Is Your Business Easy To Find Online?

Doug Smith - Cincinnati Radio Marketing Consultant
Doug Smith - Cincinnati Radio Marketing Consultant

Last night, thanks to yet another big thunderstorm, most of my area lost power.  Having no lights was one thing, but no power to a sump pump was another.  My wife and I spent four hours at my mother-in-laws house bailing water out of the sump pump so her basement didn’t flood.  Fill a bucket, run upstairs to the kitchen, empty the bucket in the sink, run downstairs, and repeat….for four solid hours!

Just a few years ago, the only way I could have stayed in contact with the outside world would have been to call someone on my cell phone or turn on a battery operated radio.  But, thanks to my smart-phone, I was able to contact friends via Facebook who had also lost power and we kept each other updated on if, or when, power had been restored to their area.  I was able to price generators at a local home improvement store, obtain updates on the power issues from multiple news outlets, and use The Weather Channel app to keep an eye on the weather in hopes that the rain would stop and give us a break on our sump pump efforts.

In the best of times, and in the worst of times, technology makes it easier than ever to find what you need when you need it.

Are you making it easy for your customers to find you when they need you?

As I always say, the point of advertising is to educate your customers about your business BEFORE they need you, so that WHEN then need you they will FIND you.  Times have changed and your marketing efforts need to match the times.  If you are not educating your customers about your goods and services on a consistent basis, as well as building your digital footprint, there is a good chance your biggest competitor is.  In time, you could find yourself under water…… and trust me, bailing yourself out is no fun.

Doug Smith is a Senior Account Executive for WREW Rewind 94.9 and in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.  You can contact Doug at  (513) 535-9123 or

Where does marketing stop in your company?

Matt Plapp
Matt Plapp

When I’m consulting my clients on marketing it gets hard to determine the line of where marketing stops.  Many think it’s tied to the advertising, when in fact it goes way beyond that, but I’m not sure how far.  A great story I heard a few years ago by a very successful retailer in Naples Florida makes me wonder if it does stop.

Noel was the business owner’s name.  He had a very high-end boat dealership and his customers were the wealthiest in the area.   He was in his office overlooking the showroom as a couple was completing the paperwork on their purchase. The wife excused herself and a few minutes later came over and whispered in the husband’s ear.  Poof, they were gone.  He couldn’t believe his eyes.  One minute they were customers and the next they are bolting for their Mercedes Benz.  He had to know what happened.  He rushed out of his office and caught them in the parking lot.  Noel introduced himself as the owner and asked “what happened?”  The wife told him she went to use the restroom and was upset with how disgusting it was.  She wondered how a business that just recently remodeled their beautiful showroom could ignore the women’s restroom.  She questioned him about whether he wanted female clients.

He was crushed. Of course he wanted female clients, but thought I could I miss this?  If I remember the story correctly, he mentioned that they didn’t have female employees who used that bathroom and somehow it fell between the cracks.  Of course they fixed it ASAP and invited the young lady to come back and give them her thoughts.  She did, she approved and finished their paperwork.

This begs the question, where does your marketing stop?  Recently I was in a business that had an underage girl working the counter (presumably the owner’s kid).   Another business I was in had their “Employee of the Month” plaque displayed next to the register; the problem was the last time it was updated for 2007???  So I guess no one has done a good enough job to earn this distinction in over 3 years?  Then my favorite was a business that had different colors on their P.O.P displays, store sign, website and employees shirts.  I had no clue where I was.

Do you really want your customers being waited on by someone who can’t possibly represent your company in a professional manner?  Do you want people to see that you are so lazy that you can’t fix your plaque?  And more importantly do you want to confuse people about your brand?

I guess the conclusion is that your marketing touches every part of your business.  You MUST be aware of everything going on within your organization.  In fact, before you buy a SINGLE advertisement you need to make sure everything under your roof is ready for the customers to come in.  Don’t invite customers in until you are ready for them. Would you rather grow slower and correctly?  Or faster and burn through customers with bad experiences?

Matt Plapp is a the President of Driven Media Solutions, a Full Service Marketing Firm in the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky area specializing in small business marketing via grass-roots, events, guerilla, online and social media marketing. You can contact him at

How much money did you spend to purchase your current vehicle?


No matter the brand… matter how much it cost to purchase…..and no matter how much money you’ve put into it…..all vehicles have one thing in common:  the tires are the ONLY thing that touch the road.  You could drive a $90,000 Audi, but if the tires are bald or you are driving on four spare tires, all the safety features in the world won’t mean a thing in a rain storm because your traction will stink.  On the other side, you could drive a beat up 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier with the best new tires money can buy and, in that same rain storm, you have a better shot at staying on the road than the Audi.

I look at a good advertising strategy as the tires for your business in that, no matter how great your business is, the only thing that comes in contact with your potential customer is your advertising.

Think of the rain storm in the above example as your day-to-day business.  Every day you are trying to take customers away from your competition while they are trying to take customers away from you.  If you have a state-of-the-art store, stock everything your potential customers could want, have ample parking, and provide outstanding service…..but you don’t properly advertise……you are basically driving the $90,000 Audi with bad tires.

By advertising I mean telling potential customers why they should do business with you and current customers why they should stay with you.  Whether it’s radio, television, social media marketing, or something else……a good advertising strategy is paramount to your business.  However, good advertising alone will not make you a success.  Good advertising will get people to think of you when they are in the market for the product or service you sell.  Once they are in the door, it is up to you to win them over, but unless they know about you…..they won’t know how to find you.

Doug Smith is a Senior Account Executive for WREW Rewind 94.9 and in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.  You can contact Doug at  (513) 535-9123 or