Elizabeth Walker and Ken Burgin

Ken Burgin and Elizabeth Walker are the Marketing Masters, a full-service marketing and advertising partnership that helps build busy businesses

Recent Articles Published by Elizabeth Walker and Ken Burgin

managing

Three Magic Questions That Drive Sales

Some of our best business conversations happen in the most unlikely places, including our daily walk to the local coffee shop we fuel up in, and the dog park where Liz takes her border collie, Mike. One of our dog park buddies is a woman we’ll call Mary. She’s a self-employed consultant who knows we’re... Read more »

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The Astonishing Power of 3rd Party Endorsements

When looking for a product or service they’ve never used before, what do people most often do? Ask someone who has had experience with the product or service of course. This would include taking the advice of an unbiased product review. By “unbiased” we mean reviews that are not paid for, or supported in some... Read more »

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The Single Biggest Mistake Small Business Owners Will Make This Year

Did you know that small businesses could actually double their sales by simply following up with leads and contacts? That’s right: 99 percent of small businesses do not consistently follow up with their prospects and customers. Look at the math: If you close 25% of 100 leads or sell to a quarter of 100 store... Read more »

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How to Choose a Marketing Company

You are thinking of hiring marketing professionals for your organization. Many people use an RFP—Request for Proposal—process as a way to feel confident of making a good choice. But beware! There are pitfalls in the RFP process that are easy to fall into. If you’ve never worked with a marketing professional, or this is the... Read more »

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Three Business-Building Ideas to “Steal”

One of the great joys of our work is meeting a wide range of successful local business owners. Each has a wonderful story to tell about how they created and developed their firm, and each has special challenges. Each owner has a set of talents that make his or her business unique, and some valuable... Read more »

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10 Ways to Market When Cash is Tight

About a month ago, Staples and Angus Reid released their latest “STAPLES Canada Small Business National Quarterly Index.” It looks like we believe we are over the hump. 70 per cent of business owners expect at least some improvement to their business over the next six months (compared to 58 per cent in March 2009).... Read more »

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Questions That Sell

We are working on a new campaign for a client and spent a few hours today looking at competitive web sites, ads and brochures. After about three hours we looked at each other and said, “Can you remember anything any of these companies said that stands out?” Ken said, “I bet if I took all... Read more »

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10 Steps To Unleash Your Lead PR Machine

Take a systematic approach to small business public relations. PR (public/media relations) is a powerful small business-marketing tool. By PR, we mean getting positive press mentions about your firm in local, trade and national publications. These mentions are so powerful because they are seen to come from unbiased third parties, so they are more believable.... Read more »

managing

10 Ways to Market When Cash Is Tight

A while  ago, Staples and Angus Reid released their latest “STAPLES Canada Small Business National Quarterly Index,” It looks like we believe we are over the hump. 70 per cent of business owners expect at least some improvement to their business over the next six months (compared to 58 per cent in March 2009). Now... Read more »

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What to do with a “cold” lead

We have a client who has so many requests for quotes on his desk he is way behind on filling them. At first this seems like a problem we would all like to have. So many leads we can’t get to all of them! But there is a down side to this story. Our client... Read more »

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What’s Your “Active Ingredient 90”?

When I was growing up in the 1950’s, Shell, the petroleum company, was advertising that their gasoline contained “TCP” an additive that increased horsepower and made an engine run better. There was no reference to fuel economy that I can recall—who cared? …gas was about 25 cents a gallon! Anyway, Shell sold a helluva lot... Read more »

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There Are Millions and Millions of Web Sites. How Is Anybody Ever Going to Find Yours?

When the internet was new, finding a web site was largely a hit or miss proposition. Although there were relatively fewer sites, the sophisticated search tools, like Google, Yahoo, MSN and others were not around. People tended to “surf” going from one site to another via links on those sites. Needless to say, things have... Read more »

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How Changing an Email Subject Line Added 56% in Sales

We subscribe to Marketing Experiments.com for its marketing research results. We get to see data we can trust on issues of real importance to our clients—like this investigation into how to make the subject line of an email work best. It’s common sense to say that emails reaching out to clients and prospects won’t work... Read more »

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7 Ideas Owners Must Consider About Succession Planning

Statistics show that 70% of entrepreneur-owned businesses do not survive the founder. Did you work this hard, for this long, to see your life’s work implode? One of the most important features about good marketing process is its impact when it comes time for the owner to move out. Whether you plan to sell out... Read more »

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A Marketing Tool that Works Day and Night — 24/7

You expect a business to have a telephone. Well, these days, a business is expected to have a web site as well—it’s a credibility issue. And although it’s a complicated subject, once launched, what could be easier than using the internet to spread your marketing message, educate your prospects, and convert prospects to clients? In... Read more »

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Why Small Businesses Won’t Double Their Revenue This Year

Part of the fun we have in our practice is hanging out with small business owners. These people are smart, driven, competent and experts in their chosen industry. We always learn something, and we are always in awe of how successful they are at doing something we couldn’t imagine even understanding, let alone doing for... Read more »

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Writing a Successful Sales Letter

Our friend Dave called last night, he’s started a small engine repair business and he asked us to review a sales letter he’d written. Dave’s letter was actually pretty good; the only problem was that it did not give a really good reason why anyone should do business with him! There was no incentive; no... Read more »

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The Never-Fail Recipe for Ads That Work Like Crazy

It’s always surprising to us to see so much advertising, especially in print, which does not work. It simply doesn’t contain the ingredients needed to successfully communicate with customers. If you make a cake, you don’t leave out any ingredients — right? Then why leave out an important part of your advertising message? With a... Read more »

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Connect the Dots—Use Your Website to Make Your Ads Work Harder

Right now in Canada, almost 85% of the population uses the Internet and it’s safe to say this number will continue to expand. So why wouldn’t you use your web site to support the advertising you do in all other media? You do have a web site, right? Here’s the scoop: If you read our... Read more »

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Use Two-Step Direct Response Advertising and Stop Wasting Your Ad Money

Many business owners say things like, “We seldom advertise because it doesn’t give us any results —it’s a waste of our money.” And you know what—for these people this is probably true. The ads they are running are not designed to produce tangible results. Most advertising does nothing to motivate a prospect to act—it’s simply... Read more »