Today, there are more options than ever when it comes to marketing your business. While the increase in options makes it easier for your company to be noticed, it also increases the chances that you’ll make a mistake along the way. Here are eight common marketing mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Ignoring Timing
Before you roll out a big marketing campaign, take a look at the timing of your initiatives. You want them to coincide with company events, such as a new product launch or your appearance at trade shows or other events. If you ignore the timing of your marketing campaigns, you’ll end up missing important opportunities – and that’s a huge mistake.
Obviously, you don’t want to focus entirely on company events when you’re rolling out new marketing initiatives, but when you DO have something new in the pipeline, it’s important not to neglect that opportunity for big exposure.
2. Failing to Know the Return on your Marketing Investment
Too many companies spends thousands of dollars on marketing tactics without stopping to figure out what they’re getting for their hard earned cash. If you spend money wildly, with no clear picture of the end result, you’re making a big mistake.
Before you shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars of your marketing budget, make sure you have a clear understanding on what you’ll be getting in return. Track your various marketing expenditures and decide which ones are actually bringing you a return on your investment and which ones you need to cut.
3. Creating a Website that Reads like an Advertisement
If you want people to turn to your business for their needs, and not your competitor, then it’s important to design your website with your customers in mind. If your site simply reads like an advertisement and doesn’t include any relevant information that will be of interest to your customer base, those customers will leave and go elsewhere.
Your website is a huge marketing tool for your company, so be sure to include things your potential and current customers will find useful. You want them to be able to turn to your site for helpful information and resources; you don’t want to turn them off by throwing sales pitches at them the moment they click on your homepage.
4. Ignoring Current Customers
While it’s important to gain new customers in order to help your business grow, if you fail to market to your current customer base you are making a detrimental mistake. Not only does it take much longer (and cost more money) to sell to a new customer, the vast majority of your business comes from current customers. If you ignore their needs, you are going to see a decrease in profits.
Bottom line? Make sure to balance your marketing techniques between retaining your current customer base and attracting new customers.
5. Going from Year to Year without Clear Goals
Any successful business must have a clear strategic plan and goals they want to achieve, as well as the proper techniques in place to achieve those goals. Too many businesses continue to go year to year without any clear idea of how they want their company to progress or what they’re doing.
Before you can market your business, come up with an annual plan that addresses who you are as a company and what you do. Make sure to include pertinent goals and ways to achieve those goals. Once you have a clear plan in front of you, it will be that much easier to avoid making further mistakes and continue building a client base.
6. Failing to Create Marketing Materials that Appeal to your Target Market
When creating marketing materials, too many companies make the mistake of creating these materials in away that appeals to them as the business owner. This is a HUGE mistake, and one you need to remedy if you plan on being a success.
When designing your marketing and sales materials, it’s important to consider your target market. What would appeal to them? How can you design these materials in a way that resonates with your target demographic? Every time you create new sales materials, make sure to figure out how you can design them to focus on who these products or services are specifically made for.
7. Trying to Do Too Much
It’s tempting to rush into every new marketing technique that pops up, but this is not only a waste of money and time – it also kills your effectiveness.
Instead of trying to focus on every single marketing tactic around, choose a select few techniques to focus on. If you attempt to tackle too much, you will be spreading yourself entirely too thin. Yes, you will miss certain opportunities this way – but if you stick with a select amount of marketing activities, you will be able to commit to them much more effectively than if you try to do everything at once.
8. Lacking in the Customer Service Department
Believe it or not, customer service is an extremely important marketing technique – and poor customer service means you’re making a mistake that can be hard to come back from. Word of mouth from satisfied customers is a free and easy way to market your business, but if you fail in the customer service department, you can’t expect any glowing testimonials.
In order to avoid this mistake, make sure your customers can reach you easily. Offer several different contact methods, such as an e-mail address, postal address and telephone number. Respond in a timely manner to customer inquiries, questions and complaints. By ensuring you treat your customers well, you will definitely be able to count on satisfied customers to recommend your business.
Have You Made Any of These Mistakes?
While there are all sorts of marketing mistakes you can fall prey to, these are the most common marketing mistakes that seem to happen again and again. By taking the time to avoid these mistakes, you will be able to grow a much more successful business.
Now it’s time to fess up – how many of these marketing mistakes have you made?
The super groovy Bart Simpson chalkboard photo courtesy of Add Letters.