When constructing a house I sure hope that the builders have an idea of what the finished product should look like.
Without a plan or a blueprint, then it is safe to say that the end product will most likely have some flaws, or at least a couple weird kinks:
You: “Hey Bob, why did you put that pole there?”
Bob: “It felt right… ehhh maybe it could be plumbing, or maybe the house needs a fire pole into the kitchen?
Even though a quick access fire pole into the kitchen is an AMAZING idea, it most likely does not align with the vision of the house you first set out to create.
When constructing a home everything needs to line up to get the finished product you set out to create. Digging the foundation, measuring the rooms, figuring out the plumbing, understanding the electrical is decided before or very early in the building process.

Yet for many small businesses, we do not create a plan for the business culture.

When it is 2-3 employees, culture seems to be the last thing on your mind and most likely you possess a good culture so there does not seem to be a need for anything official.
Although it should be something that you depict clearly and early in your company’s creation.


Because a company’s culture is its fingerprint – it is what makes the company unique, and if it is not identified early it will be lost with the companies growth.
By defining culture you put direction to how your marketing acts, which employees are the best fit for your organization, what HR benefits make sense, and sets the overall vision for where the company is moving.
Basically whatever has made your company thrive needs to be called out and highlighted to make sure that it continues as the number one priority throughout its continuous growth.
When people ask me about what working at a startup is like, I tell them it pushes your creativity to a new level and is always fun. No one that is from a large corporate entity that has asked me that question has responded, “Sounds like my job”
I say this because a lot of startups have similar experiences, but once they grow to a larger size something changes.
Fast growth leads to quick hiring where the need for labor is weighted higher than the need for cultural fit. The revenue grows to a point where trying something new or different is more of a risk than an employee norm.
The company then moves from trying to be a disruptor into trying to hold market share to please shareholders and meet the needs of the quarterly forecasts.
I know what your thinking…
But it is something to consider.
What if the purpose and culture of your company were lost, would it still hold a competitive advantage?

Most likely not.

Although defining your culture can be tougher than expected. But if you follow Traction / EOS, there are some quick giveaways (you should still buy the book btw).
To help define your culture, think about what your company’s purpose is.
I can make the assumption that the purpose in creating any company was not, “To please shareholders”

Was it?:

To provide the best customer service of an industry? If so, you probably need to establish a culture that is customer-centric.
Or was it to launch the most tech-savvy toothbrush? If so, then you need to establish a culture for cleanliness and technological growth.
Whatever your purpose is, think about what values are needed in employees and your company overall to achieve it.
Once your values are established, make sure it is well documented and enforced.
By using your values as a guiding light for your hiring choices, your marketing decisions, and your product development your company will turn into a productive culture that is dedicated to the company’s purpose, and this will be responsible for its dramatic growth.

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I have worked for a variety of companies that have shared very different opinions on how to use Social Media. Some have wanted to invest heavily in it and have multiple channels, while others have wanted to stay out of it almost completely because they did not want to manage it.

It is funny how companies believe that it is either one or the other when the truth is, there is a MASSIVE amount of space between those two (Of being devoted to social or not investing).

In this blog, I hope to show you that, and why this third option may be the best option for your business.

If you have already read through numerous other social media blogs, then I assume you have heard that the most important thing to do is:

Research which social media your customers are on.

By finding out which social channels your target market uses, you can dedicate your time to a select number of channels to get a better return in comparison to spreading yourself across every single social media channel.

To be clear, I agree 100% with this logic. A B2B marketer should probably not be wasting their time on creating amazing images for Instagram when they know it is very unlikely that it will drive revenue.


What I disagree with is the idea that thee are only two options for a specific channel, invest or not invest. Most commonly this decision comes down to KPIs – “if a social network is not directly driving revenue, then it is not worth any investment”

Pretty solid logic.

But social media sites are incredibly powerful these days, they hold an enormous amount of users, domain authority, and credibility. Saying no to any social network is potentially saying no to more web traffic, brand awareness, and higher domain authority for your own site.

So how can you get the best of both worlds? By mitigating the “investment”

The investment of social media is time. Although it may be cool to spend tons of time on Reddit to get an enormous amount of pointless Karma for your business, you need to find ways to eliminate the time spent on publishing to social network sites.

