Trying to Grow Your SMB? Here’s a Thought — Try Something Else

Marketing Challenges and a Few Solutions Every Business Leader Needs To Explore

By Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency

It’s never been more challenging to market your business and the professional services your organization provides. Potential clients and customers are bombarded by literally thousands of marketing and sales messages, and those charged with business development have virtually an infinite number of ways to go about the marketing of those services – just rarely an infinite budget or infinite amounts of time. It’s hard to even grab the attention of those you know you can assist.

For some, the strategy is throw as much at it as you can and see what sticks. Some are stuck in “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” For others, the budget of time and money is so small as to make little impact. Some do nothing at all. And for most, there’s just so many marketing options, who has the time or the knowledge to cut through it all and make a sensible plan – after all, you’re busy, right? And, if the business is particularly small, the “marketing executive” may also be the business development person, owner or, in some cases the admin with virtually no experience, training or expertise.

Make no mistake, the ongoing, purposeful, consistent and strategic marketing of your business is literally the difference between staying in business and going under, or treading water vs. being very successful. With customer and client attrition, and the unusually high turnover rate of internal marketing personnel, business owners, particularly those that are an outsourced business model themselves, need to take a serious and strategic look at their marketing efforts.

For many, they unfortunately skip the strategic and dive head first into the tactical. We need to advertise. We need to do Facebook Live (or insert new whiz bang thing you read about recently). We need to put out a press release. We need to cold call more. The answer is quite simple: No, you don’t. You need to stop, take a big step back and take a look at some critical areas of your business. I would strongly suggest you need to bring in outside counsel to review at least once a year and offer objective suggestions and assist in cutting through the endless clutter of tactical “things” you “could” do – an annual communications audit. Having that expertise and counsel allows companies to focus on their organization rather than “testing” the infinite number of latest and greatest marketing tools – as experts have likely experienced, vetted and understand which tactical things will work best for a given type of business. Again, having an expert counselor is far different than talking with that sales rep who has a quota. Your accountant isn’t there to sell you something, they’re there to look at your business and offer expert advice. Same with your marketing counselor. The local ad rep is there to sell you ads.

So, let’s start with strategy.

Do you have one? Ask yourself to, in one sentence, state your marketing strategy. Go around the business and ask your sales or business development team, what is your marketing strategy. Ask the internal marketing team. Did you get the same, consistent answer? Did you get a blank stare? If you actually did receive a clear, consistent response, that’s a very good thing. If you didn’t, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, after all, as they saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re headed, any direction will get you there. Develop your marketing strategy, and again, if this isn’t something you do or believe you can have objectivity with, bring in a firm. It’s what they do, and be sure to hire one that understands your industry – if you are a manufacturing business, don’t hire a firm that provides consumer goods expertise. Laundry detergent and banking don’t translate.

Once you have your marketing strategy outlined, look at all of the potential audiences you can provide those services to and gather as much information and data on those audiences as you can. Trade groups, trade magazines, first person interview and even surveys can be very effective. You want to be as specific as you can about the target publics because without that knowledge, it’s virtually impossible to relate to the publics and public relations is at the center of marketing for any professional services organization. Name your targets, identify them and come up with a unique value proposition and brand narrative for each, that align with your marketing strategy.

And before you’re being the “smart ass” kid in the classroom and say your marketing strategy is to “sell more,” no, that’s your sales objective without any specifics and no benchmark or direction. Don’t be that boss – it’s bad leadership. Not a marketing strategy, which involves specifically how you are going to communicate the specific advantages to your varied publics in order to create a positive sales environment. My advice is to lay out a matrix, with your marketing strategy at the top, followed by the target publics with whom you wish to relate followed by your specific value proposition for each – after all, you don’t sell to your mom the same way you sell to your kids, right?

