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Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
1/1/2009 -

In business there are stretches where things donít go perfectly. Marketing is one faucet of business that often takes the blame. However, the real issue is how to make our marketing better as it is a vital part of business success. By knowing how to avoid certain mistakes, you will save energy, disappointment Ė and money.

Stay clear of these mistakes and remember that being proactive now is a more logical step than being reactive later.

When times get tight, eliminate marketing:
When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms of marketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right? But cut these, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring in new customers to turn your business around. This is the time when you may be spending more time analyzing the results of your marketing efforts. But by stopping marketing efforts, you will be setting yourself up for additional loss of business.

Donít measure marketing efforts:
Donít wait until times get tight to start measuring the results of your marketing efforts. By constantly analyzing these, you will be able to reinvest in what is working, and drop those that arenít. Ask customers how they found your business, and then track the results. Use in-store or on-line coupons, or host a focus group of a variety of customers to discover what attracts them to your business.

Put your entire marketing budget into one medium:
If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of promoting your business, you wonít realize the highest return on your investment. Diversifying your efforts will increase the frequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketing dollars.

Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program with a local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put the majority of their marketing dollars there. They feel as if they have to advertise with the same media source, just because they always have or fear they will lose ground since their competitors are advertising there as well. Some business owners stay with a company for fear of upsetting their sales associate. Remember, itís your money and your investment. Donít ever let anyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producing the best results for your business.

Start to measure the results of your advertising dollars spent vs. the income received from your advertising on a consist basis.

Letting your ego get in the way of common sense:
Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things. Your marketing decisions should be based on factors that will positively impact some area of your business Ė usually the bottom line. Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not focusing on your businessí unique offerings may result in money out the window.

Try to appeal to everybody:
It is a great ideal to believe that everybody needs your service. However, your best customers should be the ones that want or need your business, tell others about your services, and make you the most money. When you promote your business make sure that your message is targeting those that count. It is not about having someone see your service offer, but about connecting with the people who will use your service

If you are seeking to appeal to a specific group, whether as a demographic or interest category, utilize a promotion tool that is used by those parties. If you use a promotional tool that includes your target market, donít be afraid to target your specific message to those that will be interested.

It is also possible that you have certain features and benefits that appeal to certain customers. Donít be afraid to focus your promotions utilizing the features that those customers want. Sometimes this takes creating unique campaigns for specified parties.

Donít get help when you need it:
If you find youíre too busy to handle your marketing efforts or that your materials arenít looking as professional as they should, itís time to call in the reinforcements. Hire a full-or part-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the ďbusiness endĒ or hire an independent business consultant to bring in new concepts and fresh ideas

We all make mistakes and these are just a few of them. The key is becoming conscious of how and why we market ourselves and making sure that we donít forget promotion, whether we are promoting ourselves through paid advertising, or with a word of mouth campaign, is a vital part of business success now and in the future.

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