In every business, marketing is critical to its success. Unfortunately, many businesses believe that they can’t afford it or simply don’t have the time or energy to create a plan, so they discount the effect of it and forgo it.
When you approach marketing with the importance it deserves, you don’t have to be a statistic. But it can be quite intimidating for the new entrepreneur and new business, so mistakes are bound to be made.
Below are some of the marketing mistakes businesses make, they are quite common. If you can correct them, you will see a huge increase in the effectiveness and profitability of your business and marketing activities, even the effects of fixing only two or three can make a massive difference to your businesses.
1. Failure to Define Your Market.
As it said – “You can’t be everything to everyone?” This is extremely true when comes to sales and marketing. It is critical to define your market, your target market – who they are, where they are? It is also critical to choosing the appropriate marketing techniques to reach potential customers – email marketing, blogging, pay per click or social media marketing? Which marketing method is suit with your need.
Example, if you offer a service or product for small businesses, then stick to small business publications and mailing lists, don’t target Fortune 500 companies, it is a waste of time and money, because they already have established vendors in place. So, don’t try to be everything to everyone.
2. Not Testing.
The purpose of testing is to develop maximum performance from every marketing effort.
Since you don’t have the right or the power to pre-determine what the marketplace wants and what the best price, package or approach will be. So put every important marketing question to a vote by the only people whose ballots count – prospects and customers is important.
Remember, every situation is unique, so if you run ads in newspapers or magazines, test different approaches, different headlines, different “hot-button” emphasis, different packages, different rationales, different pricing, and different bonuses on top of your basic offer. You’ll be amazed to see the differences towards order, size and overall profit – one price will produce over another.
Just because you are sick of seeing, hearing, or watching the same marketing does not mean your marketplace is also sick of it. The only vote that’s relevant is the vote of the marketplace, your customers and prospects.
So test, test, test – test different concepts, approaches, and ideas, but never, EVER abandon your control until you find something that pulls better.
3. Not having a Prepared Answer to the Question – “Why should I do business with you?”
In today’s competitive landscape, if you can’t make your message clear and have them resonate, you’ll lose your potential customer to someone else. So you need to make sure your key message is clear and focus on what is really important.
4. Run Institutional Advertising Instead of Direct Response Advertising
Almost every print ad, mailing piece, radio, or television commercial is institutional-type advertising. This type of advertising doesn’t direct the reader, viewer, or listener to any intelligent action or buying decision. It takes up time, space and attention and wastes enormous could-have-been productive assets.
Direct response advertising, in contrast, is self-explanatory. It is designed to evoke an immediate response or action – a visit, a call, or a purchasing decision from the viewer or reader, which tells a complete story. It is salesmanship in print or over the air and it direct people to take action.
5. Failing to Determine and Address Your Customer’s and Prospect’s Needs
Knowing and understanding your customers and prospect’s needs is at the centre of every successful business, whether it sells directly to individuals or other businesses. Once you have this knowledge, you can use it to persuade potential and existing customers that buying from you is in their best interests.
The more you know about your customers and prospects, the more effective your sales and marketing efforts will be. It’s well worth making the effort to find out:
* who they are
* what they buy
* why they buy it
* how they use your product
Understanding customers and prospect’s needs and desires can help you tailor your product or service to better suit their needs.
6. Not identifying and developing your unique selling proposition (USP) and articulating it clearly as an integral part of your marketing
What makes you more unique, more valuable, and more visible in the market? Have you heard the old saying that “Differentiate or Die?” In today’s highly competitive world, to be successful in the marketplace, you have to be unique and positioning yourslef as the best choice in the market. To show your product or service is the best, you have to identify your Unique Selling Proposition first.
Having a USP will dramatically improve the positioning and marketability of your company and products. The unique will help you to set you apart from your competition, and positioning you the more logical choice. The selling can help you persuades another to exchange money for a product or service. And the proposition, a proposal or offer suggested for acceptance.
Your USP is the force that drives your business and success. It can be identified by completing the phrase ‘Customers will buy from me because my business is the only…’ It can also be used as a “branding” tool that deploys strategy with every tactical marketing effort you use such as an ad, a postcard, or web site. This allows you to build a lasting reputation while you’re making sales.
Your USP can change as your business or your market changes, and you can have different USPs for different types of customer or product.
An integrated campaign, however, is multi-touch, multi-media endeavor. And it packs more punch. When you negotiate, see what else you can get for your money (ie, an online ad, a webcast sponsorship, a special emailing, the chance to write a contributed article, etc). Just focus your efforts around key themes, rather than reinventing the wheel each time.