1.) Know what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t just embark on marketing efforts because you think you should! Set an objective for your marketing efforts. Are you trying to reach a new audience? Do you just want to sell more? Do you want to re-position yourself so you can charge more?
2.) Know who you’re marketing to. You can’t market to everyone! So, who will most likely be your customer? Define these people as specifically as you can. Where are they, what is their lifestyle, how will they learn about your product or service?
3.) Know what you’re going to tell them. There are lots of great things about your business, but don’t try to tell everything all at once. What are the three most important things your audience, as defined above, needs to know? What makes your business different or unique?
4.) Know your strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t have a large marketing budget, then advertising may not be the right type of marketing for you. On the other hand, if you have a huge database of contacts and past customers, a series of small events might help you spread the word. Determine what marketing tools you have in your stable and start with those.
5.) Know how to measure your efforts. You should know whether your strategies are working. Make sure you’re monitoring results on an ongoing basis -- whether via web traffic, promotional codes, or simple surveys, there is always a way to determine if a strategy is working. This way, if a strategy isn’t working, you can change course before investing more resources. And if a strategy is working, you can invest more and see even greater results.