Marketing Monday with Skip Cohen

My friend Skip has an excellent storehouse of marketing knowledge and has agreed to share a column on Mondays pulling the best from his archives on the subject to help keep you and your business on track. Wahoo!

Tired of your Image?

Tired of Your Image?

I know everybody has closed the book on this past year, but even though we’re almost halfway through this year, think about last year for a minute.

As you analyze, think about what you need to do better. Too often people blame the wrong things. So often we all do the same thing – we blame the challenges the easiest things we might have done wrong, instead of looking at our actions.

logo art NOHere are a few examples:

  1. Did you not get the traffic to your blog because the design, logo or theme of your posts were weak or because you weren’t consistent? You need to post new material to your blog 2-3 times a week and on the same days, and great content always wins. Are you sharing content your readership wants?
  2. Did your phone not ring off the hook because your company name isn’t hot or because you didn’t promote or advertise enough? Do people in your community know who you are? Too many of you aren’t involved in your community. Plus, you don’t have a phone number on your website. Instead, you chose to use an email template and don’t respond to inquiries as quickly as you could.
  3. Did you not book that last job because your competitor is stealing your business with low-ball pricing or because you didn’t portray the same level of enthusiasm, commitment, and confidence? The greatest marketing tool you have today is in building relationships. Look for ways to establish relationships with your target audience and your community. People buy what they want, not always what they need – you’ve got to make them want what you have to offer!
  4. Was a promotion you did underwhelming because of the economy or did it lack value to your target audience? Was it too confusing for people to understand? Create promotions that are creative and unique through partnerships and establishing value with your target audience. Always have at least two other people read the text that describes your promotion and make sure what you’re writing is understood.

The list goes on and on, but blaming ad design, logos, company names, etc. because you believe they’re old, tired and “everybody’s seen them” is your last resort. Maybe your website really does need a makeover but first look at your execution of marketing projects, creativity, and your skill set. So many businesses get tired of their look, advertising, and taglines too early. They find the need to reinvent the “frosting,” often long before the public is bored.

I’m betting for most of you, these disappointing projects have nothing whatsoever to do with your actual branding, but your execution and brand awareness. Don’t waste time on name changes, new logos, and website designs if you haven’t first defined your goals and your target audience.

Lauren Bacall said it all, “It’s not an old movie if you haven’t seen it!”

skip cohen headshot

Skip Cohen has been involved in the photographic industry his entire career and previously served as President of Rangefinder/WPPI and earlier, Hasselblad USA. He founded in 2013. Skip is co-host for “Mind Your Own Business” and “Beyond Technique,” webcasts through, writes for several publications including Shutter Magazine and is actively involved in several advisory boards for non-profit organizations.