7 Kick-Ass Marketing Ideas for SMBs and Startups in 2013

Create Kick A** Marketing In 2013

Why Small Must THINK Different

I was going to Sooop a good post, 10 Online Marketing Trends for 2013 from, to Curation Revolution, when it suddenly felt DOOMED (lol). The list includes 10 important trends for 2013. The problem is EVERYONE knows these trends. No surprises at all in the list. Teams I managed made more than $30M online. How? By stealing from below and creating enough original THINKING and creative campaigns that the hawks above were too confused to pick us up and take us for a long ride. I guess if you work for Fortune 1,000 (as I used to), then you look at’s list of 2013 marketing trends as a checklist. “Yep, done content marketing, what is next?” (lol). I work with Small to Medium Size Businesses (SMBs) and Startups now, and they need to think different and fast or the hawk scoops them up.

7 Kick-Ass Internet Marketing Ideas for 2013

  • Disruption.
  • Mashups.
  • Email marketing with gamification, personas and segments.
  • Steal.
  • Teach.
  • Tell Stories.
  • Fail.

Marketing Pin graphic Atlantic BT blog


I wrote about the need to disrupt to win online a few weeks ago: Internet Marketing: Why You MUST Disrupt to Win. If you can’t go asynchronous on your competitors, expect to be beat. How do you do that? Create A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) for YOU and THEM (top 3 competitors. Look at their social follows, Google page spread (use site:[URL] to find out how many pages are in Google), and then go where they ain’t. Expect to jump again when they join you.


I mashed up 4 articles the other day to reinforce the idea that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Look to take two disparate things and mash them into some new third thing. Best Ecom example is creating merchandising “baskets” of goods around themes you own. When Southern Season, where my brother Drew works, creates cool North Carolina foodie gift baskets, they add value and prevent shopping comparison engines from crushing their brand. B2B can do the same thing with services, products and ideas.

Atlantic BT Blog gamification graphic

Gamify Email Marketing with Personas and Segments

Gamification is HOT. I wrote a free white paper about a year ago called Gamification: Winning Hearts, Minds and Loyalty Online. Now the best application of “make money now” gamification is to gamify the creation of your email marketing’s personas and segments. The “batch and blast” email days are GONE. Here’s how to gamify what used to be called “update your profile” emails that no one would spend a second filling out now:

  • Define a set of 5 to 8 “badges” and make sure the designs are cool.
  • Define the activities that “earn” the badge.
  • Be sure to keep incentives social, not material (ideally, you want intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation here).
  • Ask your customers to play a game that builds activities and “wins” the badge.
  • Award badges to those who do the FUN activities you asked.
  • Voila, you have segments.
  • Tag your segments and reinforce their “tribal” nature in future emails.


If you see a competitor gaining traction from a cool campaign, MARK IT. “Mark it” is a nice way to say STEAL IT. If you don’t respond, you give up ground. Why give up ground when stealing takes some of the pain away and is expected? My team and I knew we were on to something when a competitor stole it. Keep your Internet marketing in constant motion and expect to be stolen from.

Internet marketing is about the STEAL, so don’t take offense. Who has time to take offense (lol)? Laugh, nod and create five more things, steal two and then create five more. Remember the More, Faster, Better Rule and ROCK your IM Marketing in 2013.

Atlantic BT Blog


The video marketing tsunami is HERE. Why, when I visited five websites today looking for help on gamification, wasn’t there a cool video to watch? If you are the first to teach with video, you will win. Q&A is another area where you can teach to win. Visit my friends at and ask them to set up a gamified Q&A platform for you. Best, cheapest content marketing money you will spend. Why? I researched 5 different business verticals not long after joining Atlantic BT. Q&A content kept coming up as over-subscribed and under-published. We Internet marketers often walk right by the BIG SIMPLE stuff to predictive analytics or something equally as complex when if we just wrote 10 Questions and Answers a week we would make big bucks NOW and be ready for predictive analytics later.

Tell Stories

If you want to engage people’s emotions, and if you are selling something you do, then tell your visitors stories and they will understand better and be armed to share. Read Made To Stick by the Heath brothers to learn how to create sticky content from existing analogies and metaphors. Great “How To Tell a Story” lesson from my friends at’s by storytelling guru Karen Dietz: Whoever Tells the Best Stories Wins.

Atlantic BT Blog Graphic


I may have the biggest advantage of my professional life right now. I have cancer and know time is limited (not sick or anything, just aware that TIME is passing). This means my normally reticent personality isn’t all that worried about if I am liked or approved of (lol). My friends know I was kidding about ever being shy, but what could you achieve if you weren’t worried about failure? Okay, now go do it, because you only get one life, and being anything but BOLD online is goofystupid. When you FAIL, and you will, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go fail again. NOW you are thinking like an Internet marketer, now you are living life in all its chaotic crushing joy. Hope these ideas help you ROCK your Internet marketing in 2013.

– Marty

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