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8 Common Marketing Mistakes
by Charlie Cook

Advertising can be one of the fastest ways to market and grow your business or it can be one of the quickest ways to go out of business. With the right ad you can attract clients to your business and increase your profits. With the wrong ad you can spend your way into bankruptcy.

To grow your business you need to attract the attention of your prospects, advertising can help you do so if used correctly. Unfortunately, many small businesses owners waste thousands of dollars on advertising efforts that only achieve minimal results.

If you want to get the most from the money you spend to promote your products and services, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

Focusing on Your Products and Services 

If you want to get the attention of your prospects, speak to their needs and wants. Your prospects' primary concern isn't that you've been in business for 25 years; it is do you know the problem they want to solve. Use your ad to identify at least one common problem of your prospects and the benefit of using your product or service.

Having a Weak Marketing Message 

All to often you hear ads and it takes some thought to figure out what they are even promoting. Make sure your advertisement includes a 7-10 word description of whom you serve and the problems you solve so people who read or hear your ad know how you can help them.

Using the Wrong Words 

A word here, a phrase there can change your response rate by hundreds of percent. When you spend money on advertising, first test a number of versions of your copy to identify the one that works best. Just by revising her ad copy so it was client and problem centered, I helped one small business owner achieve her best month in sales ever.

Missing Motivation 

Most ads miss the mark in moving prospects to action. If you want to prompt prospects to visit your web site or your store or to contact you, include an offer that motivates them to do so.

Lacking in Frequency 

Some people make spur of the moment buying decisions, but most need to become familiar with your services and products, and this takes time. If you want your advertising to work, you need to ensure that your prospects see or hear it regularly.

Web Sites that Don't Move Prospects to Action 

Many small business owners direct prospects to a web site where they have more extensive content covering available services and products. I constantly get calls from people who have been successful at attracting prospects to their web site, but generate few sales.

Once prospects get to your web site make sure the content and visual organization moves them to take the action you want them to. Whether it is providing them with ample opportunities to fill in your service inquiry form, or including a subset of your product catalog in your web page navigation bars, help prospects move to client and customer status.

Lack of Follow Up 

Sometimes making a sale requires sending a note or picking up the phone and calling your prospects. If you have an effective lead generation strategy, prospects will provide you with their contact information and the problem they want solved. Use the web, email, and the phone to follow up and close the sale.

Lack of Tracking

If you are making more from your advertising than you are spending, you're ahead. Frequently small business owners can't tell you which of their efforts helped bring in the business. Track each of your ad campaigns and you'll know where to spend your money in the future, what to modify and what to eliminate.

- Do you know how many sales and how much money you made as a result of each of your advertising campaigns?

- Are you making any of the above common marketing mistakes?

- What elements of your marketing should you change?

Put your marketing house in order. Fix your strategy and your materials. If you don't know what to change or how to change it, use experts to help you with strategy, copyrighting, design, PR, and media placement.

Avoid these common marketing mistakes and you'll find ore people contacting you about your products and services and that your making more than your spending on your advertising.

Related Articles:

What is Your Marketing Message?
Marketing is creating the impression people get about your company and its products and services. It happens through many forms of communication including things as basic as how your phone is answered, what your marketing collateral looks like—including business cards and letterhead—to the even more crucial direct contact of sales and customer service personnel.

Effective Advertising
For small business owners, the task of learning marketing can be overwhelming and the cost of hiring professionals prohibitive. It does take time to master these skills, but with a little attention on a consistent basis, one can learn enough to market their firm successfully.

How to produce an effective ad and get results
One of the first skills anyone new to business has to master is the art of writing an ad. To promote a product or service we need to advertise and for this we need a well written power- packed ad. Its a lot more difficult than it seems.

The Perceived Value of Advertising
Customers possess inherent special skills in evaluating and determining the value of a product by simply viewing its advertisement. Product advertisements not only convey the business identity, but also the quality of the company's product and service (including the deepness of the pockets).


 2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small business owners who want to improve their marketing and attract more clients. Get a copy of the marketing guide, 7 Steps to Get More Clients and Grow Your Business. Get the marketing guide now:  http://www.charliecook.net

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