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Business Expo Will Stick To Message

FARMVILLE – John Jantsch has discovered another use for duct tape.

The 52-year old marketing consultant, who will provide the keynote address for the September 26 second annual Southern Virginia Business Expo, founded Duct Tape Marketing and has become an award-winning social media publisher and bestselling author.

Jantsch told The Herald this week that duct tape seemed a natural fit to christen his small-business marketing focus.

“After working with small businesses for many years and then deciding to create a system and set of tools that I could market globally via the web,” he explained in an email exchange from his Kansas City office, “it just seemed like the perfect metaphor for life as a small business-simple, effective and affordable sums up duct tape for many.”

This month's business expo will be hosted by the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and held at the STEPS Centre in Farmville.

SBDC executive director Sheri McGuire described the business expo as a “great opportunity to unplug from the day-to-day activities and network with other business owners. Attendees will receive valuable information from small business service providers who will be exhibiting and will have a unique opportunity to receive training from a nationally known expert in small business marketing.

“Business owners, managers, key employees and those thinking about starting a business,” she continued, in a press release issued by Longwood University, “will benefit from networking with other business owners and gathering information from agencies and service providers.”

<!– 1upcrlf2 –>Jantsch, the nationally known expert, was asked about his foundational message, the one thing he'd most want attendees to carry away with them, and answered, “strategy before tactics. All the catchy ads, Facebook contests and press releases in the world won't do much more than allow you to barely compete until you create a narrowly defined ideal client and uncover a way to differentiate that matters deeply to them.”

Asked about the difference, to a small business, between strategies and tactics, Jantsch explained, “a marketing strategy is more of your approach to the market. It's the definition of your ideal client and your unique value proposition or differentiation in the market. It's really the thing that helps you stand out from every other business that says they do what you do.

“A marketing tactic, on the other hand,” he continued, “is how you'll get the word out about your strategy. It's the set of action steps you'll take to execute the strategy.”

Jantsch regards effective small business marketing as a system, a continuous journey, not an event.

“Let's start with my definition of marketing, which is: Getting someone with a need to know, like and trust you. Once you establish this you must further get them to try, buy, repeat and refer you,” he told The Herald.

“Like many things in business, once you identify the logical pattern, it's simply a matter of building a process that allows you to accomplish the goal,” he explained. “The game then becomes plugging in the tools, products, campaigns and processes that move people systematically down the path of know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer.”

As they do with duct tape.

The registration fee for the expo is $40, through Monday, and then $50 thereafter, which includes all activities and breakfast and lunch. For information, call 434-395-2086 or visit