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Quiz: Are you marketing savvy?

Marketing a small business takes time, attention, and resources -- the triple threat owners are always up against.

Take our 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 should:
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 efficiencies:
A. Marketing plans  B. Managerial evaluations  C. Event plans  D. Financial plans.  E. None of the above

7. The first step in successful cold calling is to:
. 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:
. 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 ones.

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.

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  Future Systems And Software
 6-295 Queen Street East
 Suite # 404
 Brampton, Ontario  Canada
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