Science is often defined as “organized common sense” and so is marketing. It is an investment that can help create enough exposure to a new business or grow an existing business. Creating a killer marketing plan and most importantly implementing it consistently can help strengthen your brand and reputation among your customers and potential customers. If you are a business owner, who thinks you don’t have the time or energy or don’t think you can afford marketing, think again. One of the top reasons for a lot of small businesses to fail in their very first year is because of poor marketing strategy or none in place at all. We have listed some of the five common marketing mistakes that need to be avoided.
Monkey see Monkey do
Most of the marketing strategies that we are using nowadays are age old. The way we do it might have changed but the essence still remains the same. There are a lot of businesses out there that are providing the same kind of services/products as yours and are quite successful with their marketing and business in general. By copying the marketing strategies of these companies, you can ascertain that you are definitely not wasting your time, money and energy. You don’t have to blatantly copy their strategy, but use their techniques like a cheat sheet and come up with a competent strategy. You could also look at what they have been doing and brainstorm new or improved techniques.
Understanding your Customers needs
This should be the very first thing in not only marketing, but also in coming up with a product of service. Do you think you clearly understand your potential customers requirements? Do you think you can satisfy their needs with your product or service or help solve their issues? You should have heard it a million times before, but put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Create a list of characteristics of your average prospective customer. By understanding your customers requirement, you will not only be able to improve your service/product, you will also be able to reach out to them easily and convince them. If you already have a bunch of customers, the easiest way to understanding the needs of your ideal customer/client is to analyze and study your existing customers who seem to love your service. Also, it is good to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Getting feedbacks from your existing customers could also help a lot in collecting information about your ideal client.
Targeting the right Prospects
If you were successful in understanding your potential customers needs and what kind of people they are, you have already ran half the marathon. Now that you know who your ideal customers are, there is no point in advertising and marketing to the wrong people. If you are a small business who provide house cleaning service in your town, stick to marketing your service to the households in your neighborhood with people who don’t seem to have enough time. There is no point in marketing your services to corporates and big establishments. They probably have an in-house team or have a corporate cleaning service in place to get the job done.
Online and offline Marketing
It is true that we are living in the digital age and people look for solutions to their problems more on the Internet. However, it is not a wise thing to completely ignore offline marketing. Understand the simple fact that online marketing and offline marketing do not always have to work against one and another, but together for greater success. If you concentrate more on online marketing, and do not pay heed to conventional marketing techniques, you are certainly losing out on a lot of customers.
Professional Marketing material
You are proud of your Photoshop and Illustrator skills and think you can create your own business cards, flyers, and pullup banners for your offline marketing. You could save a considerable amount of money by forging your own designs. But a badly designed brochure or branding is the last thing you want if you are quite serious about your business. Although it might be tempting to design your own marketing material or website, please get help from experts. You really don’t want your flyers made using MS word, and don’t want your website look like it has been created by an high school student (with all due respect to high school students will killer designing skills.) Professionally designed marketing material for both offline and online marketing will give an image upgrade instantly.
If you have already hired a professional digital printing company chances are they already have expert designers who will be able to create appealing marketing material. If the printing company you are currently working with do not have in-house designers you should probably look for another competent printing company in your town. Also, it is only wise to look for printing services in Sydney if you happen to live in Sydney and don’t hire a company all the way across the continent in Perth. The reason is you will you be able to get in touch with them quite easily and also will be able to meet them in person, if need be. And most important, you can make last second edits if needed.
Here is a 119 creative ways to advertise yourself or your business, you should find interesting way that you can apply.
By Kerry Blake : Kerry is an IT trainer and lecturer who also writes technology and automotive articles. You can follow him twitter on @KerryBlake16