By Karen E. Klein
Q: Could you recommend some books that would help a retail store develop a budget strategy for marketing and advertising? -- G.G., Marietta, Ga.
A:Just in time to make your holiday shopping list, here are the favorite titles of a few Smart Answers marketing experts:
"The two 'must haves' in my professional library are Successful Direct Marketing Methods, by Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs, and How to Write a Successful Marketing Plan by Roman Hiebing, says Meg Goodman, a Chicago-based marketing veteran. "The direct-marketing book was written by the man who coined the term 'direct marketing,'" she says. "It provides useful tips, dos and don'ts, and actual case studies -- and provides excellent direction for the reader in plain English."
As for Hiebing's book, Goodman lauds it as an excellent marketing resource. "It takes the reader through the process step by step," she adds. "It also provides useful work sheets, and provides great budget advice."
MESSAGES AND METHODS.
Retail-marketing expert Bob Kramer recommends Streetsmart Marketing by Jeff and Marc Slutsky. "They have been my mentors for years and I give much credit to them for my survival in the retail business," Kramer says. "My stores, though sold, are still prospering by following their marketing model."
Donald Ziccardi and David Moin's Masterminding the Store is the book that Lynn Sarkany recommends to clients of her Marketfinders consultancy. "The book shows retailers how to develop a marketing plan that profiles their optimum store customer," Sarkany says. "Ziccardi tells readers how to develop a unique message or image, and how to promote that image through both traditional and nontraditional advertising media, including billboards, print ads, cable and the Internet."
"The book also offers techniques for identifying the best customers, analyzing their buying habits, and drawing them into the store. It is especially useful because it's packed with real-life anecdotes and examples of successful campaigns."
Editor's note: When it comes to marketing, Corporate America bandies about big words -- branding, product launches, value-added -- and backs them up with bigger bucks. Meanwhile, small-business owners implement huge marketing efforts on small budgets. BusinessWeek Online's SmallBiz would like to recognize these small businesses, give their strategies a boost, and share their successes. So, if your marketing drive achieved good results, send us an e-mail at email@example.com and tell us what you're doing. We will choose the most interesting submissions, interview the business owners, and have a marketing expert comment.
Have a question about running your business? Ask our small-business experts. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Smart Answers, BW Online, 46th Floor, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Please include your real name and phone number in case we need more information; only your initials and city will be printed. Because of the volume of mail, we won't be able to respond to all questions personally.