Obviously with a company called Roundpeg, I have a thing for circles.  Small Business Marketing Expert Jay Ehret has developed a great way of looking at the “marketing mix” in what he calls the Marketing Circle of LIfe

His four elements Brand, Experience, Conversation and Promotion are interrelated and build on each other.   Like many traditional marketers, he believes you start with your brand.   This is not so much a logo, but a definition of who you are, and what you stand for.

But this is where the similarity to traditional marketing ends as he brings Experience to the table as the second element in his circle.  –  He places a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and the entire experience of interacting with your firm.

These two pieces, who you are, and how you treat customers form the foundation of your WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING or as Ehert refers to it the conversation.

Essentially, you have to give customers and prospects something worth talking about.  Only after you have done the first three well should you consider Promotion and advertising.  He says:

Advertising is useless unless you have a brand, a remarkable customer experience, and a message worth talking about. Without the first three components … you will be relegated to advertising price, sales, and touting your years of experience.

So the question is, have you given your customers something worth saying about you?