How To Avoid Wasting Money on Marketing

If you own your own business, you're probably innundated with advertising and marketing opportunities and salespeople.
You probably get asked to sponsor events and donate to organizations. Maybe you've even been hit up by the premium
company trying to get you to buy pens with your company name on them.

So how do you know what to spend your marketing dollars on, and what to pass on?

How do you avoid wasting your money on marketing that isn't going to result in more clients and more sales? How can you
ensure you'll get the "biggest bang for the buck?"

The answer is to go back to your marketing plan and look at your goals and objectives. You'll also want to look at who
you identified as your ideal prospects or target clients.

Then you simply evaluate these potential marketing activities based on their ability to help you achieve your
objectives, and their ability to put you or your company in front of your ideal prospects.

While sponsorships and donations are in part a goodwill activity and can be very worthwhile for that reason alone, if
you are evaluating them from a marketing perspective (and I recommend you do, especially if you get asked to sponsor or
donate frequently) you need to make sure they will give you exposure to your ideal prospects and contribute toward
reaching your objectives.

The value of the exposure you receive should be worth the investment you are making. Consider what it would cost to
reach those prospects in another manner to help determine the value of the exposure.

As far as purchasing pens with your company name, the same tests apply. Ask yourself how you will use the pens. Will
they provide exposure to your ideal prospects or clients?

Will they reach your prospects in a manner no other marketing activity can? For example, if you are looking for repeat
business from your clients, if they have a pen with your name on it that they see and use everyday perhaps they will be
reminded to frequent your business.

If you are planning to do a direct mail follow up to clients who haven't done business with you in awhile, a pen might
be a nice premium to include in the mailing, and it will continue to serve as a reminder long after the direct mail
piece is read and thrown away.

But do NOT order the pens if you don't have a plan for using them and an objective for what you hope to achieve. Just
having pens with your company name without these two items defined is definitely a waste of your money.

Whenever you are questioning whether you should take advantage of a particular marketing opportunity, ask yourself
these three questions:

1. Will it provide exposure to my ideal prospects or target clients?

2. Will it help me achieve my marketing objectives?

3. Is this exposure worth the dollars I am investing?

If you can answer "YES" to all three questions, and you have marketing budget available, then you'll want to seriously
consider the opportunity.

If your answer is "no" to the first two questions, and the opportunity doesn't put you in front of your ideal prospects
or help reach your objectives, you'll want to "just say NO!" to that particular marketing opportunity.

If the answer is "yes" to the first two questions, but "no" to question number three and the opportunity is well-suited
to your marketing plan but the value just isn't there, you may want to go back and negotiate more exposure or a lower

And, last but certainly not least, if you don't have a marketing plan to help you evaluate these kinds of opportunities
when they come your way, my advice is simple: You NEED to get one.

If you haven't identified who your ideal prospects are and what you want to achieve with your business you will most
certainly waste valuable time and money on marketing opportunities that are not a good fit for your business. In fact
you'll be in danger of doing this everyday.

If you need help creating a marketing plan, The 10stepmarketing System is a great way to do it. When you create your
own marketing plan using the simple, step-by-step 10stepmarketing System you are setting your business up for success
and you can be sure you are not wasting valuable dollars on marketing that won't deliver you the results you deserve.