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Over the course of two decades of promoting companies, I’ve learned that marketing wisdom is worth its weight in gold. I recall my early days in marketing, and I chuckle at how many amateur mistakes I made. I now see those kinds of mistakes on a daily basis. They are everywhere. Great marketing, after all, is not easy to achieve.

So here are some of my pearls of marketing wisdom and observations from the past 20 years.

  1. Marketing works best when it tugs at emotions.
  2. Fear is a big motivator.
  3. Marketing done by an amateur makes the whole company look amateurish.
  4. The best marketing is easily understood and digested.
  5. A funny ad can go a long way at being memorable.
  6. Salespeople are generally not good marketers, yet some companies expect them to wear both a sales and marketing hat.
  7. Over-use of bulleted statements or exclamation marks is a telltale sign of marketing created by an amateur.
  8. Great headlines draw in readers.
  9. Articles that list tips attract a lot of eyes.
  10. An article contributed by someone from your company is worthless if readers are not compelled to read past the first paragraph.
  11. Very few small to midsize companies regularly appear in the press unless they have a publicist.
  12. Talking about how you solve clients’ problems is far more effective than listing features.
  13. Negative statements cast a negative impression, even if they are used to try to convince prospects of something positive.
  14. A business card is a company’s most-used brochure, so it needs to look great and educate.
  15. People need to be given a reason to care if you want them to read your marketing materials.
  16. An email signature line is an under-utilized marketing vehicle.
  17. People tend to be very busy, so marketing materials need to be designed so they’re easy to scan at a glance.
  18. The most over-used company colors in the mortgage industry are red and blue.
  19. A picture– and a great marketing piece– are worth 1,000 words.
  20. A first impression is priceless.

Above all, the most important thing to keep in mind is that marketing is a science. Thousands of books have been written on it. Assuming that it can be easily done by an amateur will undeniably cost you in lost business, not save you money.

If you need assistance with your marketing or public relations, we’re happy to help. Just email me at

By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage