Bad marketing is worse than no marketing at all. On top of that, it is incredibly expensive! What exactly is bad marketing? Here are six common marketing blunders that need to be avoided and eliminated:
1. Impatience ranks at the top of the list. Hard-working, well-meaning business owners often sabotage their own marketing efforts when they expect instant gratification from their advertising. INSTANT and RESULTS simply do not go together. Give your advertising messages a chance to breathe!
2. Ego ranks at the top of the list along with impatience. This personality flaw surfaces when a business owner or manager who is an expert in one or more areas (finance, real estate, law, vehicles, etc.) ASSUMES that their personal expertise in whatever automatically transfers to marketing. It rarely does.
Ego-centered business owners and managers often design their own ads, write their own ad copy, and create their own websites . . . usually based on their personal opinions and tastes rather than those of their prospects and customers. You often see these people pitching their own products on TV, radio or in print. Sometimes they connect with their audience. Most often they do not.
3. Next in line are those time-worn axioms, word of mouth and everyone already knows all about us! No one can control what comes out of other the mouths of your customers and in reality, darn few people have ever heard of you or your business. You need to constantly tell them and never rely on them to tell others.
4. Another personality defect that can do major harm to your business is the belief that you already render the finest service or sell the best product possible. Lose these kinds of thoughts immediately. There is always room to improve.
5. Add conceit to the list of personality blemishes that can do serious damage to the marketing efforts in your company. I call it the big-me-little-you disease found in those who practice rudeness and bluster.
If you have someone on your team that is a carrier, know that they are turning people off faster than anything you can do on the marketing side to turn them on. If you cannot change an ego maniac, furlough them to practice their arrogance elsewhere.
6. Majoring in minors ranks high on the list of marketing impediments. Yes, you do need to know a lot about your product and service but you need to know the most about your prospects and customers . . . Not just as a group but as individuals. If you plan to make it on todays Main Street, you better be well along on constantly collecting personal data about your typical customer.
Talk with them. Listen to them. Reward them for filling out simple questionnaires. Visit THEIR websites (great way to get personal insights!). Meet them where they live and where they hang out. Make yourself available to them.
If any of the above sounds weird to you, step back from your alligator pond and carefully examine your present marketing strategy and the people who carry it out.
Get out of the past and get in touch with the future: information about your prospects and customers.
A small customer-centered business knows what their target market likes, what they read, what they watch and listen to, what excites them, what turns them off, where they shop, how they perceive your business . . . tiny details that make the difference between a one-time buyer and a lifelong customer.
Information is king in the business climate today. If you are not in the customer information collection game, change your strategy and get started. While you are at it, be 100% certain you and your team are not making any of the Bad Marketing Blunders listed above.
Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit http://www.20do80.com for a complete directory of his articles and books.