Marketing Mix Confusion

No One is-or-has a Marketing Panacea


Seth Godin wrote a book with the above titled headline. Of course, it was a best seller because he already had the reputation as being an online guru. And, like Scott Adams’ and his Dilbert fame, it struck a nerve with all serious marketing people. (more…)

Fees are Small Retainers

Private, Advocate Marketing Organization has perhaps the lowest marketing fees on the planet. Considering that this specialty service provider is actually private, for profit entity, it’s reasonable to presume that their fee structure should be much higher—approaching prevailing market values. Not so.


As many know, our members-only marketing Community emulates a successful non-profit business model of the 1980’s [which was considerably ahead of its time]. Our founders decided to bring an updated digital model to the market at the turn of the century. Candidly, they had hope to ride the cresting wave of the dot-com run-up into the new millennium. (In short, RIP—Veris Advisors) Our founding team were all senior business execs & retiring project managers—who had worked in the SMB trenches for several decades. Their mission was (is) to establish a superior resource vehicle exclusively for independent service professionals. 

The goal was to create a vast interdiscipline talent pool in every local market that would be easily/immediately be accessible to all SMB clients in need. But, rather that try to deal directly with business owners, they believed a better concept was to deal indirectly through the business owners’ trusted advisors (irrespective of profession or trade). After all, they already had the pulse of SMNs, and who would be in a better position to recognize clients’ needs.

These trusted advisors, although independent, would have to be client-centric enough to help their clients whenever needs arose...especially if this happened to be their greatest need of all, i.e. retiring and separating their careers from their capital via a timely M&A event

Although not as well received as anticipated, the founders were undaunted by setbacks in the early years after 2004. →Once again, they were ahead of their time!← It wasn’t until 2010, with the advent of Local Channel Marketing,that joining members finally started to embrace local cross-discipline collaboration as a boon to their clients who needed [really] fast action. Traditional avenues of securing outside talent were decidedly slow. Further, they were fraught with considerably unwanted exposure for their vulnerable clients. For instance, initiating a search for a solid [M&A] project manager, included interviewing, exploring likely alternative, negotiating fees & terms, and then having to repeat the process again (and again) to isolate the best/right candidate. This took time … often weeks and even months. 


A Reasonable Alternative to Traditional Methods: having a large local talent pool of licensed independent professionals, all screened, qualified and at the top of her/his profession—available to have new opportunities presented to them. The search/research time, effort, and expense would be greatly mitigated, perhaps eliminated! And, best of all, the “time-to-value” proposition vis-a-vis traditional methodologies would be amazing. i.e. instead of weeks or months, try hours or days. Yes, the outsourcing search cycle would be completed in a fraction of the time and lost opportunity costs, hassles, delays, and needless client exposure, eliminated!

Does this sound like any organization that could benefit YOUR clients? If you’re independent & truly client-centric, check us out ASAP! However, there is both good & bad news to know upfront.

  • THE GOOD NEWS is that our member marketing fees are quite reasonable, just $30 or $59/month for joining members. (Parenthetically, there’s even a new $29/year fee for those not quite willing to commit in spite of the 60-day satisfaction money-back guarantee.)
  • THE BAD NEWS is that only the most qualified can join…and it’s by invitation only…waived during an Open Enrollment period, like now thru June 30). The Community is tough to get into. That’s because every new member not only exponentially improves her/his local area but also a slight chance damaging the integrity of the Community…should their performance turn out less client-centric than expected/needed


Member debates are common about what our marketing fees should be (could be). As an avowed Small Business Advocate, PM Community is interested in growing membership in order to help as many needy SMBs as possible. Our fees are largely based on maintenance costs to sustain/grow infrastructure and the marketing platforms enjoyed by our members. Since we have no clients, no investors and no greedy stockholders, the Community is one of kind. We gladly allow Preferred Members a voice in operations that includes fee structures. 

Wrapping up, some members consider our marketing fees as retainers that provide them access to the other or “hidden side” of new-client development. They know that every referral accepted is-truly an exclusive opportunity that would never be found in the open market—because such opportunities are kept within the Community—reserved for matching members-only.