5 Safety Checks for Your Marketing Effort

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Author: Ozana Giusca, CEO Tooliers.com                                                                                                                                                                          

There are some important questions that managers and entrepreneurs should consider in order to understand if their teams make the most out of their company’s marketing efforts. Here are some basic guiding questions for small companies for such a marketing self-assessment.

1. Are your marketing and sales activities out of sync?   Sales and marketing must work well together. This is sometimes hard to achieve especially when the responsibilities are shared within/by a large or variable team.  Keep in mind that sales and marketing have to reinforce each other within an integrated strategy resolutely centered on your customers.

2. Do you truly understand your clients and your market? The natural answer for an established business is “Yes” but sometimes it is not that easy to keep the pace with the ever-changing market. To answer objectively, break down this question to its relevant bits and pieces.  Here are some guiding questions:

–  How deep do I know the need of my clients?
–  Is my company able to communicate internally and use this knowledge to adapt my products or/and services?
–  To what extent is my team proactive and consistent in building long term customer loyalty?
–  Can we anticipate the needs of our customers?
–  Are we able to effectively influence their buying criteria?
–  How can we be more relevant for our clients? How can my products or services create more value for them?

3. Do you truly know your competitors? Ensure that your team systematically gathers relevant data about your direct and indirect competitors.  Their products, marketing budgets, sales initiatives, promoting channels, promotional activities and company structure should all be on your radar. Why? Because it helps you see where your market is going, what your customers really need, and which tactics used by your competitors have a positive impact.

4. Negative feedback could be a marketing opportunity or a perfect opportunity to lose a client! Your client-facing personnel should know how to deal with negative feedback in a constructive customer-oriented fashion.  A good way to turn an unhappy customer into a fan is to instruct your sales or customer-service people to  follow this three simple step-strategy:

–  Emphatically understand and acknowledge your client’s problem (it’s a matter of empathy not about who is wrong or right)
–  Give assurance that someone in your company deals without delay with his concern
–  Offer a discount or another incentive to make up for your customer’s trouble

5. Evaluate open-mindedly if you make the most out of the new marketing must-use tools. SEO, online marketing and social media marketing provide excellent opportunities for almost all businesses to get their products or services noticed. 

If you want to try a more systematic assessment to your present marketing effort you can generate your marketing assessment report using Marketing Lens, the business-growth self-assessment available online on tooliers.com. This tool is especially designed for small and midsize companies to help them identify their main weaknesses in their marketing activity.

About the Author:

Ozana Giusca is the CEO and Founder of  London-based Bridge Europe Consulting and Catalyst Partners and Tooliers.com. Ozana has been an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist for over a decade.  Ozana worked for Fieldstone, a US investment bank and for the venture arm of Carphone Warehouse, a London-listed Plc.  She has an MBA in Finance with a Distinction from Cass Business School, London, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in International Economics.  Ozana is a regular speaker at business success conferences. She resides in London.

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