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6 Deadly Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make

Think you have a great product or service? Great! Now you’re ready to shout it from the rooftops. Before you grab your megaphone, be sure you don’t slip up by making these common marketing mistakes:

1. Weak headlines.

Your ideal prospects are inundated with over 4,000 marketing messages daily. From radio spots, to Internet ads, TV commercials, text messages, billboards, and more. So many go by without notice, and of those that do get a quick view, a very small percentage really grab a prospect’s attention. To be able to create a powerful headline, you need to know what’s going to impact them most. What is their biggest pain or problem? How do you solve it? Market to that, but be sure to put them first and sell second. Do what you can to convey that you truly understand them, let them arrive at that on their own terms, and then they will listen to what you have to say.

2. Marketing monologue instead of dialogue.

Gone are the days when ad men would create a marketing monologue with billboards and magazine spots, pitching a brand’s value proposition. Today, with Web 2.0 and social media, prospects and customers expect a conversation where they can voice their wants and needs to a business and have the ability to engage in open dialogue. As a small or middle-market business, this gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience, requesting feedback that can help influence your future products and services. You can accomplish this through customer surveys, questions on blog posts and in social networking sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn. And when prospects do engage your business in conversation, make sure you respond in a timely manner. 

3. No irresistible offer.

If you’ve ever uttered the phrase “it’ll sell itself” when referring to your products or services, you’ll get nowhere fast. You can’t expect to simply introduce your offerings and your target audience will all get in line. Even if you have the best solution to your market’s problem, they’re bombarded will similar claims on a daily basis. How will you stand out from the crowd? Consumers are much more hesitant to hand over their cash unless they believe in something that they just can’t live without. Think about what you have to offer that your competitors can’t (or haven’t thought of yet).

4. Weak or missing call-to-action.

Believe it or not, but many businesses deploy marketing campaigns and forget to ask for the business. Others will ask, but they forget to direct their customers where they can go to capitalize on the benefits of the call-to-action (CTA). After you create the enticing offer, wrap it up in a concise call-to-action that leads the interested prospect directly to a purchase. Be sure to make your CTA easy to understand and accomplish. Do you want people to opt-in as part of a list building campaign? If so, what URL do they need to go to, and what should they expect when they get there? Do you want customers to call a toll-free number? What benefits will they enjoy if they do so?

5. Just one message.

Markets change, customer’s wants and needs change, and new competitors regularly enter the marketplace. So how will you adapt? On average you will need to “touch” customers anywhere from 7- 20 times before they make a purchasing decision. If you want to create top-of-mind awareness, you need to engage your market with communications that vary on a consistent theme yet support your overarching marketing plan. You will discuss the same value your business offers, but from different vantage points. Otherwise the message gets dull and falls on deaf ears.

6. Lacking tracking.

If you lack tracking, you will market blindly, leaving your success up to luck. Instead of rolling the dice, increase the odds in your favor by tracking what marketing strategies, tactics, and messages connect with your ideal prospects and customers, and those that don’t. In other words read their digital body language. Doing so will enable you to be proactive instead of reactive, seize opportunities that others may miss, and adapt to market changes quicker than the competition.

Marketing is a living, growing process of research, testing, implementation, review, and modifications. Many businesses make one or more of aforementioned mistakes because they create their marketing from their vantage point instead of from the perceptions, beliefs and knowledge of their ideal customer base. Remember, your brand value is determined by the perceptions of your prospects. Be sure to pay attention to what they’re saying.

Approaching its 13th year in business, Incite Creative is a marketing and graphic design firm that specializes in strategic positioning, brand development and creative implementation services for Mid-Atlantic, small-to-mid-sized companies and organizations that have regional, national and international reach. For more information, log onto http://www.incitecreativeinc.com or contact Dina Wasmer at 410-366-9479 ext. 101 or dina@incitecreativeinc.com.

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