Sparks August 2004 -

Sparks August 2004

In the News

Do you treat customers like strangers or like friends?
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when dealing with customers or clients is to view them solely in terms of their pocketbook: “Hi, here’s what I’m selling and how much it costs. Interested?” If the answer is “no,” the business moves on. But how many of us would say yes if that’s what we were presented with? It feels like we’re being treated like strangers instead of friends.

What’s more effective is to view clients and customers as friends to listen to. Take the time to find out what your customers are really looking for or what they liked/didn’t like about your product or service. When people feel listened to and respected, they’re more likely to do business with you. What’s more, they’re more likely to tell their friends to do business with you, too!

But more importantly, when you treat your customers like friends, you receive all the information you need to make your business that much more effective at meeting their needs. A top-down approach, where a business just makes products and hopes someone will buy them, can never compete with a business that is focused on meeting customers’ needs.

How much should you spend on marketing?
One of the challenges facing any business is determining how much to budget for marketing. Cymbic has created an online “Marketing ROI” calculator that makes the job much easier. Just enter some basic information, such as how many customers you gain each year and how much you’ve budgeted for acquiring new customers, and the calculator automatically tells you how much you’ll need to budget in order to attract your target number of new customers. It also tells you how many prospects you need to develop in order to meet your sales goal for the coming year. Check it out!

Win two tickets to Lotus Festival!
As part of our upcoming anniversary celebration, we’re giving away a pair of Lotus World Music Festival tickets to one lucky client! The tickets are for the showcase concert on either Friday, 17 Sept, or or Saturday, 18 Sept (the winner decides). This contest is open to any Design client, but we need to know you’re interested! E-mail us and we’ll enter you in the drawing to be held on Friday, 03 Sept. This is our way of saying “thank you” for helping to make our business a success!




This month’s winner: Megan House!
In addition to the thrill of victory, Megan wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a T-shirt with a custom design! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

Women’s Center for Natural Healing
This month’s spotlight is a little different from our usual fare, because the Women’s Center for Natural Healing (WCNH) hired us to develop a marketing plan rather than a visual design asset such as a logo or brochure.

We were first contacted by Colette Streicher of Houston, TX to help her Website “EmoFreeToday” rank higher in search engines. Through our conversations, we saw that she was actually evolving her entire business concept. Focused on natural and alternative healing techniques, she originally wanted to offer healings for cancer patients via teleconferencing. We worked with her to clarify business goals, which in turn identified the need for a comprehensive marketing plan.

We developed the plan in a collaborative fashion by asking questions, conducting research, analyzing competitors’ offerings, identifying marketing channels, and calculating budgets. In the process we identified Colette’s existing clientele base for massage and bodywork as a more appropriate springboard from which to offer expanded therapies. We developed the new business name, selected a domain name (, and established Colette’s specialization: natural and alternative therapies for women to help maximize their physical, psychological, and spiritual health.

In addition to the marketing plan, we also developed “boilerplate” copy for Colette to use in all her marketing materials. This included text summing up her offerings, the features and benefits of her services, the types of people who might benefit, and background information on the circumstances which lead to stress and mental/physical dysfunction. We also created a Website architecture outline that showed how she could more effectively organize information. In other words, we created building blocks for Colette to use as she creates her own materials for the WCNH.

In Colette’s own words, our work “helped tremendously.” Our process clarified her personal and business goals so she can focus on implementation and success.