Online Marketing Blog

Web design resources and news for small business owners in Snohomish and around the world.

From The "Examples Of What Not To Do" Desk

Todd Huotari - Saturday, June 28, 2014

 Sometimes you can learn just as much or more from things you do not like as from things you do like.  [Read More]


Marketing Lessons From "A Real-Life Horse Whisperer"

Todd Huotari - Friday, June 27, 2014

Learn the language of your customers and use them. Become the horse. This is the advice I received from The Man Who Listens To Horses. I recently picked Monty Roberts' book off the shelf for a change of pace from the usual. I just wanted something fun to read, but I got a marketing lesson anyway.  [Read More]


Is keyword stuffing "effective?"

Todd Huotari - Friday, June 20, 2014

I just received this question from a client. [Read More]


Keep Your Visitors Around 12X Longer With Content

Todd Huotari - Friday, June 06, 2014
What can content do for you? [Read More] 

Where Will I Find The Time For Internet Marketing?

Todd Huotari - Wednesday, June 04, 2014
"Does this whole process make sense?" I asked. "Yeah.." the attendees trailed off. We had just reiterated my version of the inbound marketing process during the conclusion of the second session of a recent Internet Marketing Workshop. I wanted to check and see how the attendees were taking the information in. That response was less than encouraging.

The information was clear, and everyone understood the framework of what they needed to do. Now, seeing both the potential of online marketing and a plan for getting started, they were excited, but there was still something unspoken hanging in the air. 

It turns out that something was, "Oh no. Where will I find the time to do all this?" 

The truth is, you won't. You won't find time for it. You must make time for it.
 [Read More]

[Press Release] Internet Marketing Seminar - Session 2: Build and Promote

Todd Huotari - Saturday, April 05, 2014

City of Snohomish Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Debbie Emge,, 360-282-3197  [Read More]


Features v. Benefits: The Perfect "Ah ha" Moment

Todd Huotari - Thursday, April 03, 2014

It was the perfect "Ah ha!" reaction to a discussion on features versus benefits. "On our website we talk a lot about what people get when they have us host their child's party. But when people talk to us after their child's party, they usually tell us how nice it was not to have to worry about putting on the party, that everything was taken care of, that it was so stress-free.  So are you saying that we should be putting that kind of stuff on our website?" 


Joy Burke had just finished a guest presentation on unique selling propositions in our Internet Marketing Workshop. She specifically addressed the difference between features and benefits and the attendees had a quick, but powerful discussion about this idea. Features are what you provide while benefits are what your customers receive. Features are logical while benefits are emotional. Features reinforce value while benefits sell. Both are necessary. Both are not equally intuitive. In fact, I would say that features are intuitive and benefits are not. 

You probably have a pretty good idea of who you are and what you do or what you know. Likewise, for your business. These are your features. It might even be why you went into business. You were skilled at or knew something and figured people would hire you if they knew that. This is how most people promote their business.

Meanwhile, people do not hire you because you have a particular skill or knowledge. They hire you because that particular skill or knowledge can solve a problem for them that they cannot or do not want to solve themselves. These are the benefits you provide. The more you know about these problems, the better you can directly communicate and sell your solution. It takes research to determine your benefits. You need to understand the mindset of your customers, what their problems are, and why they hired you to solve it and would do so again.

In today's world, more than ever before, it is possible to get insight into the mindset of your customers. Your prospects and customers will be happy to give this to you through their search behavior, commentary online, emails, phone calls, requests for feedback, and, of course, personal interaction. The reaction at the beginning happened when Nancy, of Bee Bops & Lollipops, realized they had been getting this insight all along from their customers, but have not been leveraging it. Now they just need to turn that feedback into messaging that they can promote in order to more strongly resonate with their prospects and customers.
 [Read More]

[Press Release] Internet Marketing Seminar

Todd Huotari - Friday, March 14, 2014

City of Snohomish Press Release


Contact: Debbie Emge,, 360-282-3197  [Read More]


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