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And Another Thing . . . Successful marketing takes more than a monster budget.

By Kim T. Gordon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It happens every single day: Two businesses with similarmarketing budgets conduct extensive direct-mail campaigns. Whileone of the companies realizes only less than a 1 percent increasein sales, the other somehow manages a 20 percent increase and thenturns each one of those newly acquired accounts into a loyal,repeat customer.

Why do some companies succeed brilliantly in their marketingefforts while others fail? Let's face it, many entrepreneurshave access to the same tools and resources, but the ones whosucceed know how to pull them all together to make their marketingwork. Here's a look at the nine elements at the heart of truemarketing success:

1. Leadership: To besuccessful, the marketing programs your staff or agency createsmust support your vision of your company's future. It's upto you, at the top of your organization, to set the tone andclearly define your goals. How can your marketing team meet yourexpectations if it's unclear what they are?

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