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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Website: pulsemarketingagency.com

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Marketing spring cleaning

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According to research conducted by Forrester Research, B2B firms have seen an average increase of 6.8 percent in their allocated marketing funds this year as compared to 2011. This budget expansion is a reassuring sign that the economy is picking up and B2B organizations are beginning to see substantial growth in revenue giving their marketing efforts an invigorating boost of capital.

After a few years of marketing budget drought, the new challenge for B2B marketers is figuring out the best ways to invest their funds. Although an increase of 6 percent or more may sound amazing, some of these budgets had been slashed to the bone and even with the increase, funds haven't yet returned to the point they were at five or six years ago.

As an agency, we suggest that our clients begin by taking a close look at their marketing activities. Nothing works better than developing a fresh marketing plan to assess where your business stands versus where you want it to be, and how you'll get there. This exercise is invaluable. Having a realistic view of where your business is positioned in the market in relation to your competition is the best reality check.

The truth is, there is no silver bullet in marketing. The secret sauce is not secret at all. Successful marketing can only be achieved through the application of knowledge. It is important to identify your business' sustainable competitive advantages in the market, and how you can best exploit them. Here are a few key questions to get you thinking:

  • What should my sales goal be?
  • How effective has my current marketing approach been in helping my business grow?
  • Can my marketing be done in-house? Does my organization have the right tools to produce quality marketing materials?
  • Should I hire a marketing department or outsource my marketing? (A cost analysis will help you figure out which is more effective for your business).
  • How effective is my customer service? Are my customers in love with my brand, or merely satisfied?
  • How loyal are my customers? What can I do to increase loyalty?
  • Where does my brand stand in the market? 

Take the time to scrutinize your organization with critical eyes. One of the biggest mistakes business owners and managers can make is to fall too much in love with their brands to the point of becoming blind to their own shortcomings. Having a realistic assessment of all areas of your business will help you develop a more effective marketing plan.

Before you start committing your funds to any marketing activity, do some housekeeping first to find out the most strategic ways to spend your money. Marketing is a process, not a one-time shot. The more comprehensive your marketing program is, the greater the success rate will be.

A well-developed marketing plan that is in line with your budget will give your organization a strong road map to success. 

Cntia Miranda is the president of Pulse Marketing Agency. Learn more about her work at www.pulsemarketingagency.com.

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