The Most Important, and Overlooked, Marketing Tactics

Our clients and students often ask us to share those two or three “pearls” of strategic and tactical marketing wisdoms… that is, those universal business “musts” regardless of company size, industry or type. The article you’re about to read summarizes what, in our opinion, is the number one most important “to-do” if you plan to build and sustain a successful business.

The Most Important, and Overlooked, Marketing Tactic

Marketing includes every contact and aspect of the public experiences such as, the way you answer their calls; how you “make good” when something goes wrong; how well you help them solve their most pressing problems and your employees’ attitudes, dress and demeanor.

It is about building sincere and profitable long-term relationships with prospects and customers (as well as, employees, suppliers and even competitors). Entrepreneurs who focus on advertising, lead generation and sales often overlook this and therefore, lose their credibility and it’s not long before people take their business elsewhere.

Remember, no amount of advertising – no matter how slick – will make up for such things as shoddy workmanship, rude employees or hucksterism. It’s like building a house of cards… it may hold up for a while, but will eventually come tumbling down.

Want to get in on a really big secret?

  • A hush-hush tactic guaranteed to substantially increase your revenues and dramatically decrease your advertising expenses?
  • An underground tip that will help catapult you into a very small but elite group of like-minded – and extremely successful – businesspeople?
  • Even better, what if you knew it wouldn’t cost you a thing?

Well, you’re in luck because I’m about to let the cat out of the bag…

Drum roll please!



Okay, okay… enough fun.

The secret is…

Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.

I repeat…

Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.

Huh? Is that all? I must be kidding, right? Wrong.

Reflect back on your own experiences as a consumer and try to remember what occurred right before you exclaimed, “I will never do business with that company again, let alone recommend them to anyone else!”


  • Was it the roofer who showed up three weeks late?
  • Or was it the real estate agent who has yet to return your calls or emails?
  • Or was it the attorney who left you waiting for over an hour?
  • Or was it the electrician who dropped out of your life after promising to fix your ceiling fan?
  • Or was it online supplier who failed to mail your “next day air” package?
  • Or was it the consignment store retailer who “forgot” to pay commissions?
  • Or the thousands of others who have disappointed you?

Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. And sadly, these behaviors have become the more the norm, than the exception.

So, when people or companies actually deliver what they’ve promised, we are pleased and happy to spread the word to our friends, family members, co-workers, and even complete strangers! This type of positive word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective and affordable (it’s free!) ways to end up with more business than you know what to do with!

But remember, the reverse is also true… when you let people down, they’ll tell four people who will tell four more who will tell four more… and pretty soon you’re reputation – and business – will be shot.

As the noted American author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, said, “Time will either promote you or expose you.” I hope you choose the former.

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Mary Eule Scarborough, an unassailable marketing expert and thought leader, helps businesses of all sizes get and keep more profitable customers. She is also:

  • A former Fortune 500 marketing executive, …
  • The founder of two successful small businesses, …
  • An award-winning speaker, …
  • A Certified Guerrilla Marketing coach, and …
  • Co-author of three books (to-date): “The Procrastinator’s Guide to Marketing“, (Entrepreneur Press, November, 2007), “Mastering Online Marketing” (Entrepreneur Press, January, 2008), and “Guerrilla Marketing On The Internet” (Entrepreneur Press, July, 2008).
  • Qualified with a BA in Journalism / English from the University of Maryland, and …
  • Qualified with a Masters degree in marketing from The Johns Hopkins University.

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