The Marketing Checklist – 23 Questions

by Evotive


marketing-checklist   Marketing is one of those things that, when done right, it looks so easy from the outside. Yet when someone’s trying to market their business it can feel incredibly frustrating. The principles seem simple:

  • Create a product that a particular group of people want
  • Place it where people will see it
  • Price it at a level which matches the value they feel they’ll get out of it

It’s about putting the right product in the right place at the right time with the right price. Now depending on your business, and what you sell, you may need to create scarcity to motivate or encourage people to buy. Maybe your business is built around repeat customers, so you’ll need some sort of customer loyalty program to help incentivize them to keep coming back and stay on top of their minds.

So if it’s this simple, why do people hire marketers, and why are so many business making a mess out of their marketing, and why are so businesses struggling to figure out how to market themselves?

Reminds me of learning to turn in ballet, just keep your body stacked on top itself, don’t give way in the ankle, hip or knee, keep squared off and there you go, multiple pirouettes! Well, that’s until you try it and discover it’s not working. The idea is simple, but to get the results you desire you’ve got to analyze what you’re doing and figure out what pieces are working and what pieces aren’t. Then you need to try different adjustments until it works. Below is a checklist that will help you analyze your marketing mix. Go over the checklist not just once, but try looking at it a few times a year. Find areas where you can make  adjustments in your own marketing efforts, and that’s how you’ll get the most out of this.

The Marketing Checklist - 23 Questions :

1. Have you identified your target market, your ideal customer?

2. Are you ready for that ideal customer? Or should you revise it to be a little more realistic for now, with a clear idea of what you want it to be in the future?

3. Does your business have a clear presence where your ideal customer hangs out? Do they know you exist? Does your business’s personality and essence match what they need and want?

4. Do you survey (or ask) your current customers what they like about your business, what they don’t like, why they choose your business over the competition? Do they feel appreciated as a customer/client? Any suggestions on how you can better serve them? Any other suggestions on how your business can improve?

5. When a new customer arrives, do you ask how they found out about you, what made them choose your business?

6. When a customer leaves, do you send a friendly survey to find out why they left? And let them know you appreciate their candid response, as it will provide helpful feedback.

7. Do you incentivize your customers to buy? Do you offer VIP discounts, specials, freebies? Customer Loyalty programs, or benefits?

8. Do you ask for referrals? Do you get referrals? If you ask and don’t receive any, why is that? Does your product or service lack? Is your pricing off? 

9. Do you have a presence in your local community, such as being active with the local Chamber of Commerce, or business mixers, etc…? Does your local community, and potential local customers, know you exist?

10. Do you have business cards up on local community boards?

11. Do you advertise locally in church bulletins, local newspapers, direct mail, or other forms of local advertising? Have you tried advertising recently?

12. Do you have an easy to find online presence, so you’re easily found by those who are looking for what your business offers?Do you have a solid online presence so your product/ service is seen by a globally?

13.  Is it clear what your business does? Does your website, marketing materials, and online profiles have a clear message about what your product or service is, and how it benefits the prospective customer? Or is your message confusing? Do people see your website and not know what you do? Do they see your business card, or brochure and have no idea what your business offers?     (*hint, ask for opinions from a variety of people.)

14. Do you have a clearly defined brand? Is your branding consistent? Is it clear and easily identified? Do you have a logo; do you have colors that represent your brand? Does your business have a tagline? Does your website and your business give off a specific essence or feel? 

15. Do you advertise online? Google adwords, Facebook ads, etc…? Have you tried it recently?

16.  Do you participate in conversations online? Do you connect with other businesses that could be good partnership, such as a complimentary business but not direct competition?

17. Have you checked your online reputation? Have you searched your business name in quotes “business name” and looked through the search results? Are there review sites or directories that your business is listed in? Are you well listed? Do you have any bad reviews? If you have bad reviews, respond with an apology. If you have good reviews, respond with a thank you. Humanize your business.

18. How are you promoting your business? Are you over promoting and turning people off? Are you under promoting and no one knows you’re there? Are you only promoting over and over to the same audience? Do you need to widen your reach?

19. Do you do anything for PR? Are there any articles written about you and your business? Can you find avenues for additional publicity?

20. Can you find local speaking engagements, where you can both educate an audience as well as promote your business?

21. Do you have any brand ambassadors? This can be fans, friends, customers, clients, or family members who love your product or service and like to talk to others about your business, your product, your service? You might have one or two and not realize it. If someone loves your business and talks to others about it, offer them a Thank You gift for any business that comes in from their referral. Maybe it’s a gift card, or freebie product. Incentivize them to continue, and you may be surprised at much more they promote you.

