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.


Do Your Facebook Friends Know Too Much?

Do you know what you are really sharing on Facebook?

Facebook seems to hold a special place is all of its users’ hearts. And I’m willing to bet most people have a love hate relationship with the social media site. We love the ability to stay connected with friends near and far. We loathe reading all of those whiny Facebook statuses and the hourly updates about where your friend is going or what they are doing. And many of the recent updates have turned us into unwilling stalkers.

Take, for instance, the new group feature. Now, when you post in a closed group (and I’m going to assume a secret group as well although I haven’t looked into it), you can see what members view your post and what time.  I noticed this the other day as I viewed a post by my soccer team captain about the field location and game time. Now, this does have its advantages. We then knew who saw the game information and were able to contact those who didn’t check Facebook. But did I really need to know that teammate A saw the post at 8am and that teammate B didn’t check for a post until 11am? Not really. And I felt a bit violated as then suddenly everyone knew what time I was on Facebook checking that page for that post at exactly 9:36am that morning. Don’t get me wrong, I can see a benefit. But it also makes me feel like a bit of a stalker…

Or how about the added timestamps in Facebook chat that notify you as to what time you sent your message and what exact minute your Facebook friend viewed your message? I haven’t quite found a purpose to this feature other than for you to make assumptions as to how focused your Facebook friend is on you and your conversation. When they view your message right away you feel like they were waiting for you to send it. But, if it takes them a few minutes to view your message, you’re left wondering what they could possibly be doing that is more important than talking to you. So it seems to be a feature that could cause more problems in Facebook friendships then whatever its real purpose may be.

It turns out that now every time you “like” a picture or a company’s status, etc.,
these things then get broadcast to all of your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds.

The newsfeed is a feature of Facebook that has been drastically changed a few times, usually with a negative response from the users. But Facebook sticks to their guns and eventually everyone adjusts and goes on their merry way. But lately, my newsfeed has seemed to house a much larger quantity of pictures and quotes than of statuses and things I actually care about. It turns out that now every time you “like” a picture or a company’s status, etc., these things then get broadcast to all of your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds. Great. Now, every silly picture you like will be announced to ALL of your friends. So that picture of a political bumper sticker that your friend posted and you liked? Now all of your Facebook friends know where you stand on that issue, regardless of whether or not you have ever said a word about which party you favor or what belief you hold. Not only do you now need to be careful about what you “like” as it all gets broadcast over the loud speaker, but now your newsfeed is full of a ton of things you probably don’t care about.

And, if you watched the news about a month or so ago, it was broadcast that Facebook changed your displayed email on your About page to your Facebook email. Whoa, Facebook, WHAT?! I didn’t even know I had one of those emails! And I still don’t know how to access that email account, although I haven’t really tried. But, nonetheless, my Facebook email was suddenly displayed publicly as a way for people to contact me. I’ve never had my email displayed, so not only was my email address changed in my contact section, but it was suddenly displayed as well. So, unless you’re one of the few who actually uses your Facebook email address, you should double check that if you DO want an email address displayed, it is one you actually use. And I wouldn’t recommend an important email address, depending on how you run your Facebook page, as you may get more emails than you bargain for.

So Facebook, I’m sure there will be more changes. I am 100% positive there have been many other small stalkerish (yes, I have deemed that a real word) changes to Facebook recently and more to come.  Have you noticed anything different about Facebook that you love, hate, or love to hate?

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.

Facebook and Identity Theft

Identity theft caused by over sharing online

How sharing on Facebook (almost) ruined my life

Privacy. Some people put up a fence and close the blinds while some people get the newspaper in their whitey tighties. But what do they do to protect themselves on the internet?

From what I have seen, many people aren’t as careful online as they should be. A common theme among those I know is, “only really personal stuff needs to be private”.

So what qualifies as really personal stuff? It depends on who you ask. It can include your SSN, your credit card number, your passwords, your birthday, your address, days you’ll be out of town, times when you are home alone, anything that could give away your secret questions for your passwords when you forget them (secret questions such as “What is your first pet’s name?”), and even your phone number.

“Jax was my new puppy. I was so proud of him that I wanted to show him off to all my friends. I loved him so much I even changed my Facebook password to IloveJAX. I made myself an easy target to anyone looking to gain access to my Facebook account. I had my posts set as public, put up a status about how I loved my new puppy, Jax, and before I knew it my friends were calling me saying they got some weird messages from me on Facebook. If it weren’t for some of my hypervigilant friends on Facebook, things could have gotten a lot worse. I’ll always be sure to make sure my passwords are much more difficult to figure out!”

As you may guess, stealing credit card numbers is a big one that happens quite frequently and identity theft has increased throughout the past few years. And while those may appear to be the only privacy and security threats on the internet, they are only the beginning.

