How to Get Control over Your Marketing Program

By Alexander Hiam

Little details can and do make all the difference in closing a sale! Does your marketing program display inconsistencies and miss opportunities to get the message across fully and well? If so, you can increase your program’s effectiveness by eliminating these pockets of inconsistency to prevent out-of-control marketing.

Consider the numerous eBay sellers who fail to take and post high-quality photographs of the products they’re trying to sell and then wonder why they get few bidders and have to sell for low prices. These sellers can easily upgrade their photography, but they fail to recognize the problem, so they allow this critical part of their marketing mix to remain poorly managed.

Given the reality that some of your influence points may be partially or fully uncontrolled right now, draw up a list of inconsistent and/or uncontrolled elements of your marketing program.

If you can make even one of your marketing elements work better and more consistently with your overall program and its focus, you’re improving the effectiveness of your marketing. Answer the questions in this table to pinpoint elements of your marketing mix that you need to pay more attention to.

Getting a Grip on Your Marketing Program
Customer Focus
Define your customers clearly: Who are they? Where and when do
they want to buy?
Are they new customers, existing customers, or a balanced mix
of both?
Understand what emotional elements make customers buy: What
personality should your brand have? How should customers feel about
your product?
Understand what functional elements make customers buy: What
features do they want and need? What information do they need to
see to make their decision?
Product Attraction
What attracts customers to your product?
What’s your special brilliance that sets you apart in the
marketplace?
Do you reflect your brilliance throughout all your marketing
efforts?
Most Effective Methods
What’s the most effective thing you can do to attract
customers?
What’s the most effective thing you can do to retain
customers?
Which of the Five Ps (product, price, placement,
promotion, and people) is most important in attracting and
retaining customers?
Controlling Points of Contact
What are all the ways you can reach and influence
customers?
Are you using the best of these right now?
Do you need to increase the focus and consistency of some of
these points of contact with customers?
What can you do to improve your control over all the elements
that influence customer opinion of your product?
Action Items
Draw up a list of things you can do based on this analysis to
maximize the effectiveness of your marketing program.