When it comes to business marketing, we can afford to make little mistakes but we need to get it right fairly quickly. Many think it’s about the cost of failed marketing, and certainly, that is very relevant. You stuff up an advert or message and you’ve wasted that money. But it’s more than that. It’s about general perception, branding and of course, all the business you may have lost due to the error or blunder. So let’s look at some things that I regularly see as a business coach (and marketing advisor) which get done wrong, time and time again.
7 Marketing Mistakes You CANNOT Afford to Make
1. Not knowing your business, your competition and your client or prospect
A strategy starts with lots of basics you need to get right. Do you know what you’re selling? Let’s say you’re a bookkeeper, you might say you are selling bookkeeping services. Sure, that’s the service, but you’re actually selling peace of mind around the financial state of a business. Do you know who your target market is? Do you know what your target market really wants? What keeps them awake at night? What frustrates them? What are their goals or objectives? Do you know their gender, age, income level, hobbies, interests, passions? Once you know your clients well, you can then talk to them well. Know what your competition is doing too. Why do they win jobs or beat you in your quotes? You might presume it’s about price, and sometimes it is, but that doesn’t mean you just drop your prices, or roll over and quit.
2. Not having a strategy and written down plan
A good marketing plan will be detailed, thought out, planned well and written down. You’ll have determined a budget for each item and who will be doing that item. You might outsource or you might have team but be clear who is responsible. When you don’t have a plan, often you just do marketing when you think of it, or get quiet or when someone tries to sell you a marketing concept – which might sound like a good idea at the time. With all ideas put forward to you – do your due diligence and ensure it’s going to be something which will work for you. Remember, the person selling is selling their service, so of course, they are going to tell you what you want to hear.
3. Being inconsistent
Years ago I began coaching a consultant. He would market when things got quiet and then when he got busy, he would stop marketing. When he came to me, he described his workflow like a roller coaster – and no wonder! Marketing takes time to work, you need ‘lead up time’ so it’s important to keep your marketing consistent. Sure, if you’re doing Adwords or FB Advertising you might slow the campaign a little but never cut it out. Don’t wait till you’re sitting around, no leads and no work before you think “gee, better get that marketing up and running again”. Unless of course, you love workflow which assembles a roller coaster ride.
4. Marketing all about you
Marketing your business is a rookie mistake. Really what you want to market is the problem you solve, or the solution you provide. For example, if you see an advert and the biggest text is the same of the business, then unless name recognition is huge, this is a big mistake. If you have a big ego and like seeing your name up in lights, become a movie star. Large companies will sometimes run branding campaigns, such as Nike, Coke, Apple … but even the big boys don’t spend too much on branding, but rather focus on selling. Your message should be around what your client wants, not what you want. For example, you would not say “I’m looking for customers who …. “ Remember, it’s ALL about your prospect or customer.
5. Tracking nothing, measuring nothing
Wonderful, the leads are coming in and you’re getting busy. Where are those leads coming from? You think maybe the website? Or you ran an advert recently, so it must be that. You need to KNOW what is working or not working. Never assume and don’t just rely on memory. When you start tracking you start getting some great information about what is working (or not working) and particularly if you have a few marketing strategies (which you should) you might be assuming one is working, when in fact it’s something else. Instead of throwing good money into something which is not effective, move those funds to something which works well.
6. Not be online
This is a huge mistake. I appreciate that the business which has been around for decades didn’t need a website and certainly didn’t need to perform any digital marketing. However, times are changing. Even if your business relies on word of mouth and personal recommendations, when someone hears about your business (because it was strongly recommended to them) the first thing they will do is going to look you up. If they cannot find you they then wonder if you’re real, legit, serious about business, or even IN business. One person said recently “if your business is not online; it does not exist”. The older business may survive a bit longer offline, but not forever. The new business quite bluntly hasn’t got a chance in hell of working if they are not online.
7. Dismissing new ideas
I fully understand that most people do not like change. They get set in their ways and figure what worked last year or yesterday will work tomorrow. The thing is that with technology, the internet and the digital world, it is changing EVERY DAY. Every few months Google or Facebook will do an algorithm change or a new concept comes up. Not every new thing will work or is wonderful, but you need to be willing to look at it, listen and potentially even try. I recently met with a lady who is 65+ and although she said she didn’t fully understand how Facebook worked, she was willing to learn. She was willing to adapt and she was willing to change. Good on her! Age, background or experience does not need to be a stumbling block or barrier to expanding your skillset, attitudes and marketing expertise. Remember also that you don’t have to do it alone – whether it’s a business coach like myself who guides you or you get an expert in an area of marketing – there are many people out there who can help you.
So, of course, if you want to get your marketing right, you need to:
- Know your business, know your competition and know your prospective client
- Have a strategy and plan
- Be consistent (and constant)
- Make your marketing about your client
- Track your leads and view your statistics
- Be online
- Be open to new ideas, concepts or thoughts.
If you’d like any assistance with marketing or business coaching, I’d love to hear from you. Please give me a call on 0411 622 666 or drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make a spectacular week!