ALBERT Einstein once said: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results."

Otherwise level-headed people often approach marketing in the same way, expecting something new to happen. There is method in their madness, but it is the same method.

There are three things that you can do to make a meaningful change in your thinking about marketing, and each one of them will restore sanity to your marketing mix.

1. Gain mindshare

We live increasingly in an attention-deficit economy. One reason is the clutter factor.

In 1996, the average consumer was exposed to 3,000 messages a day. By 2007, that number had jumped to 30,000 messages per day, a tenfold increase in 11 years. How many of these messages that flood your mind do you remember or act on?

As a result, traditional marketing is losing traction. According to the Empire Research Group, the cost of selling has tripled over the past decade.

Consumers are opting for anti-clutter technology, and that means that your message may not have a chance of getting through. The captive audience may be a thing of the past.

However, people notice what they are interested in. Even on a crowded street with city traffic, a pedestrian will notice the sound of a coin dropping on the pavement. Your job is to make your coin the one that turns heads.

Simply clarifying your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) can make an enormous difference. In his book, Jump Start Your Business Brain, Doug Hall cites research on 900 products over a five-year period, with participation from companies including Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, and American Express.

The research revealed that products with a clear Unique Selling Proposition had a success rate or 47 per cent, while products without one had a success rate of only 23 per cent, which is lower than the probability of winning at some gambling games!

Combine that with US Census data that reports that 75 per cent of new businesses, products or services fail within the first two to five years, and you have a scary picture of traditional marketing success.

2. Review your list

Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional system of promotions on a very low budget, by relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets.

Guerrilla marketing offers a list of at least 100 marketing weapons, over half of which are free, except for your investment in time, energy, imagination and knowledge.

Studies show that the implementation of just one marketing weapon can practically double a product's success rate, so imagine what would be the result if you assembled a strategic combination of low-cost guerrilla marketing weapons, you would.

It is not enough to simply add more weapons to your arsenal. They are called weapons because careless use can backfire. You have to learn how to use them, and how to combine them in effective ways.

Whether you do it yourself or outsource the task, focus on what fascinates you.

3. Mandala Method

The Mandala Method starts with a nine-square grid format. You write the main idea, theme, or question in the central square, and then determine eight main ideas to fill in the surrounding squares.

The advanced version takes each of these eight ideas, and duplicates the pattern with eight new Mandalas around the central Mandala, providing a total of 64 idea pockets for your project. The advantage is that everything is visible on a single sheet of paper.

Using the Mandala Method, you can focus on up to eight major marketing project areas at one time, and there is even a Mandala Day Planner that enables you to track your progress on a monthly, weekly and a daily basis.

Also known as the Lotus Blossom Technique, it was developed by Yasuo Matsumura of Clover Management Research in Japan over 30 years ago, and is a popular project and time management tool in Japan.

It enables you to simultaneously view your project from a bird's eye view, home in on any detail from ground level perspective, and remain sensitive to inter-relationships among all elements. It is an ideal method for planning a marketing calendar.