Three Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Over crowded courtesy of T.C. YenWhat worked in the past may not work going forward. I hear that over and over, speaking with many business owners at various conferences and events. And the most interesting changes are due to the advancements in technology today. Things are moving so fast, you might miss or skip one generation of technology without even knowing about it!

In December of 2009, my teenage daughter setup her Facebook account and overnight, she had 67 friends, compared to my 1-year-old Facebook account with only 56 friends. Of course, today, she has far surpassed me in number of friends.
Popular singer Ke$ha released her number one single “TiK ToK" in Dec. 2009 via the Internet and became the highest digital female release of the week right at Christmas time. I felt like I had somehow skipped one generation of technology because I was not familiar at all with this type of sales venue.

When it comes to marketing for small and privately-held businesses, we are perhaps still holding on to traditional marketing such as public relations, print, TV and radio advertising, etc. But if you have a limited marketing budget, no matter what medium you use, you have to be especially thoughtful now about how you will spend your marketing dollars.

Today, many consumers exercise their option to avoid television commercials by watching their favorite programs through TiVo, DVR, or even Hulu. Radio fans may opt for Sirius XM Satellite Radio and skip those commercial announcements that interrupt the music. The point is, more and more consumers may be opting out of your advertising. Combine that with Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 and Do Not Mail lists, and you have to begin to ask yourself if your marketing methods are getting results in comparison to the money you are spending.

In  Inbound marketing by Brian Halligan, the author defines many different technologies to get you found in the cyberspace.  Halligan mentions the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), RSS (Really simple syndication), blogging, building mutli-media content (such as YouTube channels, webinars), and of course social media marketing such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Google’s Pay Per Click for search marketing is a popular new marketing technology that can be leveraged to a targeted audience and may also be a good use of your advertising dollar.

Hopefully, your marketing efforts are resulting in conversions and sales no matter which marketing method you continue to use or intend to test. As business owners, you should expect your marketing efforts to convert to sales, with or without a salesperson. The marketing strategy you deploy must ultimately create value for you the owner and all other stakeholders. It should create and build value within your business to compensate you for the amount of risk you assume when you spend your advertising and marketing dollars. 

Avoid these three fatal marketing mistakes – regardless of the marketing methods you decide to use:

  • No clear target.  In real estate investment, the best realtors or brokers will remind you to consider “Location, Location, Location” in order to make the smartest real estate investments. In marketing, it’s more like,  “Target, Target, Target.”  You see, because you can’t be all things to all people, you must be specific about who your target audience is. Targeted marketing will increase your results and make a difference when using any the marketing methods mentioned above.
  • Push marketing only.  Yes, I do agree that we all need to do certain push marketing such as websites, brochures, radio, TV and print advertising, and public relations. As matter of fact, you need to do enough push marketing to see some results. However, you should also plan to strategically deploy pull marketing along the way. Pull marketing is defined as a way to pull all resources and customers to you.
  • No market makers.  Market makers are defined entities or people who have the same target clients or customers as you. As part of pull marketing, market makers are great ways to pull customers to you.  Please reference my published article “Are You Leveraging Pull Marketing Yet?”  at & Fox Business online for more details.

How does avoiding these three mistakes create value for you as business owner? People don’t buy potential – they want solid historic financial records to see how effectively you pull your leads in, creating a return on investment. Having solid pull marketing in the front-end helps your investors clearly see how an investment in your company will turn out in the next three to five years. Always look at your marketing strategies and plans with an end in mind, and also from a buyer’s perspective. 

Technologies will come and go, trend and decline, as do your customers, products or services. But keep in mind these three deadly marketing mistakes to avoid, and then be compensated for the amount of financial risk and outlay you put in your business. Why bear the risks but not demand a return on your investment? The choice is yours.


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