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Twenty-One Costly Marketing Mistakes – Part 1

Business owners can dramatically increase their number of new customers and referrals if they avoid these costly marketing mistakes.  Here, in the first of a three part article, are the first 8 mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1:  Advertising to the wrong market.  If you advertise low price, you’ll attract people who want low price.  And the problem with price buyers is that they’re never loyal to your business.  They’re loyal only to low price.  As soon as a competitor offers a price lower than you, these price shopper’s go to a competitor and you’ve lost a client.  If you want to attract low price shopper’s, then advertise low price.  But if you want to attract people who are willing to pay for the service they receive so you can make money, don’t advertise a low price.  Advertise the value of doing business with you.

Mistake 2:  Failing to advertise your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).  The purpose of marketing is to tell your prospective customers how you’re unique.  Your USP is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors.  Start by identifying what you do that’s different from everyone else.  For example, years ago back when no one was doing a very good job of delivering pizzas Tom Monaghan the founder of Domino’s Pizza USP was Fresh Hot Pizza Delivered In 30 Minutes Or Less, Guaranteed.  Once you’ve you got a great USP you can feature it in the headline of your ads.

Mistake 3:  Failing to point out how you’re different.  People come to your business because they think you’re better than other providers of your products or services.  It’s your job to point out to prospective clients how you’re different.  Tell your prospective customer why your clients choose you instead of your competitors.  Identify different services you provide and reassure your potential customers that their experience has a satisfaction guarantee.

Mistake 4:  Failing to overcome initial fear prospective customers have before reaching out to you about using your company for the first time.  Consumers are tired of selling and sales pressure.  In fact, many consumers hate pressure so much that they don’t contact you because they’re afraid you might try to pressure them into making a decision.  It’s the fear of how they think you might treat them.  To overcome this fear, offer valuable free information that you’ll send to anyone who requests it.  Offer  free information on your website to help educate potential clients about what to consider when considering your product or service.  This allows prospects to get information in a non-threatening way, and it allows you to establish a high level of credibility.

Mistake 5:  Using dishonest or misleading advertising.  This seems obvious but some businesses use misleading advertising to attract clients into their business.  Then when they get there the staff doesn’t give them the special advertised or they don’t get the same service your regular customers get.  When you mislead consumers, you lower yourself to the same level as bait-and-switch con artists.  Over the long term, you won’t benefit because once customers discover they’ve been misled, they’ll never do business with you again.  You gain nothing by misleading consumers.  In marketing, a straightforward honest approach is the only method that works.

Mistake 6:  Failing to explain how your prospect benefits.  Your prospective customers wants your service for only one reason:  “What will it do for me?”  Don’t focus on the features of your service; instead, identify each feature and then explain how that feature benefits your prospect in terms of what he or she needs, wants and feels.

Mistake 7: Failing to promote benefits other than it’s basic function. But your customers want other things too. A pleasant experience, good service, selection, to feel special, save time and convenience. In addition, they want to simplify their life save time eliminate waste and even have some social causes that are important to them like helping the environment or helping those less fortunate.  Make sure you promote other benefits as well.

Mistake 8:   Failing to stay in touch with your clients regularly.  Your clients are the source of your current business and future referrals.  The moment they feel you don’t care about their business, they’ll go somewhere else.  I urge you to stay in touch with customers by publishing a regular newsletter that provides them with relevant information about your business’ services, how you are adapting to the current situation, what’s going on in the community and even some funny stories or inspirational quotes.

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