Saturday, September 13, 2008

12 Marketing Tips...Look inside First

When I returned to my profession of advertising and marketing about 6 years ago, I had a mission in mind.

That mission was to help business owners and managers make smart decisions with their advertising and marketing.

One of my goals when I have my initial meeting with a prospective client is to give them something they can do immediately to improve their marketing, and often it involves improving what they already have in place.

Here's a quick check list of 12 things that you can use as you examine how to improve the marketing of your business:


  1. Is your phone answered by a real person within the first 3 rings? People prefer talking to other people instead of an automated attendant.
  2. Does the person answering your phone speak in such a manner that he/she is clear and understandable? Rushing through the name of your business is a common mistake.
  3. Is the person that answers your phone pleasant and friendly? We had an office person that was assigned phone answering duties for a couple hours each afternoon and you could tell in her voice, that she hated that task. We took care of that promptly.
  4. Voicemail...When you leave a message, do you speak clearly and slow enough that someone can write down your number so they can call you back? Better yet, leave the number at the beginning and end of your message at a pace you would give, if you were face to face with someone.
  1. Does your establishment need a good top to bottom cleaning? Once a month, schedule a thorough cleaning, including dusting, vacuuming, taking inventory off the shelves, wiping everything down, washing windows, making it sparkle. You may even need to repaint each year, especially if smoking is allowed in your establishment.
  2. Speaking of smoking, Do any of your employees smell like smoke? This can be a real turn off and most smokers are unaware of the smell that permeates their clothing.
  3. Are there any unpleasant odors anywhere? When I walk into a restaurant, I expect to smell the aroma of delicious food. Ask someone that has a stronger scene of smell than you to do a walk-thru of your establishment.
  4. Parking lot and entrances: Is there trash or litter that needs picking up? Make it a part of the daily routine to clean this up. Also be sure to provide trash cans so people will have a place to put their trash instead of the ground. And empty them before they are overflowing!
  5. Are your restrooms clean? All the time? I know several places have a check list for hourly restroom inspections, but even those are not being followed all the time.
  1. Do your employees reflect the level of professionalism that your business should demand? I'm talking about clothing, manners, habits, language, etc. Take it up a notch.
Public Relations:
  1. Are you involved in giving back to your community? Not just money but time and service is needed and creates an excellent reputation for you and your company.
  2. Are you and your employees branding your company outside of business hours? Do you have shirts with logos that they are encouraged to wear, for example? (You need to hire employees that are a good reflection of your company even in their off hours).

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