August 2022

Thinking Marketing? Think AGL.

Short stories and essays for marketers and small business entrepreneurs who care about how their services and products contribute to healthy communities.

Marketing lessons learned by volunteering time on international assignments 

Grant Lee, CPM

The biggest mistake a consulting marketer can make is assuming that one shoe fits all. Clients benefit from the knowledge of consultants who have experienced the application of marketing principles, standards, and ethics in several countries.

Marikina is the "Shoe Capital of the Philippines" known for its famous shoe industry. The Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) partnered with manufacturers of leather shoes and fashion bags to help with marketing plans and tactics to increase sales and strengthen corporate identities as the manufacturers emerged from the crippling impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The businesses are owned and operated by women.


CESO Advisor Grant Lee, CPM, worked with the entrepreneurs through April and May 2022 in-person and online. They were indeed hybrid assignments requiring physical meeting space and online communications technology of computers and smartphone.

Lee began with listening for hours to the stories of the businesswomen to learn about their business goals, history, challenges, competition, influence of legislation on their enterprises, industry issues, and how their enterprises fit into the notions of sustainable development and conservation of natural resources. Once a sense of the business environment was sharpened, it was time to review their marketing activity, marketing technology capabilities, knowledge of marketing principles, standards and ethics, marketing budget, and the communications tools that they are comfortable using. This set the foundation for work on a marketing and sales plan tailored for their unique business that they could implement when the assignment concluded.


Digital marketing was a high priority because all were engaged, albeit not equally. Lee saw room for improvement with traditional marketing tactics and showed the women how to create digital and hard copy flyers and brochures, along with sales techniques at bazaars and other sales events. One entrepreneur wished to create and implement an email marketing campaign using an email database and newsletter during the coaching assignment. This was accomplished and she gained greater insight into her customers and products with links to online stores. Another asked for coaching in technical and creative writing for articles on social media and industry magazines.


At the end of the assignment the three businesswomen were presented with marketing and sales plans that included a section on integrated marketing communications and a selection of key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of their plan. All were left fully engaged in trying new ways of marketing to increase sales and strengthen their corporate brand.

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Wanna market the book you wrote? It ain't easy!

Grant Lee, CPM

"A Convenient Ruse" by Fromstein and Stoate is a novel in which the characters are imaginary. The action and storyline, however have a degree of realism.

The novel is about two idealistic young women who lost their financial services careers in the 2008 financial crisis. They discover that U.S. Senators were trading on insider information and decided to create a mass embarrassment and shame campaign to force the government to change the law.

The story is a tapestry of vignettes into the lives of characters drawn into a web of deceptions and tricks. As they deceive, so too are they deceived. Characters are drawn deeper into a network of relationships where they can never escape the actions of those who they will never know or meet. A dangerous and complicated web of connected ruses puts everyone involved on a collision course - some with deadly consequences.

Marketing a product or service is challenging enough in an open society with easy access to the Internet that many people see as the alpha and omega for information. If you are not a well-known published author who can easily access media networks and lofty high profile events to pitch your latest work, it is likely that your novel will languish in online stores like Amazon and Smash Words. It goes without saying that authors must go to places where they believe there are people who would have an interest in their story and interact with the traditional signings and readings.

There is another way of drawing interest in novels. Readers can be introduced to the main characters in an amusing way, like those in a comic book, before taking the decision to buy and see how the characters come alive through the author's words.

Fromstein and Stoate are introducing protagonists and antagonists of their story through the art of Glen Lee, Fergus Ontario. The first to be featured is ethical hacker, Jackson Temple Reynolds III. "Temp" served his country as head of the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Because he is under cover when he meets Melodie Beaudoin (one of the two women who lost their financial services careers), he lies about his name and his job. By the time he realizes he is in love and decides to come clean, it is too late.

