Marketing a business is tough, whether you’ve been at it for ten days or ten years. That said, there are some things you can do to make it easier—and some things that make it a lot more difficult. If you want to successfully promote your business, you need to avoid these 6 fatal marketing mistakes.
Skipping market research
It’s astounding that many business owners adopt marketing strategies without stopping to learn which option is best. This can create all sorts of problems, not the least of which is that it wastes time and money. You can use those resources much more efficiently when you work with a market research firm.
While it’s true that hiring a firm can be expensive, it still costs less than leaping into the wrong marketing strategy without looking. Research firmshave access to insights and resources—not to mention years of experience—that you don’t. They’ll know how to accurately gauge your competition and target audience to make sure you’re choosing the most effective strategy.
Choosing too big of an audience
Speaking of your audience, don’t try to reach a demographic that’s too broad. Many business owners think, “This product is for men everywhere!” or “Every womanneeds this!” But your audience is likely smaller than that. Prohibitive shipping costs could turn “everywhere” into “the continental United States.” And the product you think “every” woman needs may only appeal to women who have small children.
The point is, your target audience needs to encapsulate a specific demographic if you want your marketing to work. Narrow it down to at least 3-4 traits like:
· Family life
· Relationship status
Not making a marketing binder
Binders are such a simple marketing solution that many people overlook them, but they’ve got great features that can enhance any print marketing campaign. Exhibit A: storage space. Since they come in a variety of sizes, you can tailor binders to fit the amount of material in your marketing kit. There’s plenty of room for paperwork, brand information, product photos, or even slim product samples.
To succeed, a marketing binder needs an amazing exterior design that catches clients’ attention. Entrapment binders are a great choice because of their unlimited creative options.You can print any design on the paper inserts, which are then sealed into clear plastic pockets on the exterior panels. The plastic overlay protects your design, and its glossy surface adds a sleek, professional look that lend to your marketing efforts.
Spending too much money too soon
It’s tempting to spend all your money building a giant marketing machine, but that’s actually one of the worst things you can do. If you create an engine your company isn’t ready to handle, your customer base could outgrow your ability to meet demand—which will ultimately result in losing the customers you couldn’t provide for.
It’s best to look for ways to save money. One great tactic is to outsource marketing work when you need it, rather than hiring a full-time employee you can’t afford. Outsourcing is gaining major traction right now; even big name brands are crowdsourcing their marketing and product creation. You can find freelance workerson sites like the aptly-named Freelancer.com, which has profiles for web designers, content creators,designers, and more.
Not tracking results
Our favorite movie line is from City Slickers, when the lead character yells, “We’re lost, but we’re making great time!” That’s exactly how marketing works when you don’t track your results. You could be the best at what you do—but that doesn’t mean what you’re doing is the best for your company.
If you want to succeed, you’ve got to learn how to analyze campaign results. Then you’ll knowwhat’s working, what isn’t, and how to adjust your strategy accordingly. Tracking results shows where you’re wasting money and where your customers are coming from, soyou can market to them more effectively in the future.
Listening to too many voices
Everybody’s got an opinion about your marketing strategy. But trying to please them all will waste a lot of time and money—and as we all know, people-pleasing doesn’t work. Instead, identify a small group of people whose opinions are necessary.
First, choose stakeholders—the department managers or key clients who will be directly affected by your marketing efforts. Then, identify an advice giver, such as a consultant or mentor whose opinion you trust. This person won’t depend on your company’s success or failure; they’ll provide a neutral voice to guide you.
Finally, select the decision maker. This group is the smallest—because you’re the only one in it. You can collect wisdom from your advice givers and your stakeholders. But ultimately, you are the business owner. Do your homework, know what direction you want to take your company, and be confident enough to do it.
One last thing
Don’t expect your marketing strategy to be perfect right away. It will take some time to find the right techniques for your business. But with a little patience and a lot of regard for these tips, you’ll soon build an amazing marketing machine for your company.