be done.
Her son will make the ultimate decision because he is paying for the service.

Anne wants to wear the latest trends.
Anne’s friends tell her what they think is trendy.
Anne’s dad makes the ultimate purchase when he hands over his credit card.

Organizations can have several different P.I.E.s for any product or service and each Marketing P.I.E. scenario requires a different marketing strategy that might benefit from a different social network or media outlet. In the Senior Services example, the marketing message to the Purchaser son could be focused on empathy and compassion for the End user, his mom, while the marketing message to the Influencer medical team could focus on the latest medical technologies or the highest insurance payout rates.

Spend a few minutes determining your organization’s Marketing P.I.E.  You’ll find your marketing success really is as easy as P.I.E.

Reciprocate LLC has helped numerous organizations determine their Marketing P.I.E. Contact us today at info(at) to schedule your Marketing P.I.E. consultation. It’s as easy as pie.


Customers are NOT always right and you need to tell them that

Case Study #1: During a recent phone conversation with a new client, we posed a question. “Why, Mr. Client, do you want more Twitter followers?” Our question was met with silence.

Seems the client didn’t know why he wanted more Twitter followers, just that he wanted – and needed – more. He didn’t even know why he was using Twitter or if Twitter was an effective marketing tool for his organization. Instead of simply providing our client with what he asked for, Reciprocate first probed for details.

Do you ever ask your clients why?

Perhaps they think they need one of your products or services but in reality, they really need something else — possibly something you can’t, don’t, or won’t provide.

Case Study #2: A prospective Reciprocate client sent an email asking us to help them create a tagline and to weigh in on a logo design for their new business. This request resulted in a 90-minute initial marketing consultation where we first helped the client identify their true target market and create an organization value statement. Then, and only then, we were able to brainstorm and create a tagline that accurately reflects the business’ mission and speaks to its target market. The logo design is being refined based on our conversation.

Would you ever tell a client “No”?

Reciprocate has. And, yes, we have lost potential business because of it. But we have also gained the respect of potential clients, many of whom have referred us to others who really do need the types of services we offer. We’ve even signed a few on as Reciprocate clients after they originally contracting with another firm that promised them a “quick fix” social media or marketing solution that turned into a rather disastrous and  expensive “lesson learned.”

What is your company’s value statement?

Reciprocate’s value statement revolves around our attitude.  Our desire to truly help our clients succeed is what differentiates Reciprocate from our competitors. We won’t just give you want you want – we’ll work with you to analyze your request to determine if you really need what you think you want.

In the case of the client who “needed” more Twitter followers, Reciprocate is in the process of helping him drive traffic to his website – and then capture emails from website visitors to create an email campaign – which in turn will provide him with a more effective marketing strategy.  And, by the way, while he hasn’t totally abandoned his Twitter account, it’s not his top priority.

We look forward to asking you why

If you’re not afraid to be challenged with probing questions and want a marketing company that will work toward your organization’s  best interest, call Reciprocate today at 651-675-6943. We’re here to help.

Marketing Tip #23| 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Elevator Pitch

You’re at a networking event or party. Someone asks you a simple question: “So, what do you do?”  Here’s where you’d typically start in with your elevator pitch. You know, the one you’ve been perfecting over the past few months that goes into the details about your business and how wonderful it is and why you’re so successful…


Don’t be THAT guy (or girl). You know. The one who blabs on and on about their company using words like “synergy” and “top-notch” and “optimize.”  Instead, be someone memorable. Here are 10 easy tips to creating an elevator pitch that works as an effective marketing tool WITHOUT sounding like a sales pitch.


  1. Be conversational. Do make sure your answer is a genuine two-way conversation, not a company spiel.
  2. Keep it short. Do practice. 60 seconds is a long time to talk uninterrupted, and chances are you’ll lose the attention of your audience. Can you describe what you do in 20 seconds? How about 10 seconds?
  3. Use everyday language. Do make your comments seem as natural as possible — and have several elevator pitches ready for each event so you aren’t repeating the exact same response.
  4. Share. Do consider relating a (short) story about a recent client that would best describe what you do and the value you/your products provided.
  5. Provide value. Do be that guy that everyone is taking about. Provide a statistic or tip that your listener will want to share when they get back to the office.


  1. Launch into a commercial. Don’t sound like an infomercial. This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s a conversation.
  2. Be clever.  Don’t start with an irritating, clever statement i.e. “I turn money into memories.” No one really talks that way — or wants to be lead along in a phony exchange of “really, what do you mean by that?”
  3. Generalize. Don’t be vague. “I work with banks”  isn’t very revealing. Share something interesting about what you do.
  4. Make it a monologue. Don’t be an attention hog. Even if you are sharing a story, encourage your listener to interject. “Have you ever…?” or “Do you have any ideas?” are great engaging questions.
  5. Try to close the sale. Don’t be in “sales” mode. Leave the audience wanting more. Let the prospect come to you if they are interested.

After your response, it’s your turn to ask them what they do. If you are in a business or networking setting, be sure to also ask for their business card — and only provide yours if asked.

To receive tips on marketing directly in your inbox, click here to receive Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

Marketing Tip #22 | WIIFM – The Key to Marketing Success

WIIFM: The key to marketing success

Before you begin any marketing efforts, you must answer one question:  “Who is this marketing message aimed at?”

Promoting an event, product, or service takes on a different slant depending on the intended audience.

For example, if you are promoting an after-school dance class to parents, you might emphasize the experience and background of your dance instructors and the techniques taught. If you were targeting the marketing message directly to the potential students, you would emphasize the fun environment and the opportunities for recitals with fancy dance outfits.