Like most microbusinesses, Canadian authors have few resources to promote their art. They must find ways to rise above the noise of hundreds if not thousands of people who have written stories that must be read to have any purpose at all. Fromstein and Stoate are banking on their characters to take the novel to readers who enjoy a good murder mystery.




Grant Lee, CPM


Two easy and overlooked tactics to promote your business

Grant Lee, CPM


Email messaging remains a powerful communications medium and promotion activity in North America. Have you ever taken your own email signature seriously? It is common for micro and small business entrepreneurs to send several email messages a day, completely overlooking the value of the signature to promote their company at no cost.


An email message often ends with a name. That’s it. The expectation is the recipient will reply to your message and that is good enough. With a little knowledge about settings in the default email app you are using, it is possible to display your logo to help promote your corporate brand, let people know how to contact you by means other than email, where to find you on social media, your physical address, and links to video messages and credentials.


The top default email apps are MS Outlook and Google’s Gmail. In both apps, go to settings and then options to find where you can edit your signature. It is easy to do and takes little time.


Promote your business by email signatures. Link logos, credentials, social media pages, and online stores. Do it now and let your digital signature promote your business. Oh, and don’t forget to sign every message and response!

Business | Calling Cards

Why do you carry soiled business cards with curled damaged corners with you? They are nothing short of embarrassing when digging one out to present to a prospect or repeat customer. Business cards are your personal ambassador, your short story. When you present one, you do it with respect, the same as when you receive one. Handing out a crumpled dirty card screams of unprofessionalism and begs the question “why would someone want to work with you if you disrespect yourself?”


Business cards are one of the least expensive means of promoting a business and its brand. Designed professionally, their messages are strong and the use of QR codes can quickly take a prospect to a website, video, or social media page that tells a story in detail. Cards should never lie hidden in a drawer or collecting dust on a desk. They are meant to be distributed widely and liberally. They have a story to tell that should not be stifled through disinterest or forgetfulness of the owner.


If you have overlooked the business or calling card, or letting the ones you have grow roots, it is time to dig them out, dust them off, remove the tattered ones from your wallet and replace with clean shiny ambassadors of your business. Whenever opportunity presents, let them do the talking when you are not present!


Credentials from CIMMO differentiate your personal brand as a marketer

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The Chartered Institute of Marketing Management of Ontario (CIMMO) grants the Chartered Professional Marketer (CPM) certification to people seeking life-long careers in marketing. Certification requires a formal education in marketing from a university or college, professional exams, and mandatory continuing education. CIMMO is chartered by the Ontario government, but membership is not legislated and overseen by a government agency. Membership is voluntary and no licence is required to practice marketing.

Without a licencing requirement to practice marketing, the industry is wide open to anyone wishing to call themselves a marketer without any formal education, training, and skills development. CIMMO's membership recruitment from marketing schools, people working in government with marketing responsibilities, and marketers in private practice is a daunting challenge. For CIMMO, the draw to membership is certification by a chartered institute, mandatory continuing education, and a global reach of its purpose – to make the world a better place through ethical marketing.


AGL Marketing partners with Peter Perko, RGD and Studio Fourteen when design concepts by Grant Lee require the services of a Registered Graphic Designer. Peter is a founding member of CA14, a business partner of AGL Marketing limited.

Studio Fourteen provides graphic design and related creative services to the public and private sectors including technology/industrial, retail, B2B, arts and culture, government, and education. Perko's success is a result of customer service, care of execution, integrity, cost effectiveness, and timeliness.


The CA14 connection

Experience and Capacity-Building

AGL Marketing Limited combined strengths, creativity and resources with the CA14 Team to bring a new level of service excellence on a global scale to a wider range of clients. Combined portfolios ensure practical strategic marketing and communications for micro and small to medium-sized enterprises.

See the CA14 brochure that summarizes the CA14 team and the services that help many companies improve business performance.

Reviews are important and appreciated! If you enjoyed your experience dealing with CA14, please tell us (and others) about it!

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Grant Lee

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