Until you put into practice, during the summer months, the following 7 cornerstones to your marketing, you will be wasting every penny you spend.

During the last recession a guy told me because his sales were down, he couldn’t afford to spend any money on marketing. Well he won’t have to spend any money today, because he went out of business!

The real question should be: “Can you afford NOT to spend money on Marketing?” and when you do spend money on marketing, make sure you do it wisely, with the right messages to your “Sweet-Spot” customers.

So what are the 7 things you must do now?

You may have heard the definition which says: Luck is where Opportunity meets Preparation. So how can you get lucky in business – By being prepared? So how prepared are you going to get over the summer?

You probably also know that 10 minutes spent in planning saves 100 minutes in execution, yet so many of you say you don’t have the time – well just imagine how much time if you spent 60 minutes planning!

If you decide that the best thing you can do over the summer is to create a marketing plan and start testing your messages, then you will make a great decision to increase your profits for 2009.

•  Prepare your Customer Matrix – Draw a 2 dimensional matrix like the one in the diagram, with your key customers down the side and your key products along the top. Now identify which products each customer has. Now take the blank or “?” squares and see which opportunities exist for you to up-sell these offerings to the customers who don’t have them.

•  Identify Your Sweet-Spot – Looking again at your customers, list the top 10 customers by profitability, lifetime revenue and ease of doing business with. Now see what it is they have in common: Location, size, industry, contact level, etc. Once you have identified what your ideal customer looks like, this is your “Sweet-Spot” and these are exactly the type of customers you should target with your marketing.

•  Contact your Customers – How often do you stay in contact with your customers and ask them “How valuable do you find using our offering?” It should be at once a year or even more often.

•  Create a Value based Marketing Message – With each customer you speak to, you will start to hear a common theme as to why they bought from you. Can you imagine how useful if all your marketing messages reflected this message or desire?

•  Gather Testimonials – As you speak to each client and they confirm how happy they are, now is the time to ask them for a testimonial. Testimonials are one of the most effective marketing tools, since they show other people what your customers really value about your company.

•  Ask for Referrals – We all know how difficult it is to attract new clients, so wouldn’t it be great to have people coming to you based on the glowing recommendation of your existing customers? However like everything in life – sometimes you must ask to receive!

•  Create a Marketing Action Plan – Now that you have done most of the important preparation, now is the time to sit down, decide how many new leads you want, what your budget is and what you need to do to attract those leads with better marketing.

So get cracking, do all the preparation to make your marketing plan, the 7th reason you should hold off marketing until you are sure that you want to get more leads and enquiries and start to make 2009 a great year after all!

This article was written by Peter Lawless of 3R Sales and Marketing. If you want to start work on your marketing plan straight away and you want someone to help you nail your marketing messages so that you can lock onto prospects like a laser, then contact us today.

If you are a start-up or have less than 10 Employees

You then might be interested in this special offer for the summer, that is until August 31 st. We will run 5 “Kick-Start” your marketing workshops for the first 5 individual companies, who contact us now, who are either within the 1 st two years in business or have less than 10 employees.

If you qualify, when you contact us now, you will have the incredible rate of just €1,700 (normal price is €2,700) for your company (limit 5 attendees) where you will get a full day, with 2 top experts, your marketing message nailed and your marketing action plan, which means you will start to make serious headway with your marketing and revenue making activities.