Five Marketing Blunders

There are lots of blunders made very day by would be marketers. They are easy to avoid, as long as you know what they are. Here are five of the worst.

Blunder One: Not having or including a business card in your business communications.

A few weeks ago, at a networking event, I heard the following conversation. Prospect, “Do you have a card?” The marketer’s response, “You’ve got my 8 x 11 card right there, give me a call when you want to talk.” Then he left.

An 8 x 11 card is not a card. It’ s a brochure. It doesn’t fit in anyone’s card file.

Another example, I get regular marketing mail from a writer every three months. His letter is well written. It demonstrates that he’s probably got what it takes to supply me with good marketing writing. Now I hire freelance writers, so he’s speaking to his target market. However, he’s never included a business card with his letter. Every letter goes into the trash, as I’m not about to go to the effort to make up a business card for him that I can keep on file. So he’s never been called.

It’s a simple thing. It’s not rocket science. Give people your card. Every time you send correspondence send another card. People lose them. They are inexpensive. Don’t hoard them.

Blunder Two: Thinking that your brochure is about you, or your company.

It’s not. It’s about your prospect. If it doesn’t speak about their pain, their passion, their needs, their desires, in their language, it’s a failure.

What’s your prospect’s favourite subject? Themselves! Yet what do you write in your brochure? You write, “We’ve been in business since… We’re the best… Our systems… Our product… We’re proud to have…” Where’s the prospect in all this back patting?

Make sure your marketing materials refer to your prospects rather than you. Instead of writing, “Our Widgets are the largest on the market.” Write “You get more Widget for your investment.”

You should refer to your client three or four times as often as you refer to yourself.

Blunder Three: Using the front cover of your brochure to proudly display your company name, logo and slogan.

Think for a minute. What is it about your name than would entice anyone to open your brochure? By telling them up front who you are, they think they know you. And because they think they know what you’re about, they make an instant decision not to open your brochure-they feel they don’t need to.

The cover of your brochure isn’t a branding tool. For most small- and mid-size businesses, their brand is not top of mind in their marketplace. Unless you’ve spent the time, money and effort building it, your prospects don’t yet care about your brand.

The purpose of that cover is to keep the brochure out of the trashcan, and then to entice your prospect to open it.

They won’t open it just because you’ve told them your name. You’re just not that interesting, no matter who you are. You need to give them a cover message that’s interesting enough to overcome your prospect’s reluctance at becoming involved.

Even Microsoft knows that their name alone isn’t enough to get a brochure opened.

You need to have a powerful, intriguing message on that cover. If your cover stated, “Your financial problems gone in 60 days…guaranteed,” someone with financial pains will open it, just to see if you might really have an answer. They are opening it with the desire to have their pain removed capstone project writing service in the forefront of their minds.

Once the brochure has been opened, the cover plays no further role in the process.

Blunder Four: Badly handled follow up.

I mentioned in a recent Capstone’s E-mail Marketing Tip, that follow up is vital to your marketing. However, follow up can be handled badly. Calling your prospect every couple of months is a definite blunder. Essentially, you’re seen as begging for business. You may be charming, but you’re still a pest.

These calls don’t come across as you, “keeping in touch ’cause we’re buddies”. They simply imply that you don’t have any business. And few people want to hire suppliers who don’t have any business-how good are you?

These calls disrupt your prospect’s daily routine. They also mean, that every time your prospect speaks to you, they’re turning you down. They are telling you, “No, they don’t have any work for you”. That sets a negative emotional tone to their interaction with you. They begin to see you as someone who should be turned down. After all, that’s what they always do. This in turn makes your prospects feel badly about themselves. We don’t like disappointing people. By nature, most people would rather please people than disappoint them. Now when you call (before you’ve even spoken) your prospect regains some of the negative emotions from each past disappointment. Subconsciously, they begin to equate you with negative feelings.

Find positive ways to follow up. Perhaps a newsletter, tip sheet or article clippings. Something of value and interest to your prospect.

Blunder Five: Placing all your future in one or two marketing tactics.

I hear it all the time. People tell me, “I never have to market. All my business comes from referrals.” Or “I advertise in the Yellow Pages and get all the business I need.” Or “I attend the major industry trade shows and network like crazy. I always get enough business from that.”

These same people almost invariably come to me saying, “I don’t know what happened. Business has been off lately.” Or “My business is so cyclical. I’m busy for a while then I have to pound the pavement to scare up new business. It’s feast or famine in my trade.”

All these people have failed to develop a marketing mix and to systematically implement it. Marketing to them is a hit-and-miss affair, based on preconceived notions and lack of real interest.

At all times, you should have a half dozen, or more, marketing tools in action. The deployment of these should be systematized. It’s a huge mistake to leave it up to your mood or when you have spare time to do your marketing. It must be a non-stop activity to be successful.

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