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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.


Three Things You Need to Know About Self-Promotion

If you’re in the marketing business or do your own marketing, you know how difficult self-promotion can be. Due to current market conditions, many business people find themselves working on their own marketing campaigns and branding programs.

Fueled by pressure to publish creative and technical publications and messaging, marketers find themselves doing the work they would have outsourced just a few years ago. If you find yourself in this situation, here are three things you need to know about doing self-promotion:

1) Win in the niches.

Do you know what specific niches in which your brand can effectively compete and win? If not, it’s back to the drawing board before you write word one. You’ll need three lists.
  • The first will list what truly differentiates your brand from all others.
  • The second will list your customers’ needs that your brand fulfills.
  • The third will list the specific markets in which your customers can be found.

With these lists in hand, your next step is to analyze if you’re trying to sell in more niches than your company is truly capable of supporting. In most cases, it’s desirable to sell more products in fewer markets than fewer products in many markets. By competing in niches, your company and its brand can be positioned as a leader—which generally will provide a greater return on your marketing investment.

2) Know your competition.

Before you begin writing your self-promotion, it’s critical that you study your competition to ensure you have a strong and persuasive story to tell to your customers in comparison to your competition. If you find a niche market that has many competitors that are all pretty much offering the same set of products and services as yours, perhaps this is a market you may want to avoid. If withdrawing from the niche is not feasible, then the more you know about your competition, the better you can bring something new and fresh to the table.

3) Write with distinction.

There are zillions of brands and messages in the market today, so you’ll want to make your self-promotion unique and memorable. Strategic themes that are simple and straightforward are easier to recall than complex ones. Being creative helps memory recall as well.

Make your communications easy to understand by avoiding complex sentence structure. The keys are to be direct, simple and creative.

The challenge for today’s brand owner is to persuade potential customers to give the brand their time and attention, and to become engaged with it. That takes knowing how to create an intriguing and inviting brand story that customers will want to learn about and interactively link with.

So ask yourself—What am I doing with my brand that makes it the one that my best prospects will want to pay attention to and begin participating with regularly? Customers will appreciate your well-thought-through approach to solving their problems.

Tom Wants To Hear Your Branding Issues:
Tom Marin, Managing Partner of MarketCues, wants to hear from you! Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips - as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit How can he help solve your branding issues?

Note: If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

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