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Are You a Smart Marketer?

Take this quick quiz to learn important tips for growing your business by marketing the smart way.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Polish your smarts with this handy quiz. Just answer true or false to these eight questions, then read the answers for important insights that'll help you improve your marketing in the coming year.

1. On a small-business marketing budget, it's smarter to advertise a few times each in numerous print publications than to advertise often in just one or two.

False. with low frequency in numerous publications is like throwing your money away with both hands. Effective advertising requires frequency for your message to be remembered and acted on. It's much smarter to choose targeted publications that contain content that's closely read by your core group of prospects and to buy larger-size ads with considerable frequency. In marketing terms, you should go for frequency first with the right prospects, even if that means using just one or two publications. Then expand your reach into other media as your budget grows.

2. When shopping for broadcast advertising on a tight budget, you should look for the media proposal that offers the greatest number of spots for your money.

False. Beware of any media outlet pitching a proposal based on a high number of spots. Chances are, many will be ROS (run of station) and can air during the middle of the night or during other less-desirable hours or programs when spots are typically free or sold at an extremely low cost. Instead, focus your buy on the programming that reaches your core with appropriate content, and run your spots with sufficient frequency during those programs or hours.

3. Customers prefer to receive branded company information in editorial materials, both offline and online, rather than through ads.

True. A study conducted by Roper Public Affairs showed that most consumers preferred receiving information from companies through branded editorial content rather than ads. In fact, 85 percent said they preferred custom publications to ads, and 75 percent felt better informed after reading them. Branded content, generated by a company primarily for marketing purposes, may range from the company brochure you send following a customer's inquiry to a specially branded custom publication, and offers an excellent opportunity to directly connect with and inform customers.

4. To yield the highest click-through rate on promotional e-mail, you should offer a percentage discount off your sales price.

False. Promotions that promise a specific dollar amount off a sales price enjoy 45 percent higher click-through rates than those offering a percent discount, according to a study from e-mail services provider Silverpop Systems Inc. It seems it's more advantageous to offer $10 dollars off, for instance, than an equivalent percentage.

5. Since senior citizens rarely use the internet, marketers should direct their dollars to other ways of reaching this target audience.

False. According to Pew Internet and American Life Project data, 55 percent of all Americans aged 60 to 69 and 26 percent of 70- to 75-year-olds are online, so it's beneficial to make a part of your media mix for this demographic. When marketing to this audience, it's important to build trust, such as by providing a phone number for assistance with online transactions. It's also best to stay away from the flashiest technology, since older consumers are less likely to upgrade their computers often and many of the latest design bells and whistles may go unseen or simply cause frustration.

6. The best way for retailers to increase sales from Latino shoppers is to offer frequent-shopper cards.

False. According to Advertising Age magazine, the results of a study by Unilever in four major markets found Hispanic shoppers highly resistant to using frequent-shopper cards because of concerns about privacy. Although more than half of those in the study had frequent-shopper cards, only 44 percent of cardholders used them. Entrepreneurs targeting Latinos should construct customer rewards programs that highlight privacy protections.

7. The best way to build positive word-of-mouth is to affect the media to which "advice givers" are exposed.

True. A BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Survey of more than 15,000 people revealed that "advice givers" don't always formulate their counsel on personal experience alone. Their sources may include articles on a product, newspaper inserts, internet advertising and more. To build word-of-mouth for your product or service, it's essential to identify where your influentials are getting their information about what you market and use advertising and PR tactics to shape their opinions.

8. When reaching and motivating B2B prospects, general media sources such as consumer magazines and TV are more effective than niche B2B media.

False. Executives report they're more engaged and involved with B2B media than with general magazines, television and newspapers, according to a study by Harris Interactive. The best way to reach your B2B prospects in the new year is through B2B magazines, trade shows, websites, conferences or seminars.

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