Benchmark each and lay out exactly where you are currently based on sales numbers, engagement, presentations or really any area that you want to see growth – web hits to that specific page, and so on. Then, based on the value proposition, develop your strategy for communicating with each – for example, in our value proposition we want to show how our software makes a business more productive for this specific business type or title. So, we showcase a specific challenge that individual faces, and how our solution addresses it efficiently. We need a creative and a copy strategy that will grab the attention and clearly showcase what we are saying, while creating a CTA (Call to Action). Now, you develop your marketing pieces.

This is where you begin being tactical, in the creation of your print ads, marketing materials, social posts, direct response and the like – all versioned for your specific publics. Again, you don’t market, sell or relate to your various publics the same across the board so you must be smarter and market to each, not to all. Fortunately, versioning the relatively simple provided you’re following the steps above. Then, you execute. Be creative (and if you’re not creative or don’t know how to do this, don’t.) One of the worst mistakes we see is such poor tactical execution that even if a group DID see your stuff, they don’t understand it or it fails to make any impact (or worse yet, has the opposite impact).

Get your “stuff” out to your publics. Media relations, social, paid, sponsorships – again, the options are endless so depending on your marketing strategy, there should be some combination of an “all of the above” strategy – this is called your marketing mix. Start at 100 percent and carve out your time and budget on your 100 pie chart and create your mix. As you watch performance, this mix can and will need to be updated and possibly altered.

Sound complicated?

Well, it is. And that’s the problem with most organizations that attempt to do this themselves without professional, experienced outside counsel. I mean, you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) just dump a ton of money in the stock market and see what happens, right? Unfortunately, this is as close to the marketing strategy of thousands of businesses across the country that may be struggling. Particularly if you are yourself a BPO, why on earth are you tactically and strategically trying to take on all of the marketing efforts internally? That’s risky and in most cases, more expensive. After all, you’d say the same thing. Consistent, ongoing and professional marketing that says the right thing in the right places at the right time to right people is a science and an art. And the health of your business (and your sanity) is no place for guesswork. Guessing is expensive and can actually undermine your business and your goals entirely. As you look toward planning for next year, this is an area where most can improve and look at doing something “differently” next year – be bold. Be brave.

About The Eisen Agency

We have been one of the most successful strategic partners for professional services businesses who understand that they don’t need to know everything – they just need to know where to turn. We take visions and goals and turn them into reality through our award winning marketing and branded communications strategic planning services. With that strategy, our hard working, talented and tenacious team tactically effectively and efficiently executes as an extension of your team – delivering superior marketing communications expertise and execution, and giving you perhaps what you value most. Time.

Lower overhead through outsourcing to a professional marketing agency, objectively and intrinsically tied to delivering success. Get more done. Gain market share. Market smarter. Spend less time and money doing it. The agency offers strategic counsel, marketing planning and tactical execution all in one amazing firm.

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Become an Official Member of the Mutual UFO Network


New client, MUFON, launches annual membership drive, seeks inquisitive minds

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – October 11, 2016 – The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) has announced the launch of its annual membership drive. The organization invites individuals with an infinite curiosity of the UFO phenomenon to become official members.

“We are looking to grow the organization and add to our more than 4,000 members worldwide,” said MUFON Executive Director Jan C. Harzan. “Our members’ endless desire to find answers and discover the truth help us continue our legacy as the world’s oldest and largest UFO phenomenon investigative body. They are a key component to what makes MUFON such an exciting place to be.”

New MUFON members will receive a variety of exclusive perks, cool swag and insider information into the world of UFO investigations.

The organization is also looking for people interested in becoming field investigators to assist with research projects and programs in their home state. Field investigators review and report on hundreds of UFO sightings each month from around the world.

“Our field investigators are the heart and soul of our organization,” added Harzan. “We could not research and study the latest UFO sightings without this dedicated group of people.”

The mission of MUFON is to Investigate the hundreds of reports the organization receives monthly from around the world and to – through the scientific method – rigorously research, investigate and report the findings.

Curious? Become an official member of MUFON today.


