Achieve a Winning Marketing Plan by Avoiding 9 Marketing Pitfalls
So you’ve got a great product or a fabulous service and you are ready to announce it to the world. Your goal is to develop a solid marketing plan that gives you the most for your money. How can you make sure your marketing budget will maximize your return on investment?
It often helps you know what to do when you know what not to do. While developing your marketing strategy, you should keep the following nine marketing mistakes in mind:
1. Wasting Money
Money is a valuable asset! Don’t get caught up jumping from opportunity to opportunity or buying everything that lands in your inbox. Think twice before making major purchases and make sure your marketing strategy is in place before spending money on advertising.
Marketing, PR and advertising dollars are a valuable commodity, so it’s important to come up with smart ways to spend your money wisely. You can’t spend all of your time at the drawing board, however. There comes a time when you simply have to take a leap of faith and roll out the campaign. You’re not going to sell anything through a campaign that never deploys, or a website that never launches. Be smart, do your homework, but be proactive. Be careful not to fall in love with your ideas, either. If customers are not buying your products or calling for your services your campaign is not successful, no matter how nice it looks or creative it is. If you don’t have a ready system in place to track sales and campaign success, you are not going to know if the money was wasted or not. It’s important to track it, and track it constantly.
2. Not Spending Enough
The cliché is true: you have to spend money to make money. If you try to take the cheap route to save a dime, it will show and your potential clients will know it, even if they don’t say anything to you. The fact is that people do judge a book by its cover. If you are lacking a consistent brand identity or distributing material that is not professional quality, your image will suffer. If you are holding back and not marketing enough, you will lose valuable opportunities, also.
3. Focusing on the Wrong Markets
The first step in any marketing plan is to determine who you are marketing to. If you market to an audience who doesn’t have a need for your product or service, then your campaign is not going to work no matter how clever it is. Do your research and make sure you are sending your message to the right people. If you are dead set on conquering a certain market you could end up on a long and expensive journey that is doomed to failure. A “niche” market is a good find but only if this they will spend money!
4. Believing Change is Always Good
When it comes to successful marketing, customers remember consistency. If you keep changing the message, or your visuals are not consistent, you may confuse your customers. Confused customers don’t buy products or services: they move on to something they understand. So resist the temptation to change your marketing messages, or to use a variety of designers because you are price shopping. Everything the customer sees should be consistent with message and imagery. Measure what is working and do more of that. Only change strategy when things are not working and you know WHY they are not working. Is it the message? Is it the target? Is it the appearance? It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel to come up with a successful marketing plan or marketing materials- in fact, it’s sometimes detrimental. It is okay to freshen up your look or launch a new campaign every so often, but keep it familiar to your clients so they still recognize you.
5. Resisting Change
There are those that miss out on opportunities because they don’t keep up with the times. This is especially true when it comes to websites. Many companies believe that the website that they have from a few years ago is fine and they don’t believe they have any reason to change it. Sadly, they are missing out! The rapid advancement of technology and the age of the internet has had an drastic impact on the way businesses do marketing. More and more people are turning to the web as their main resource for locating products and services. By regularly maintaining a modern, optimized website, businesses have the opportunity to significantly increase their sales.
6. Assuming Your Product Sells Itself
If you don’t market your product or service, your customers won’t know about it. If they don’t know about it, they can’t buy it. The concept is simple, yet far too many business owners fail to see that marketing is a necessary component of the business cycle. Marketing is not an extracurricular activity that takes you away from your business… it IS your business.
Putting things off is a killer when it comes to marketing. You must have a plan and some kind of time management system in place. Prioritize your goals, develop your budget, create your strategy, and then make it happen. Too many businesses miss the boat because they let it float by without getting on it. Get your team together and get moving on it!
8. Being a Perfectionist
You’ll likely never have a “perfect” website or a perfect product but that’s okay! The important part is that you get out there! You can tweak things as you go along and improvements WILL come later – but if you try to get everything “right” before you start then you’ll never start.
9. Doing It Alone
You can do your marketing alone but it is harder, and without support you are more likely to fail and waste a lot of time, energy and money in the process. Bring in the experts where it counts and outsource when you need to. Hiring designers and marketing professionals actually often SAVES you money in the long run, and their knowledge and experience usually serves to MAKE you money. Marketing professionals will help you identify how to most effectively spend your marketing dollar are, and where you can save.
For more information on creative a winning marketing plan, contact Empire Creative Marketing at 281-486-8882. Empire Creative Marketing is located in Houston, Texas and serves clients in Houston and nationwide!