Once you put something on the internet, it is there forever. That blog posting you typed up that talked about how much you hated person XYZ can come back to haunt you. And that doesn’t only happen with blogs. Facebook statuses have led to the suspension of students and even teachers. Beware; it doesn’t just happen in schools. In your spare time, Google “people fired over Facebook status” and you’ll find numerous links to Facebook statuses that have cost people their jobs.

Facebook statuses aren’t the only aspect of Facebook you should be concerned with. Posting your address and phone number makes it easy for people who have stumbled across you online to find you IRL (in real life). Uploading mobile images lets people know where you are, which can be okay but it can also let people know that your home is vacant. Identifying your family members and hometown can even be a big no-no if you use your hometown or mother’s maiden name as your security question answers.

Facebook does have privacy settings that you should familiarize yourself with. Make sure you know the people you are “friending”. Be careful what you say in your statuses. Don’t share TOO much in your “About” section. And stay current on Facebook security, Zuckerberg seems to change settings every now and then.

A 1,000 page book could not cover everything you need to know about privacy and security on the internet. Be cautious and untrusting. And if you have any questions, let me know. I can go into more detail regarding what Facebook security settings mean or how you can help protect yourself when making online purchases or anything else you’d like to know. Or, if you have a story regarding online privacy, share your experiences to help others avoid the same mistakes

If you take one piece of advice with you today, it should be this:

You cannot trust anyone on the internet. Be careful what you share. Be cautious of websites, especially ones you have never visited. Don’t enter your SSN or any other personal data unless you are 100% sure you can trust the website. If you have any doubt, do not do it. Be careful. Be safe. Have fun!

Newsjacking | It works for the President; it can work for you too

Simple techniques for audience and media attention

President Obama is a master at gaining media attention. One of the favorite techniques used by his administration is called newsjacking.

While “newsjacking” sounds ominous, it’s really a simple, free technique that focuses on making your message relevant to what’s important to your target audience right now.

So, what exactly is newsjacking? It’s using the keywords in breaking news stories and trending topics on Twitter to develop your message and social media posts.

For example, on the day I wrote this tip, #10ThingsILove was trending on Twitter. It is easy to incorporate that hashtag into tweets about your organization, products, or services. Here’s an example how we use the newsjacking concept on Twitter:

By incorporating the trending topic in our tweet and including a link to our website, we greatly expanded the audience of those who would see our tweets and increased traffic to our website.

Newsjacking isn’t limited to Twitter. You can also use the technique on Facebook and LinkedIn. Simply create a link to share a landing page, blog post or even your Facebook business page.

Use the keywords in the breaking news story in your message. If it makes long-term sense, consider changing your landing pages to contain these keywords. Use video and other visuals for maximum effect.

Think of newsjacking as an easy way to take advantage of real-time promotion opportunities.

Here’s a great video explanation of newsjacking from Marketing pro David Meerman Scott. Watch the video to see a classic example of how President Obama uses newsjacking to turn the world’s attention to him.  Then think about ways you, too, can take advantage of newsjacking to promote your association, small business or nonprofit organization.

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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.

The Online Mom Influence

Do you know what Moms do online?

They engage — actively — with other moms and organizations that are active on social media networks, especially Facebook. If moms are in your target market or if moms are influencers of your target market, take note.

According to a recent Infographic posted by Nielsen,

  • 50% of all moms actively participate in social media networks via mobile devices
  • 75% of American moms visited Facebook in March 2012
  • Moms are 38% more likely to become a fan or follow a brand online
  • 5 million moms have visit Pinterest — more than a third of the site’s visitors in March
  • The top 3 social networks among moms:
    1. Facebook………………72.5%
    2. Blogger…………………24.3%
    3. Twitter…………………10.8%
Here’s a quick summary of social moms from Nielsen:
Are you taking advantage of online marketing to reach moms in your target audience?

Online All The Time

Ever want to get inside the head of Generation X or Generation Y to understand how they think and why they react? This guest blog is the first in a series from a 22-year-old college student. Hear it straight from Sydney Anne — and learn how you can market your products and services to this all important generation that is “Online All The Time.”

I’m a 22 year old college “super senior.” It’s a running joke with my friends, every time they see me they ask, ‘What is your major this week?” I spend a fair amount of time on my laptop.

My father works with computers, my mother started her own company revolving around social media, and my boyfriend is getting his four-year degree in Information Technology.

I was 13 when Facebook started, and, with a little research, you’ll find that the first “newer generation” social networking site started up in 1997 when I was just 7 years old. I had a computer in my room by the time I was in 7th grade. And while my parents attempted to limit our internet time, it didn’t really work. I’ve grown up with social networking. I’ve seen old social networking sites lose ground, and I’ve seen newer, different sites take off.