Automating Social Media

We have all seen the social spammers that do a repeat of the same thing day in and day out. If that’s what you thought I was going to recommend, then SHAME ON YOU. I have class! (most of the time)

In order to really automate social media well, a company needs to have a content marketing strategy. Or at a bare minimum a part of their website that is continually updated.

A blog is the best option for publishing, but this could also be a product update section, a portfolio, case studies page, etc.

Once you know what content you want to share generate an editable image for both your logo (most likely with square dimension) and a horizontal banner. Every social media network will ask for different sizes, but it is in your best interest to make them all look similar for branding and ease of execution.

Now it the time to start creating social media accounts. There are a lot out there, here is a small list to get you started.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Scoop.it
  • Tumblr
  • Instapaper
  • Reddit

Setting this up is rather simple, there are hundreds of WordPress plugins that will share your content directly to the large social sites.

For the less popular networks, publishing your content automatically may be a little more difficult. Using a third party software, like Zapier, can usually connect and automate you to a lot more unique options.

Automating Social Media

As stated previously, automating your social media should only be done to those social networks that you believe are not worth investing an enormous amount of time in. If your target market is heavily concentrated in a specific social channel, I recommend creating unique and creative posts that are well thought out.

With that said, there are also scenarios that may be best to automate all channels:

  1. You have an extremely niche/complex product – Your offering is usually confusing to the public and is only of interest to a very small group of buyers. “Going viral” on any channel is not a focus for you because of the likelihood that it would not generate any revenue. Therefore, automating all channels makes the most sense to drive SEO ranking to target and rank in long-tailed keywords that will actually get you in front of your prospects.
  2. You are a small team / single location – Any social media channel can be a hassle to maintain. This automation helps CEOs to free up their time, while also launching news/content effortlessly. Take for example a Food Truck, it would be a lot easier for them to post a single notice on their site with their location and specials then creating multiple social posts. Through this process, small businesses can promote their business and increase their reach without taking them away from their typical business operations.

Have questions or comments? Don’t be shy. Leave me a note below.

Save yourself some time.

Have Marketing Carpenter come to you instead of you coming here.

Throughout my blogs you will undoubtedly hear me preach the need for automation across all areas of marketing as well as any operation. Yet, there are negatives to automation.

Look at your inbox right now (I know you won’t but at least imagine it?) How many of your emails are coming from real people? How many emails do you receive that you are emotionally attached to?

Commonly it is a very small percentage. Automated messages (especially in email) are so easy to create and are making it incredibly easy for marketers to reach an enormous amount of prospects in one send.

But at what cost?

Physical cost.. almost nothing. Email still remains one of the most cost effective mediums in marketing…

The cost of loyalty and attachment to a brand is the cost. They are costing companies more and more each year.

Throughout the digital transformation movement we have been looking for ways to automate the processes across all departments. Although in doing so we have also deteriorated the one-on-one relationships that were typically so important to make a sale.

On the plus side, the cost of acquiring customers has dropped but on the negative side, we are seeing the public lose their loyalty for brands more and more each year.

This is because we are no longer aiming to build a relationship, we are looking to push promotions, sales, and nurture campaigns all through automated messaging.

The truth is, every consumer knows what these emails look like, they have become numb to them and they tend to blend together in your inbox. At no point does someone feel like they are special to that brand in a mass email, because they always know that the email was sent to more than just them.

Many emails have attempted to move to plain text to solves this, but truly it is fooling no one, especially when the unsubscribe button is at the bottom.

Anyways, because of this tactic, consumers and businesses do not have the emotional connection with one particular brand, instead they are moving from brand to brand based on whatever variable means the most to them (this is commonly coming down to price).

This does not mean that you your business should shut down your automated messaging or your large email sends (they are most likely generating a positive ROI), but it does mean that you should be looking into initiatives to delight your customers, create one-on-one relationships, and drive emotion.

In a small business with limited resources it can be tough to build this one-on-one relationship effectively, here are a couple:


1. Personalization to the extreme

Every company is dropping in your contact details from a CRM into mass email cadences. These personalizations do wonders for open rates and click rates, but the truth is they nearly do nothing for loyalty.

