Making a List and Checking it Twice

In the spirit of the Christmas season, here is a list of tangible steps you should be taking to make your marketing efforts as successful as they can be.

Is there a real reason to prefer your product? Remember, customers purchase products to fulfill some want or need of theirs, not because they love the marketing campaign in itself. Find the genuine reasons for customers to choose your product over the competition’s and highlight those reasons in your marketing.

Does your message stand out? Potential customers are inundated with marketing materials, especially on the Internet. There needs to be something unique and catchy about your message to make it recognizable among the rest.

Do you have a strategy? Unless you have unlimited financial resources, throwing messages out indiscriminately is not going to bring in enough customers to make your business thrive. Research your target market, have an overarching plan and stick to it at every stage in the process.

Does your website or blog project professionalism and quality? Putting your name on a website means that website represents you, your business and your product. If your website is difficult to navigate, outdated, or is unprofessional in any way, that reflects poorly on your company.

Do you have calls to action? Your marketing content should be informative, of course, but information alone does not inspire customers to buy your product. Incorporate “hooks” to relate your product to common wants and needs, and include an explicit call for customers to seek more information or buy the product now.

Can you measure your results? Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but having thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook likes does not necessarily lead to more sales. Have a clear way to take stock of your campaign in terms of its actual impact on your business.

What would my competition think? Put yourself in a competitor’s shoes and ask whether he would be nervous based on your answers to these questions. If the answer is “no,” make a change.

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