Laurie Nylund, a writer extraordinaire from Sandy, Utah, emailed this week’s suggestion. Here’s what she had to say about tiramisu:

This Italian dessert means “carry me up” or “to heaven,” which is an apt description for how I react whenever I find a piece worthy of its name. It’s the yardstick by which I measure Italian restaurants, which tend to be my first choice when dining out. No matter how good the pasta or ossobuco, I seldom return to an eatery whose tiramisu disappoints. A great tiramisu (with a rich coffee or strong espresso) is the ultimate cap to an evening out, whether with family, friends, or colleagues. It defines those rare moments of perfect contentment when every element is nicely balanced and the rich flavors combine to melt in your mouth. While it’s one of the few dishes I have yet to try my hand at, I’ve probably sampled several hundred slices. Yet it is rarely the same from place to place. Perhaps it’s the surprising variety, or the anticipation of the experience that makes me continue to search out the perfect piece. More of a luxury dessert, it’s not really something for everyday eating. For me, it represents a reward for my hard work and efforts. It helps me remember that no matter what problems I may have, life is good and here to be enjoyed. Linger over a slice of this creamy confection, and how could you be anything other than happy?

Laurie has more than 15 years of technology writing experience in the enterprise software industry at companies like Intel, Avocent and LanSchool. Her business (see provides technical documentation, whitepapers, and other marketing collateral for small to medium businesses.

This week’s Marketing Dish is about Layers

Like Laurie, I too have a special relationship with tiramisu. I once spent an entire year looking for the ultimate tiramisu in Sacramento (hard work, I can tell you!). Sorry, I don’t recall the name of the restaurant that I finally settled on, but I can tell you that the best tiramisu is one with perfectly balanced layers.

Biscuits must be soaked in just the right amount of coffee and liqueur. Cocoa must be sprinkled in just the right amounts between each layer. And the cheese layer…well, what can I say? I’m a huge fan of the mascarpone. Especially when combined with farm-fresh eggs and the best sugar.

Just like tiramisu, your marketing efforts work best when the various layers are balanced just right. Your branding (the foundation) with your website content with your speaking engagements. Your social media with your email with your partnerships. And so on.

In college, they taught us about “integrated marketing campaigns” as we listened wide-eyed. There were crazy diagrams and lots of moving parts, but the gist of that lesson was to use various “channels” at the same time (in those days, PR + direct mail + advertising, etc.) to tell a cohesive marketing story.

Each channel reinforced and supported the efforts of all the rest. And while our channels may have shifted slightly today, a layered story-telling effort is still where it’s at.

The trick (if there is one) is to think about using the highest quality ingredients in just the right proportions so that they all come together in a way that people can’t help but say, “Mamma mia!” (And then proceed to tell all their friends.)

Easier said than done, right?

Which is where practice comes in. Creating the best-tasting tiramisu isn’t something you do the very first time. You’ve got learn the recipe, play with it a little, and pay close attention to how you put all the ingredients together.

There’s a certain love vibe that comes through in the best tiramisu — you can almost taste how much the pastry chef loved that mascarpone!

So whatever you do to market your business, be sure you’re selecting the right channels/layers for your business. And be sure you put them out into the world with the most love and affection you’ve got. Because believe me, your prospects can really tell the difference when you don’t.

What about you? Do you know which marketing layers are best for your business? Are you using them well or still practicing? If you’re feeling stuck on where to start and you’d like some help brainstorming, leave us a comment below and let’s see what we can do — together.