So this is the year that you are
going to really try out marketing your business to see what
experienced marketers make mistakes; so if you blow it, donít
let it get you down. Learn
from it and go on. However,
there are many marketing decisions that are pretty much guaranteed
to fail each time. Here
are just a few:
Marketing mistake #1
A huge marketing mistake relates
to your formula for advertising.
It may seem like a good idea to spend a little here and a
little everywhere else, but itís not.
With a short run or small presence in advertising, you are
all but throwing money away and this is a consistent rule
regardless of what medium you are advertising in.
A small banner on the bottom of
someoneís webpage is not a good way to test the waters to see if
it will be profitable or now.
It wonít be. Skyscraper and top banner ads are costly for a reason.
They work! Bottom
banners are cheap for a reason.
They donít and nobody wants them.
Neither should you expect a quick
in and out to give you any idea what your ROI is going to be like
for any ad presence. If
someone is not expecting to see your ad, they are only going to
respond to it if they are impulsive or desperate.
Most people take awhile to think on things and then they go
back later to find it.
If you advertise on radio and do
it only once, thereís no chance that you will get any
significant business from it.
However, if you advertise regularly, those who have heard
your ad before will have the chance to hear it again and pay even
closer attention. Many
people donít respond until the 10th or 20th
time they come across an ad.
Others store it in their memory and know that when they do
need to find the service, they know where to find such ads.
You donít have to opt for
incredibly expensive ads. But
be consistent in what you do.
The same thing holds true for
every place you could market your services.
A small ad on page 46 of the newspaper will probably
generate very little if anything.
It might if you left it there forever and people would
remember to come looking for it later, but a few days run is
When it comes to tradeshows,
consider the same effect. If
you set up in the back corner of a small unadvertised tradeshow
because itís cheaper than a nice booth at a well-known and
popular tradeshow, donít expect business to result from your
lack of willingness to spend.
Instead, do one good one instead of 4 bad ones and you will
be money ahead.
Marketing mistake #2
The biggest true marketing
mistake that many people make, has nothing to do with advertising.
Itís all about marketing.
Many companies, small and large do not measure where they
get their traffic and business.
Many small businesses are the
worst at defining their best referral sources and apparently
assume that clients will volunteer this information.
They almost never do.
If you place 20 ads in different
locations and you donít have any way of tracking what works and
what does not, you have no idea which ad locations work (or which
ads work) and which donít.
If you want to trim your ad budget or make it more
efficient, where do you start cutting?
You are just as likely to cut off your biggest lead source
as you are to cut off the worst performer.
Tracking performance for a week
or even a month isnít effective either.
One place might have a rare but superior performance due to
getting some unusual press and the normally good performer, just
didnít hit the luck of the draw that month.
At minimum, you should look for at least 3 months to track
Donít forget about those leads
that come in through other means.
If you make the assumption that Internet leads come in via
email and phone calls are the result of other ads, you will simply
be wrong. You have to
knowÖ and you have to sometimes dig deep.
If the customer tells you he found you on the Internet,
GREAT, but where on the Internet?
Marketing mistake #3
One kind of marketing mistake
will chew up your budget and sometimes, even land you in serious
trouble. It all
starts with the thought, ďI want to find free or incredibly
cheap ways to contact thousands of people.Ē
When you chase this dream, you
can go in several different directions, but all of them lead to no
new business. Simply put, if something is effective, it will cost you time
and/or money. If it
costs you little of either, it simply isnít going to work.
Some people go the route of
taking the cheap or free advertising, or those that offer
advertising on a trial basis.
Ask yourself this question.
If it had value, would they be selling it so cheaply?
No. But many entrepreneurs will piddle away their entire
marketing budget, wasting their resources on cheap advertising
that is ineffective.
The second direction people will
go to find cheap mass advertising is to email marketing, or (as it
is called if you donít have the receiverís permission) spam.
Sending out an email notice of your company services might
seem like a good idea to you because itís cheap.
One spam can ruin a business.
it comes to free and cheap advertising, remember that if it was
any good, everyone would be doing it.
Itís not only the money that bad advertising choices can
cost you. Itís also
your time and effort and most of all, your companyís reputation.
You DO NOT want to be seen as the cheap company that is a
sucker for every fly-by-night offering that comes along.
A bad reputation is worse than no reputation at all.