Gratitude, Pride, and Satisfaction

Most of us reflect on the past during this time of the year, and so do I. Fractional CMO & Marketing is about to start its 9th year and I am filled with gratitude for our staff and our clients. Our dedicated team works tirelessly every day to help our clients meet their goals, and often to surpass them. Our clients are incredible, and we are very grateful to be working with them.

I used the phrase “working with them” purposefully. You see, “marketing” is a unique business function in that, even as an outsourced team, we get to interact and ‘touch’ practically every other aspect of our clients’ businesses. From sales to HR to finance to operations and beyond – we get to interact and help everyone.

Over the years, we have seen our clients’ businesses grow, hire more people, launch new products, and increase revenues. In some cases, our clients became considerably attractive – so much so that they were sought after and eventually sold to others, resulting in great returns for the owners and staff. Now, I am not saying that these magnificent results are the result of our marketing efforts only, but I am saying that we played an important role in securing their success.

Seeing the fruits of our labor is a very satisfying feeling and it fills my heart with gratitude, pride, and an enormous sense of satisfaction.

We serve clients in a wide verity of industries including manufacturing, law, real estate, consulting, healthcare, finance, accounting, technology, education, food service, security, retail, pet care, and more. Next year, we will share with you a few success stories of select clients of ours including who they are, what they do, and how our marketing efforts have helped them to succeed.

I hope your 2023 was a good one too, both personally and professionally. I would like to wish you continued success in 2024, and if there is anything we can help you with, or if we can answer any questions you might have, please feel free to contact us.

Happy holidays and may you have a great new year!

Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer

Copywriting Casualties and Awkward Acronyms

By Ginger Mace

In our last newsletter, we shared four questionable marketing moves. This month, we look at a few copywriting failures and acronyms that could’ve used some more thought.

business sign
Is this the actual business name? And what are they authorized to service? We bet this sign attracted the attention of those walking by… probably for a different reason than what was intended.
Wait, what?! Instead of hanging the banners in this order, they could’ve placed them in FTW order, giving their message a very positive double meaning – friends, teaching, and worship For The Win!
hanging banners
lemonade sign

Forever just got a lot shorter, didn’t it? Maybe it was part of the beverage’s name and wasn’t referencing how long you could purchase it, but either way, some clarification is needed. Plus, for the strawberry lemonade lovers out there, dangling this carrot then immediately taking it away is just cruel.

We’re not sure what calamity this “always open” business met with, but it must’ve been pretty serious for them to be closed. After all, if you advertise you’re always open, people are going to wonder when they see this out front.
business closed sign

People look for all kinds of features when car shopping, and sometimes the dealer’s location is part of that equation. We found Unique Ford on the map, and literally the correctional complex was the only building landmark around. Sometimes in marketing, you’ve got to work with what you have!

No kidding?! This, no doubt, had passersby thanking Captain Obvious. It had us wondering why there were no adjectives used to describe the pizza, or at least something less “no duh” like “We have breadsticks, pasta bowls, chicken wings, and yes… pizza!”
pizza hut

Are any of these going to cause these organizations to fail? Of course not! However, we feel that it’s always important for all marketing initiatives to reflect well upon the company in question. Did you get a chuckle out of these? We did! In our next newsletter, we’ll look at some poor ad placement – trust us… you won’t want to miss it! Until then, check out this article from our September 2023 newsletter: Four Questionable Marketing Moves That Missed The Mark.

What Is Fractional CMO & Marketing?

Fractional CMO & Marketing is ‘Your Outsourced Marketing Department’ when you need expert marketing leadership and marketing services to accelerate growth and improve profitability, but you’re not quite ready to hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer or your own marketing department.

Our unique arrangement is the most efficient, innovative, and cost-effective formula for you. Click on the image to the left to watch a short video.

We Help When You Need To:

  • Generate more of the right kind of leads
  • Close more sales faster
  • Get repeat sales
  • Formulate a more effective message
  • Produce powerful sales tools

  • Establish brand awareness, recognition, and preference
  • Differentiate your brand from the competition
  • Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Develop lasting relationships with customers
  • Introduce new products

Should You Give Holiday Gifts to Your Customers? Maybe Just a Card?

When they started working with us, many of our clients weren’t sure if they should mark the holiday season with their customers somehow, and if they should, what would be the proper way. Each year in the fall, we bring up the topic and discuss with our clients some considerations and then provide our recommendations. Keep reading to learn some things you should keep in mind when making this decision for your own company.


How much money can you comfortably budget for this marketing expense? If your company is new or very small, you may not want to allocate money for anything more than holiday cards. On the other hand, if your business produces the items it sells, you might consider using your own materials already purchased for holiday gifts. Many of our clients purchase promotional items to give to their customers. Keeping their budget in mind, we help them choose from thousands of options from vendors we’ve worked with for years, and we always give the same advice, so they get the most bang for their buck:

  1. Preferably not something that is ‘one-and-done’ (like candy branded with their logo, for example)
  2. An item the customer will have in their workspace is always a good choice because they’ll see it daily (coffee mugs, mousepads, wireless phone chargers, keychains, or similar)
  3. You know your customers best, so think about what they would find useful and actually use (if you sell fitness equipment, a reusable water bottle and/or branded gym towel might be good choices)

All or a Select Few?

For businesses with hundreds or thousands of customers, sending individual gifts isn’t practical from both a cost and feasibility perspective, but a holiday greeting emailed to all of them is both inexpensive (if you already have an account with an email marketing service) and can be done quickly with minimal resources needed. If you have a large customer base, you might want to also send a holiday gift to a select few. This group could include those who buy from you regularly or have been for a few years and/or customers who have contributed to the top 10% of sales dollar- or volume-wise. You may also want to consider vendors and suppliers in this holiday gift question, too, since they help contribute to the success of your business. No matter who the recipient is, a gift from your company is a great way to begin, nurture, continue, restart, or cement a relationship.

Stand out From the Competition

One of the reasons we advise our clients to avoid ‘one-and-done’ holiday gifts is that as soon as that disposable or consumable items is used or ingested, the wrapper – and your branding along with it – go in the trash, making their impact minimal. Having said that, a gift basket full of treats accompanied by a holiday card from your company, even though consumable, lasts much longer, more eyes will see it, and it draws attention. More useful, enjoyable, and/or long-lasting holiday gifts leave an indelible impression. In our digital age, many companies just email a holiday greeting, and while that’s better than nothing (and perfectly understandable if that’s all you can afford to do or your customer list is huge), you can stand out from the crowd by going the extra mile and putting some resources into recognizing the holiday season with an appropriately chosen and branded gift.

If Not Now, When?

It’s a good idea to recognize your relationship with customers (and we’ll include vendors and suppliers here also) at least once a year. The top-of-mind awareness this gesture creates can be invaluable. Again, we understand that doing so may not be realistic in every situation, but there may be ways other than just an email greeting. One idea is to send a small token within your company’s means during the month when they became a customer. Doing so breaks up the cost over 12 months instead of only during the holiday season, and ideally, the task becomes more manageable when done this way.

These are just a few of the considerations regarding holiday gifts and perhaps when a holiday card might suffice. Some of our clients have other factors to be mindful of, and at Fractional CMO & Marketing, we always review and talk them over so the best possible choice is made for a positive impact on their marketing, image, and future business.

Take Advantage of Us

Call us at 888-412-2236 or use the button below to request a complimentary Marketing Needs Assessment, or to ask us a question regarding your most pressing marketing or sales challenges.