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Pop Quiz: Does Your Marketing Suck?
By Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Markeying Coach

Here's a hint: Yes, your marketing sucks if...

  • You can't measure the results (and any marketer who told you that marketing can't be measured is no marketer!).
  • Your marketing doesn't produce results.
  • Your marketing doesn't drive sales.
  • Your marketing isn't integrated so that each activity reinforces and enhances the other activities.
  • You don't/can't/won't do it regularly.
  • Your marketing makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Your marketing makes claims you know you can't back up with results.
  • Your marketing costs as much or more than the revenue it generates.

Does it suck if it is ugly? Not particularly. (Remember those awful sponge monkeys that Quiznos used?)

Does gorgeous marketing suck? It doesn't matter if your marketing is beautiful, expensive, created by the marketing genius du jour, or if it's won awards. What matters is that it works.

How do you know if YOUR marketing works?

You get clients.

You book sales/revenue.

You get results.

And you GET more than you invest.

Most businesses spend between 1 - 20% of their revenues on marketing, although some consumer products companies (like name-brand soft drink companies) spend as much as 40%. If you think that the big companies spend more because they can afford it, you don't understand marketing. They spend that much because it works.

Many companies with small marketing budgets justify those miniscule percentages by claiming that marketing is a "soft" science that cannot be measured, but they're wrong.

You CAN measure marketing, and you SHOULD.

Now, I am not saying that you need to spend 40% of your revenues on marketing, but whatever you do spend needs to earn out for you, and no matter how much you spend, your marketing should not suck.

Want a professional opinion on YOUR marketing? Here it is, at no charge. Just take this simple little quiz to find out if your marketing sucks. (And if it does, then you need to do something about it. But more about that later.)

Scoring: Answer each question with either a Yes or No. If you do not know the answer to a question, or you want to fudge ("Well, I SORTA have a marketing plan, but it's not really written down in one place"), then the answer is No. Just like one can't be "sorta" or "kind of" pregnant, your marketing either sucks or it doesn't.

  1. Do you have a written marketing plan?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  2. Does your marketing produce measurable results?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  3. Does every element of your marketing drive sales?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  4. Is your marketing integrated so that each activity reinforces and enhances the other activities?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  5. Are your marketing messages, presentation, and frequency consistent with your values, budget, and other marketing efforts?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  6. Does your marketing cost a mere fraction of the revenue it generates?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  7. Does your marketing get you clients?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  8. Is your marketing quick, easy, and almost effortless?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  9. Do you regularly measure or evaluate your marketing results?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  10. Do you know where your customers come from or how they hear about you?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No
  11. Do more than 50% of your clients buy from you a second time?
    [     ] Yes     [     ] No

Scoring: How many questions did you answer No?

0 to 1: If you answered none or only one of the questions No, you rock and your marketing probably doesn't suck (depending on which question you answered No). Good for you! Now get back to work and quit wasting time taking silly assessments.

2 to 3: If you're happy with your revenue, you're lucky because your marketing sucks a little (but it still sucks), and you could do better if you paid more attention to the details.

4 to 6: If you're happy with your revenue, you're more than lucky -- you should buy lottery tickets -- because your marketing sucks and why you're happy with your revenue is beyond me (maybe you have low expectations). If you're not happy with your revenue, it's because your marketing sucks (duh), and you need to do something to turn that around.

7 to 11: Pumpkin, your marketing really sucks. The good news is that you can do something about it if you want to. The question is, do you really want to, or is it more fun not taking any responsibility for your inevitable failure at this business venture? Your call. But I am thinking that you really want to succeed, so it's time to DO something about your marketing!

What can you do about marketing that sucks? Lots of stuff, and that doesn't mean you have to spend more to get more.

If your marketing sucks, you need to fix it. First, stop doing ANY marketing until you know why you are doing it, what you expect to get out of it, and how it works with your overall strategy and your other tactics.

You can learn how to do that by reading books, taking classes, or working with a marketing coach or consultant to upgrade your marketing, and then (with luck, effort, and the proper guidance) it won't suck.

Marketing that doesn't suck brings you clients.

The payoff? More money, more profit, more time for fun. It's kinda cool how that works, isn't it?

Read more articles or view Top 10 lists.


About the author
Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach, is a successful Vancouver, WA-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach who helps small businesses attract more clients.  Ronnie's web site is a comprehensive resource with free articles and valuable marketing tools for small office/home office business professionals.  Visit her web site at, or call her at 360-882-1298.

Author's note: You're welcome to use this article as content for your own ezine or web site!  Just make sure that the article remains complete and unaltered (including the "About the author" info and copyright line at the end), and that you send a copy of your reprint to You may also use my photo (found on my home page at with the article.

Assessment: Does Your Marketing Suck? 2004 Veronika Noize and Nancy Grengs. All rights reserved.

Does Your Marketing Suck?
Wanna print out this quiz or send it to a friend? Click on this link to download the PDF.

"I help small businesses attract more clients."
~Veronika Noize, the Virtual Marketing Coach

Veronika Noize LLC
The Virtual Marketing Coach

2643 Beaver Ave · PMB 338 · Des Moines IA 50310  · USA

360-882-1298 voice