Maximize your marketing efforts, dollars
An important part of your plan should be professional and association memberships. Participate in special events or join a committee. Personal contact, even in this high-tech age, is still one of the best ways to market your business.
Your marketing plan should also include reviewing your promotional materials, from business cards, letterhead and envelopes to ads and anything with your logo.
Remember, your brand is the cornerstone of all your marketing. Work with a graphic designer to develop a strong logo. Then be sure to include it on all your promotional pieces, including advertisements, Web pages and direct mail.
A frequently overlooked part of a marketing plan is charitable and community giving. Consider adopting a charity or offering pro bono services. You may want to donate merchandise, contribute to fundraising auctions or sponsor an event for a local non-profit. Most charities make a point to thank sponsors publicly in newsletters, programs and ads.
Staying in touch with current customers should be a central component of a well-diversified marketing plan. This includes letters, tip sheets, postcards, newsletters, thank you notes, holiday cards or other soft-sell mailers.
Make sure you include an online component to your marketing campaign. Register your company domain name. Today's marketplace demands businesses have at least an e-mail address and one-page Web site.
Don't forget the importance of public relations. Identify your company's newsworthy topics and write a press release for the most interesting and timely item.
Remember, marketing is an ongoing effort. Your plan should be revised at least annually.
Vicki M James is a business development specialist with Thaney & Associates CPAs and can be reached at email@example.com.
This column is written by members of the Rochester Women's Network (www.rwn.org).