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Your marketing in 2010: three things you shouldn’t do

Tomorrow I’m going to outline the three things I think you should do in 2010 – I’ve even just put up a whole new simple website to get this message over – but before that, three things which you shouldn’t do. If you’ve got some sort of a marketing plan in place for next year, and any of your expenditure is targeted at things which tick the following boxes, well …all I can say is, it’s your budget, and there’s still time to change it.

1. Don’t buy anything which doesn’t have a good return on investment
Why? Because there are enough things which do have a good return on investment to soak up anyone’s marketing budget. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to quantify the value of the branding which that magazine front cover gives you, or the value of the team-building which that week exhibiting at WidgetEx provides. But you can at least be comparative. Let’s set a benchmark of saying it costs you £1 to get somebody to visit your website, and you can convert them to name-and-address sales leads at 5%, so that’s £20 a time. That gives us something to compare against. So, if an exhibition stand costs you £10,000, and you’d expect to get 50 sales enquiries (value £1,000), are the other benefits of being there worth £9,000 – or would you swap them for 450 more sales leads?

2. Don’t buy something just because you always have done
Your customers’ behaviour is steadily changing. The response which any form of marketing can achieve rises and falls, but it doesn’t rise again. Everything has its day. If you’re seeing diminishing returns from an activity, plan for even lower returns next year. That doesn’t mean it won’t still be good value. But don’t let any salesman convince you their product is making a comeback.

3. Don’t waste money attracting attention but not turning that into leads
There’s so much of this about. Big full-page adverts which leave you thinking: “Yes, but what does the company actually do?” Exhibition stands where the salesmen look miserable and bored. Internet advertising which just sends people to the home page of a website and dumps them there. Websites with no way of making an enquiry other than filling in a daunting, page-long form where every field shouts “Compulsory, Manadatory and Required!”. Direct mail with no personality or call to action. The list goes on.

Nobody knows your business better than you. Strip your marketing back to the things that work, and make them work harder.

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