40 Questions for a Smarter Marketing Strategy

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40 Questions for a Smarter Marketing Strategy

Are you getting a good return on your investment in marketing? Could it be better?

One way to find out is to conduct a top-to-bottom review of your entire marketing plan to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Question-BoxesThis process is sometimes called a marketing audit. I’m often asked to guide audits as an independent marketing consultant and I recently shared advice on how to do an audit effectively.

What specific factors should you assess in a marketing audit?

Here are 40 questions I recommend for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing and developing a smarter marketing strategy.


1. Does your brand clearly communicate what you are about and convey the highest value you deliver?

2. Does your brand effectively differentiate you from every other supplier in your marketplace?

3. Is your brand promise well understood and consistently executed at all levels of your organization?

4. Is your brand identity being properly used in all media?


5. Do you know your most profitable customers and are you targeting prospects that look just like your best customers?

6. Do you understand the factors buyers consider when selecting your product or service and are you focusing your marketing campaigns on those factors?

7. Have your customers changed the way they find, buy, or use your product or service and have you adjusted your marketing plan accordingly?

8. Are you actively upselling and cross-selling products and services to your current customers?


9. Do you have three to five key marketing messages that you’re consistently delivering in all media?

10. Do your marketing messages resonate with your target audience? Are you talking about the things your customers and prospects care about?

11.  Do these messages match the experience customers have when they interact with your staff?

12.  Are you tailoring messages to specific market segments when you have the opportunity to do so?

Marketing Channels

13.  Are traditional marketing channels – such as advertising, direct marketing, and public relations – still delivering enough value to warrant the investment they require?

14.  Is it time to shift some – or more – of your marketing to new channels such as social media and mobile marketing?

15.  Are you maximizing the value of the proprietary channels you control, such as newsletters, invoices, product packaging and inserts, vehicles, and buildings?

Marketing Tactics

16.  Do you know which marketing tactics are generating the best results – leads, conversions, or sales – at the lowest cost?

17.  Can you cut the cost of any of your tactics by changing formats?

18.  Are you integrating social media into traditional marketing tactics like direct mail and advertising?

19.  Can you create a mobile app to promote your product or connect with your audience?

Creative Approaches

20.  Is your creative attention-getting? Does it stand out in a crowded marketplace?

21.  Does your creative engage the prospect immediately in your sales message and enhance the delivery of the message?

22.  Is the call to action loud and clear? Does the prospect know exactly what to do next after reviewing your marketing materials?

23.  What will people remember most after seeing your marketing: your clever creative approach or your product?


24.  Is your offer resonating with prospects? Are more and more people saying yes?

25.  Does your offer showcase your product?

26.  Does your offer deliver real value to the prospect?

27.  Are you tailoring offers to specific market segments or types of buyers?

Collateral and Sales Tools

28.  Are your sales brochures, displays, and sales demonstration tools accurate, complete, and up to date?

29.  Are your sales tools integrated with your brand and your marketing campaigns?

30.  Do you need new tools to educate prospects about your industry or product?


31.  Are you capturing customer and prospect data to build a robust marketing database?

32.  Are you compiling email addresses for an ongoing sales dialogue?

33.  Are you tracking and recording response and transactional data to create full profiles of your customers and their behavior so you can target future promotions?

34.  Is your customer and prospect addressing data accurate and complete and ready for the new USPS standards for mail deliverability?


35.  Is your website built around the needs and interests of your visitors?

36.  Is your site easy to navigate, with most information available in three clicks or less?

37.  Are you delivering high-value content that establishes your credibility?

38.  Are you inviting visitors to engage with you via blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, and social media?

39.  Is your site fully optimized for search engines?

40.  Are you regularly adding new content and inbound links to increase your SEO rankings?

After You’ve Answered the Questions

Once you’ve completed your marketing audit, you should have a better understanding of how your marketing is working and what you need to do to achieve your objectives. Use this knowledge to craft a smart marketing strategy that delivers a higher return on your investment.

Here’s more advice on how to conduct an effective marketing audit.

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