Marketing Myths-Volume Two

“Marketing Myths-Volume Two.” This blog discusses bringing your business up to date with newer marketing strategies. We’ll debunk some marketing myths if you manage or own an older business. It always makes sense to better your marketability.

Despite how long your business has been around, there’s always ways to improve. How old is your business? What’s more, which marketing efforts have you tried over those years? Read on further and we’ll explore some common misconceptions we’ve experienced.

Marketing Myths-Volume Two.
Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.
No matter how long you’ve been in business, marketing can improve your brand!
No Social!

“All things considered, we don’t need social media.” Yep. We’ve heard it. Likewise, we’ve met some more seasoned business owners that actually get upset at the very mention of it! Perhaps it’s fear of the unknown. There are times we’ve basically had to talk them down from the ledge. Look, we don’t LOVE social media either. There’s a lot of craziness on social. However, it is a super helpful tool for businesses. There’s no denying that.

Explaining how social can help in a thorough manner is important. Particularly for those that hate it. Here’s a blog from Hootsuite to read more on: .

Believe it or not, there are ways just about every business can benefit from social media. For example, you can build brand recognition/awareness, increase traffic to your website, or just personalize your brand. These are just a few ways social helps. Social media is a great way to give your business a voice and personality. Additionally, this leads to more calls, emails, and visibility. If your business has been around for decades or longer, it’s high time to step into the 2000’s.

Having a Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Instagram page is necessary. Like it or not. There are so many ways your business can attract the followers you want on all of these platforms. Facebook, for instance, has many professional group pages. It doesn’t really matter what industry you are in. Sharing stories, industry news, or products with these groups will create a personality for your business and make you an expert in your industry. Potential customers and partners will see, like, and share these posts. You can build relationships from there. Community groups help to grow your page too. Get going with it and make new connections.

No Web!

“We don’t necessarily need a website.” Really? Even if you have been in business for 100 years and bring in $10,000,000 per month, not having a website makes you look bad. If this is you, we apologize in advance because making $10,000,000 per month is crazy! Maybe you are satisfied with this. However, we’ll still state that you should have a website.

Likewise, if you are just starting out and only make $100 per month, you need a site. Your customers expect it. New prospective customers definitely expect it.

Marketing Myths-Volume Two. An image of a computer keyboard with marketing statistics.

Without a website the legitimacy of your business is in question. We aren’t saying you need to go out and spend $10,000 on a new site. What we are saying though is that there needs to be an online presence to point people to. Websites are a digital “home” for your business. Additionally, having a site set up poorly (broken links, bad photos, inaccurate or outdated info, etc) can have negative consequences. See to it that your business has an accurate and operable professional looking website you can direct customers to.

We’ve Tried That!

Often we’ll hear, “We’ve tried that. It didn’t work.” Whether it was a printed direct mail program, digital marketing tactic, or social media strategy, you have to look deeper. What were you offering? Was the effort clearly creative and interesting? Who was the ideal customer you tried to reach? All of this and way more matters!

For instance, direct mail HAS to be eye catching. The offer HAS to be bold, useful, and draw attention to the piece. If not, buh bye! Straight to the garbage it goes.

We receive direct mail pieces ourselves from time to time. If it’s interesting we’ll carefully take note at what caught our attention. Some are great. Some not so much. The creativity and offer are what will make this program succeed or fail. The same can be said about digital marketing and social media.

Meanwhile, a few newer digital marketing options can truly be beneficial. In brief, strategies like geofencing or retargeting can be hugely successful. If you haven’t, it’s time to look into these. Questions about these? Contact us.

Finally, with all three of the above, you don’t want it to be all sales. People get irritated when they are sold to continuously. We’ll argue that any effective marketing campaign needs to be creative, informative, and helpful. This is when you will see the rewards of an effective marketing plan.

In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed Marketing Myths-Volume Two. Have you struggled in the past with any marketing efforts? Business been around for a long time? Unsure of how to create the right message? Give us a call. Of course, with a free consultation, we’ll be happy to discuss how to improve your marketing! Have a great Christmas and New Year!

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Marketing Myths-Volume One

Marketing Myths-Volume One. The first in a series of blogs where we’ll discuss topics that some (not all) believe about marketing. In short, we’ll get straight to the point. Marketing myths volume one tackles the age old myth…marketing is an expense. Wrong! Marketing is your answer to those pesky expenses! Read on and we’ll explain how.

