Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make
By Debbie Allen, All
virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along the way.
Marketing is no exception. Time
and time again I see retail stores large and small making the same costly
mistakes. By knowing how to
avoid these mistakes, you will save energy, disappointment – and money.
#1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.
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.
#2: Not measuring results.
Don’t 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 aren’t. 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.
#3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.
If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of promoting
your business, you won’t realize the highest return on your investment.
Diversifying your efforts will increase the frequency and reach of
your messages and stretch your marketing dollars.
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. I have
actually known some business owners that stay with a company for fear of
upsetting their sales associate. Remember,
it’s your money and your investment.
Don’t ever let anyone talk you into an advertising program that
is not producing the best results for your business.
know this can happen, because it happened to me.
My advertising dollars were spent mostly on the same magazines for
years until I started to focus on measuring the results more effectively.
Start to measure the results of your advertising dollars spent vs.
the income received from your advertising on a consist basis.
business owners tell me they only do a few direct-mail programs a year,
targeted to their existing customer base.
Your customer base and mailing list is gold, make sure you have
budgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise to your
existing customers. They
already love you, so keep them coming in by sending promotional
(promotional – not just sale) postcards to them at least six times a
#4: Allowing your ego to 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 – usually the bottom line.
Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not focusing on your
business’ unique offerings may result in money out the window.
#5: Not getting help when you need it.
you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts or that your
materials aren’t looking as professional as they should, it’s time to
call in the reinforcements. Hire a full-or part-time employee to allow you more free time
to work on the “business end” or hire an independent business
consultant to bring in new concepts and fresh ideas.
Allen is one of the world’s leading authorities on sales and marketing.
She is the author of five books including
Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters
and Skyrocketing Sales.
Debbie has helped thousands of people around the world attract customers
like crazy with her innovative, no-cost marketing strategies and secrets
to sales success. Her expertise has been featured in
Selling Power and
Sales & Marketing Excellence.
Sign up for her FREE 6-week e-Course
Business Success Secrets Revealed ($97 value) and take the
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