10 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

Here are 10 marketing mistakes that you should avoid.

Every small business owner is a marketer first and a business owner second.

This is the case whether you like it or not.

You can have the greatest product or service in the world but if no one knows about it then it will never sell. Or at least it won’t sell as much as it should.

You might not have gone into business thinking that you were becoming a marketer.

This might leave you grasping at straws. Trying to figure out where and how to spend your marketing dollars.

In this article, I’ll do my best to help you avoid common marketing mistakes.

Now let’s get on with the 10 marketing mistakes you should try to avoid.

1) Don’t confuse marketing with advertising.
You may think that paying for ads in the local paper or Yellow Pages means that you are marketing.

The thing is, marketing and advertising are two different things.

The ad you put in the paper or the flyer you hand out for an event, that’s advertising. It’s what you use to tell people about your product.

Marketing is the overall plan or strategy you have.

So advertising is one part of marketing.

The two words tend to get interchanged. I may even do it myself in this article.
2) Don’t make the marketing about you. No one cares!
You know that feeling when you’re trapped in a conversation with someone? They go on and on and on about themselves.

The thing is most of the things they are talking about aren’t even all that interesting or special.

Well, that’s how most advertising comes across to someone who doesn’t know your business at all.

The thing is that the guy loves hearing himself talk about himself.

Potential customers love themselves too. It’s human nature.

So make what you’re advertising and how you say it completely about them. Let them know how your product or service solves their problem.
3) Don’t market for brand awareness (unless you have millions to spend).
Coca-Cola. Budweiser. Walmart.

You see their advertising in magazines, online and on TV. All…the…time.

They even spend millions for a couple of minutes’ time during the Super Bowl.

Want to know the funny thing about most of their advertisements? They aren’t actually asking you to do anything.

There’s no offer. It’s just “Hey you, look at us!”

This is “brand awareness”. They want you to know who they are and what they sell.

It works as a tactic because they have the amount of money needed to bombard you with commercials.

This won’t work for small business owners. Let’s be honest, we’re working with limited budgets.

You need to make sure your marketing is direct with an efficient goal.

You can miss crowds of potential customers by making marketing mistakes.

4) Don’t keep spending on a failing tactic (in hope that it will improve).
Data is the most important thing about any marketing campaign. Period. You need to know what every dollar you spent was worth in the long run.

When a marketing campaign’s done you’ll know what the results were.

It will be either good or bad.

If it’s good then it’s worth investing in again and if it’s bad you need to figure out what went wrong.

Don’t ever go against what data tells you even if your gut tells you something different.
5) Don’t try to market everything to everyone.

Not having a clear goal with your marketing can leave potential customers indifferent. Even worse confused.

You will get way more of a return on your investment if you know who you are marketing to and what they need right now.

Dial-in on who your product can benefit the most and figure out how to specifically reach out to them.

This isn’t to say that you can’t have multiple groups of people you target using different marketing strategies. You totally should!

6)….and don’t try to do it everywhere.
Not every channel is the right one to market in.

Where you focus your marketing will depend on what your product does and who the demographic is.

It’s not just about who uses what channel either. It’s also about knowing what form of advertising works best on each platform.

Facebook is social. Pinterest is a search engine at heart. Youtube is best for How-tos and niche markets.

Spending your time or money on content for the wrong channel is also a huge waste.
7) Don’t be weak with your offer.
“We offer excellent service at an affordable price!”

Cool! According to every one of your competitors, they do too.

It’s also what customers expect from any business.

No one says they want to pay more for mediocre service.

By marketing yourself using generic terms you make your business easily forgettable. You aren’t directing the customer into action either.

Be specific with the words you use and make sure it calls them to take a specific action.

Be specific with the words you use and make sure it calls them to take a specific action.
8) Don’t look at a customer as a one time sale.
A lot of time business owners stop selling to customers when one of two things happens.

They succeed in getting potential customers to buy their products. Or the potential customer says “No”

Neither of these things should be a signal to stop selling.

You should have a system of follow-ups set up to keep a line of communication going.

A customer that has bought from you has seen the value in what you are selling. So what’s the next logical thing for them to buy based on the product they purchased. Is there an upsell to the current product? Or a lateral sale to something similar that they might also need?

A customer that has said “no” could be in a position where they just weren’t ready for your product right now. Maybe they didn’t understand something about the product. Or your offer wasn’t firm enough and they didn’t know what to do next.

It’s worth it to spend a little time to find out what went wrong.
9) Don’t ask for marriage on the first date.
This is like the golden rule for anyone doing ANY kind of marketing.

Even though you want to be strong with your offer you don’t want to lead with your biggest offer.

Some customers will buy on emotional impulse. But most buyers are wary and want to know that they are making a smart decision while buying from you.

They will be looking for red flags no matter how good your product may seem.

This is where a lot of business owners make the mistake of coming on too strong.

If your main product or service is pricey then it’s a smart move to sell a smaller sample or splinter of your service. This helps build a relationship with that customer first.

Once they’ve become a paying customer they will see the value in you and what you are offering. They will be way more likely to now consider your larger more expensive offerings.
10) Don’t forget to make friends…with their friends.
Don’t overlook that the people you do business with can be your greatest resource for new leads.

Happy customers have hopefully had a good experience with you.

They also know how valuable what you are selling is first hand.

This makes them the most qualified and most excited to tell others about you.

Set up a system that follows up with happy customers. Let them know what actions they can take to help you spread the word.

It also helps if you sweeten the deal. Offer them some kind of discount or free service as an incentive for their time.

You will make up that small loss many times over with the new money they bring in.
So let’s recap the 10 most common marketing mistakes you should avoid (in no particular order):

  1. Don’t confuse marketing with advertising.
  2. Don’t make the marketing about you.
  3. Don’t market for brand awareness (unless you have millions to spend).
  4. Don’t keep spending on a failing tactic (in hope that it will improve).
  5. Don’t try to market everything to everyone.
  6. ….and don’t try to do it everywhere.
  7. Don’t be weak with your offer.
  8. Don’t look at a customer as a one time sale.
  9. Don’t ask for marriage on the first date.
  10. Don’t forget to make friends…with their friends.

It’s easy to make these mistakes when you are focused on running a business.

Hopefully, this article helps!

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