Brand or Die!

A Small Business Survival Guide

The 7 Deadly Marketing Sins

  • Posted: 9:21 AM
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  • Author: Mikal J. Caldwell

As an entrepreneur, you're probably doing a lot of your brand development and marketing work yourself. I've made a list of some common marketing mistakes to look out for. Take a look at this list and see if you're committing any (or all ) of these. If so, don't worry. Admitting you have a problem is always the first step to recovery!

Marketing Sin #1 - "Me" Marketing

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that couldn't stop talking about themselves? Everything was about how good they were, about their latest achievements, how successful they are, how much money they made, etc. Well now take a look at your website.


Yup, that's what you sound like in your marketing. What your customers want to know has nothing to do with how good you are. They want to know how that benefits them. "What's in it for me?" is what they want to know. So translate the features of your product/service/company into powerful benefit statements that are relevant to your target audience. Which leads me to number 2...

Marketing Sin #2 - Marketing without a clear strategy

As the saying goes, if you don't plan to win, then you've already planned to fail. Marketing requires attention and effective marketing requires a plan. Know your targets, set realistic goals, and make every marketing move a purposeful one. This avoids wasting time or money, two of your most valuable assets.

Marketing Sin #3 - Beliving that your product is so great, it will sell itself

Sorry, but a better mousetrap will not cause the world to beat a path to your door. If noone knows who or where you are, they can't do business with you. Quality product is important, but don't expect word to spread on its own. At best you'll need some intial "seed" work to insert your business into the marketplace conversation.

Marketing Sin #4 - Inadequate allocation of resources

Whenever I meet with a client to discuss their marketing budget, I tell them that efffective marketing doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but it's NEVER free. Personally, I use a balance model to show them what I mean. Typically, the marketing tactics that cost the most, require the lowest amount of your personal time to be effective. Conversely, marketing tactics that don't cost a lot require more of your personal attention to work properly. Anyone who has entered the Facebook/Twitter fray understands what I mean!

Marketing Sin #5 - Silver Bullet Marketing

Silver bullet marketing is what I call hanging your hopes on one big marketing push or tactic. One shot is never enough. In fact, really effective marketing is a constant communication process, not a project-based effort. You should be communicating with your audience on a continual basis. Think of your marketing as a tapestry woven together with several marketing fibers all working together to make the whole picture.

Marketing Sin #6 - Lack of marketing commitment

One thing we've learned from this recession is how valuable businesses consider marketing. More often than not, when it was time for corporate belt tightening, the marketing budget was the first to go. As many businesses learned as a result, that was a big mistake. The fact is, marketing is what drives traffic to your door (or site, as it were) and if you stop marketing, people will stop coming. A better solution would be to make your marketing budget a fixed percentage of your revenue, which keeps your expenses in line with your resources.

Marketing Sin #7 - Lone Ranger marketing

You can't do it all, and the more you try, the more your business will suffer as a result. I'm not an accountant, which is why I hired one. As much as you think you know about marketing, there is always a benefit of having a specialist take it over for you. It gives you the benefit of someone that does marketing all day, every day. Plus it frees you to focus on your core business responsibilities. And we all need help, right?

Remember, bE Extraordinary today!

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