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5 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

By: Debbie Allen


5 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make


In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along
the way. Marketing is no exception. Time and time again, retail
stores of all sizes make the same costly mistakes. But knowing
how to avoid these mistakes can save you energy, disappointment –
and money.

Mistake 1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.


When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms of
marketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right? But cut
these, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring in
new customers to turn your business around. This is the time
when you may be spending more time analyzing the results of your
marketing efforts. But by stopping marketing efforts, you will
be setting yourself up for additional loss of business.


Mistake 2: Not measuring results.


Don’t wait until times get tight to start measuring the results
of your marketing efforts. By analyzing regularly, you will be
able to reinvest in what is working, and drop what isn’t. Ask
customers how they found your business, and then track the
results. Use in-store or on-line coupons. Or host a focus group
of a variety of customers to discover what attracts them to your
business.


Mistake 3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.


If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of
promoting your business, you won’t realize the highest return on
your investment. Diversifying your efforts will increase the
frequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketing
dollars.

Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program with
a local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put the
majority of their marketing dollars there. They feel as if they
have to advertise with the same media source, just because they
always have or because fear they will lose ground since their
competitors are advertising there as well. Some business owners
actually stay with a company for fear of upsetting their sales
associate.

Remember, it’s your money and your investment. Don’t ever let
anyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producing
the best results for your business. And measure the results of
your advertising dollars spent vs. the income received from your
advertising on a consist basis.

When you diversify, don’t’ forget about direct marketing. Many
business owners only do a few direct-mail programs a year,
targeted to their existing customer base. They need to do more.

Your customer base and mailing list is gold, make sure you have
budgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise to
your existing customers. They already love you, so keep them
coming in by sending promotional (promotional – not just sale)
postcards to them at least six times a year.


Mistake 4: Allowing your ego to get in the way of common sense.


Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things. Your
marketing decisions should be based on factors that will
positively impact some area of your business – usually the bottom
line. Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not
focusing on your business’ unique offerings may result in money
going out the window.


Mistake 5: Not getting help when you need it.


If you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts or
that your materials aren’t looking as professional as they
should, it’s time to call in the reinforcements. Hire a full-or
part-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the
“business end” or hire an independent business consultant to
bring in new concepts and fresh ideas.
 

About the Author

Business speaker, Debbie Allen has presented to thousands
in nine countries. Featured in “Entrepreneur”, “Sales Marketing
Excellence” and “Selling Power,” Allen is the author of five books
including best seller, “Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters,”
published in five countries. To learn more or to take her free
business card quiz & evaluate your own marketing, visit: www.DebbieAllen.com

 


 

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