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Monday, March 11, 2013

M&M Marketing: Offering Businesses Owner A Helping Hand- Definate Balfour Reporting…

M&M Marketing help business owners get more exposure, this is extremely helpful when you, the business owner, are not sure which avenue to take or even names of professionals  to contact for help. In a  virtual world where networking is key and so little are willing to help outside of their immediate friends, marketing can be hard to do unless you are  a driven person and not willing to take no for an answer.  It’s nice to know that there is a company willing to work hand and hand with you, so I wanted to share M&M Marketing with SLE readers.

I found myself at a beautiful home and headquarters of M&M Marketing. Mark Ussy greeted me warmly and after finding a nice spot at his meeting table we began our conversation about him, his company, and what it can do for those interested in his services.

Interview with Mark Ussy, M&M Marketing

Definate – So, tell me about M&M Marketing?
Mark – Well as an overview, what we do is partner with companies on SL to help them get their message out and help grow their business, whatever that may be.

Definate –  You do this by developing the business more or paying for advertising?
Mark – We try to take the marketing and promotion end of the business off their hands so they can concentrate on the day to day business operations.

Definate – That’s refreshing to hear. I know a lot of people running businesses that don’t know how to promote. It seems, to some I’ve spoken to that it is the hardest part. It’s nice that you provide this.
Mark – Each customer’s needs are going to be a bit different depending on their current marketing approach. What we do is to sit down and do a brainstorming meeting with them.

Definate – Do you find it hard to run a business in the field that you do? I would think it would be in the beginning at least, was it?
Mark – I personally have been in marketing and sales for over 20 years RL, I started when I was 2 LOL. So a lot of it is bringing the things I’ve learned there and apply it in SL. After seeing many clubs, shops, and etc fail to market well in SL I saw what I thought was a good niche for this business. So that made it fairly easy to set up and get this business off the ground.

Definate – How long has M&M Marketing been around?
Mark – 2 months, but that was spent developing our brand, name recognition in SL, and aligning asset partners so we can do almost anything to get someone’s marketing material ready for the chosen channels.

Definate –  Even though the company could be considered young, it’s definitely providing something much needed, with your real world experience backing it, as well as the SL research behind it. Your clients are getting a great partner indeed. What does something like this cost someone coming to you?
Mark – Thank you, we sure like to think we provide a value to our clients. However the bottom line is we’re only as successful as our clients. Our charges vary widely by project scope. It can be anything from a daily rate to a monthly retainer plus incidentals. We provide a wide range of assets for our clients so we tend to customize the pricing on a per client basis. As with any marketing partnership, and that is what we do, it’s hard to quote a specific price until we know more about the client. Our goal though is not to ‘gouge’ a client, rather it is to see them succeed.

Definate - I notice the price varies per client. I don’t know of anyone else that’s doing the things you’re doing for businesses, so I can’t ask you really why someone should come to you over another doing marketing, but what would set you apart?
Mark – I think 2 primary things. Our approach with a client is we handle everything for them developing the marketing ‘materials’ such as logos, ads, photos, and so on to getting their information out in SL. And may I add I see this first part as the main failure for most businesses in SL, they do not do the upfront work to prep their marketing for the channels. Then secondly we truly partner and become part of a business. We strive to learn as much as about them as we can so we can recommend a campaign to them, lay out that plan and execute it for them.

Definate – What avenues do you employ to get the information about your client out?
Mark – We have partnerships in place with several good marketing ‘channels’ such as Wolf Howls Radio for on air ads, the SL Enquirer, and some very good magazines with large circulations in SL.

Definate - I'm curious, with the things you offer, do you do free consultations? Can you give me an idea of what you can do for them?
Mark - Yes always! Our first meeting with any client is always free as well as any ideas we have out of that meeting.  Our view is that the customer has taken time out for their busy schedule to do that meeting, some of which can last an hour or more, so that is commitment enough for us. It also lets us determine if there is a fit for the two companies. If not I would rather give them some ideas to execute and part ways than have a client that is not a fit for M&M Marketing.

Definate - What do you see as the biggest mistake businesses make?
Mark - The biggest thing I see is failure to do the upfront work before you try to market or promote. Businesses in SL tend to do marketing wily nilly and hope it works rather than develop the materials, a good strategy and then execute on that plan. If you think about how much time you could spend on marketing - to do all that if you are not experienced is a real time consumer.

Definate - I'm sure that would save on wasted money as well.
Mark – Yes, very much so.

Definate – Business is about making money, after all, do you agree?
Mark - Yes sort of. I would refer you to a business book that has guided me well for my entire RL career. It is called Built to Last. A quick Cliff notes summary is stick to your core values and beliefs and do not worry about profits. If those serve the market - profits will come. It is a great book to read, rather boring in stretches though. If one adapts the strategy to the market place then all else falls in place.

Definate - You're a co-owner, what part do you do and what part does your partner do?
Mark - Missy is always at the first interview when she is available. Her insights have been invaluable from the SL consumer perspective. Then she is sort of our final editor in chief. I run all our marketing materials by her as our second set of eyes. Plus she is a fantastic motivator for me and our team.

Definate - When do you find time for yourself?
Mark - I have been fortunate to have Missy as my right hand and to have some very good team members. As an example, the lady I use for my photo and art work is fantastic. I give her the landmark and turn her loose! She comes back with photos that nobody else seems to see. We all enjoy interacting with clients and businesses so this is quite fun.

Definate – Is there anything you want readers to know?
Mark - We try to keep contacting us pretty simple. Just send me a note card about your business and what you are interested in and we take it from there. One thing to keep in mind is we are not looking to market for every business in SL. We try to make sure we are a fit. As we grow and that is happening fairly fast, we will be hiring good experienced team members to handle the work load on our end.

Definate - What markets don't you work in?
Mark - Markets are not our filtering device - so to speak. We have a client list that ranges many markets in SL. When we look for a fit - market is not a qualifier. We do not market for escorts or sex shops   I will say that. But those need little help in Second Life anyway.

Mark Ussy (markr356) or
Melissa Ussy (melissa3921)
*note card preferred


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