As a mid-size to small business owner, do you scan the local newspaper for business to business networking opportunities? Do you regularly attend chambers of commerce events? Do you belong to a civic organization that meets weekly? Are you a member of a business to business referral group?

marketing-planAll of these actions are considered marketing and necessary to build any business from the single office/home office to the Fortune 1000 businesses. However, the question to be asked is what results are being delivered from these actions within your marketing plan?

Many business owners cannot quickly share what each marketing action delivers or what a combination of marketing actions delivers specific to new customers and revenue. This lack of knowledge prevents them from immediately knowing their average client value and their average cost to acquire a new client.

For example, if a mid-size to small business owner or sales professional actively belongs and attends a monthly chamber event, a business to business networking referral group and civic organization, she or he may be making an annual investment in excess of $30,000. This expenditure includes membership costs, travel costs, promotional items, food costs and well as time costs. Unfortunately, the invested time is ignored by most, which is deadly mistake.

At the end each year, the business owners look at the bottom line and see black ink instead of red ink. With a sign of relief (the first hint of spray and pray), happiness prevails even though the workweek exceeded 40 hours more often than not.

When marketing actions within the marketing plan are directly tied to sales results, mid size to small business owners no longer need to live by spray and pray. (Spray marketing actions and pray that they stick by delivering a paying customer.) These savvy individuals direct their marketing actions to those activities that deliver the most value for the investments of time, energy and money.

TAKE ACTION by working ON your strategic business plan to determine your average client value and then determine what actions must be in place within your marketing plan to deliver your desired results.  Increase the effective actions and decrease those that do not deliver a positive return on your investment.

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