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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

10 signs your marketing needs a makeover

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When business is good and sales are going well, it’s easy to get complacent about your marketing plan. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Wrong! Marketing complacency can be a costly mistake. Markets, competitors and channels change quickly. If you’re not keeping pace, you can easily fall behind. And sooner or later, it will show in your bottom line.

Here are 10 signs it’s time to spruce up your marketing strategy:

  1. Looking dowdy at the tradeshow. Tradeshows are like marketing face-offs with your competitors. Even if your booths are far apart, the side-by-side comparison can be unflattering if your technology is outdated or lacks interactive demonstrations. See which exhibits draw the most traffic and bring yours up to snuff.
  2. Leads that aren’t converting. Are conversions down? You may be targeting unqualified prospects. Or your sales team may need more marketing support, such as better sales tools and greater communication with prospects during the conversion process.
  3. A color palette from a previous decade. If your marketing colors are more than five years old, rethink them. Color trends change frequently. Pantone’s website and can help you keep current with your colors.
  4. Hanging on to your original logo. A brand identity created decades ago is a common marketing blind spot. While you’re sticking to your guns, your competitors may be capturing market share with a more contemporary approach. A design team can help you revamp your brand identity without losing your heritage.
  5. An antique website. A website that’s more than three years old probably lacks the speed, functionality and content today’s Internet users expect. You can create a new site with WordPress, a popular and easy-to-use platform.
  6. Pasting stickers on brochures. At some point, the positives of using up your brochure stockpile are outweighed by the negatives of presenting patched-together materials. If you’re using stickers to correct old information on your sales collateral, you’re due for something new.
  7. Outdated photography. Changes in products, facilities, equipment and even hairstyles can quickly date your marketing photos. Hire a professional photographer to keep your image library up to date.
  8. Bullet-ridden PowerPoints. The days of the PowerPoint presentation loaded with endless slides of bulleted copy are long past. PowerPoint now allows you to share information in a much more engaging way, while newer presentation tools such as Prezi are even more interesting. Delight your audience by bringing your presentations into the 21st century.
  9. Plain Jane proposals. The sales proposal packet is your last — and perhaps best — chance to set your company apart from the competition. Make your materials stand out with professional design and well-written content customized for each prospect.
  10. Staying on the social-media sidelines. By now, your company is probably on social media. But if you’re not actively posting and engaging with others, you’ll come across as a wallflower. Devote time and resources to getting off the sidelines and into the conversation.

You probably wouldn’t feel comfortable today walking around in a ‘70s leisure suit. And the same can be said of your marketing strategy. Make sure it’s up to date, so you can look your best.

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Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at


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