Most marketing efforts fail NOT because of what we don’t have, but because of what we do with the opportunities we DO have. Here’s my review of the most common failed opportunities and marketing mistakes.
1. Not having a Marketing Plan
The most common marketing mistake is not having a plan.
The plan doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, sometimes something short and to the point is better.
Your plan must describe who your customers are and what you can do to make them buy your product or service. This means thinking about how you can contact and communicate with them.
2. Not having a Marketing Budget
You GOTTA have one – it doesn’t matter how large or small it is. You WILL need to spend SOME money (and time) to get people to know about your business.
3. Not understanding the value of a Repeat Customer
Too many business people concentrate on making sales and NOT on building customer relationships. You spend time and effort to convince every single new customer to buy your product or service. So think about it: is it better to have five customers that come back ten times a year or fifty new customers every year who buy once and never come back?
4. Not having a Customer Database
Get your names and contact details in a database so you can communicate readily with your customers. A phone call or an email to a trusted customer is cheaper than running a new bunch of ads.
5. Not having Sales Back-up
When your customer walks out the door, is that the last you’ll see of them? If they walked out happy, they will probably be happy to buy from you again. And if they walked out dissatisfied, wouldn’t you want to know why – and then try to fix the apparent problem?
6. Not tracking your Sales
In order to have a low-cost, high-impact marketing strategy, you MUST track every sale. There are several things you must find out:
Where/how did your customer hear about you?
Who referred them to you?
How much money did the customer spend?
How many items did they buy?
Are they a repeat customer?
Be an aggressive tracker: it will save you valuable dollars. You can do this with a simple survey form or just a friendly chat as you close the sale. Reward the people who gave the referrals. Rerun the successful ads. Reward frequent buyers.
7. Failing to Upsell
You should try and upsell every customer. Offer additional merchandise at the point of sale or, if you’re selling a service, offer more services or longer term contracts.
Sell products or services that complement you core business items.
Do pizza joints just sell pizza or do they offer coke and garlic bread as well?
Often the mark-up on these items can be a major source of profits.
8. Failing to ask for Referrals
A simple, but way too often overlooked strategy. Suggest that customers refer their friends and family to you, or if you’re more aggressive, ask them for names and contact details. You can even throw in a commission or discount for every successful referral.
9. Failing to get commendations or testimonials
Do you like to be the guinea pig for a new product or service? How do you know whether it’s good or not? If you feel nervous when trying something new, it’s the same your customers! Reassure them with real letters and testimonials from satisfied customers.
10. Failing to study Marketing
Marketing is not an exact science, but it has a rich history of successes and failures. Learn from them. What did others do right or wrong?
Talk to others in business. Talk to people within your industry. One guarantee for failure is being too arrogant to follow other’s hard-learned advice.
Read those books. Follow those examples.
Evaluate everything you see and hear and read and work out how it may apply to your business.