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Decluttering Your Marketing

By Gail Z. Martin

You hear all about organizing your office and your closets, but when’s the last time you decluttered your marketing?

Over time, many businesses hang on to marketing strategies that they’ve outgrown, or stick with advertising contracts long past they outlive their usefulness.  Like the clothes in the back of your closet that don’t fit and are out of style, marketing clutter ties up space that could be working harder for you.  Not only that, but outdated marketing probably isn’t representing your business at its best, and might be giving an outdated impression of your services.

How do you begin by declutter your marketing?

Start off with a check-up on your top business goals.  Make sure that they’re in line with your current vision for the future.  Now think about who the best audience is to help you reach those goals.  Which of your marketing actions are helping you reach that audience with an up-to-date message?  Those are the actions to keep.  If you have other marketing that is no longer serving your goals, save time and money by canceling those actions and reassigning the effort and budget to more productive activities.

Now think about any marketing actions that may cost more than they’re worth.  Look hard at special events, which can be a huge waste of staff time.  For example, do you know how many hours it really takes to put on your annual golf tournament?  How much are those staff hours worth in dollars?  Does you break even in the amount of new business gained from the tournament?  If not, it might be smart to retire the event and look for a new outreach.  The same is true from tradeshows that you’ve been attending year after year.  Do a cost/benefit analysis to see if the event is earning its keep.

Get rid of brochures with outdated addresses, business cards without email addresses or with incorrect phone numbers, and product information that is not longer current.  Pitch out-of-date photos, video cassettes, audio cassettes and old trade show booth materials that don’t represent the modern version of your business.  Purge your files of multiple copies of magazines and ditch old clipping files except for a few big national placements.  Free up space on your hard disk by purging old client files, especially audio, video and photo files that slow down your system.

Start off the Fall with a clean slate by decluttering your marketing, and watch your results soar!

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