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It feels good to do some spring cleaning. I've been purging my office of old files, deleting old emails, cleaning out closets. Getting rid of old, unused stuff makes the room seem bigger, makes me feel better, and makes the whole building seem a little lighter. When's the last time you did some Spring Cleaning on your marketing? Many of the business owners I talk to market on autopilot. They found a few things that worked for them during the first month or year they were in business, and they've kept on doing those same things ever since. Even when the economy changed drastically. Even if their product offerings, service portfolio or target audience went in a whole new direction. They cling to that familiar marketing like a lucky rabbit's foot, afraid to do something different. Other business owners were fortunate in that when they started up, they didn't need to market themselves. Referrals poured in, word of mouth sent them more business than they could handle, and life was good. Until it wasn't. Eventually, they tapped out all the friends of their friends and family, word of mouth brought inquiries but didn't close sales, and life suddenly wasn't as rosy. Time for some Spring Cleaning. You know you need to Spring Clean your marketing when: •Your target market has changed in the last year •You have added new products or services •You're changing your pricing or altering how your bundle or deliver your services •The economy changes (hint-this means everyone) •There are fundamental shifts in your industry •A major new competitor enters the field, or a big player exits the market •It's been over a year since you really sat down and thought about how you're communicating about your business. Why Spring Clean your marketing? One reason is because we fall into comfortable rut and over time, the rut takes us where we've been, not where we want to go. Another big reason is that the world is constantly changing, and our marketing needs to stay nimble. Finally, and maybe most importantly, our goals change, and if we don't update our marketing, we're selling the company we ran last year, instead of building our dreams for tomorrow. So here are my top five ways to take a mental broom to your marketing, vacuum out the dust, and


give your business the fresh, clean smell of success. Tip #1: See if your goals have changed. Maybe last year, or two years ago, your priority was on getting more consulting clients, but now, your top goal is getting more paid speaking engagements. Are you putting your time and energy into marketing to achieve your new top goal? If that's not where the time and energy are going, it's time to do some cleaning. Tip #2: See if your market has changed. If you're a local business, how have the demographics changed around your store in the last two years? If you're a neighborhood business, do you still know your neighbors well enough to meet their needs? Take the time to update your market research. Tip #3: How is technology impacting your industry? Do you serve a market that welcomes text message coupons? Can you promote for less money by using social media instead of direct mail? Should you have your own iPad application? Have your customers abandoned print newspapers to read online? Find out how your customers are using technology and make sure your marketing reaches them in the way they now consume information. Tip #4: Has your network changed? No matter how much business you've gotten from any club or association, membership changes over the life of an organization. Are you still getting value from your membership or event fees? Are there fresh faces coming to programs, or is it a social hour with the same old crowd. Re-think the time and money you spend on personal networking by reevaluating your memberships, and make sure you know where your target audience is congregating. Tip #5: How is the economy impacting your buyer? Yes, we're rebounding, but there's some debate as to whether consumers will ever return to their spendthrift days. Likewise, the rebound hasn't touched every community equally. Some are booming, while others have a way to go. Cautious consumers need more touches to go from prospect to buyer, and they want more assurance of value. Make sure your marketing messages are in sync with your consumers' mood. It feels good to throw open the windows and toss out old junk. Get the same sunshine-fresh feeling with your marketing by opening the windows of your mind and tossing out the outdated marketing approaches and messages that no longer serve you. It's a new year and a brand new economic recovery. Are you tuned up and ready to go?

Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and helps companies and solo professionals in the U.S. and Canada save money and get results through exceptional writing and marketing. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 20 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. Gail hosts the Shared Dreams Marketing Podcast and the Shared Dreams Become Reality group on Facebook. She's the author of The Thrifty Author's Guide to Launching Your Book and 30 Days to Social Media Success. Find her online at http://www.GailMartinMarketing.com and on Twitter at GailMartinPR. Gail is also the author of the Solopreneur Survival Guide home study course and suite of products for start-up and small businesses, coaches, consultants and speaker/authors.


http://www.SolopreneurSurvivalGuide.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gail_Martin

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