How Do I Market My Business in 2020?

So here we are in 2020.  A lot has been made about the “unprecedented times” we are living.  But here we are.  As I have said before, we need to stop talking about things getting “back to normal.”  The reality is, we don’t know when that might happen.  We do need to take an honest look at where we are…and start working to succeed from here.

We need businesses to get rolling again.  I mean, we NEED it.  But you might be asking  “how do I market our business in 2020?”  Times have changed.  People have changed.  We need to consider that as we tell our organizations’s story today.  So here are some things I see working (right now) to market your business in the world we live in.

Direct Mail

In a world where people are less likely to leave their home, direct mail has become more effective.  Yes, it’s a bit old school, but it’s a low cost way to reach the masses right where they are.  And if you can create a creative, valuable offer, you have a real chance to stand out in a mailbox full of bills.


One of my favorite things that Joe Pulizzi says is that we are very comfortable ( as marketers) with “rented lists.”  The radio, tv station or Facebook owns the list…and we just rent access.  But a real, vetted email list of people who have subscribed to what you have to say is a list that you own.  You get to decide when you send it, what they see, and who gets to see it.  You have to provide value, or that audience can opt out.  But there is real power in owning the list.  And I am not sure how long it will last, but email open rates have actually gone up during this pandemic.  Give value through your email list and you can make an impact in 2020.

Postive Content on Social

In this 2020 world of arguing politics, racial divides, mean spirited debates and complaining, your organization has a chance to stand out.  Just create content that is nice!  Regardless of the content platform, most of us are starved for something that provides us joy and inspiration.  If you and your organization can show up like that (consistently), you have the chance to gain a real audience and a real following.

Branded Merchandise Kits

You don’t need me to tell you, but the traditional way we see our customers and employees has changed right now.  Many events have been cancelled.  Trade shows have been put on hold.  Heck, even the idea of going to work has shifted (it’s hard to believe March was only like 4 months ago).  With that in mind, Branded Merchandise kits can be an EXTREMELY powerful tool to reach your target audience.  When done right, branded merchandise kits can improve brand affinity, affect behavior, help company culture, and yes, get people to pick up the phone.  I talk about one of my clients using branded merch to replace an event they were holding here.  If you have your team working from home, there is a kit for that.  What if your team is coming back to work?  You can create kit to (safely) welcome them back.  What about creating an online conference and mailing attendees some cool swag to get them fired up?  The possibilities are limitless.

Online Learning

I have been a believer is providing value first in marketing for a long time.  Heck, I wrote a whole book about it!  Well 2020 is a great time to do just that.  Create online learning to provide value to your clients.  Our friends at Commonsku created an amazing online conference to do that for their clients and over 800 people attended.  It was awesome.  That is the inspiration for us creating Hasseman U.  We also spent some time creating a FREE 5 Day Marketing Course for anyone that wants to take it.  The idea is to provide value for your clients in a new way.  When you do that during this time, you have the chance to build real trust with customers and prospects, and come out stronger on the other side.

Those are just 5 ways that I see companies successfully marketing in 2020.  I hope this gets your wheels turning!  While these are not necessarily prescriptive for your business, what I will say is, now is not the time for business as usual.  It’s a great time to really consider how you want to tell your story moving forward.

Good luck!

Want more content?  Head to our blog page here for more. 

Top Marketing Posts For 2020 (so far)

It’s hard to believe it, but we are almost halfway through 2020.  Depending on you are feeling this morning, you might be thinking “I can’t believe we made it this far!”  Or you could be thinking “Oh my God this is only half over?”  Regardless of what camp you sit in, here we are near the end of June.  So I thought it might be good to look back at some of the top marketing posts we have written so far this year.  This is your chance to make sure you are caught up…and ready to take part in the second half of 2020 (may God help us all)!

Products You Need To Re-Open Your Business:  While you may or may not already be open, this post is worth a look.  Check back and make sure you are doing all you need to keep your employees and customers safe.  We all want to get business back on track, but a recent surge in Covid-19 cases reminds us we need to do it the right way.  Read this now.

Replacing Events with Branded Merchandise:  This is one of my favorites.  Why?  Because while we all want to get “back to normal,” I think that in many ways, that is not happening anytime soon.  We need to start living in the now (like I talk about in this post) and working to create marketing that works today.  This blog talks about a different way to go to market…and one we should all be considering now.

The Real Reason Masks Matter:  There is some sort of political divide over masks that I really don’t understand.  But this post explains the real reason you and your business should care about them.  It’s called “commerce.”  Read more here.