An expense? Most certainly not!

Marketing and advertising is the right arm of your business. It draws attention to your brand. By all means marketing done correctly not only raises awareness but in some cases acts as an additional sales tool. Heck, further, creative marketing even makes the sale on its own sometimes! To clarify a bit, the money you spend on marketing services will (and should) pay for itself exponentially.

Marketing is an investment. Period. Comparatively, you look at high-yield savings accounts, properties, or certain stocks as investments. These are expected to bring value. It’s no different with marketing.

Image of 77 Design Co business card and marketing. An opaque view of money behind the 77 Design Co business card on a desk.
Marketing= the right arm of your business.

Obviously, some marketing tactics will work better than others. Although this may be true, it must also be noted, other strategies may fall flat. In order to avoid this as much as possible, you’ll need to know who your customer is. Don’t know who your customer is? Not sure how to go about narrowing down your ideal customer? Read this SCORE article to learn how to identify them:

SCORE is an organization we volunteer to. It is a nonprofit organization made up of mostly retired professionals who help new entrepreneurs get started. We’re honored to be a part of the helpful organization. They also help existing business owners fine tune their business growth as well as offer free mentoring, webinars, and courses. As I have noted, the above link is a great starting resource. It will help you identify the characteristics of your ideal customers much better.

Why does this matter?

Marketing myths-volume one is all about why marketing is NOT an expense. At its core, marketing revolves around who you are specifically targeting. When you truly find who your correct customer is, the game changes significantly. Then and only then is when you’ll start to see it as investment versus an expense. Likewise, then and only then can you tailor a successful marketing plan.

But…I pay X amount for marketing!

Is your business on a current marketing plan? What does that include? I will break it down. Firstly, if your business is paying X amount on a marketing strategy, what is coming back? Visibility. Brand recognition. Increased exposure to alternate audiences. More calls/emails/leads. All of these should be occurring. Additionally, these should lead to more moolah!

Next, have you ever truly tracked the marketing efforts? If the answer is no then how do you know what is working? Track your leads, analytics, visibility, etc. It is critical to keep track of these things.

Lastly, ALL of your marketing tools must be branded. By branded we mean the same or similar in design, logo usage, color, and look or feel. The website, business card, and social pages are the tools that make up your marketing. Anything with your business name on it simply must offer the same look and message.

At 77 Design Co, we welcome conversations in regards to previous marketing objectives that failed. Why did it fail? How do we correct these issues to ensure success? If you believe marketing is an expense and are reading this…let’s talk.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Winterize Your Business Marketing

Winterize your business marketing? What does this even mean? As long as you read on, we’ll get to that.

Winterize your business marketing. An image of the 77 Design Co gray and orange business card and reflection

October is here and for many businesses that means slower times are ahead. At least for industries like, landscaping, roofing, pool companies, and many more seasonal businesses the winter months are a blessing and a curse simultaneously. For example, the slow season gives owners an opportunity to catch up on things. On the other hand, it also means less income coming in. A blessing and a curse.

This is also the perfect time to plan ahead and properly prepare for next season. You can winterize your business marketing now. Think of it as adding insulation to a building to keep it warm in the colder months. There’s literally hundreds of marketing things you can do for your business at this point. So, what do you need to do?

No need to just believe us. We always back up our claims and advice. Check this SBA blog for more:


When is the last time you looked over your website? Do you have someone managing it? Making regular changes to it? If the answer is no, why not? After all, you probably paid a decent amount of money and spent time getting it together. Make it work for you.

While you are getting some downtime during winter, a great idea also is to revamp that site. You don’t have to make massive swinging changes to it. You can and should add things like keywords, new content, updated images, or even include new services and products. Keeping up with the website will pay dividends in the long run. It’ll help SEO, offer customers a fresh look, and even build better brand recognition if you promote it properly.

Winterize Your Business Marketing. An image of a high key black and white infrared computer keyboard.
Get Social.

While you were running around or buried IN your business during the busy months, that social media channel(s) probably sat idle. On the other hand, maybe you just sporadically posted during that time. Perhaps your social media was ignored completely. Time to get to work. Make your channels work for you.

Don’t think there’s any good content to post about in the off months? Wrong. Now is the time to set yourself up for next year. You can show new equipment. Make a video or photo post about how it works. Did you have a new employee this year that really killed it and worked hard? Share who that is or a little about what they do and who they are. Highlight some successful projects. Pass along industry news. Call up some customers (we’ll discuss more below) and showcase how you helped them. This list could go on eternally. Time to use social media to your advantage and build credibility for your business.

