Category: growing business without a marketing department

I happen to love standard newspapers for what they mean to journalism, community and even advertising, Imagebut when I hear that someone can’t afford a 1,500. website, I want to choke myself. “Are you kidding me?”, I think to myself. You paid for a print ad in the local newspaper for $500.-1,500. easily, which ran for a day or two, but you won’t pay for the most important promotional and informational venue in contemporary society that runs for years (indefinitely, with updates). And with so much more content that these two advertising venues can’t even compare!

And search engine optimized (SEO), your website will get you ad mileage in ways that no newspaper can touch! You may be selling your widget to India, designing websites for Australian businesses, or find your speaking engagement in rich Dubai had you applied the ad investment in a proper website, instead of a newspaper ad.

So, be practical. Ante up for the great website that only a marketing focused designer with SEO insights can provide and spend the lousy 1.500.! This is your only consistently sustainable and immediately effective choice in the modern economy.

Here are 2 sample newspaper ad rate sheets in my region:




On a weekly basis, in an effort to provide good customer service, I repeat the answer to a common question. The underlying question is really “Why am I paying for a custom website when everyone tells me I can do it myself on WordPress?” I try not to giggle or smirk. Many, many people come to me only after their (or their neighbor’s kid’s) frustrating attempt to avoid paying for a professional product, not created by a professional marketing and business development business like Media Architects in Massachusetts.

This is a typical dialogue, from which I removed the name of the inquirer:

“By A Reader:

I’m looking in to starting my own online shop and very new to everything. So after I buy a domain and hosting, I have to start a store front. And to do ecommerce I need a Shopping Cart and PrestaShop looks great. So once I download it, does it come with a template/design for the website? And what about if I want a different design like from Dreamweaver or any other design, how do I use PrestaShop with it?

Can someone please list a step-by-step instruction of what needs to be done?


By MediaArchitects:

Dear Reader, Prestashop is one of the good ones; very powerful. It still requires some healthy knowledge and graphic talent to set it up and have it appear as you want [to brand your products]. To further the challenge, you ask about Dreamweaver. Here’s the thing: Dreamweaver is for people whose profession is to design websites, are able to start a design from scratch, and don’t require WordPress or similar canned – but powerful – products. It is not that the Dreamweaver designers don’t use the tools to enhance their designs. They or similar code is useful, no doubt. But WordPress is specifically created for those who aren’t designers (the effect being that Dreamweaver designers give up clear, direct, simple control over their design values, an unnecessary complication)”
With this insight, please call me if you need a website designed to promote and inform about your products, services and ideas. If working with WordPress is your desire, we can do that, but now you understand why that might not be the most efficient approach. From CMS sites you update, to simple informational sites we update on your behalf (and hybrids!), Media Architects is pleased to MARKET your product on the internet and coach you towards useful Social Media to gain ever more attention to your site and good SEO results (Search Engine Optimization).

~ Isa Cann

Social Media (SM) is the Internet’s means of promoting, among other things, websites. Your website is the informative and promotional face of your business these days (if you don’t have one, for Pete’s sake, contact me now). Using Facebook and other Social Media to get people FROM there TO your website is the key, not the other way around. Facebook does not need your branding support.

social media symphony

social media symphony

There are several things you should plan to do right off the bat.

First Task: Your Website should be using SM’s standard icons prominently with links to each; Facebook and Twitter especially. How it works: when someone clicks on the media icon, and is a member of that SM already – of Facebook, Twitter, etc.- then their friends and connections see their “like” or “recommend”. For Facebook, either can be chosen. I prefer “recommend” for businesses given it’s not normally soliciting teenagers to comment on ice cream flavors! Ask your website designer to obtain the “embed code” for your website after creating an account. This is a free source: AddThis.  Note, my social media icons are small but visible. The Add This tool includes “bookmarks” (or “favorites”), registering the approval of your site with a myriad of social and bookmarking venues across the Internet where you have accounts – and even adding a printing utility.

