Are You Using
a Chess or Checkers Small Business Marketing
By: Jeremy Cohen
Until the day I learned to play chess I loved playing checkers. Both
games require a strategy that maximizes a
player’s ability to capture her opponents
pieces without first losing her own.
Checkers was fun. But the complexities of
chess lead to more satisfying victories and
Chess is a more complicated game than
checkers as there are more variables.
Therefore, much more thought and
concentration is required to win a game of
chess than is required to win a game of
Like chess, marketing your business is a
complicated endeavor. A successful chess
player anticipates future moves and will
position his pieces in such a way that each
piece helps add strength to other pieces
already in place.
A successful marketing strategy is no
different than a winning chess strategy.
Every move you make must reinforce previous
and future moves. Instead of rooks, bishops
and queens the moves made in the game of
marketing are made with advertisements, web
sites, marketing messages, brochures and so
As a small business owner you don’t risk
losing pieces to your opponent you risk
losing business to your competitors.
Great chess players have a strategy that
helps them win with consistency. Here’s a
marketing strategy you can use to
consistently win new business.
Focus Your Marketing
Target your market with a marketing message
that speaks directly to the population you
serve. A marketing message is a phrase or
sentence that clearly demonstrates who you
help and the problems you solve.
Develop and use your marketing message as
often as you can. Doing so will help get
your business get noticed by those most
likely to buy from you. Use your marketing
message in your marketing materials, your
website and any and everywhere your business
comes in contact with potential clients.
Effective use of a marketing message can
be a small business owner’s best friend. A
good one will work hard for you to generate
new business and will never ask for anything
Once you’ve used your marketing message to
grab hold of your prospects’ attention, be
it at your website, after reading one of
your ads or an article you’ve written, be
sure you clearly instruct them to take the
action you want. It doesn’t matter what the
action is as long as it requires them to
provide you their contact information so you
may continue marketing to them.
Offer something useful and free in
exchange for their information. Give away
free recipes if you’re a caterer or tips on
designing bouquets if you’re a florist. Just
be certain to give clear directions about
what should be done next to move your sales
Build a Relationship
After you’ve successfully culled from your
prospects’ their contact information it is
now time for you to develop a relationship
with them. The nature of the relationship
you develop should be one that makes it
clear that you know your prospect is out
there, that you understand your prospects’
problems and that you can help solve your
Common methods for developing
relationships with prospects are
distributing articles, publishing an ezine
and conducting surveys. Be sure to include
your marketing message with every article,
ezine or survey.
Over time you will become the obvious
solution to your clients’ problems when they
decide to take action to solve what concerns
Move Your Marketing forward
Using each of the above methods will help
you position your business much like a
champion chess player positions his pieces.
In the end victory and more sales will be
Copyright 2005, Jeremy Cohen and Better