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MARKETING MINDSET: How can you tell if your organization has a true marketing mindset? Why is it important? Because your long-term success depends on it.

Here are the questions you should be asking. Do you dare to be different from your competitors? Is everyone in your company clear on what is special your organization, something you are proud of? Do you have an active program to build awareness of that uniqueness? Is an emotional connection part of that program? Remember, clients want to feel good about dealing with you and your company. Finally, are you internalizing what you stand for? Every one of your staff has to be committed to the message and, in doing so, contributing to your company's success.

No matter how large or small, this kind of Marketing Mindset will improve your performance. A little help getting there may be all you need.

Still, before you start producing and sending, you should make sure you know your competition, your customers, and what more you could be offering. Once that's established, consider the communications options. Is your current website really helping to convey your message? Are you sending out eNewsletters on a regular basis?

Similarly with your printed materials (business cards, etc.), is it time for an upgrade? Placement articles in trade journals can make great reprints that are far more likely to be read than an advertising piece.

The important consideration is to make sure that what goes out is always professional and supports your overall message. A modest investment here can reap big rewards.

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