If your marketing strategy did not work for you last year, now is as good as any a time to consider a new one for 2016. It is not hard to decide if your marketing works for or against you: are you as profitable as you want to be?

So, change your marketing. There are many ways to accomplish this; some expensive ones, and some not so. You may want to hire a marketing firm to do the work for you, or just buy a few books on marketing and see if you have the basics covered. It all depends on the size of your operation, how desperate the situation is, and, of course, your budget.

But, marketing is not just sales — for me is the whole process of making your product an integral part of the market. So, it deserves its own budget in terms of money, labor and time. And, above all, it requires someone dedicated enough to do the job right. The easiest mistake is to let the sales team be responsible for marketing; the worst being to give this job to technical people. Finding the right person is as critical as finding the right marketing strategy.

In my consulting, mostly with those dealing with feed additives, I have identified three crucial areas where marketing can always be improved:

  1. Make your message as clear as possible; don’t confuse the clients, in other words. Follow the simple, but effective, principle of "one message" to deliver the most important aspect of your product. The rest will follow.
  2. Make your message as exact as possible; don’t forget the facts, as many do. Here, it pays to have hard data to back up your claims, but going back to the first point, don’t overdo it.
  3. Make your message as short as possible; don’t bore the clients — blame the Internet for this. Life is short and products too many, so you need to work with a limited time window of attention. And, don’t forget, after you, everybody else cares less for your products.

I realize some of the above appear harsh, but if you do this aggressive vetting of your marketing product internally — and succeed in reshaping your message along these lines — then your potential clients will receive a smooth message that is easy to understand and make their own. Then, start selling!