Second group of tasks: Open one SM account at a time as you are prepared to do so (i.e., be ready to enter all the data and upload images in one sitting). In this blog I’ll focus on Facebook.

Facebook requires a great deal of information for the Facebook company to acknowledge your organization’s Page as a complete one, not to mention that you have to have earned at least 25 fans of the Page to secure the Page name. Facebook says, *”All Pages are eligible to claim usernames if they have more than 25 fans.” [* Please note: information was accurate at the time this blog post was published]

You will need a synopsis of your business, a logo that is sized appropriately to be viewed completely and clearly (no fuzzy graphics!), address, phone and other contact information, and a half dozen photos that highlight your products and/or services. Even free photos are better than the otherwise “empty boxes” at the top of the Facebook screen (being careful to use free photos off the Internet that indicate that they are free to use. Many are not, so please don’t disrespect copyright law -or look rather foolish by those in-the-know).

Once your business is set up as a Facebook Page, proceed to invite people to be fans of your page by emailing them with a humble “Would you help me please?”, using a blind copy – b.c.c. –  so you don’t expose your friends’ and family’s email addresses to everyone receiving your email. Initially target the invitation to this, your “warmest market”  i.e., people who already care about you and the success of your business. People normally will help when requested. Don’t be shy about reminding them once after then, however, if they don’t show up in the group in the left hand column of the Facebook page called “people like this”. A third request might be considered being pesty though.

There are more Facebook tools, but worry about the essentials listed here first so you are at least keeping up with your competition. And speaking of competition, it’s typically advisable not to promote your competition, right? So why would you on Facebook? Don’t become Fans of (“like”) competitors’ Facebook Pages. After all, they might make a slicker first impression when Internet surfers are busy and don’t have time to dig deeper to uncover your business superiority! But do add as many other Page types as you want to be viewed by your marketplace. E.g., do “like” your favorite accounting business; don’t “like” your favorite grunge band.

Be careful to use the organization’s Page as your facebook identity when you are working on the Page for promotion. Refer to the dropdown menu in the top right, click on “Account”  then go to “Use Facebook as Page” . Whatever this is set for will indicate “who” is commenting on the wall and otherwise interacting on your Page.

Finally, check you Page often for univited posts. You will get advertising posts galore as people “like” the Page and then become able to post. One can stop other’s ability to post, but then you are losing the very thing you signed up for, the sharing of posts on other Social Media accounts! Do allow posting, just delete ads as you go.

There are other Social Media related tasks you might want to assume subsequently, requiring a recommended few hours per month. What and how much depends on your business or other organization. I’ll address that in another blog.

You can contact me for more information. I am truly pleased to help you grow your business or other organization.

~ Isa


What you are missing is a marketing department. It’s not well enough that you can talk about your business, but can you sell it? A marketing person takes what he or she know about your business, understands the audiences for the products or services, and proceeds to sculpt the media, from websites to brochures, just for whom it’s intended.

The marketing staff, even if just one dedicated person, looks at your business differently than you do, intentionally through the eyes of the consumer.

Even larger companies are getting rid of their marketing departments. Such a mistake. To remove this element from your development mix means sinking to the bottom of visibility in the marketplace, when actually, with the economy as it is, you need more visibility than ever! Imagine this, you stay visible with the appropriate marketing for your organization and you may be the more than satisfied “last guy standing”.

I am not so callous to want anyone to lose their business, but the alternative to getting in front of eyeballs in the marketplace is invisibility. One day, when someone considers calling your business for a service but then recalls they haven’t seen you Online, in ads (when you used to advertise regularly, remember) or anywhere else, they might just think you are -well – dead in the water.

There is no moral. This isn’t about morals, it’s about business sense. Keep your marketing staff! If that is not possible than hire a company like ours to assume the tasks for you. Don’t allow yourself to be perceived as another business that had to close.