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By Charlie Cook

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Cleaning Up Your Marketing

Has your once well-organized marketing plan come to resemble the jumble of stuff in your closet (not to mention the garage and the attic)? If you're like most people, each time you come across a new marketing idea, you try to adopt it and add it to your existing approach.

Strategies and tactics tend to accumulate and linger, even when they may not be working as well as you'd like. Like the ill-fitting clothes that accumulate in your closet or the broken tools still in the garage, they are hard to get rid of, whether because of habit, emotional attachment or just plain not getting around to cleaning them out.

To improve your marketing, you'll need to clean out some old ways of working. While I don't want to get anywhere near your closet, and in fact, I could use some help with mine, I can show you how to clean up your marketing plan so you're ready to take advantage of the New Year to grow your business.

Cleaning Up Your Marketing Plan

Every morning my friend Michael Angier of sits down at his desk and asks himself the following three questions about his business.

1. What's working?
2. What's not working?
3. What can I improve?

You may not want to review your marketing plan five times a week, but it is a good idea to do it at least once a year. So take out your pencil or fire up your computer and assess your marketing plan:

Your Marketing Plan
1. Is your plan working?

2. Do you have a well-defined marketing strategy that helps you achieve the three phases of marketing: Getting Attention, Positioning and Selling?

3. Do you need to write or rewrite your marketing plan?

4. Do you need additional information or coaching to complete your marketing plan?

5. What are you going to do to improve your marketing plan?

Getting Attention
6. Does your marketing message prompt prospects to contact you?

7. Do your ads, letters and web site motivate prospects to contact you?

8. What are your conversion rates?

9. What steps can you take to improve them?

10. What are you doing to establish your credibility with prospects, to help them know and trust you?

11. Is it working as well as you'd like?

12. What could you improve?

13. Is the value of your products and services clear to your prospects or do they question you about merits and price?

14. Do your prospects understand the value of your products and services?

15. How successful are you in selling, that is, in getting commitments for everything from appointments to orders?

16. What's your conversion rate of prospects contacted to clients and customers?

17. Do initial s/ales generate repeat s/ales and referrals for years to come?

18. Want to learn how to generate more s/ales from each client?

Evaluating Your Marketing Plan
Use Michael's three questions to summarize your comments about your marketing plan and your success in getting attention, positioning and selling.

1. What's working?
2. What's not?
3. What do you want to improve?

The hardest part about cleaning out your closet, attic, garage or your marketing is getting started. It may be time to straighten up or throw out some of your old marketing strategies and tactics and replace them with new more effective ones. Start 2005 with a well-organized marketing plan—one that helps you Get Attention, Position your products and services and Sell. You'll find your business growing in leaps and bounds in the coming year.

. . . . . .

2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved. The author, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small-business owners who are struggling to attract more clients and grow their businesses. To get the  free marketing guide, '7 Steps to Get More Clients and Grow Your Business' visit




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Last Updated 12/15/2004