While I may not be an expert about the internet or have a degree in marketing, I have grown up as social networking has come to life, and I’m surrounded by friends and acquaintances who have their opinions about social networking and whether or not the internet is eliminating the need for tangible libraries.

So I’m here to share what I know. I’ll give you my take on social networking, marketing, the internet, and how to connect with young adults and even younger children. While I may not have all the answers, I may have some new perspectives that may change the way you market yourself and your business. And I’m also here to help you out.

Are you wondering how it’s possible that I can spend endless hours on tumblr? Or how about why your teenager feels the need to endlessly check their Facebook every five minutes? What is the best time to post a tweet to get the most views?

I’m going to try and give you some answers. I’ll poll my friends, research a little, analyze the opinion of myself and others and come back with new ideas and possibly some explanations about the unknown. Ask away my fellow internet readers, ask away.

Marketing Tip #20 | LinkedIn: A 4-Step Strategy

LinkedIn: A 4-Step Strategy

Last month, professionals were joining LinkedIn at a rate of two new members per second. To be effective on LinkedIn, you need to stand out from the crowd.  But how?
Here are four simple strategies:
  1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to maximize your presence by using keywords throughout your profile.
  2. After you make major profile changes, check your privacy settings to ensure that your name, photo, headline, and status appear in the streaming Updates and scheduled LinkedIn emailed updates.
  3. Get active! Keep your name in front of connections with every update, status change, group participation, and other activity with your profile.
  4. Stay active! Schedule 5 minutes of “LinkedIn” time 2-3 times a week for maximum traction.

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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.

Marketing Tip #18 | 4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

Smartphones can be used to reach customers in four primary ways:
  1. Applications
    • Custom Apps
    • Voting and polls
    • Location-based deals
    • Mobile donations
    • Text to win
    • Couponing
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
  2. Mobile Web
    • Is your website mobile friendly?
  3. Advertising
    • Banner ads
    • Text Messaging
    • QR codes
  4. Phone calls – old-school technology or personal touch?

Want help sorting this out?

Reciprocate Phone Number
     Scan this QR Code to call Reciprocate    
for a free smartphone consultation








( Unless of course, you’re reading this on your smartphone … then you’ll either need to borrow a friend’s phone call so you can scan the code or simply click here to send us an email)

This is the second in a series of tips on marketing to smartphone users. Read smartphone usage statistics here.

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique May Holidays

Marketing can be tricky. How do you bring in new customers, keep old customers coming back, and keep your strategies fresh and exciting? Reciprocate has an idea! Use holidays to offer discounts, hold contests, and start conversations.

Here are some examples:

May 6 is World Laughter Day. You can use this day in many different ways. Send a joke at the end of every purchase or hold a contest encouraging customers to submit their favorite knock-knock jokes.

Too funny? Try Endangered Species Day on May 21. Strike up a conversation with your clients about their favorite endangered animal. Or, if you’re into raising money, offer 5% of the purchase price to be donated to help save endangered species.

Too wild? Get bendy with Paper Clip Day on May 29. Encourage customers to submit pictures of paper clip figures they have created. Hold a contest and offer the customer with the most votes a discount.

Month Long Celebrations

Clean Air Month

Family Wellness Month

National Hamburger Month

Revise Your Work Schedule Month

Holiday Weeks

International Update Your References Week (May 1-7)

National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week (May 6-12)

Reading is Fun Week (May 13-19)

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week (May 21-27)

Daily Holidays

1 – World Asthma Day

2 – National Truffle Day

3 – National Two Different Colored Shoes Day

4 – International Firefighters’ Day

5 – Cinco De Mayo

6 – World Laughter Day

7 – Accounting Day

8 – No Socks Day

9 – National Receptionist Day

10 – World Lupus Day

11 – Minnesota Statehood (1858)

12 – National Miniature Golf Day

13 – Mother’s Day

14 – National Dance like a Chicken Day

15 – National Chocolate Chip Day

16 – National Sea Monkey Day

17 – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

18 – International Virtual Assistants Day

19 – Armed Forces Day

20 – Weights and Measures Day

21 – Endangered Species Day

22 – Buy a Musical Instrument Day

23 – World Turtle Day

24 – International Tiara Day

25 – National Tap Dance Day

26 – Julia Pierpont Day

27 – Golden Gate Bridge Opened (1937)

28 – Memorial Day

29 – Paper Clip Day

30 – World MS Day

31 – World No Tobacco Day

Of course these are just ideas. Get creative. Have fun. And remember your audience. Happy holiday marketing!

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