In order to really build loyalty you need to show information that goes past the conventional informational plug-ins.

This type of information is typically something that you learned from a discussion and that is commonly a personal trait rather than a company trait. Such as; where you went to school, planned or previous vacation spots, etc. by referring back to these non-typical pieces of information, you prove that an individual is listening and a relationship is able to be established.

This can be easily done with just listening to your customers/prospects and maintaining your CRM. If you know your way around marketing automation, it is very easy to put in a workflow. (Automating works if nobody knows)


2. Presents / rewards (action based)

It feels like everyone has a loyalty program these days. Although do they really drive loyalty? I personally believe they only eliminate even competition but not truly create loyalty.

For example, I loved Delta Airlines. Even before being in their reward club, I preferred their service over any other airline. Even though they are giving me perks to fly with them, I am still cost sensitive. I will happily choose Southwest Airlines if they come in at a lower price.

My point here is that when a rewards program offers the sames incentives to everyone, you can strengthen the preference to use the product, but you do not gain die hard loyalty.

Building Die Hard loyalty takes one-on-one behavior. This can be easily done by sending gifts. Not the typically Holiday gifts companies send “Happy holidays from ABC Company” – that’s not personal at all.

Hungry? Here is the link.

Instead sending them gifts for things then never expected. Some of these events could be; hitting milestones that were not disclosed prior, big news that happened to their company (Google alerts can help you with finding those), promotions, etc.

By catching people by surprise with gifts shows them there is a one-on-one relationship and that they are far more than a typical customer.


3. Putting a face to a product

Think about your shopping experience, how often is another human involved. If you say “frequently” then one of us is shopping wrong.

eCommerce and large bx stores have made the customer service part of buying only there when you need it. Is this bad? Not for me. I wear giant head phones when I shop for a reason.

On a negative side, it makes it really tough to build an emotional connection. You never interact with a human, meaning whatever buy is just a product, which can most likely be found in numerous locations (AKA your competitors)

In an eCommerce setting we have noticed a huge growth in chatbots for this reason (seriously did Drift just become a massive company overnight?) But that is not enough.

Look to putting an actual human face to the experience of buying. Even better the same human face!

Through today’s marketing platforms you can assign a customer to a current employee and make that employee the name that sends emails, the face that is on chat, the one that is on a note in a shipment, etc. By building that one-on-one experience, you can drive a feeling of being a partnership, rather than just a product?

Did I miss other ways to get up in peoples’ personal space? Let me know in the comments below!

Let’s establish this one-on-one relationship

Starting with your email.

My kitchen is absolutely hideous, like Jake from State Farm Hideous, my cupboards are painted dark green, which is probably the 5th layer of paint covering them at this point.
The instant I moved into my house I ripped off a cupboard door and decided to start sanding and stripping. (not stripping myself, but using stripper).
It was a long process to get the paint layers off, sanding the door was like sucking on a jawbreaker… lots of time to peel away one colorful layer at a time.
Once I got past the paint, I came across the unwanted present of a laminate layer.
I then waged war on that piece of sticky plastic using a gallon of stripper accompanied with blood, sweat, and tears.
After hours of work. I finally reached a single cabinet door that was just wood, no paint or laminate.
So what did I do in celebration?

I gave up.

If you walk into my kitchen today you will still see the one single cupboard door that is unpainted, unfinished, and out of place.
Why is that? Because the time needed to invest into this remodeling it was far more than the value I perceived from it.
I decided that I would rather pay a lot more and remodel the entire kitchen than work on any more of those trashy cabinets.
I know what you are thinking:

This rant is getting long, get to the point or I am gonna stop reading!

Which is exactly my point! The more time it takes someone to complete a task, like reading this blog, the less likely someone will complete the desired action.
Now, this statement most likely did not surprise you!
But yet this common knowledge is rarely applied, especially with complex products.
When a business loves their offering or are too close to the product, their homepage is littered with long paragraphs on how it works, every minor detail is outlined, and an enormous amount of industry jargon is spread through all the pages.
In the process of trying to explain their product, marketers spit out so much information that nobody bothers to read it.
It takes too much time and investment to truly understand what your company does. So they give up and leave.
This is so prevalent that millennials have actually created a term around this exact problem “Too Long; Didn’t Read” (TL;DR)
Millennials actively avoid long paragraphs or anything that takes an extended time commitment – whether it is through a website, or through any communication.
Millennials attention span is getting less and less and to address them you need to be as concise as possible.

