5 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make
In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls alongthe way. Marketing is no exception. Time and time again, retailstores of all sizes make the same costly mistakes. But knowinghow to avoid these mistakes can save you energy, disappointment –and money.
Mistake 1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.
When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms ofmarketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right? But cutthese, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring innew customers to turn your business around. This is the timewhen you may be spending more time analyzing the results of yourmarketing efforts. But by stopping marketing efforts, you willbe setting yourself up for additional loss of business.
Mistake 2: Not measuring results.
Don’t wait until times get tight to start measuring the resultsof your marketing efforts. By analyzing regularly, you will beable to reinvest in what is working, and drop what isn’t. Askcustomers how they found your business, and then track theresults. Use in-store or on-line coupons. Or host a focus groupof a variety of customers to discover what attracts them to yourbusiness.
Mistake 3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.
If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method ofpromoting your business, you won’t realize the highest return onyour investment. Diversifying your efforts will increase thefrequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketingdollars.
Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program witha local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put themajority of their marketing dollars there. They feel as if theyhave to advertise with the same media source, just because theyalways have or because fear they will lose ground since theircompetitors are advertising there as well. Some business ownersactually stay with a company for fear of upsetting their salesassociate.
Remember, it’s your money and your investment. Don’t ever letanyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producingthe best results for your business. And measure the results ofyour advertising dollars spent vs. the income received from youradvertising on a consist basis.
When you diversify, don’t’ forget about direct marketing. Manybusiness owners only do a few direct-mail programs a year,targeted to their existing customer base. They need to do more.
Your customer base and mailing list is gold, make sure you havebudgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise toyour existing customers. They already love you, so keep themcoming in by sending promotional (promotional – not just sale)postcards to them at least six times a year.
Mistake 4: Allowing your ego to get in the way of common sense.
Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things. Yourmarketing decisions should be based on factors that willpositively impact some area of your business – usually the bottomline. Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and notfocusing on your business’ unique offerings may result in moneygoing out the window.
Mistake 5: Not getting help when you need it.
If you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts orthat your materials aren’t looking as professional as theyshould, it’s time to call in the reinforcements. Hire a full-orpart-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the“business end” or hire an independent business consultant tobring in new concepts and fresh ideas.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Business speaker, Debbie Allen has presented to thousands in nine countries. Featured in “Entrepreneur”, “Sales Marketing Excellence” and “Selling Power,” Allen is the author of five books including best seller, “Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters,” published in five countries. To learn more or to take her free business card quiz & evaluate your own marketing, visit: www.DebbieAllen.com