Established in 1969, The Mutual UFO Network, headquartered in Newport Beach, CA, is the world’s largest research organization dedicated to investigating, researching and reporting incidents and activities related to the UFO phenomenon. A 501 3 c organization, the non-profit group has chapters in 43 countries and all 50 states and funds ongoing research and regular reporting of investigated and vetted UFO phenomena. More information on the organization can be accessed at

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Cleveland AMA To Award Two $1,000 Scholarships

For Release

Media Contact:                 Rodger Roeser, The Eisen Agency




Cleveland Professional Organization Set to Award Scholarships to Marketing Students

American Marketing Association Northeast Ohio Chapter to Award Two Scholarships


Cleveland, OH – October 17, 2016 – a Northeast Ohio professional organization seeks to award a pair of $1,000 scholarships to outstanding area marketing students. The American Marketing Association Northeast Ohio Chapter (AMA NEO) will award both an undergraduate and graduate student that “exemplify a keen understanding of marketing principles and the strategic application of those principles.” The scholarship is presented by Avery Dennison and those interested may apply online at

The deadline for application is 11:59 p.m. on October 31st, and complete rules and eligibility are available online. Applicants will be asked to share more information about themselves, as well as address a marketing challenge in essay form as presented by Avery Dennison.

Selection will be based on applicants meeting eligibility requirements and selection criteria. A judging panel consisting of two AMA NEO board members, two local marketing professors and one executive marketing professional will review applications and select an undergraduate and graduate winner. The selection will also be announced to local media, shared on Cleveland AMA’s social media channels, and mentioned on the Cleveland AMA website.

The scholarship award will be distributed through the Financial Aid Office of the recipient’s school and is to be used for tuition payment. Anyone with any questions may email



Founded in 2016 as the merged Cleveland and Akron/Canton AMA Chapters, AMA NEO provides professional development and networking opportunities that serve to assist the growth and success of the Northeast Ohio marketing community. The American Marketing Association is the most relevant force and voice shaping marketing around the world. The professional development organization fosters a community for marketers and academics designed to inspire curiosity, debate and connection, and provides the tools, education and training needed to be more successful.


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If You Are In Charge of Marketing for an IT Firm, Here’s Five Cool Tools Every IT Marketing Rock Star Needs.

Five Cool Tools Every IT Marketing Rock Star Needs to Understand


By Marina Nasonti, The Eisen Agency


One of the main trends that tends to be reshaping marketing for IT organizations is the need for buyers to be educated and informed on your technology services consistently, clearly, and constantly. Content and social media engagement are the engines running a good marketing strategy. And, with new innovative competitors entering the technological marketplace, smart IT marketers need to step up their game by building credibility through regularly distributed content.


At leading IT marketing firm, The Eisen Agency, we thrive on being successful leaders in today’s fast moving global marketplace, and have the time, energy and expertise to focus on individual industries and great marketing tools to marry those strategically and tactically to the benefit of our clientele. Each of our executive’s knowledge and expertise span across a wide variety of industries – from real estate to IT – so our team’s expertise is our client’s advantage. Here are five cool tools every IT marketing rock star needs to understand in 2016.


  1. Buffer

This simple analytics platform is the best way to decrease social media time, increase engagement and drive traffic to your organization’s website. This interface allows you to share content across multiple social media platforms and accounts. Buffer uses data specific to IT to analyze and distribute your published post during the best times of the day. The platform also allows you to add photos and videos or use their new tool, Pablo to visualize your post. Pablo creates social media images, allowing users to choose different templates and fonts. So, save yourself a few hours each week and purchase Buffer.




  1. it allows businesses and professionals to discover, curate and publish a wide array of content to increase visibility and drive visitors to their website. This platform not only allows you to collect articles on specific content but search millions of users and topic boards related to the IT industry. And, this tool integrates with Facebook and Twitter, sharing your curated content with the click of your mouse.



  1. Klear

Klear is a social intelligence platform that serves as a sophisticated influencer search engine. This platform can connect you to the right people around the world and become a very successful networking tool. It will also analyze your engagement, performance, benchmark your landscape and provide insight so you can stay ahead of the curve.