So how do you do this?

Any business can test their marketing materials with the 3-second test:
Show an advertisement to a person for 3 seconds, then ask them what you do. – If they do not know, then it failed.
But truly what marketers need to do is to base their marketing off the following:






K.I.S.S. is a common term used in advertising to help copywriters and creatives speak to their audience in the shortest and most comprehensive manner. How do you apply it?
  1. Always look to shorten sentences – After you write copy, look through it and find ways to say the exact same thing but in fewer words.
  2. Is it adding value? – Understand where your copy is going, if you are describing product details on the homepage, most likely you can delete it and move it to the product pages.  Be sure to check all your writing and find repetitive information and eliminate it.
  3. For those of you with very complex products, use other means of communication – Look into other ways of communicating, common ways of doing this would be through diagrams, product images, plainer videos or product demonstrations.


^ Simplicity #ForTheMillennials

When you host a dinner party and want to spread the word, how often do you say:

come over to my collection of piping, wood, metal, and wire to have dinner?


I would assume you would not have many takers. Most of your guests and maybe even some family members would offer the quick response of, “I got plans on whatever night you are talking about!”

It’s weird to be that descriptive so, let’s instead be less descriptive in this invite:

You have been cordially invited to a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath for dinner


This invite is better than the first, but yet… I am sure all the guests will be expecting you to make a sales pitch on why they should buy this amazing property you have invited them to!

Ok. One more time, let’s get even less descriptive.

Dear friends, please come over to a building to drink to our heart’s content and devour an ungodly amount of food.


The ending completely sold me.. but still, most of the guests will still be a little wary of attending because of “a building”.

The point I am trying to make is that in our personal lives we always speak about purpose. You would always tell people to come over to your house or home for dinner.

What the word house or home adds though is the “Why” it is there.

Why is there a collection of piping, wood, metal, and wire? Why is there 4 rooms and 2.5 baths? why is there a building?

Answer: You live there!

House or home, makes it clear that it is for protecting residents, it is a residence, and that there is most likely furniture inside.

By knowing the WHY of something people are comforted and it drives an emotional connection.

Yet, in marketing, we do not always follow the same practices.

Commonly, businesses get so caught up in their offering or what they are creating, that they forget why they are doing it.

To make things even worse industry trends play a big role in this too:

  • blockchain
  • big data
  • artificial intelligence
  • cryptocurrencies

These terms are so popular that companies just drop them into their product descriptions out of nowhere.

By adding these keywords companies are getting further away from why they do what they do and making the product less comprehensive to the end user.

For example, one of my favorite content marketing tools Atomic Reach.

The What – Big Data and Ai for Content marketing

The Why – Grow traffic and conversions using data pulled from your audience

As you can see “the what description” may tell me what the product is, but it has not told me the benefit of having it.

The why gives me a reason to try the new technology in order to boost my marketing performance.

This all seems like basic knowledge, but when you are a business that is so proud of what you have created, you tend to want to tell every person every detail.

The truth is, most people simply do not care.

I use Atomic Reach all the time, not once have I asked them their algorithm, how information is gathered, or how content specifics are scored.

The only thing I care about is that the performance of the content I create increases and that I can produce high-quality marketing with more precision.

Now before the technical people start freaking out!

I am not saying that companies need to delete all your product details or remove “the WHAT” from all your website and marketing materials.

What I am saying is that “the what” should never lead your marketing or sales pitch.

At times, especially for complex products, specific details are needed to make a final purchasing decision.

This is a great use for a product specifications page, a table on the website, a one-pager, or a brochure.

Anything that the user can quickly obtain to get the more information once it is needed, this is preferably distributed without the need to contact personnel in the company; eliminating sales friction and speeding up the sales process.

To engrave this thought a little bit further, I leave you with Simon Sinek. For a further deep dive into this topic, I would also recommend his book “Start with Why.”

Why subscribe to Marketing Carpenter? Because I want to grow with you.

Romantic.. right?