What Message Are You Sending:  While we should always be thinking about what message we are sending to clients, it’s really important right now.  It’s also a great time to really look.  Customers are more open to change than ever.  Take a look and honestly ask “what message are we sending?”

Creating A Work From Home Kit:  More and more employees are going to be working from home.  That’s fine and dandy, but how do you continue to create a work culture that matters?  One way is to create a kit that makes your team feel valued.  Here is a post to get your wheels turning.  We can help creating a custom kit just for your team.

These are a few of the top marketing  posts we have written so far in 2020.  Now that you are caught up, it might be a great time to consider jumping in on Hasseman U.  Learn more about that program and how to sign up here.

Invite Your Client To Coffee

Different times call for different solutions.  We are in a different place than we were 12 months ago.  So NOW THAT WE ARE HERE (I wrote about that here), what do we do?  How do we find ways to go to our clients now?  It might be time to invite your client to coffee.

Coffee with Clients

For those of us in sales (and we are all in sales), we need to create new ways to connect with our customers.  That bad news is, it has become harder to physically get in the room with them.  Some companies are banning travel, while others will not let anyone in the door!  The good news is, many people are starved for human contact.  So they might be more open to creative solutions in order to connect.  Why not invite them for coffee?

The idea is pretty simple.  Select your favorite mug or tumbler for coffee or tea.  Send them a package with the mug, a K-Cup, and a note inviting them to join you for coffee over Zoom.  You can each have a cup of coffee and re-connect while chatting about upcoming business needs for the rest of the year.  Either way, you have created a powerful branding “touch” while showing your customers and prospects you can think creatively in the world we are in.

As a side note, make sure the coffee mug is worth keeping.

Everyone has coffee mugs.  But if you give them one that is really cool, they will want to use your coffee mug instead.  As we always say, the cost of an item is not determined at the time of purchase.  The cost is decided at the time of use-age.  We used this mug for this idea.  I think they are functional and elegant.

Of course you could invite your client without the tumbler.  But by adding this simple item, you will increase your response rate 10 fold.  And you add a long term branding opportunity as well.  Good luck…now go invite your clients to coffee!

As I said, we need to think creatively during this time.  Using Branded Merchandise like this can be a powerful way to increase your effectiveness.  If you want to dig deeper, check out this blog about how to Replace your cancelled events (anyone have one of those?) using branded merchandise.

If you want help creating a targeted campaign that will get results…please let us know!  We would love to help!

Hasseman Marketing Announces Hasseman U

As we enter into a new world, businesses are exploring new ways to do business successfully and safely.  Most of us want to get back to some sense of normalcy, but we want to do it in a smart way.  That is why Hasseman Marketing is announcing a new education series called Hasseman U.

The idea is simple.  We want to bring as much education and value to our customers as possible, in a safe way.  So each Thursday at 11am , starting June 4th, we will feature a different speaker in order to provide ideas and inspiration on how to succeed in the new normal.  Each Hasseman U session is schedule to last only 30 minutes.  There is no cost to participate and there is absolutely no obligation to buy.  It’s just about providing value to our customers and prospects in a new way for a new time.

The schedule for Hasseman U (so far)

June 4 at 11am:  Javier LaFontaine from Showdown Displays will be joining us to explain how powerful and important proper signage can be in order to re-open and keep employees and customers safe.  You can register for this first session here.  

June 11 at 11am:  Doug Oslance with Starline is going to talk about reconnecting with customers in a meaningful way…and how to save some money while doing it!  Sign up for this class here.

June 18 at 11am:  Matt Eysoldt is the Master of Branded Masks…and more.  Matt is joining us to tell us the trending products that will help you stand out in a nation trying to safely open back up!  Click here to get registered for this one!

We have plans for more Hasseman U sessions, so please be on the lookout.  Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss an update.

The goal is to provide value and the tools to succeed in this new world.  With that in mind, now is a great time to sign up for the FREE 5 Day Marketing Course.  Each morning a new lesson gets delivered to your mailbox in order to help you market better.  And did I mention is was free?  Sign up for that here.


Get Back To Basics With Your Marketing

It’s a crazy time to try and market your business.  On the one hand, you don’t want to be seen as insensitive or tone deaf to the current health and economic challenges that are facing the country.  On the other hand…payroll.  Your organization still has bills to pay.  And when this is over, you want to have a business to market!

Madison Avenue has decided the best way to do this is to let everyone know that “we are all in this together” (even though we have been ordered NOT to be together).  They remind you that these are “unprecedented times,” and we should not worry because no one is touching our pizza after it leaves the oven!  What?  I wasn’t worried about that…until now!

