- Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity.
- Set specific marketing goals every year; review and adjust quarterly.
- Maintain a follow-up file of ideas for later use.
- Carry business cards with you (all day, every day). Remember, business cards aren’t working for you if they’re in the box. Pass them out! Give prospects two business cards and brochures -- one to keep and one to pass along.
- Create a personal nametag or pin with your company name and logo on it and wear it at high visibility meetings.
- Stay alert to trends that might impact your target market, product or promotion strategy.
- Collect competitors’ ads and literature; study them for information about strategy, product features and benefits, etc.
- Ask clients why they chose you and solicit suggestions for improvement.
- Ask former clients why they left you.
- Identify a new market.
- Create a new service or product.
- Offer a simpler/cheaper/smaller version of your (or another existing) product or service.
- Offer a fancier/more expensive/faster/bigger version of your (or another existing) product or service.
- Update your services/products.
EDUCATION, RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
- Create a suggestion box for employees.
- Attend a marketing seminar.
- Read a marketing book.
- Subscribe to a marketing newsletter or other publication.
- Train your staff, clients and colleagues to promote referrals.
- Hold a monthly marketing meeting with employees or associates to discuss strategy, status and to solicit marketing ideas.
- Get a marketing intern to take you on as a client; it will give the intern experience and you some free marketing help.
- Maintain a consultant card file for finding designers, writers and other marketing professionals.
- Hire a marketing consultant to brainstorm with.
- Take a "creative journey" to another progressive city or country to observe and learn from marketing techniques used there.
PRICING AND PAYMENT
- Analyze your fee structure; look for areas requiring modifications or adjustments.
- Establish a credit card payment option for clients.
- Give regular clients a discount.
- Learn to barter; offer discounts to members of certain clubs/professional groups/organizations in exchange for promotions in their publications.
- Give "quick pay" or cash discounts.
- Offer financing or installment plans.
- Publish a newsletter for customers and prospects. (It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.)
- Develop a brochure of services.
- Include a postage-paid survey card with your brochures and other company literature. Include check-off boxes or other items that will involve the reader and provide valuable feedback to you.
- Produce separate business cards/sales literature for each of your target market segments (e.g. government and commercial, and/or business and consumer).
- Create a poster or calendar to give away to customers and prospects.
- Print a slogan and/or one-sentence description of your business on letterhead, fax cover sheets and invoices.
- Develop a site on the World Wide Web.
- Create a "signature file" to be used for all your e-mail messages. It should contain contact details including your Web site address and key information about your company that will make the reader want to contact you.
Include "testimonials" from customers in your literature.
- Test a new mailing list. If it produces results, add it to your current direct mail lists or consider replacing a list that's not performing up to expectations.
- Use colored or oversized envelopes for your direct mailings. Or send direct mail in plain white envelopes to pique recipients' curiosity.
- Update your media list often so that press releases are sent to the right media outlet and person.
- Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal or trade publication.
- Publish an article and circulate reprints.
- Send timely and newsworthy press releases as often as needed.
- Create an annual award and publicize it– as an outstanding employee of the year.
- Get public relations and media training or read up on it.
- Appear on a radio or TV talk show.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or to a trade magazine editor.
- Consistently review newspapers and magazines for possible PR opportunities.
- Submit "tip" articles to newsletters and newspapers.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CUSTOMER RELATIONS
- Ask your clients to come back again.
- Return phone calls promptly.
- Set up an email system to easily respond to customer inquiries.
- Use an answering machine or voice mail system to catch after-hours phone calls. Include basic information in your outgoing message such a business hours, location, etc.
- Ask clients what you can do the help them.
- Hold a seminar at your office for clients and prospects.
- Send hand-written thank-you notes.
- Send birthday cards and appropriate seasonal greetings.
- Photocopy interesting articles and send them to clients and prospects with a hand-written "FYI" note and your business card.
- Redecorate your office or location where you meet with your clients.
NETWORKING AND WORD OF MOUTH
- Join a Chamber of Commerce or other organization.
- Mail a brochure to members of organizations to which you belong.
- Serve on a city board or commission.
- Send letters to attendees after you attend a conference.
- Join a community list-serve (email list) on the Internet.
- Advertise during peak seasons for your business.
- Get a memorable phone number, such as "0772772772."
- Obtain a memorable URL and email address and include them on all marketing materials.
- Provide phone stickers pre-printed with your business contact information.
- Advertise in a specialty directory or in the Yellow Pages.
- Write an ad in another language to reach a non-English-speaking market. Place the ad in a publication that market reads, such as a Local Language newspaper.
- Distribute advertising specialty products such as pens, mouse pads or mugs.
- Consider non-traditional tactics such as bus backs, billboards and popular Web sites.
- Project a message on the sidewalk in front of your place of business using a light directed through words etched in a glass window.
- Consider placing ads in your newspaper’s classified section.
- Consider a Friendly Car Bumper Sticker with your company name.
- Code your ads and keep records of results.
- Improve your building signage and directional signs inside and out.
- Invest in a neon sign to make your office or storefront window visible at night.
- Create a new or improved company logo or "recolor" the traditional logo.
- Sponsor and promote a contest or sweepstakes.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND OUTREACH
- Get a booth at a fair/trade show attended by your target market.
- Sponsor or host a special event or open house at your business location in cooperation with a local non-profit
- Organization, such as a women's business center. Describe how the organization helped you.
- Give a speech or volunteer for a career day at a high school.
- Teach a class or seminar at a local college or adult education center.
- Volunteer your time to a charity or non-profit organization.
- Donate your product or service to a charity auction.
- Appear on a panel at a professional seminar.
- Write a "How To" pamphlet or article for publishing.
- Produce and distribute an educational CD-ROM, audio or video tape.
- Start every day with two cold calls.
- Read newspapers, business journals and trade publications for new business openings and for personnel appointment and promotion announcements made by companies. Send your business literature to appropriate individuals and firms.
- Give your sales literature to your lawyer, accountant, printer, banker, temp agency, office supply salesperson, advertising agency, etc. (Expand your sales force for free!)
- Put your phone number and email on order forms for easy submission.
- Set up an email system to easily distribute responses to company or product inquiries.
- Follow up on your direct mailings, email messages and broadcast faxes with a friendly telephone call.
- Try using email marketing instead of direct mail. (email allows you to send the same message to many locations at once.)
- Using SMS Messages to notify your customers of product service updates.
- Extend your hours of operation.
- Reduce response/turnaround time. Make reordering easy– reminders. Provide pre-addressed envelopes.
- Display product and service samples at your office.
- Remind clients of the products and services you provide that they aren't currently buying.
- Call and/or send mail to former clients to try to reactivate them.
- Take sales orders over the Internet.