Growth of Small Business & Free Enterprise

Growth of Small Business is Our Core value. Most of our clients, especially those small businesses we’ve been partnering with for nearly four decades have leveraged our work. To understand why we encourage them do that, here’s the reason I started Venmark in November, 1976.

The following graphic resulted from a six week exercise with the book “Where do I go From Here in my Life.” It was a real life-changer and the five points are more important today than they were 38+ years ago when I wrote them. Having vision is essential for marketing success.

What needs doing

Just in case you can’t read my handwriting, #3 is GROWTH OF THE SMALL BUSINESSMAN AND ENHANCEMENT OF FREE ENTERPRISE AND COMPETITION. My commitment to these core beliefs has been critical to our success at Venmark International and the work we’ve done on behalf of small business.

I founded my company because product publicity is the most powerful element in the marketing mix, and due to the way conventional advertising and public relations firms operated which prevented small business from taking full-advantage of what publicity can accomplish. Agencies aren’t structured to work with small businesses.

Product publicity is incredibly misunderstood. Basically, publicity is news and editorial content which is the reason why a media outlet exists. Unlike paid advertising, where the sponsor of the message is identified, product news is an equalizer. You cannot distinguish the size of a company by the news coverage it receives. News, for the most part, is objective.

I have made tiny, one-person businesses look as prominent as Sony or IBM! They’ve shared the front covers of leading technical publications. So, not only have I created a business model which lets small companies take full-advantage of their publicity opportunities and share the same news pages as big companies, but Venmark has also mastered the art and science of using product publicity to achieve specific marketing goals. Thankfully, the internet has turned out to be like a 50,000 Watt amplifier! It has expanded the impact of our publicity efforts on behalf of clients.

Venmark’s skill, reputation, and brand for providing editors with the kind of news and information that will interest their readers are well documented. As Russell Kratowicz, P.E., Senior Editor, Plant Services Magazine wrote, “In short, when I see the characteristic “editor-friendly” Venmark press release, I know it is worthwhile for me to read it because I know it contains information that I cannot afford to ignore. The now familiar format means I know exactly where to look for the information I need. That makes my life easier.”

Today our publicity strategies are designed to leverage the impact of web search too. It is not unusual for our clients to get published 150 times on the internet and place extremely high in organic search results as a result of one of our product news releases. Yes, a great deal can be accomplished for small businesses by using publicity as an integrated marketing tool. This has allowed our small B2B clients to compete with large, well established companies and attract OEMs and distributors for their products and services. And support those distributors too.

At Venmark International we have created many situations where clients have received orders they can trace back to our product news releases. We have a letter on file from a client who received a $35,000.00 order from Chile and wrote us that we were responsible for the order and they were happy not to have to pay a commission to an agent! That same client, by the way, began selling internationally many years ago and only accepted orders via American Express at first. That policy helped eliminate some of the risks he feared early on. Today that client has distributors all over the world who generate millions in sales annually.

Because we want our small business clients to be more competitive, we encourage them to leverage our work. As Abby Robey of Xuron Corporation noted, “The photos are too good not to use for so many purposes! As you know, we’ve also used them to make posters for trade shows and we use them in our website, blog, on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Thanks!”

In sum, we are committed to helping small businesses get the best marketing return-on-investment and, therefore, be more competitive and enhance our free-enterprise system. Keep in mind, small business is the nation’s largest job creator and represents our core values of individual responsibility and free-enterprise.


© 2014 Steven M. Stroum


Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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