And while it’s tough to know exactly what to do and say during these “unprecedented times,” I think we are over thinking it.  It’s time to get back to basics with your marketing.  Here are a few quick tips on how to market your organization now…and always.

Decide WHO Your Customer Is

One of the biggest challenges I see with companies is when they try to market to everyone.  Not only is that impossible (and expensive) it makes for boring marketing.  If you identify exactly who your target is, you can create compelling marketing and content that resonates with them.  In addition, you find that your message does not need to be everywhere.  It needs to be where your perfect customer is…and there only.

Explain What Problem You Are Solving

Every good business was created to solve a problem.  The lemonade stand was created to quench your neighbor’s thirst on a hot day.  The pizza shop was started because people are hungry (and don’t want to cook for themselves).  Whatever the problem is that your organization solves, make sure you let your customers and prospects know.  So many times we are concerned that we might be “overly salesy” and we make our prospects guess what we do.  Don’t do that.  Make sure it’s clear what you have to offer.

Add Value Where You Can

Once you let your customers and prospects know what you have to offer, it’s a good time to add value.  I still believe that the Give First Economy is in full swing.  You have an opportunity to be generous here.  Help your prospects.  Give them information to help them solve their problem.  Not only will it establish you as the expert in the field, but it will build integrity and trust with your audience.

Cover Your Branding Foundation

This is a good time to look at your marketing and make sure the foundations are covered.  Is your website up to date?  Do you have flyers, brochures, and print materials that tell your story (consistently with your website).   Does your team look like a team?  Once  you have created that ideal customer, you need to make sure you are showing up the right way to them, all the time.  If you need some help with this, please reach out to us and we can help.

Make Your Offer

If you have identified your customer, explained the problem that you solve, and have added value, then please don’t forget to make an offer.  It doesn’t have to be over the top.  You don’t have to be in their face.  As a matter of fact, if you have take the other steps, it would be weird if you did NOT ask for the business!  This is not the time to “get the digits” from your prospect and NOT make the call!  Make your offer and give them a chance to do business with you.

It’s a great time to get back to basics with your marketing…and these are some ideas to get you started.  If you want to dig deeper, feel free to sign up for our (FREE) 5 Day Marketing Course here.  Oh…and make sure you never miss out on our content.  Head to our blog page now and see what you have missed.

The Real Reason Masks Matter

I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.  I am also not a nurse and do not have any medical training.  And while, to my uneducated mind, the idea that masks can help to stop the spread of a virus makes sense, I am not going to wander outside of my lane here.  There will be no fancy graphs.  And there will be no links to articles that support my theory.  God knows we can find plenty from either side on every argument nowadays.  Nope…this is from your friendly neighborhood marketing guy.  This is my simple take on the Real Reason Mask Matter.

I was on a shopping trip recently when I discovered this.  I was with my wife and we went into two different Big Box stores (of course they were Big Box stores…that is what was open).  In the interest of transparency, she and I were wearing masks.  The first store we went into felt strange.  Almost no one was wearing a mask.  We were the outsiders and we got some funny looks.  Kids were running around the aisles like it was a normal Tuesday night.  To be candid, I was uncomfortable.  Amy and I looked for what we needed, and when we couldn’t quickly find it, we left.

We left that store and headed to the next Big Box solution.  But this one felt different.  Even as we walked in I noticed that employees were wearing masks.  As a matter of fact, once inside I realized that all of the employees had masks on.  The vibe in the store seemed more calm.  So Amy and I went through the store, found what we needed, and finished the shopping mission.  And this leads me to the real reason masks matter.

Masks Matter Because They Put Your Customers At Ease

As consumers, when we head out to find necessities, most of us are on edge.  We look at nearly everyone with judgement.  Can they cause me harm?  Are they doing what they should be?  I talk about it in a vlog here.  It’s natural.  But if I am worried about whether or not I am safe, there is one important thing I am NOT doing…shopping.  If your organization does not make me feel safe, then I (as a consumer) will not want to stay there.  If I must, I will either leave before I get what I need, or I will get only what I need…and get out.

On the other hand, if I feel safe, I will take the time to find what I need.  I might even find a few more things.  Your team wearing masks sends a signal that you care for your team and for your customers.  So while I believe masks provide another level of protection from the virus, my medical opinion is not in question.  The real reason that masks matter is because of your customers.

Make sure you never miss an update.  You can find all of our content on our blog page here.  Oh…and if you do want to look at some products that you might need to open up safely, you can head to a shop we created here.