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10 Greatest Marketing Mistakes

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The 10 Greatest Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It is a certain fact that business these days is more competitive than it has ever been. To stay alive these days, you can not just offer a quality of product at a fair price. These days, you have to know how to market effectively. Unfortunately, most businesses have no idea of how to get the most out of every cent that they spend. You should demand to get the best results from every cent you drop into marketing. Most companies spend more time planning on their company Christmas party than doing on creating powerful, persuasive, marketing communications. Now this can stop. Herein are the 10 greatest marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them. Before I get into it, let me tell you why I put this together. As I consult with current clients, bring on new clients, and market for more, I am learning more and more. It is coming to my attention time and time again, when I bring on a new client I find that they are making almost the exact same mistakes as another of my clients was, in a totally unrelated field! These marketing mistakes are not confined to a singular industry. I have found them across the board. I have worked at restaurant, cleaning service company, bicycle spare parts retailer. All of these companies had most, if not all, of these 10 greatest marketing mistakes present in their operations. If one or two of these mistakes do not apply to you, then you should congratulate yourself. You must already be on the road to marketing success. Here they are in no particular order:

Mistake # 1: Your business focuses on itself, and not on your prospects and customers needs. Does this seem too obvious? Look through your yellow pages. Pick them up right now and glance through. Answer this question: Are most of the ads telling you what benefits you get if you become a customer? Or are the ads telling you about the vendors, where they are, how wonderful they are, what they do, how great their quality is, how great their service is, and all about them? 95% of the ads are totally focused on the business and not on what the business can do for YOU, the prospect! Take a look at the ads in the newspapers, on the TV, and listen to the radio. You will find the same thing happening there, consistently, every day. This type of selfish advertising falls under the terribly wasteful category of institutional advertising. Institutional advertising produces, at best, deferred results. At worst, institutional advertising is ineffective, unproductive, and a wasteful expense that accomplish no profitable purpose whatsoever. Institutional advertising tells you how great the company is, or how old and stable they are, or some other frilly, fancy, cutesy and other non-compelling foolishness. Your selfishness kills most of your marketing. From brochures to flyers, and sales letters to advertisements, your marketing message should let your prospects know that you are concerned ONLY WITH WHAT THEY WANT! Anything about you, should always come last. Your clients, customers, patrons, patients...whatever you choose to call them, should always come first. Any marketing documents you create should start out by focusing on the prospects wants. Every sentence should show that you understand the prospects wants. Until your marketing efforts focus on the prospects wants, your marketing is handicapped.

Mistake # 2: Failure To Test company’s marketing aspect, and compare it to something else. They bet their destiny on arbitrary, subjective decisions and conjecture. This is unfortunate for a number of reasons. First, we do not have the right or the power to predetermine what the marketplace wants and what the best price, package or approach will be. Rather, we have the obligation and the power to put every important marketing question to a vote by the only people whose ballot counts: customers and prospects. How do we put a marketing question to a vote? By testing one sale thrusts against another, one price against another, one advertising concept against another, one headline against another, one TV or radio commercial against another, one follow-up or up-sell overture against another. I could go on and on. The point is --- and this is not guesswork ---when you test one approach against another and carefully analyze and tabulate the results, you will be amazed that one approach always substantially out pulls all the others by a tremendous margin. You will also be amazed at how many more sales or how much larger the average orders you can realize from the same effort. The purpose of testing is to demand maximum performance from every marketing effort. If each of your field salespeople averages 15 calls a day, it does not make any sense to find the one sales pitch or package that lets them close twice as many sales and increases their average order by 40%-100% with the same amount of effort? You can easily achieve immediate increases in sales and profits merely by testing. Tomorrow, have your salesmen try different pitches, different hot-button focuses, different packages, differently specially priced offers, different bumps or upgrades, different follow-up offers, etc. Each day, review the specific performance of each test approach then analyze the data. If a specific new twist on your basic sales approach out-closes the old approach by 25-50%, does not it make sense for every salesman to start using this new approach? Test every sales variable. Any positive or negative data can help you to dramatically manipulate the effectiveness of your sales efforts. But do not stop at merely finding those approaches, offers, prices, or packages that outperform the others. Once you identify the most successful combination, your work has just begun. Now you should find out how high is high! Keep experimenting to come up with even better approaches that out pull your current control. Your control is the concept, approach, offer, or sales pitch which has consistently proven, through comparative testing, to be the best performer. Until you establish your control concepts, techniques, and approaches, you can not possibly maximize your marketing. Once you find control concepts or approaches, keep testing to see if you can improve on their performance, thereby replacing one control with a better one. Test your prices. Different prices often outperform one another on the same product by an enormous margin. 19 euros has outpulled 25 euros by 300%. 195 euros has outpulled 245 euros by huge margins. 295 euros has outpulled 195 euros on certain offers, which netted a cool 100 euros more per sale! Why does one price outpull another? I do not know. Probably for a lot of reasons: psychological image of value, perception of quality, etc. Every situation is unique, so I implore you to test several different prices. You will be amazed at the difference in profit and total orders one price

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