Second Dose Of Marketing Vitamins

Organizations often get stuck in neutral when it comes to marketing. Sometimes, you just need a kickstart. Here are 14 ideas to push you into high gear.

1. Do what you say you're going to do and do it on time. If you do nothing else, this is the one that can make a real difference in your business and in your life.

2. Hold a monthly session with employees or associates to discuss marketing strategy and to solicit marketing ideas. Ask employees about what is happening in the field. Your customers often have the best new product and service ideas.

3. Hire a marketing consultant for a day just to brainstorm on your business and its opportunities. Do some homework beforehand and develop some guidelines for the discussion so that your day can be most productive.

4. Select a charity in which to be involved. Give money, time and the time of your employees. Focus all your efforts on a single charity to get the most bang for your buck.

5. Take two clients who don't know each other to lunch. Try to find clients who have compatible businesses and who you believe could help each other.

6. Use your clients' products and services and provide a testimonial that he can use in his marketing materials.

7. Ask your customers to provide testimonials. Here's a good one we just received for Ty Boyd's Excellence in Speaking course: "I now possess the tools to speak to thousands - but more important - to listen to one."

8. Develop a 30-second commercial and use it to introduce yourself and your business at every opportunity. It should say who you and your business are, what your company does, how you can help customers and should include an immediate call to action.

9. No matter what your business, you are an expert at something. Develop tip sheets that showcase what you know. Consider making a brochure out of your tips, set up a tips telephone hotline, or even do an e-newsletter providing tips.

10. Find a buddy. Select a business whose customers are similar to your. You do a mailing to your list and include information from your buddy business, and your buddy does the same for you.

11. Ask your vendors if they have any co-operative advertising programs and then participate. When I worked with Levolor, we developed high end marketing material just for small, independent window treatment and interior design firms. And, there were programs to help pay for a portion of their media costs if they used the material provided.

12. Perform an online survey of your customers to find out what they think about you and your products. I use SurveyMonkey.

13. Review all of your stationery and collateral material, as well as your website. Make sure your message is consistent, and that all of your contact information is up-to-date.

14. Find an example of where you knocked it out of the park for a client and then write a case study about it.

Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, Verbatim and Youth Link USA.

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