The key to success in today’s saturated marketplace, where guests have so many choices, is effective marketing. Review the inventory checklist below. Do you have or need the basic marketing elements to be successful today? Take inventory of the marketing basics below and use the “needs” as the beginning of a new marketing plan based on the basics.

Marketing Inventory Checklist

Basic tools and methods:

Have / Need

___/___ New logo within the last 3-5 years

___/___ Current business ID business card, letterhead, envelope, label, etc.

___/___ Updated competitor analysis pricing, products and promotions of competitors

___/___ Update business cards as necessary at least every year—add Twitter and Facebook

___/___ Website is 2.0 compliant up-to-date web presence

___/___ Online listings and search rankings tracked and updated

___/___ Appropriate social media participation selected and active

___/___ Soliciting and utilizing regular customer/client feedback

___/___ Regularly scheduled contact with top customers and solicit feedback

___/___ Calculated potential return on each marketing project before you invest

___/__ Marketing plans and promotions are scheduled six to twelve months in advance

___/___ Action plan with timeline for next six months

___/___ Appropriate metrics to monitor plan success

For Added Impact:

Have / Need

___/__ Updated press kit and regular news releases out with photos

___/__ YouTube videos posted relevant keywords

___/__ Photo gallery on web or in print of all products and interior/exterior photos

___/__ Company clothing and promotional items giveaways and uniforms

___/__ e-newsletter and e-blast to existing customers and continue to add

Update your marketing plan

If you have an informal or unwritten marketing plan, take the time to make it official. If you have a marketing plan, update it regularly. Be sure to fund your ideas. Calculate your potential return with each marketing project—before you invest. Without clear substantiation or proper budget, your plan may not generate the rate of return necessary to meet your business needs.

If your existing marketing efforts aren’t working, stop now and assess the situation more thoroughly or bring in qualified assistance. You can’t afford ideas that don’t work in hopes that someday they might. The number one way to maximize marketing impact and stretch marketing dollars is to consistently take inventory of your marketing and keep your basic needs in mind.