Five Questions Local Business Owners Should Ask About Marketing

Local businesses are challenged in many ways, and reaching new consumers often tops the list. Without a strategic understanding of audiences and objectives, marketing effectiveness suffers. 

"Marketers can miss out on valuable opportunities because they don't understand the full picture," said marketing expert Sandra Cohen, when talking to

"Strategy feeds tactics. Asking smart questions will yield a positive return and have a multiplying effect on results."

Here we share five questions designed to help those responsible for marketing local enterprises to consumers: 

Who Is Actually Our Ideal Customer?
Most companies believe they know their target customer, but data often suggests otherwise. Leave your gut feel behind and let the facts teach you who is engaging with the business, what motivates them, and what is the cost of conversion. Opportunities for greater impact will reveal themselves - from digital marketing to out-of-home advertising. 

What Are We Doing to Build Trust? 
Any disconnect in consumer marketing strategy, messaging or execution could lead a business to be passed over for the competition. Marketers must consider how each interaction builds trust with prospects.

What is Our Primary Competitive Advantage? 
Understanding how you are superior is the quickest way to course-correct your marketing strategy, especially when the competition heats up. What separated you from the pack five years ago may be different now. Always build on your strengths.

How Are We Measuring Our Marketing Investment? 
Marketers often use an abundance of data points to express the quality of their efforts, but few can provide details on the business impact. When performance is accurately tracked it becomes easier to make better decisions.

What is the Weakest Part of Our Marketing Program? 
The goal of marketing is not to market - it's to grow awareness and feed sales. Don't choose tactics based on peer pressure. Your company is unique. Be willing to cut what isn't working to make room for new opportunities.