Marketing Resources for Associations and Small Businesses

Here are some great marketing resources for your association or professional services firm.  The organizations and consultants below offer a variety of materials including books, blogs, webinars and consulting that have inspired me to think differently about marketing.  As Daniel Pink might say, “we’re all in marketing now.”

Marketing Culture at Market Connections

Washington Smart CEO has a guest column in the September issue by Lisa Dezzutti, CEO of Market Connections, Inc I’ve been a regular reader of Smart CEO for years, and this year they recognized the Verto Solutions management team.  The magazine is aimed at entrepreneurs and it’s a reminder of how much commercial activity we have in the DC area.  They also have editions covering Baltimore and Philadelphia.  Dezzutti has created a new culture of business development at her 16 year-old company and she believes in creating a marketing-centric culture with low-pressure positive reinforcement:

Marketing at our company has evolved from a limited tactical approach (updating our website, pushing out our newsletter, planning the occasional event), to our model today of integrating marketing into strategic decision-making for the company.  That means positioning us as more of a thought leader, releasing off-the-shelf reports at least three times per year, bringing together industry experts with peers in panel discussions that complement our research results…

Read the complete column here.

Hinge Marketing

Hinge Marketing is a Northern Virginia-based firm specializing in marketing for professional services companies.  Verto isn’t a Hinge client yet, but I’m impressed with the quality of their resources, as well as the overall polish, look, and feel of their materials.

Their latest e-book, the Hinge Re:Branding Kit, is a great example of their high quality materials and it’s available free.  As Hinge states:

Most of us in the professional services are too busy doing our work that we don’t have the time, patience or energy to monitor changing market conditions and the evolving needs of our clients.  That means every five to ten years any firm will find itself out of synch with the marketplace and, if it waits too long, struggling to compete and stay relevant.

Hinge’s kit makes the case that re-branding is required on a regular basis.  As I read through this great book I applied the Hinge concepts to association branding as well.  Sign up for updates about their latest e-book or next webinar.

Ari Kaplan is a “White Collar Hustler”

It’s been awhile since I read Ari Kaplan’s book, Reinventing Professional Services, but this is another great resource for professional service firms looking to grow.  Ari describes the impact on business from increased competition, transparency and social media.  To survive we can’t just sit behind a desk waiting for the work to show up; instead we have to become “white collar hustlers.”

Ari also has good content marketing resources at this web site linked here.

Unicorns for Socialism

You’ll find Alexandra Franzen’s web site, Unicorns for Socialism to be helpful and refreshing, to say the least.  She’s known as the “punk rock chick of the marketing world,” and she has a great sense of humor and very creative ideas about personal branding and happiness.  She is a life coach, writer, and philosopher all at once and her funny and inspirational updates are free.  Go ahead, let your hair down and spend a moment with Alexandra.

Verto Solutions

Our marketing culture is evolving at Verto Solutions in ways similar to what’s happening at Lisa Dezzutti’s company Market Connections.    We’re still learning the tactical moves, while also engaging in thought leadership.  As a new company we want to grow but we’re committed to maintaining quality and integrity.

Verto provides association management and scientific service so we are leaders in two different but connected fields; we manage trade associations but we also help them with technical and scientific projects.  Verto wants to sell more, but only when the work is interesting and it’s a good fit for the company.  We’re encouraging our team to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities to help clients do new things, and to help new friends become clients.  What are your favorite marketing resources?

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2 Responses to Marketing Resources for Associations and Small Businesses

  1. Anne Collier says:

    Hi John, Your blog is a lot of fun and really diverse. Love it!

    Best, Anne Anne E. Collier, MPP, JD, PCC P: 202.449.9751 M: 202.744.2015 S: acollier66 @annecollier1

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