Most business owners have the best intentions in the world when it comes to their marketing, but often, they get so excited with the ‘big picture’ of how many new leads a certain campaign is going to bring in, or the creative execution of a particular piece of collateral, that they become unstuck by falling into at least one of the five following pitfalls.
ONE: Poor positioning
Have you undertaken thorough research of your customers to see who they REALLY are and what they REALLY want from you? What about market-wide research? Have you exhausted all possibilities in the market to see if there is a demographic you’re currently not tapping? Perhaps a demographic that might actually be more or just as likely to buy from you as your current target market?
If not, now’s the time – you can’t roll out or even plan a marketing schedule for your business, unless you’re crystal clear as to WHO you’re marketing to. Once you know who your customers are, you can then define them by sex, age and even status, e.g. working mother, business owner etc. This will give you a solid foundation on which you can build your campaigns – it’s vital you know who you’re speaking to, before you metaphorically open your mouth. When you do this, you’ll save time, money and effort – all resources that no business can afford to squander.
TWO: A ‘blah’ brand
Would you wear the same clothes you bought 5 years ago and think they still looked fresh today? Probably not. Similarly, if your brand hasn’t had a refresher in a good few years, now is probably the time to give it a new look. Depending on who you use, you could spend anywhere from $400 to $5,000 (for a really high-end designer) to give you some new logo/stationary/signage etc. options.
Obviously, you don’t want to completely reinvent your brand such that current customers would be alienated, but sometimes a slight tweak here and there, an updated font or tone up or down of colour can make the world of difference in bringing your brand bang up to date.
THREE: A weak website
Are you running an online business, or just a ‘website’? You must remember, the global reach of the internet means there’s enormous potential for you to reach new and diverse markets around the world. If you’re thinking local with your website and only envisioning your local customers are logging on to your site to take a look at who you are – think again. Your website should be acting as an online business portal to give you maximum bang for your buck.
Too many businesses have websites that are nothing more than a glorified brochure. Not surprisingly they generate few leads and even fewer sales from this kind of web presence. Do yourself a favour – don’t let your website let you down – it’s simply worth too much! Many design companies can give you a reasonable rate for creating an e-commerce presence – you just need to shop around a little.
FOUR: Dud direct mail
How do you stop your direct mail campaign from ending up in the trash? Well here are a few tips to lend your campaign a little more cut-through. If you’re writing a letter, make it look like a personalised letter, keep the sentences short and hire a professional copywriter who is proven in that medium to achieve results.
If you’re sending coloured printed material, don’t just send a brochure, make the piece creative, ensure you have a strong offer, use good quality, glossy stock and wherever possible, don’t skimp – this kind of approach will just have your piece blend in with all the other ‘junk’ and most likely won’t even get read.
Remember, direct mail at best will net you a response rate between 1 and 3%. Do the numbers on whether the value of the customers you’ll attract at those kinds of rates will justify the cost of the campaign.
FIVE: Crummy Customer Capture
How good are you at selling to a customer again and again? Pretty crummy? Well, you’re not alone – many business owners forget that when you send out a marketing campaign, 80% of your business comes from existing customers and 20% comes from new customers. If you’re not able to resell to your current customers, your profits will most likely take a hit. When you consider that it costs around 5 times more to sell to a new customer than it does to an existing one, you don’t need to be a mathematician to see that you need to have a good system for not only marketing effectively to your previous customers but also a reliable tracking system so you can put reward programs in place to have those customers buy even MORE in future.
Have you found yourself falling into one or more of these 5 marketing pitfalls before? If so, you’ll probably benefit from some professional business growth and marketing advice. We have strategies we can share with you that will boost your profitability, the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and have customers coming back to you time and time again. Call us now on 1300 85 64 77.