Digital marketing

Five easily avoidable marketing mistakes

- May 1, 2012 3 MIN READ

Marketing is not an exact science, so it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are a handful of common marketing mistakes that you’ll want to steer clear of.

Looking for instant rewards

Returns from marketing are not always immediate. Every time I see a new customer I ask them about their previous marketing activity, and I’m astounded by how many reply by saying something like “Oh, we ran an advert in the local paper last year – but it didn’t generate any business”.

That first advert is only one step on the road to attracting new business. Customers generally won’t spring into action after seeing your first advert. There are many reasons for their delayed response: they may not require your offering at that time, might not have the funds, or may simply have other priorities. It may not be until the third, tenth or even twentieth viewing that circumstances change and they decide to get in touch. Repetitive, consistent advertisements will help you remain top of mind and increase the chance of obtaining new business.

Aiming at everyone

You’ll never be everything to everyone. By targeting specific customers, you may be turning some people away, but you’ll also be talking directly to your preferred customers – that is, the profitable ones.

I’ve observed that many natural therapists I’ve worked with fall into the trap of talking to everyone. They believe everyone has a requirement for their services, so they talk about general medical conditions. The problem with general messages is that potential customers don’t hear the marketing messages, as they’re not speaking directly to them. When therapists begin to include specific medical conditions in their marketing, they find people who suffer from these conditions start to respond, and other people start referring patients to them too. Your targeted message could become your point of difference.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.

Not differentiating your USP

When you’re establishing your unique selling proposition (USP), don’t use a generic statement like “We offer superior service,” which is something that anyone could say, and doesn’t differentiate you. Add detail to offer a point of difference from your competition: “Our commitment to service means we turn up on time”.

Once you’ve established your USP, you need to promote it like crazy. Use it in every piece of communication your customers see: your website, business card, letterhead, advertisements, brochures, invoices – everything!

Abandoning what works

I’ve often seen small business owners who have a successful product or service become overly confident or get bored with their marketing and decide to change it, or introduce something new. Instead, I advise you to stick with what works. Don’t forget that what’s old hat to you is still new to the majority of your market.

It’s always great to try new things, but never swap a current promotion or product with a new one that hasn’t been tested. No matter how good you are, thorough testing should always be undertaken before altering an existing product or offering a new one.

Not loving the ones you’re with

Want to dramatically reduce your promotions budget while increasing profitability? Simple. Look after the customers you already have. It costs around five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. Treat your existing customers like gods, and the benefits are multi-layered.

A finished sale does not mean the end of your relationship. Keep in contact with newsletters and promotions, and ask them regularly about what else they might be interested in. You might also like to implement the 50-cent marketing plan and give them a phone call on a regular basis.

Develop a cycle, and contact customers at pre-determined times. Keeping loyal customers also increases the chance of turning them into advocates for your business who will start referring you to their peers. This is marketing gold!

Any other marketing mistakes that you’d recommend we steer clear of? Please share them below.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"