Both are good marketing messages. But, they are very different messages because the intended audiences are interested in different things.

Emphasizing features and benefits that aren’t important to your target audience will result in a “why should I care?” or negative response. Emphasizing features and benefits that are important to your target audience will create a more engaging message that will result in more positive results.

When creating a marketing message, focus on WIIFM — What’s In It For Me?

Put yourself in your target audiences’ shoes. What’s important to them? Now use that insight to write a marketing message that will resound with your intended audience.

WIIFM —  the key to marketing success

 Want help? We’ve helped numerous organizations determine their markets’ WIIFM. We can help you, too.

Shoot us an email or give us a call at 850-320-6792.

Click here to sign up to receive Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

Marketing Tip #21 | 3 Keys to Inbound Marketing

Get customers to come to you

Easy as 1-2-3

Three steps to inbound marketing

1.   Get found — online

  • Use your website
  • Have a strategy for sharing on social media and email marketing

2.   Convert

  • Capture leads from website
  • Convert visitors to buyers
    — Be easy to contact

3.   Analyze

  • Measure website traffic
    — Use Google Analytics
  • Track website leads —
  • Track customers
    — Follow up
Easy as 1-2-3! Questions? Want help?  Shoot us an email or give us a call at 850-320-6792.

Click here to sign up to receive weekly Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

Marketing Tip #19 | 25 MORE Easy Marketing Tools

25 MORE Easy Marketing Tools

Looking for more ways to easily market your company? We’ve compiled a list of 25 MORE easy marketing tools below.

If you missed our first list of 25 Easy Marketing Tools, click here to see what you missed.

Remember, marketing doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, but it does take some thought and time – and a strategy.

  1. Special promotions centered around unique holidays
  2. Postcard mailers
  3. Celebrate customer occasions
    i.e. birthdays
  4. Free ads in shopper newspapers
  5. Auto or vehicle magnets
  6. Customer appreciation events
  7. Stationery
  8. Ads before movies
  9. Volunteering
  10. Satisfaction/Follow up phone calls
  11. Spend time with clients
  12. Send thank yous
  13. Booths at community events
  14. Bumper stickers
  15. Customer loyalty program
    i.e. punch card
  16. Ads on placemats
  17. Door hangers
  18. Toll free number
  19. Personalizing correspondence
  20. Distribute related marketing specialty items i.e. pens or calendars
  21. Offer samples or “try before you buy”
  22. Add live chat to your website
  23. Newspaper inserts
  24. Donations to community auctions
  25. Building signage

Reciprocate can help you sort through the options. Contact us today for a free consultation.

This is the second in a Easy Marketing Tools. Read the first set of 25 Easy Marketing Tools here.

What Color is Your Website?

Pick a Color, Any Color

Your brand is reflected in your company colors. When you are first forming your company, you need to decide the colors you want associated with your company, products and services.  Best Buy uses blue and yellow; Coca-Cola relies on red and white; Bachmans, a Twin Cities florist, uses purple and lime green. Which colors represent your company? What colors do you like? What image are you trying to portray?

Consistent use of colors helps to solidify your brand with customers. Use your brand colors everywhere: on your website, YouTube channel, Twitter background, email templates, product packaging, marketing and collateral materials, promotional items, stationery, and business cards.

If website visitors aren’t converting to customers, changing the color of your website might not be the solution. If your car stopped working, would you paint it a different color to make it work?

If you aren’t happy with how your website is performing, ask a third party to review your website with you or hire a website consultant. Does the text answer or raise questions? Are the pages laid out logically? Where are the calls to action? Is it easy to read and uncluttered? 

Notice I haven’t asked what color it is.  Pick a color. Any color.

Pantone just announced Honeysuckle is the 2011 Color of the Year. In the comment section below, post links to your favorite websites and list their dominant colors. (Can you find any using honeysuckle?)

Turn your 15 minutes of fame into 30!

Womans Day PR Opportunity

Taking Advantage of Media Coverage

Congratulations! Your small business is in the news.  Now what?

Here are five simple ways to leverage your positive media coverage for even more publicity for your small business or organization.

  1. If your media coverage is in print, create a .pdf of the article or news story.
    – Make a professional-looking copy. Newsprint often bleeds through the backside, so be sure to change the settings on your scanner when scanning newspaper clippings.
    –  Add a border as well as the publication logo and publication date.
    – Create a .pdf.
    An easy way is with a free shareware program, Cutepdf that creates a .pdf when you select cutepdf as your printer option. I’ve used this for years with great success.
    If your media coverage was on TV or radio, contact the broadcaster to obtain the audio and/or video file. Some may have links to past segments on their website that you can download.
  2. Upload your .pdf, video, or audio to your website.
    – Do you have an “News Room” tab or “In the News” section of your website?  Now would be a great time to add one.
  3. Create status updates on your social media networks with links to your media coverage.  Facebook and LinkedIn provide an easy way to attach links to your updates. Twitter posts can directly include the link.Reciprocate LLC on Facebook
  4. Thank those who help spread the word about your press coverage on other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  (Thanks, Kathy!)
  5. Press coverage often encourages more press coverage.  If your media coverage was national, seek out local reporters and outlets to see if they are interested in covering your national exposure from a local level. If your coverage was in print, perhaps a local TV or radio station would be interested in the story or vice versa.

Enjoy basking in your 15 minutes of fame — and good luck extending your time in the spotlight!