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How does someone who owns his or her own business become a more effective marketer? There are some important things to look at this summer that can help a business develop more pro “active” marketing implementation and become less focused on “after the fact” indicators. While it’s a good idea to know the response indicators of poor performance, relying on them for business decisions is not priming the business for success. Using leading indicators and creating success with known expectations is a more powerful position for any business marketing plan. It’ll help you now, and during the oncoming lull that summer can lead you to believe it is…but if you are active, isn’t.

Pay attention to your brand and understand how others look at it. Impossible, you say. How does a business owner get out of their own perspective enough to understand how others might see things? Surveys, customer feedback, email and social media are powerful tools in soliciting feedback from consumers. But the importance of getting feedback from prospects or current clients shouldn’t trump service for them. Instead it should come along side in an unforced sort of dialogue. Don’t make everything about feedback—but do allow feedback to happen. And, whether good or bad, try to look at the nature of the response.

Formulate a well-planned campaign. The best way to gain footing on what customers think is to have a planned out campaign that is well-conceived and constructed, reliable in implementation and the results can be understood in a measurable way. That way the results aren’t alarming but helpful in continuing to build and guide the business developments you desire.

Create an active marketing campaign, not a responsive one. Determine what the cost and result expectations are for whatever channels you are looking at and deliver a metric-based communication. Integrate everything to further empower your marketing spend.

Know that results are different than knowledge. You can get numbers back from almost anything these days. How many people entered a contest? How many “likes” did you get? How many people visited your website?

Know what the numbers mean in context. The key to better marketing isn’t knowing the numbers, it’s understanding what they mean in context of what your long term objective goals are for the growth of the company. While it’s nice to see numbers higher than the previous day, those numbers can be manipulated or misunderstood. Many businesses look for the number one slot in online ads like Google and Bing because “it’s good to be king.” But the number one slot costs more than it’s worth, especially when lower slots on the same page are viewed as more trustworthy and clicked more for the budget provided by the business.

Creating an effective marketing plan with reliable, effective results, make for strong market position and a more powerful business.

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