There are a lot of small to midsized companies out there that are trying to do marketing and making critical business decisions with limited resources in today’s economy. While most would think that this is just a sign of the times and they are keeping their heads above water but the reality is they are missing out on a whole lot more. Below you will find a list of items that are some specific examples of common mistakes that are made when companies try to do their own marketing without the proper background and education.

 

What if YOU Were the One Left Out?

Not Focusing on Repeat Business is a MAJOR mistake. Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses out there today. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers in and not building relationships with current ones. The mindset of today’s consumer is even more critical and extremely hard to keep completely satisfied. However, the more you focus on their needs, improving your service or goods they purchase, or helping their lives and making things easier on them, the more you will notice your business grow.

 

You Can’t Aim for Everyone…

No company can be all things to everyone as much as you would like it to be true. Thinking you can just paint yourself into a corner because of a misplaced fear that by targeting a specific group you’ll be turning away others. But aiming at everyone is an oxymoron; the best marketers understand that by narrowing their target audience they can increase the intensity of their brand’s appeal, developing interest and driving margins. You’re better off being the first choice of 10 percent of the population than being one of the many options for them to choose from.

 

Don’t Bet on Rationality…

This mistake is a little one, but very dangerous. Marketing plans are often a left-brain effort, where rational day to day tasks like determining budgets and plotting strategy take place. However, consumers don’t make decisions where logic and argument reside. Research has proven that emotion not only influences most purchase decisions, it tends to trump any reason along the way. Why try to convince your prospects when you can connect with them or touch them in a way that sticks with them. They’re depending on their gut more than you realize…

 

The Statistics are not Always Right…

Too many marketers look at the data as if information had special powers. To say market research has its limitations is to understate the point because some of it can be flat-out misleading and should be carefully scrutinized. Consumers don’t always realize how they feel, what they think, or why they do/act the way they do, and even when are aware they don’t always tell you the truth. Research is a valuable tool in a marketers daily routine, but used improperly it can cost you.

 

Getting Caught up Following the Leader…

Theoretically speaking competition is awesome. When it gets concrete it’s just plain mind boggling, especially if your competitors are flooding the market with things you think you can match or beat. It’s tempting to try and beat your competition or get one up on them, especially if they’re the leader. Proceed carefully as you may reinforce their strengths and derail your differentiation. Don’t try to be better… BE UNIQUE!

 

Relying on Committee Approval…

Who can agree with their own family on what to do or serve around the holidays, how can you expect a roomful of managers to agree on something as subjective as marketing? Everyone’s views and opinions are different, and the fewer people involved in the creative approval process, the better. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up with just a mess that nobody wants to eat. Sometimes the best committee is a committee of few or even one.

 

Skimping Due to Cost…

A low marketing budget may save you some money but in the long run it will cost business. If you don’t have a line item with a reasonable percentage allocated to marketing, you’re not a real business. Notice that we stated marketing, not advertising! Paid media may very well not be right for you, but every company must somehow get its message out there. Find the way and spend the money and keep in mind that most do-it-yourself marketers shouldn’t be doing it themselves and need some sort of help.

 

Sitting on the Edge of Your Seat….

When was the last time you jumped out of your seat immediately to do exactly as instructed? Marketing doesn’t work that way either, and as consumers we all understand that. Yet when we are at our desk chairs we somehow expect immediate results. It takes time to seed a message, and credibility grows through consistency. Plan your efforts well, and stick with them. As simple as it sounds, every time you start over, you’re truly starting over.

 

No One Wins if you Chicken Out…

Plans are great to have, but they are just words on paper until acted upon. It’s amazing how much time and money companies spend getting their things together, only to chicken out when it’s time to act. It is very easy to come up with reasons why not to do something and giving into fear of the unknown. Writers aren’t writers unless they write, marketers aren’t marketers unless they market. Not everything will be successful, but with each mistake that is made you’ll be learning and growing.

And there you have them. A few common marketing mistakes and tips to avoid that can save you time, money, and a lot of frustration as you learn from the mistakes of your piers.

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