To Correct Common Marketing Mistakes
by: Dr. Kevin Nunley
marketing campaign is a beautiful thing. Your advertising not only connects
with just the right prospects, but it seems everyone is talking about
you, your product, or service.
Sales come in at a
nice pace. Profits mount as you quietly chuckle thinking how little you
spent on marketing. Suddenly, moving your company forward doesn't seem
hard at all.
rarely works that easily, at least at first. Rhonda, who is marketing
director for a mid-sized business-to-business company, purchased an expensive
series of television ads to boost product awareness. "I thought getting
our brand in front of so many people would naturally increase sales, but
it didn't happen," she laments.
Meanwhile, Ted, working
hard to get a home-based business opportunity started, sunk his entire
three-month marketing budget into a sales letter to 1,000 prospects. Only
a few responded leaving Ted wondering what he did wrong.
Most marketing gets
held back by a few very common mistakes. Let's look at a few along with
ways you can easily correct them to get your advertising back on track.
#1: Your marketing gets lost in the crowd. Each of us gets
bombarded by thousands of advertising messages every day.
From magazines, to
radio ads, to a TV talking in the background, to the flier left on your
front door, the daily ad barrage continues.
learn to ignore marketing. After all, most of it has very little to do
with their concerns. Prospects only pay attention to marketing that is
radically different or marketing that speaks directly to their most immediate
marketing rarely works. It may be one of the most counterintuitive features
of promotion. How many of the outrageous dot-com ads from the 1990s do
you still remember?
your ad from the pack by making it talk directly to something the prospect
really cares about. It should point out a problem your product or service
Make the language
of your ad sound like the way customers would describe the problem, the
solution, and the way they feel after the problem is solved. This is language
that gets attention.
#2: Marketing targets an audience that is too broad. Before
you can address the specific concerns of a prospect, you have to narrow
the groups of people your marketing is reaching.
Ted's sales letter
didn't work because the list of addresses he mailed to weren't people
who had already shown an interest in starting a home-based business. Many
were already owners of good-sized businesses. Others were managers in
companies with little time or inclination to work from home.
Ted would do better
to use a more tightly targeted list of people who had recently requested
information on a home-based business or had tried one or more opportunities
in recent years.
An ad in your big
city newspaper will reach a great many people, but very few will be in
the market to buy your improvement for offset printers. In this case,
your ad would work much better in a trade magazine for printing companies.
TV and newspapers
work very well to sell products used by a large, diverse mass of people.
You can target TV and newspapers further by putting ads on specialized
cable TV programs or in special neighborhood editions of newspapers. Likewise,
you can get better targeting and lower rates by placing ads in regional
editions of national magazines.
#3: Your ad budget gets blown in a one-shot marketing gamble.
This is one of the most common and often heart-breaking problems. A new
store will spend everything they have on one radio remote, full page newspaper
ad, or direct mailer. If the first try doesn't work (and it often doesn't),
there is no money left for a second or third try.
Which leads us to
the next mistake.
#4: Marketing isn't consistent. The old saying among veteran
marketers is the first ad never works. You get consistent, long-term results
by continuing your ad over weeks and months.
It may be true that
familiarity breeds contempt, but not in marketing. Familiarity develops
awareness and confidence in prospects so they buy.
There are endless
examples of a small inexpensive ad that appeared in the local Sunday paper
every issue for years. Sales started slowly, then built to a constant
I'll never forget
the owners of an auto parts supplier who strongly believed if the ad didn't
pull astounding results the first time, there was no use in continuing.
They bounced from ads in one publication to ads in another with little
to show for their effort.
#5: Marketing fails to tie different media together. Too many
times the direct mail campaign a company does has little to do with the
magazine ads they are running. Instead, make your ads in different media
all relate to each other.
Take the audio from
your TV commercial and adapt it for a radio spot. Use a still from the
TV commercial in your magazine and newspaper ads. Take the still photo
and some of the verbiage from your spot and use it in a direct mail campaign.
The continuity will
increase your chances of breaking through the marketing clutter to really
Keep in mind different
media work in different ways, accomplishing some things better than others.
Television SHOWS how your product or service works. Radio helps people
know the FEELING of using your product. Newspapers and magazines are good
at EXPLAINING how things work. Direct mail utilizes the power of the letter
to talk to your prospects in a very personal one-on-one way.
#6: Finally, don't belive the hype that the Internet is somehow
dead or dying. USA Today recently reported the number of people using
the Web has doubled since the Internet Boom in 1998.
Huge numbers of consumers
and businesses worldwide now understand the Web is a wonderful place to
find a large variety, get things done fast, and uncover a lower price.
Use your web site
to give visitors all the information they need to understand and buy your
product or service. Have your TV spots, radio commercials, print ads,
and sales letters all send people to your web site where they can spend
as much time as they need perusing your in-depth material.
Marketing is one of
those aspects of life where the tried-and-true often works best. Use these
proven solutions to common marketing mistakes to insure your advertising
and promotion efforts bring the results you expect.
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