22. Are you only staying within your niche? Power partners can happen when two complementary businesses unite. Explore outside of your own niche, explore beyond what professions you think might be your power partner. The more you try things, and measure the results, the more likely you’ll find your winning edge.

23. Do you have an easy to see, clear call to action (such as “buy now” or “subscribe here”) on all of your marketing materials, including your website? 

You’ve got to be willing to mix things up, make changes, try new things. And, continually measure your results.

REMEMBER to make one change at a time and measure those results, otherwise you won’t know what change was effective and what change wasn’t.

• Maybe your product or service isn’t quite “right”

• Maybe you’re not reaching the audience who is looking for what you have to offer?

• Maybe your price is too low or too high. Yes, too low can be a problem where they prospective customer doesn’t see the value because it looks cheap.

• Maybe your product or service needs a better online presence, or online social presence.

• Maybe your business needs specific advertising.

Sometimes it’s a matter of a few adjustments, and other times it needs a total overhaul. But if you see your competition succeeding, and yours is not, maybe you just need to really go through the checklist and begin to make some changes.

Be willing to survey your current and past customers and look for consistencies.

When testing your marketing or advertising, always make one adjustment then measure results. If you make a few changes you won’t know what worked and what didn’t.


What’s gotten you the best results in terms of marketing your business and bringing in new business?

What’s one thing that got you a great response and surprised you?


P.S. If you haven’t yet grabbed your copy of “The 13 Biggest Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” be sure to do so, it’s FREE and will help you kick-start your marketing plan! You’ll also get our monthly Newsletter filled with great marketing tips, current marketing trends and valuable information you can use for your business

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Artemis January 27, 2012 at 9:17 am

Awesome list of questions! Really helpful for getting clear on your business.
Angela Artemis recently posted..Going Without Goals. An Update in the Year of the Dragon


Evotive January 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi Angela. So glad you found it helpful. It is a great clarity tool – really helps us to see our business with an outside perspective.


Jt Clough | Big Island Dog January 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

Great list. Though we “know” some of these things the way you listed them gave me some motivation to implement some of the simpler things that many times I overlook and could actually be quite effective.



Evotive January 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm

So often we find ourselves walking our clients through this process before we start working with them because we can’t help them from where they’re currently at. An example is having a website that doesn’t match their business brand (inconsistent branding) and inconsistent voice in their advertisements and social media. If we don’t clean up the foundation, we can’t successfully build upon it.
It seems so simple, but it takes going over it periodically to be sure our marketing message is “right” and “clear.”

Glad it motivated you :)


Cathy Taughinbaugh January 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hi Aileen,

You have shared a wonderful list of ideas. I already saw a few that I could implement. You made a good point to make one change at a time.
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Evotive January 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Hi Cathy. I know one change at a time can feel incredibly slow and tedious, but it’s worth testing it accurately to save time & money in the long run.


Fran Sorin January 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm


The article is fantastic…and couldn’t have come at a better time. My daughter opened a luxury skin care boutique in Tel Aviv, Kisu….
I’m sending this onto her. So meaty, with good information. Thank you! Fran
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Evotive January 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Ooh La La, a luxury skin care boutique! Love it! Glad you added the link so we can check it out.


Paige | simple mindfulness January 28, 2012 at 1:17 am

Great checklist to follow! While a few of the items may seem basic, it’s always good to keep asking yourself about them. Never take anything – especially customers – for granted! Thanks for giving me more ideas!
Paige | simple mindfulness recently posted..Why Do You Want What You Want?


Evotive January 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Hi Paige. Glad you liked the checklist. Always good to check-in with our marketing and see if we’ve grown. changed, need to re-brand etc… sometimes business owners don’t realize that businesses can evolve into a new market, and yet old marketing methods and messages are still in place which hurts the business rather than helps it.


Bryan Thompson February 1, 2012 at 4:02 am

Aileen, I think one of the biggest reasons most people don’t do their marketing well is your first (and everything else that goes wrong usually has more to do with #1 than anything else). They don’t know their target audience well enough. When you know your audience well, you know what they need and can solve their problems better. Great tips!
Bryan Thompson recently posted..Tom Hanks Motivates You to Action in LARRY CROWNE


Evotive February 14, 2012 at 9:23 am

Hi Bryan. Thank you for stopping by. I agree with you. Too many times we see a business who is wanting to target a different demographic than what their business actually attracts and speaks too. It’s one thing to have an ideal or a stretch goal, but one needs objectivity to see who their business speaks to and market to that audience even if they’d like a different audience. Play to ones strengths or make some solid changes and re-brand is often what needs to happen.


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