As the Editor in Chief, Merlyn published "Toad Life" magazine, a high quality, oversized table type magazine that circulated 30,000 copies per issue to second home owners, and vacationers in the resort community of the Lake of the Ozarks. In addition to numerous community interest stories, Toad Life magazine often highlighted a wide variety of Merlyn's business ventures for his Construction Company, his restaurants, retail shops, and the Resort & Yacht Club. Merlyn is a published author, and personally wrote several of the articles featured in Toad Life.

Three editions of Toad Life are included for review on this site.

Any successful business plan, requires a strong marketing and advertising program, but knowing where to spend the dollars correctly, can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Marketing and Advertising can be the smartest dollars your business spends, or the worst. With so many advertising mediums, how do you target your customers in the most cost effective manner? Without a well thought out marketing and advertising plan, you may be better off without any marketing campaign at all. Advertising can be expensive, and can quickly eat away at your profits and then some, if it isn't done professionally and effectively.

Internet marketing is certainly a must, and can be the most effective advertising medium; however if you don't have anything in place to drive traffic to your website; even that can be a big waste of money. A quality website that is professionally designed and maintained is an absolute necessity for any growing business.


Merlyn Vandervort has invested literally millions of dollars into marketing and advertising over the last twenty five years, and estimates that he has most likely spent a million dollars in advertising that was a complete waste of money; fortunately least expensive direct marketing; but you've got to be disciplined to make it happen.

he has also spent equally as much that was very affective. Every mode of advertising you could think of, Merlyn has tried it; television, radio, billboard, print, direct mail, internet, social media, etc. You might say he's gone thru the school of hard knocks when it comes to advertising; and any areas that Merlyn doesn't have specific technical expertise in; he has aligned himself with professionals who do.

What works, what doesn't, and how do you hard market, and direct market to the customers you want? Knowing what to spend, where to spend, when to spend, and when not to spend, can be the difference to success or failure in any business. Never get caught up in ego advertising! Sometimes the most effective marketing is the least expensive direct marketing; but you've got to be disciplined to make it happen.