A 16-point plan to successful marketing...

No matter what line of business you are in, marketing is essential. And whether you have a marketing department or the marketing department is you, putting these pointers into practice should greatly improve your performance.

  1. Make sure your products or services are distinguishable from your competitors'

  2. Monitor your competitors' marketing activities, and change your own as appropriate.

  3. Have a marketing plan - and follow it!

  4. Aim to provide a regular stream of new customers

  5. Respond quickly to customer complaints, investigate the causes and fix the problems

  6. When you lose a customer, contact them and find out why

  7. Uncover customers' needs. Find out what they really want from your business

  8. Keep advertising expenditure within industry norms. Over-advertising smacks of desperation, under-advertise and no-one knows who you are

  9. Search for new markets for your products or services

  10. Keep your existing customers aware of all you can offer

  11. Actively look at new products or services

  12. Keep your sales forecasts and statistics up to date and distribute them to appropriate employees

  13. Make sure that staff who come into contact with your customers or clients have high morale and present a positive image of your company and its products and services.

  14. Use your remuneration structure to motivate and reward sales people

  15. Invest in sales-focussed training for your non-marketers (show them how they can have an impact on sales)

  16. Evaluate the performance of your sales team and provide training where needed

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