Reviews. Reviews. And More Reviews.

In addition to the few things above, you should check in with customers during the offseason. Find out how they like A, B, or C (whatever work you completed). Ask for reviews. Offer a discounted product or service. In addition, this keeps you top of mind. These reviews will most certainly help the brand with credibility and recognition. This is assuming you did good work for your customers. Finally, ask them to take a moment to review the business on social media and of course, Google.


Additionally, the downtime is the perfect time to alter or review any or all of the below:

Business cards. Redesign or reorder new ones.

Brochures, pamphlets, and other printed marketing materials. Create something new or reorder what you had from last season.

Email marketing. Hopefully you have a list of customers’ emails. If so, send them over an email or a few during the offseason keeping them up to date on your products and services.

Signs, yard signs, vehicle graphics. Are any of these looking worn out or old? Some fancy new stickers or signs will keep you looking professional and up to date.

Direct mail. In essence, if you haven’t tried direct mail, or worse failed with it…something just isn’t right. Get a creative graphic designer to help make a mail piece really pop. It will pay dividends.

Finally, is there anything we left out? By all means, we’d love to hear about what is successful for marketing your business. How do you winterize your business marketing?

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Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Making Social Media Work for Business

Making social media work for your business isn’t always an easy task. As a matter of fact, it can be downright difficult at times. A lot of business owners think just posting will get attention and the customers will quickly follow. In short, not true. The rules for social media are constantly changing. Further, choosing the right channels and messaging for your business takes some time and research. Next, you have to consider the content and times of your posts. Thankfully for you, the reader, we’ll break this down some.

Making Social Media Work for Business. An image of the 77 Design Co orange and gray logo on an orange and gray background.

Rules. First thing to remember is keeping professionalism on top of mind. If your business floods posts with political opinions or pandemic related health info there are rules now in place that may flag the post. Stick to your subject and do not stray into gray areas. Stay professional and un-opinionated.

However, when discussing “rules” we didn’t mean etiquette. That should go without saying. We meant the ever evolving, constantly changing, eternally revamping, social media landscape. In years past, a business could post on Facebook and it would be seen by hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands. But, that is simply not the case any more.

Algorithms and different platform features are always changing. Subsequently, this makes keeping up with it all very very difficult. These continuous alterations are done in hopes of creating a better user experience. For business owners and marketers that’s usually not the case. Making social media work for your business requires staying on top of these changes. Without a doubt, you want to research, research, research to find out all you can about the platform(s) of your choice and any new changes.

The Right Channels

Equally important (and maybe even more important) you need to know your customer. That’s always a first step of marketing. If your business is using Tik Tok or Instagram but the demographic is a little older, you are wasting time and money. This interesting Pew Research study goes into more depth than we can discuss here.

What’s the age of your client base? Where do they live? Likewise, even knowing their hobbies and interests can be an indicator to which platforms to use. We aren’t big proponents of simply blasting your business info and/or products and services all over the social media world. Take the time to narrow down which platform(s) your customers use. This is a much more effective strategy.

Making social media work for business. A screenshot of a slide from the 77 Design Co Social Media Training program with a gray background.
A slide from our 77 Design Co Social Media Training program.
Content and Times

Now that we’ve got to this point and learned a little of the rules, then decided on the right channels, it’s time to turn attention towards what to post and when. Usually this is a hurdle for some companies. Again, not an easy task. What do you say and how do you say it?

For content, the ideas are limitless. One great way to make social media work for business is to be helpful. In short, you want to create resolutions to problems you believe customers are facing. Be aware though, customers can see through a sales pitch versus an authentic post that truly shows empathy for their situation.

Content creation can and should include, emotion, storytelling, great visuals, shared info, and just be generally helpful. In addition to that, make the social pages fun. Offer contests, witty quotes, post in-action videos, or highlight customers. There are endless ideas for content.

So, that leaves us with best post times. The advice for this is all over the place. You’ll need to research your industry and do some trial and error to see what works best. Generally for Facebook, Tues, Wed, and Thurs between 9:00A.M.-12:00P.M. work well. Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter vary as well. This is not a set in stone formula though. Monitor your business pages post performances closely to get a better idea what works for you.

Need a hand figuring all of this out? Questions? 77 Design Co is here for you.

