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CEOs face challenges every day. If you're the CEO of a small or medium-sized business, your challenges not only include prioritizing the numerous demands on your time, balancing short-term opportunities with long term goals, managing cash flow and long sales cycles, solving resource shortages ranging from funds to people, but also wearing a the variety of hats. You are often responsible for closing key deals and serving as the company's primary marketer.

Sound familiar? Then build this simple CEO marketing toolkit, designed to save you valuable time and money.

Every toolkit should have six basic items:

  1. A hammer, to use as a lever
  2. A wrench, to turn things
  3. A screwdriver, to attach or close things
  4. Pliers, to bend things or hold on to small stuff
  5. Screws, bolts, duct tape or super glue, to connect things
  6. A measuring tape, to—you guessed it!—take measurements

Let's translate these everyday tools into marketing tools.

The Hammer

In the world of marketing, the hammer is your company's value proposition. What's a value proposition? Simple—it's the basic reasoning for why people should consider your product or service.

Your value proposition shows you understand who the customer is, and what they want and need, and that you understand their purchasing criteria and supplier evaluation attributes. It answers the question, "Why should someone buy from you?" It addresses pain points and buying motives while serving as the basis for your positioning.

Here's an example of a weak value proposition: "Company A is a leading provider of real-time mobile network intelligence solutions that are creating the foundation for a successful mobile data experience."

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image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM