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This was a fun day

I live in a 1917 folk victorian house in a small town in Pennsylvania.

While I always dreamed of owning a victorian, I didn't quite realize how dusty these houses are. When we first moved in, my wife was befuddled. No matter how much or often she cleaned, the house was always dusty.

Then we went through a "down to the studs" renovation, and she quickly realized just how good we had it.

Since our renovation, though, the house has been much cleaner with two significant exceptions:

  • The basement where I have a woodshop (naturally dusty) 
  • My attic (unnaturally dusty).

While the attic is in my mind the crown jewel of our home, it is also the most disgusting room in our house. Everything is covered in a 1/2 inch thick layer of roofing debris, Plaster dust, and cellulose insulation.

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to take on the powdery beast and clean out our attic. While I was up there, I found five things that are really going to help you with your business.

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1. Grandpa's Rolodex

Rolodex, Roll-O Decks… where have you been_
Social networking circa 1954

 

I am almost a hundred percent sure all of these people are dead. There is a card in here for "Sir Ernest Becklesloot, Professional shirt stretcher" I don't know when or if that was ever a thing.

 

As useless as this Rolodex is now, it does serve as an excellent reminder to take some time and clean out your customer databases. You can use a couple of different metrics to facilitate the clean out, but three of my favorite are 

  1. Last purchase date: If your customer's last purchase was 3-5 years ago, you should probably consider removing them from your mailing list. In some circumstances, such as in businesses with longer sales cycles, you may want to wait as long as 5-8 years. 
  2. Last marketing interaction: Depending on your CRM or marketing automation systems, this could include interactions on social media, your website, as well as email. I'd recommend culling the heard if you have had any interaction in the last 12-24 months.
  3. Hard Bouncebacks: Most email systems will stop sending to an email address once they receive a hard bounce back from the recipient's email server. Still, you should go through and remove any recipients that are no longer reachable.

 

 

2. Princess Dianna Wrapping Paper

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Like a big dusty candle in the wind

It's hard to believe that just three months ago, we were planning for the most awkward Christmas and exchanging bottles of Clorox wipes underneath our government-mandated quarantine tents.

 

It's not so hard to believe that you've completely forgotten to add those holiday shoppers to your database. If that's the case, don't wait another day! Otherwise, your list will end up about as irrelevant and untimely as this roll of wrapping paper.

 

 

3. My Old College Textbooks

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literal paper weights

For college students, especially juniors and seniors, the term-end is square in their sights. What comes after graduation is in the sights of their poor parents.

Now is a great time to start looking for summer interns. Whether you're comfortable with the legalized slavery of unpaid internships or plan on tossing the student a few bucks for their work, make sure that you have a clear role for them in mind and the ability to spend at least 50% of your time teaching them about your business. Remember, your intern is not a replacement for a full-timer. They are going to be so green you could lose them in your backyard, they might be great on Facebook, but they probably also helped burn down a footlocker last summer, so tread lightly.

If you don't want to look creepy patrolling your local campus for fresh talent, take this stack of books and pretend to be a late bloomer.

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4. A Schlitz Beer Calendar from 1982

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Fun Fact:  they're still selling Schlitz Beer calendars on Amazon for 2021

While this calendar is technically still usable for the year 2021, Your going to be competing for space with a bunch of 80's era appointments such as 

"E.T 8:00 pm at the Cinedrome", "return Tylenol to Woolworths," and "Invade the Falklands."

In the same regard, last year's marketing calendar is probably still usable. But if you're reading this in 2021, you're going to need to start fresh! 

That said, it might not be a bad idea to look back at your 2019 marketing plan to remember what a typical year looks like or even using it as a template for this year. Once you have your template, you'll need to go through and update your plan to reflect this year's challenges. 

For example:

  • While some states are opening up, others are not.  
  • Gas prices are on the rise, which will dampen any recovery the travel and hospitality sector hopes to see.
  • Vaccines may or may not work, and half the country appears to not be on board with getting one at all.
  • Television sports viewership is at an all-time low.
  • People are still struggling in some areas while others have been able to resume their lives quasi-normally.

How will these here-and-now situations play into your overall strategy for the next year? Don't be afraid to make predictions. You can always go back and adjust timing, content, or strategy. But if you don't take the time to put a roadmap in place, you may find yourself wondering aimlessly like one of those zombies we were promised and the beginning of the pandemic.

 

5. "Bill the Butcher's Dog Grooming and Extermination Services" Light-up Beer Koozie

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I'm going to need a bigger trap

Something moved up here. I don't know what it was, but I am not about to find out. I'm grabbing this koozie and calling the professionals.

It's ok if you feel overwhelmed when thinking about the herculean lift we're all going to have to take to bring this economy back. So, clear your mind, focus on what you do best, and delegate the rest. If you need help clearing your mind (and your plate, for that matter), Crackle Marketing can help shoulder your burden. We designed our agency to help small businesses succeed by providing them the strategy, tactics and, creative services they need to compete against their largest competitors. Crackle is marketing for the underdogs, and that's why our services start at $99/Month.

So anyway, I'll put these in a box and leave them by my front porch. Just stop by anytime and pick it up. Don't bother ringing the bell; I probably have the new Covid.

It's not a discount, were just not into ripping you off. Marketing Strategy now only $99/month

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Drew Donaldson

Drew Donaldson

Drew is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Crackle Marketing. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs and small business owners, Drew has followed in those footsteps, building several small businesses, including a software company, mobile notary service, marketing consultancy, and a media production and design studio. Drew is a regular speaker on the marketing and technology circuit and can often be heard as a guest on entrepreneurial and small business-centric podcasts. In his free time, Drew enjoys spending time with his wife, renovating his victorian era home, and brewing beer and mead in his basement.