  1. Canva

Producing engaging content and producing it consistently are two large obstacles when it comes to implementing a marketing plan effectively. If you are looking for an easy-to-use tool, loaded with features to create visually engaging content to share with your audience, you have found it. From magazine covers to social media ads, Canva has you covered.




  1. Autotask

Autotask is a cloud-based customer relationship management software that makes delivering IT, more efficient while providing you instant access to all the analytics you need to in order to succeed. This software’s customized dashboard allows IT marketers to focus on deliverables, capture leads, send customized documents and track revenue. Sit back and relax, Autotask has your back.



And, while this is by no means an exhaustive list of every “cool” tool out there, it’s a good sampling of some of the whiz bang tools our team uses to the advantage of our clientele. As in in house marketing executive or small business owner, having an outside agency that is dedicated to constantly finding better ways to share your message and grow your business efficiently is a tremendous competitive advantage.



About the Author

Marina Nasonti is an account manager with leading national marketing and public relations consultancy The Eisen Agency. With offices in Greater Cincinnati and Greater Cleveland, The Eisen Agency represents clientele across the country who strive to grow their business and organization more efficiently, lowering overhead costs and increasing expertise through outsourced agency/client strategic partnerships. Nasonti is a graduate of Kent State University. More information can be accessed at




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Cleveland, Akron/Canton AMA Chapters Merge to Form AMA NEO

For Release


Media Contact:                 Rodger Roeser, The Eisen Agency

obo: American Marketing Association – NEO Chapter



Cleveland, Akron American Marketing Association Chapters Merge, Rebrand

Forms AMA NEO Chapter to Serve Marketing Professionals in Northeast Ohio


Cleveland, OH – October 7, 2016 – For the first time in the 79 year national history of the American Marketing Association, two vibrant, active AMA chapters have merged to form a larger, single chapter of the AMA. The Cleveland Chapter, founded in 1934 and the Akron/Canton Chapter, founded in 1947 have merged and rebranded as the nearly 300 member American Marketing Association, Northeast Ohio Chapter (AMA NEO). Professionals currently seeking to plug in with chapter events and resources may access, while a new website and updated branded materials are expected to be available in the coming months.


“This is such an amazing time to be a marketing professional in Northeast Ohio,” AMA NEO president Jennifer Norris said. “By combining the strength and the people of these two vibrant chapters, we will be able to provide enhanced programming, more comprehensive resource access, greater networking and even more impactful partnership opportunities to our already strong offerings.”


The merged board will be led by Norris, with Madeline Malicki serving as president-elect. The chapter serves marketing professionals throughout Northeast Ohio’s 16 counties – Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne – and includes the cities of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Lorain, Elyria, Mansfield, Medina, Ashtabula, Youngstown, and Warren.


Existing Akron/Canton and Cleveland AMA memberships will automatically transfer to a AMA NEO membership, and no action will be required by the members.




Founded in 2016 as the merged Cleveland and Akron/Canton AMA Chapters, AMA NEO provides professional development and networking opportunities that serve to assist the growth and success of the Northeast Ohio marketing community. The American Marketing Association is the most relevant force and voice shaping marketing around the world. The professional development organization fosters a community for marketers and academics designed to inspire curiosity, debate and connection, and provides the tools, education and training needed to be more successful.



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Cleveland Restaurant Tour: The Market Garden in Ohio City

If you’re a Greater Clevelander, y0u know what a real gem and treat Ohio City is, and what a wonderful place to walk around and soak up the sites and sounds of the big city in a quaint small town feel and atmosphere. It’s just a cool place to be and has a cool foodie type vibe. There are dozens of great restaurants to enjoy there, and on this particular day we took our talents to The Market Garden right on the main drag.

