||Marketing a small business takes
time, attention, and resources -- the triple threat owners are
always up against.
10-question quiz to learn how many of marketing's right answers you
can identify. Find out how you rate and focus on the area where you
need support. (See answers at the bottom.)
1. The most cost-effective way to
boost sales is to:
A. Sell more products and services to
current customers B. Develop a strategy that will broaden your
customer base C. Launch an extension of your current
best-selling product D. Invest in search engine marketing
E. Closely track marketing ROI and fine-tune as you go
2. When consumers feel tight
fisted and are searching for bargains, you're smart to:
A. Lower prices as much as possible B. Focus marketing
efforts on one or tow core products C. Add services to give
customers a reason to buy D. Drive customers to online
transactions in order to lower costs and prices E. Adjust
branding and messaging to fit the times
3. The key to ROI in a direct
marketing campaign is:
A. Us dimensional packages to
stand out, like a tube or a 3D carton B. Invest in a scrubbed,
up-to-date database C. Offer a discount or benefit D.
Test your package before sending E. Personalize the mailer and
address the customer by name
4. "The customer is always right,"
goes the saying. So even when a difficult customer threatens to walk, you
A. Immediately apologize
B. Check the customer's sales history before making a decision
C. Talk to customer service or sales to learn what happened D.
Offer the customer a discount or perk to smooth over the situation
E. Send a note or e-mail thanking him or her for being a valued customer
5. When pricing your products for
market, make sure you:
A. Research the top price your
target customer would pay B. Figure out branding and then set
price based on product image C. Find out what your competition
charges and price just below that D. Find out what your
competition charges and then price just above that. E. Analyze
your break-even price
6. Yes, technology levels the
playing field for smaller companies. But certain tasks shouldn't depend on
machines and software. Choose the area that should not rely on electronic
A. Marketing plans B. Managerial evaluations C.
Event plans D. Financial plans. E. None of the
7. The first step in successful
cold calling is to:
A. Write a script B. Define your markets C.
Send an e-mail before calling D. Practice with a colleague or
friend. E. Analyze the ROI on prospects
8. All of these tactics help boost
open rates for e-mail newsletters, except:
A. Special offers B.
Links to more information C. Unsubscribe policies and links
D. Cute or catchy subject lines E. Calls to action
9. The smartest approach to search
engine marketing is:
A. Optimize the pages of your Web site B. Find the right
keyword and stick to it C. Change keywords every few days
D. Focus on the biggest search engine E. Allocate time
each week to monitor rankings.
10. The better the sales lead, the
better your chances of nailing a deal. What's an effective way to find
qualified sales leads?
"A. Become an authority in your field B. Find a complimentary
partner C. Buy a list of leads D. Get on the lecture or seminar
circuit E. All of the above
Question 1. Correct answer: A
The more you sell to existing customers, the
lower your costs and the better your profits. The 80/20 rule dictates that
80% of sales typically come from 20% of your customers. Plus, the lifelong
value of keeping customers loyal will always trump the cost of acquiring new
Question 2. Correct Answer: C
The more value you add, the more customers feel they're getting their
money's worth. The promise of a wholly-satisfying experience is the magic
that makes a cautious customer take out his or her wallet.
Question 3. Correct answer: D
By test-mailing a few package variations
to, say every tenth name out of a 100 on a list, you gain invaluable and
cost-effective feedback on what works and what doesn't. All the other points
will also help boost the return on direct marketing but testing is the key
Question 4. Correct answer: B:
Some customers aren't worth the
handholding. If a demanding customer takes up a lot of staff time and
resources without buying much, the effort may be eating revenue you could
earn from other customers. Before reeling in a difficult customer, check
whether it's worthwhile.
Question 5. Correct answer: E
You cannot make money if you don't know
how much you must spend on operating costs and marketing. You need a
thorough grasp of the balance sheet to se price, though the other points
should also inform your pricing decisions.
Question 6. Correct answer: E
Every one of these business areas has specialized software and collaborative
programs that make it easier and faster to get the job done. Just make sure
you use the electronic planning and analysis to inform face-to-face meetings
rather than depend on machines alone.
Question 7. Correct answer: B
While every cold calling campaign requires a honed, sharp script and
rehearsals, you'll still be wasting your time if prospects don't need or
want what you're selling.
Question 8. Correct answer: D
The overriding lesson of effective
e-mail offers and newsletter is to keep it simple and useful. Cute is out.
Question 9. Correct answer: A
The route to high rankings in free or organic search marketing is to
first invest time in optimizing your Web site pages. Automated software
makes this process a lot easier.
Question 10. Correct answer: E
"A. You need to do a number of things to generate sales leads. One
approach won't be enough to fill the pipeline and keep prospects flowing.
You have the basics down and the business is taking advantage of some smart
marketing moves. Now it's time to ratchet up your next-stage planning.