Find Your Recipe for Marketing Success

The secret to great marketing rests in the process, not in one ingredient.

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I might be biased, but my mom makes the best brownies in the whole world. She uses the same great recipe every time she bakes them and I know exactly what they are going to taste like. It makes me happy when she makes them and I always end up wanting more of the rich chocolate treat. Something my mom does not know she is doing is giving a great lesson in marketing a business.

Follow the steps

Good marketing is like making brownies. You need to follow a recipe, otherwise known as a marketing plan. Like a recipe, which details all of the ingredients and steps you need to take to make terrific brownies, a marketing plan includes all of the steps you need to take to market your business effectively.

A simple marketing plan includes the following:

  • A situation analysis that looks at where your business is today as it implements a new marketing strategy;
  • Recognition of the intended audience that describes the individuals or groups you intend to target;
  • Realistic marketing goals that are measurable over the course of the year;
  • Strategies to reach the audience to meet set goals; and
  • A budget breakdown that details the costs of the strategies you will put into place with your new marketing recipe.

You don’t want turkey flavored brownies, do you? To avoid these conundrums in baking and marketing, you need to understand the audience you are targeting, the goals that you want to reach and strategies to get you there. The results should make you happy. The feedback you get should reinforce that you are on the right track and that your audience wants more of your brownies … no wait … your marketing.

Imitate success

I’m pretty sure my mother didn’t come up with the brownie recipe herself. She probably got it from my grandmother. If you see a marketing recipe you like, there’s nothing wrong with copying it. Marketing is marketing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Starbucks, Ford, the dentist down the street or the baker down the street for that matter, if you see a great, yummy marketing idea, use their recipe or incorporate parts of their strategy into yours.

Imitation is fine as long as you know what it’s supposed to taste like. You may need to modify the recipe a little to make it your own, but you need to make sure it’s going to be successful when it’s all said and done. If you do make changes to it, it’s best to test it out first.

Repeat sales

A tried and true recipe takes out all of the guesswork. Recipes and marketing plans make everything so much easier – easier to follow and easier to tell when you’ve done something wrong. Brownies taste too salty? Did you add too much salt or did you switch to a different brand? Not getting the marketing results you were expecting? Where did your ingredients go awry?

A recipe allows you to repeat your successes over and over again … once you perfect the ingredients and steps. A lot of people don’t understand that repetition is the key to sales. They think they’ve got to come up with a new “wow” every time. Not true. Baking those brownies is a reminder of what a terrific cook my mother is. When you’re trying to come up with the latest and greatest marketing technique, remember the brownies. Instead of trying to come up with a new recipe every single time, cook up old faithful that you already know is going to be a big hit.

Go back to your recipe file of old marketing efforts and find that brownie recipe. Check it, make sure it doesn’t need to modified or updated and then … bake away.

Elizabeth Mansfield

Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing Solutions. She can be reached at

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