Rules of the Road for Your Marketing Plan

When starting a marketing or PR plan for your small business, first consider these five fundamental rules of the road:

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew—particularly if you can’t afford to hire an internal marketing resource, consultant, or agency.

2. Don’t invest your time, or a dime—if you cannot commit the time to advise and collaborate with your marketing person or team to make it work.

3. Don’t expect miracles overnight—because marketing and PR cannot deliver instant gratification or new customers. But, thanks to the immediacy of the social Web, you should see results in several weeks, not months.

4. Don’t believe the myth that marketing cannot be measured—as there are many inexpensive or free tools out there. They can help you measure Web traffic, the reach and impact of your marketing and PR efforts, as well as what your customers, partners, and prospects are thinking and saying about you, your company, your brand, and your products and services.

5. Don’t bet the farm on one approach—as the market is constantly changing. Consider both inbound and outbound marketing as well as traditional media, social media, and marketing tools.

Tim Hurley Partner/Managing Director BluePoint Venture Marketing Lexington, Mass.

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