DAM Squared Marketing

DAM Squared Marketing

June 10, 2010 12:35 ET

Look Cool When it Gets Hot

DAM Good Marketing Tips to Make Your Small Business Shine

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 10, 2010) - While summer months may trigger a dry spell for picking up new clients, it just may be the perfect time to think up new, creative ways to heat up your brand.

Joanna Dubbeldam, owner of Toronto's award-winning DAM Squared Marketing, knows what it means to succeed in a difficult climate. She started her boutique agency during the recession in early 2009 and has been flourishing ever since. Joanna attributes her client wins to developing a strong brand, solid customer relationships and an ability to offer clients top notch marketing without having to pay big agency fees.

Here are Joanna's essential marketing tips for small business survival this season and beyond:

Get your Brand "Bikini-ready"

You will always be judged, so you have to look your best. The same way you wouldn't put a unflattering picture of yourself on a dating profile, make sure your website is top notch. Like an overweight personal trainer and a mechanic with a beat-up car, customers may be wary to trust your business if you have an unappealing website. You'll be shocked how much the design of your website can affect your bottom line. 

Take it Outside

Summer is a great time to get your brand noticed outdoors. People are walking, patio-ing, bbq'ing … so put your messages where they are. Hire a sidewalk artist to sketch something outside your place of business, set up a lemonade stand in your building's lobby to network with fellow tenants, host a summer client event, run a summer themed contest online, sponsor a local festival or event, partner with a local gelatoria and send customers a coupon for free ice cream, entertain your top suppliers to brainstorm new clients, etc.

Stand Out and Be Seen

Customers are inundated with advertising. Your company needs to stand out with simple, sharp, relevant and strong creative. Leverage this creative with an unconventional media buy, a small but witty teaser campaign, a guerilla marketing program, an e-blast offer, an interesting partnership, etc. Boutique agencies don't charge an arm and a leg to figure out how to make you look your best.

Know where you Shine

An engineer probably shouldn't design an advertising campaign. Do what you are good at and outsource the rest. You may be able to or think you can write good copy, design a brochure, or update your website but don't waste time when someone can do it better, faster and for less money.

Sweat the Small Stuff

We all know this, yet it is so often forgotten. Customers want consistency, sincerity and honestly. Just like you don't want to see a thousand pictures of your co-worker's baby, no one wants to just hear your boring promo tweets and no one likes sales people that only call when they need something. Manners and etiquette will never lose their relevance in the business world. Don't forget the simple things i.e. follow-up emails, thank you's, lunches, birthdays, dog names... the small stuff matters.

Know what's HOT

Evolve - you need to keep up with the trends. Don't expect to know them all but make sure you hire a company that does. Trying something new also doesn't mean spending a lot of money. Here are a few simple ideas to explore; refresh your web design, create a new tagline, make a cool viral video for You Tube, improve your clicks with SEO, consider customer generated content or design a catchy email signature. Effective tactics aren't always flashy.

Get the Word on the Street

Find out your customer's opinion on your "new thing" before you roll it out. This involves research. Test your new tagline, vision, logo, brand name, etc. Consider an online questionnaire; intercept survey, focus group, etc. Whatever it is, never loose touch with what your customers actually want.

Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange an interview with
    Joanna Dubbeldam, please contact Susanne Weinberg,
    Dig PR & Marketing Inc.