Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    6-16-16 Can you help me market a friend’s book?

    A good friend of mine, Theo Wells, just published her book, “Take Care of Dying, Get on With Living,’ and she asked if I could help her market the book.  The book is about end-of-life planning and the information is vital for all of us.I like to think I know about marketing, but I realized promoting a book was a bit out of my marketing world.

    So, I’d like to play a bit with social media and with the idea that some of you who read my Blogs may have ideas of places where you can pass this information on.

    The story of her book being available locally at Moonraker Books in Langley and on-line at Amazon has just been published in the Whidbey Buzz section of Whidbey Local::

    Please share this link with your friends, and especially with anyone who you believe might benefit from the information in the book.  There is a great recommendation for the book at the top of the cover: “This book is a must read for anyone who is going to die.” - God


    6-9-16 Clinton Chamber of Commerce is all about collaboration

    One of my major themes is the power of collaboration.  Two women are now heading the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, and they are helping to build the Clinton business community by encouraging members to support and promote each other.

    I met recently with the new Chamber President, Stephanie Cook, and the new Vice President, Janae Cameron, and we had an extended conversation about their vision for Clinton. 

    Stephanie and her business partner and husband, Troy, have been the owners of Cozy’s Roadhouse since 2006.  Janae is a recent addition to the Clinton business community having opened Make Whidbey just a year ago. 

    Both businesses are doing well, and the Chamber is doing well, in part because Stephanie and Janae found that they got along well when they first met.  They both have a deep understanding of the passion, courage and hard work it takes to run a retail business.

    They also are committed to having the members of the Chamber care about each other’s success.  They know the importance of having businesses work together to attract tourists and locals to the businesses in the community: “The sense of community is strong in Clinton, and we each care about the success of every business here.”

    The Clinton Chamber is getting input from all of its members about how to grow the business community, and how community events can bring more visitors and customers to Clinton.

    As I have said many times before, collaboration is one of the most powerful ways to build the success of a business.


    6-2-16 More about Polling

    (Note: Just before I was ready to post this, I looked at today’s Huffington Post and found this article: It’s Time To Change The Way We Think About Political Polling)

    I was a marketing research consultant for most of my professional life.  The standard for doing reliable surveys was a valid random sample survey.  And, a major element in accomplishing this was telephone calls to landlines that were randomly selected geographically and by whatever ways the survey was defined, such as by age groups or people who had a particular experience.  One other reliable method was in-person interviews at specific locations where a particular population was defined for the sample, such as a neighborhood meeting place or shopping center.

    With cell phones being the norm, I’m not sure how reliable random sample surveys are done any more.  Someone who obtains a cell phone in one part of the country and moves will still have a cell phone identified from the previous geographic area (my cell phone is a Bellevue number and Rich’s is a Seattle number).

    It’s my understanding that marketing research firms can purchase phone numbers, but I don’t really understand how these are identified.

    A random sample means that everyone in a given population has an equal chance of being selected.  Anything that alters this concept biases the results.  Right now, we’re hearing a lot about polls relating to the November election.  Here is what will determine the accuracy (i.e., the likelihood that the sample results will match the total election results):

    If you sample everyone who is registered to vote—this will include a lot of people who will not vote.  

    If you sample likely voters in a way that excludes certain elements of the population (such as neighborhoods with a lot of low-income or minority populations, or that will exclude many people who may be likely to vote, but were not included in the sample.

    If you sample using a self-select method (such as a Survey Monkey) it will exclude people who simply have no interest in responding.

    As part of the survey methodology, the survey company will want to have a screening question, (assuming they are using a list of registered voters) such as:
    “Are you planning to vote in the November election?”

    And, surveys are a snapshot of the moment.  If a major event happens that is widely reported in the news a few days before the polling is done, that will definitely affect the results.

    What I am noticing is the range of results from the different surveys being conducted.  When the range of differences is way beyond margins of error (which are usually +/- 5% or 7%, depending on the size of the sample), I really question the whole process.

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see the actual results.


    5-26-16 Blogging about Blogs

    I’m not sure when blogging began. First, we had computers, then websites, emails and Facebook….and I don’t know which came first: the chicken or the egg, as we have all heard. I just know there are blogs everywhere about every subject. Some blogs have thousands of followers and some, like mine, are read by a few loyal, local folks.

    The beauty of most blogs, as I see it, is that they are totally owned by the individual. No one tells me what to write in my blog. I describe this particular blog as a “marketing blog.” But, if you are one of my loyal readers, you know that I generally write about subjects related to marketing, but often they reflect what I observe in the world around me.

    For anyone who writes a blog, there is a great sense of freedom in being able to write from your heart, from you own point of view, and reflecting your own interests. The only one who tells me what to write in my blog is some little critic buried in my brain.

    Following up on this sense of freedom, I am now doing a blog for a short while in, and it happened because JoAnna Weeks, the Founder and CEO of this on-line publication, gives me freedom to write what I like. In addition to my regular business stories in the Business Spotlight, I am having great fun writing a blog about my experiences learning about wines and wine making.

    First, I reported on the classes I took from Deb Stillwell at Ott & Murphy (“Musings of a Wine Neophyte” reported in the Whidbey Buzz), and now I am expanding on those musings by sharing a great experience I had traveling to the wine regions of Walla Walla with Diane Kaufman and David Ott, the owners of Ott & Murphy.

    Like I said, I’m having lots of fun with my blogging, and I am also enjoying helping a young woman from France who is visiting with the owners of Ott & Murphy while she continues to work on her Masters Degree in International Wine Marketing. Her blogs will be included with my Musings from a Wine Neophyte: )


    5-19-16 What’s special or unique about your business?

    This is one of my favorite questions when I am talking to a business about marketing.  I just came back from a few days in Walla Walla touring wine tasting rooms and wineries.  And I asked this question at each place we visited.  And, I got different answers from each place. 

    In the City of Walla Walla there are 37 wine tasting rooms, and in the greater Walla Walla area, there are 170 wineries.  Of course, there are hundreds of wineries in Central Washington.

    I’ll be writing more about my experiences on Whidbey Local in the next few weeks, but for now, I’ll just say that wine is probably one of the best examples of different businesses each finding different ways to describe their product or something about their winery that is special.

    What makes you unique may be the product itself, or it can be the kind of special attention you give to each of your customers.  It can be the way you stand behind what you’re selling. 

    If you’re not sure how to describe these special qualities, ask your friends and current customers.  If people are satisfied with what you’re selling, they can also give you their reasons….and these can become part of your message to attract more customers.