The day we were there, it was for lunch and the place was a madhouse. It was absolutely slammed, jammed and packed with patrons enjoying a pint or two at the bar and filled with those grabbing lunch — oddly on this day, the patrons taking up half the space was the Hillary Clinton press corps as she was just up the street giving a speech. Unfortunately, that fact is going to slightly skew this review as you really can’t plan for Hillary Clinton and the press corp showing up for lunch. The place was woefully, woefully, woefully (yes, three times in a row) understaffed so the service was horrendous, but we’re actually going to give them a pass on that — they were trying and the staff was running around like crazy people trying to get things sorted out.

Now, if you haven’t been, The Market Garden is a local Cleveland brewery that boasts a number of great proprietary brews. As it’s the fall, I try to go with as many local Oktoberfest type beers as I can, and this was no exception. It was excellent, as have been all the brews I’ve tried at the gaaaaden. The bar is rather large, an ‘L’ shaped expanse on the back of the entry point featuring several high top tables and booths. The back is also available for lunch and dinner, although on this day it was closed off (and folks walking in and out had to go through security and metal detectors — including the staff). Outside is group seating, which again on this day was a little strange as you were literally sitting with other people so there was no “one on one” conversations, it was indeed family style and shared conversations with complete strangers. If you’re cool with that, it’s cool. Now, to the food. We started off with an appetizer — one of my very favorites and something you don’t see very often — a Scotch Egg. If you don’t know what it is, you’re missing out on a treat. If you do, you didn’t want this one.

Wildly overcooked, it was a dry, crumbled mess. It also clearly sat for quite a while, so while we had the pleasure of a dry crumbled mess, it was also cold. It was gross, and unfortunately not a good harbinger of things to come. So, we waited and waited. Sitting outside in the direct hot sun in business attire — not fun. It was warm and there was no shade, and no service, so no drinks. Finally, our lunch arrived. We had salmon and a chorizo taco.

Now, for something positive. The salmon was cooked perfectly. It was moist and delicious with an excellent flavor that was accentuated by a near perfect sauce on a nice bed of tender greens and root veggies. It was very good. The soft tacos were bland and seemed to desperately cry out for all the extra flavors from the ramekins to be slathered over the dry weirdness in the actual taco. It didn’t work, and this wasn’t even good “bar” food — frankly, it was hard to eat. We give those a resounding F. Now, there are several items on a fairly comprehensive menu that features standard and some creative fare, so maybe this was an off day because we like The Market Garden and what they’re trying to do but this experience we’d rather soon forget.

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Dragonfly Foundation Reminds Young Cancer Patients How ‘Cool’ They Really Are









AUGUST 26, 2016, CINCINNATI, OH – At a Cincinnati Reds game in October of 2010, when Marty Brennaman, Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasting Legend, took off his jersey to reveal The Dragonfly Foundation’s “I Am Still Me” shirt, he immediately made Dragonflies and other cancer patients feel less alone. Today, Dragonfly is launching a second phase of the campaign in an effort to remind young cancer patients that they are — and always will be — “cool.”


Thanks in part to to a significant donation from Luxottica, based in Mason, OH, Dragonfly is continuing its efforts to:

  • Minimize the psychological pain and fear that young cancer patients experience as a result of treatment
  • Help young patients maintain their self-esteem and protect their self image
  • Encourage the public to care while we wait for a cure


The new phase of the campaign includes:

  • I’m Still Me Care Packages [bags include, depending upon gender, age, and resources:

“I Am Still Me” Hair Loss Book, personal care items, eye wear, makeup, jewelry, headwear, tattoo markers, temporary tattoos, lint brush, pillow case and more!

  • Photo shoot with Michael Bambino Photography
  • Lamar Advertising billboard advertising in Venue Magazine
  • Video public service advertisements (created by Monkey Biz Films)
  • Social media postings/imagery (created in part by PMG)


The Dragonfly Foundation provides support, caring distractions, events and opportunities to young cancer patients (0-30) and their families. We work to mitigate the collateral damage that is associated with the emotional, physical and financial toll of cancer and bone marrow transplant treatment, recovery, and maintenance.


The Dragonfly Foundation is a light in the dark for young cancer patients and their families. To help us shine brighter, please visit or donate at


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