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Marketing with a Small Budget

Email marketing Girl here. Hola, and Happy New Year! How do you market your business with a small budget?
When you think of small budget, let’s start real small…like free. Therefore, what are some marketing tools that are free? Social media, email marketing, networking, blogging, webinars, ebooks, etc.

Email Marketing Girl with dog Image 2
Email Marketing Girl and pup.

Numero uno. Social media.
If you are a business, you need social media. One of the first things people do when they research are Google and most likely Facebook. Depending on the company and demographic, it could be Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or some others. Be consistent on social media. Engage people on social media. Be proactive instead of just reactive on social media. By proactive, for example, I mean look for the audience you wish to make business with. Likewise, look up hashtags and follow those people who are liking or posting those awesome pictures you wish were your content. (Consequently, learn from those cool profiles).
Email marketing.
There are a bunch of free email marketing tools out there that can do some cool stuff. Most popular from my experience, would be Mailchimp. However, all you have to do is go back to your friend Google and type in free email marketing and do some research on what best fits your needs.

email button on keyboard.
Web mail computer keyboard button for business contact concept. Email envelope icon key in blue color.

I know, talking to people can be scary. That is to say, if you find yourself at a free marketing happy hour, talk the talk! Have your elevator pitch ready and go into it with a positive attitude. Even if you don’t get a sale or a client right there, you have planted a seed. Continue to follow up and make a relationship. Certainly, networking can be a powerful way to grow your company.
Like what I am doing now? Yep! Have a landscaping business? Blog about the newest trends you are seeing for the summer. What about some fun tips for your garden? I mean, that sounds interesting to me!
Free downloadable resources.
There is so much free stuff on the internet. If you don’t know much about SEO, download a free ebook about it or register for a one hour webinar on it. Likewise, it’s the same thing with literally anything marketing. Like I’ve said before, just Google.
There are a lot of free marketing things and resources you can get away with to start off your strategy. Have any questions? Reach out!
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
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Client Interview with a Marketing Coordinator

Hi all,

Recently, while on a product photography shoot, we conducted a quick Q&A interview with a recurring customer. Chelsea is a marketing/sales coordinator for a local company we’ve worked with frequently over the last few years. A great company making fantastic one of a kind products. We candidly asked her what she likes about her role and some general marketing questions.

What’s your role in marketing?

Chelsea: “So, I’m the sales and marketing coordinator here. I help coordinate trade shows. I help with photographic shoots, and I also manage a product line with our company. It’s really exciting because we’ve gained some new customers recently. We have a trade show in Pittsburgh and then one in New York in a few weeks too.”

What’s the hardest thing about marketing?

Chelsea: “Umm, so, probably finding out what people will like. Trying to grab their attention. Seeing what gets peoples attention and why they’d want our product. Since we have a new product line, I’m trying to find out what’s going to make them want our products over our competition. Learning about what sets our products apart. There’s other products that are similar, well, more simplified versions, but ours are unique and I have to show that.”

If you had to put a number on it. What percentage about marketing, do you think,  is related to creativity?

Chelsea: “Wow!…Honestly? A LOT! You have to be creative. I would say, wow, 70-80% really.  Even if you are writing a simple email blast you have to have it creative. What’s going to make them NOT want to delete your email? Finding that creative niche, that attention grabbing moment is super important!”

How important are the images, or photography, to your marketing plans?

Chelsea: “Oh my!” Extremely important. So, yes. Crucial! You have to show our products in many ways, even in lifestyle settings. For example, we even found that we had older product photos and once we had new photos taken by you guys, we sold them! I mean we sold many older products that weren’t selling once we had new images of them. They were updated, better focused, and started selling a lot better.”

Image of camera lenses signifying photography.

That’s fantastic!

Chelsea: “Yea! Honestly. We’ve found that really high quality pictures are really really important!”

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about marketing in your time here?

Chelsea: “Wow, I’ve learned a LOT. So, I came right out of college and I had no idea hardly what I was doing. College isn’t real world, it’s all like books, studying, book knowledge, and tests. It was hard at first. For instance, you take the concepts that you learn in school and apply it to your work in the real world. Getting a customers attention, like I first said, is probably the biggest thing.”


So, in conclusion, if your local business has a need for updated photography, design work, or a new website…drop us a line! 77 Design Co is here to help you grow your business and increase sales the only way we know how… through creative visual marketing!

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Analyze. Create. Achieve.