My friend, Podcamp Foundation partner and ninja, Christopher Penn, has come out with a Kindle Book entitled Marketing White Belt- Basics for the Digital Marketer.  It’s terrific, and captures Chris’s direct style of explanation and getting to the heart of the matter perfectly.  Based on his experience in the martial arts, Chris tells us that everything you learn down the line and perfect over time are elaborations on the basic foundations and cornerstones you learn as a white belt.  This book provides a great look and reminder of the fundamentals of business and marketing that everyone can benefit from, no matter where they are with their own business.

For example, Hoffman Digital Media has several arms.  One is consulting to a select group of businesses on a variety of subjects; one involves public speaking and community event production and management; the last involves writing, ranging from books to material to act as “take homes” from my presentations, to this blog.  All of these things make up the whole of the business, but when I think about marketing Hoffman Digital Media, I have to make sure I keep the 4 P’s in mind- product, price, place, and promotion.  When I decide to attend a conference or event, is it a place where I can promote any one of my “products”?  Does it align with my current goals or direction for the business?  Are my prices in line- or moreover, is what I’m doing profitable- do I know my current burn rate or cost of taking the work versus amount I get charge for doing it?  If I am going to an event in hopes of promoting my business, is this a place to meet customers, or to merely network with other industry professionals?  How do I want to promote myself?  Are business cards enough?  Do I want to speak at more events?  Do I need handouts, books or other things to act as a form of souvenir, so to speak?  (And, is this souvenir a product in and of itself?)  By thinking through these basics, you can have a much better idea of whether or not attending an event with its direct costs and its indirect costs of taking you out of the office are balanced by the trade off in benefit as measured against the 4 p’s.  This is something everyone, almost regardless of your vertical, should take into consideration when attending an event because you think “it will be good for business.”  How will it be good?  What do you need to get out of it to determine whether its successful?

Chris walks his readers through many of the white level issues you need to think about when addressing questions about online marketing and how you hope any aspect of it will benefit your business, and since it can be read easily on any computer or device that has a kindle app, it’s pretty much universally available.  I promise you, you won’t regret picking one up.