Are you monitoring your marketing efforts on a quarterly basis? If not, you should be, particularly in this economy. Why? You need to know what's working and what's not, so you can figure out what shifts need to be made.
For example, where are your advertising dollars going? Are you doing it regularly? If not, you may be wasting your money. If you are advertising consistently, are you choosing the best media (online, radio, TV, print, other) for your business?
Also, consider your current and new customers. Are you getting the kinds of customers you want - your dream customer, for example? If not, what do you need to do differently? It could involve creating a new brand, adding new products or services, or simply advertising in places where you will get "face time" with your prospects.
What tools are you using to market your products? Are you taking advantage of social media tools like blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Biznik, Plaxo, Digg and other sites? Could your business benefit from one or more of these tools?
No matter what you're doing, you want to be sure to review it quarterly and to try to measure it if possible.
If you aren't sure where to begin, talk to fellow business owners, ask a marketing consultant or discuss your options with your local small business development center, branch of SBA or SCORE. Marketing doesn't have to be expensive, time-consuming or overwhelming. It is a question of considering your options and what works for you and your customers. Then track it, evaluate it, and change it as needed.
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