A good marketing plan can help launch a new business or grow an existing one. Make sure, however, to avoid common marketing mistakes.
Below are a few mistakes to pay attention to and avoid as you market your goods or services:
- Not Marketing to a Defined Group: Find your target audience and gear your marketing plan to that audience. Trying to appeal to everyone typically does not work.
- Inconsistency in Your Marketing Efforts: You need to have the same look and feel across all of your ads, promotions, and overall marketing plan.
- Lack of Diversification: Marketing on television, in print or on the Internet alone will reach only a portion of your potential customers. Plan to market creatively through a cross-section of media so that customers become familiar with your brand and your products at different times and in different places.
- Not Focusing on Repeat Business: Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers and not building relationships with current ones.
- Starting Too Late: Time your marketing campaigns to coincide with new products, new services, seasonal sales or an upcoming event that will attract business. This typically means preparing well in advance.
- Not Having a Clear Marketing Message: Marketing messages that are contrived, confusing, too subtle or too long can easily miss the target market entirely. The most ingenious marketing plan is wasted if no one gets it.
- Going Overboard: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Too much hype will turn people away.
- Forgetting That Slow and Steady Wins the Race: If you blow your entire marketing budget on a Super Bowl ad, then what can you do next? Marketing means building a reputation over time through ongoing exposure.
- Not Getting Feedback: Test your marketing ideas and do focus groups. Don’t launch it without getting some feedback first.
- Making a Change for the Sake of It: Just because you are tired of your marketing plan doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Too many marketers make changes because they think they have too. Often a tried and true formula will keep working.