Tag Archives: marketing

Top 10 Marketing Mistakes

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.

Marketing Campaigns that Failed to Translate

Don’t make these mistakes – they are all true!

1. The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”

2. Coors put its slogan, “Turn It Loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer From Diarrhea.”

3. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”

4. Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick,” a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “Manure Stick.”

5. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what’s inside, since many people can’t read.

6. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

7. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I Saw the Potato” (la papa).

8. Pepsi’s “Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave” in Chinese.

9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “kokou kole”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”

10. Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make chicken affectionate.”

11. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” The company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!”

12. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its “Fly In Leather” campaign literally, which meant “Fly Naked” (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.

Marketing Your Business on the Internet

Web marketing is one of the most cost-effective tools in today’s communications suite. It can be used for “one-to-one” or “one-to-many” communication. In effect, it combines a number of communication mechanisms into one, and therefore differs significantly from other forms of “fixed” media. To top it off, it is global and instantaneous.

Web sites enable your customers, prospects and the media to easily find out more about your company. However, the web is a pull-to, not a push-through media. You must drive people to your site and make sure that the information they expected to see is easy to find and current.

The Up Side
The web is open for business 24×7 and is an extremely cost-effective way to offer round-the-clock service. This means you can efficiently serve any part of the global marketplace.

Websites have more room to tell your story than other communication medium, and are therefore able to assist in taking prospects from awareness, interest and desire to action (AIDA model) to purchase your product or service.

Web marketing can be used interactively to engage your customers, prospects and the media. You can build ongoing relationships using a combination of web tools such as chat rooms, e-mail and e-zines. Communication on a regular basis, and in a personal manner, is made easy.

The Down Side
On the flip side, the web attracts a limited market, and the demographics of web users are changing every day. Figures show that in November last year, more than half of Australian adults had regular access to the Internet. Some of that access was work-based and the number of households with an Internet connection was about 37 per cent.

Therefore your entire target market is unlikely to be on the web, so web marketing cannot be used in isolation and must be integrated with your other communications mediums.

Security, or the lack of security, is a major issue on the web for the online buying and selling of goods and services. Unfortunately, many people don’t yet trust the web, which means that you need to go that extra mile in providing security, guarantees and money-back offers to your customers to prove that you have a genuine offer.

And remember promotion of your site only makes up about 20% of your Internet Strategy, development costs are often 40-50% of the total costs and maintenance can be 40% of your web costs. So make sure you are spending your money in the right places.

Web Do’s and Don’ts

• Be realistic about your site needs. Don’t try and create the web site of all web sites.
• Ensure you have a domain name that is relevant to your business, memorable, and hard to misspell, eg www.yourcompany.com.au
• Don’t leave web site design to the technical department. Your web site is a marketing tool.
• Have someone responsible for managing your site, and ensure they are empowered to answer questions. Visitors expect quick responses to all communication on the web.
• Think about site structure from your visitor’s point of view. Remove funky page names that make it difficult to guess the content.
• Check your entire web site for spelling errors. Nothing turns prospective customers off faster than incorrect spelling and grammar.
• Refresh your pages on a regular basis. Don’t carry outdated information on your site.
• Use graphics selectively. Visitors are more concerned with content then needless flashing images or icons, unless they serve a true purpose.
• Check for broken links on your site. These can be very frustrating for users, especially if it is an e-mail link to you.
• Your web site is global. Ensure your full international contact details are shown, and steer clear of local jargon or slang.
• If you offer products for sale over the web, ensure that you offer secure ordering.
• Advertise your web site address, not only in search engines but offline as well: on your business cards and stationery at the very least.

5 Fatal Marketing Clichés to Avoid

Marketing is abounding with spectacular creative work, powerful messages and innovative campaigns. But with less than a quarter of consumers saying that they trust ads, it becomes very important not to fall into the trap of monotony, and to that end, cliché.

These days much more effective than a catchy tagline, is the interaction or conversation sparked between a company’s customers and consumers. As social and digital marketing continue to rise to the top of the food chain, it becomes clearer that the channels in which taglines worked best are no longer perceived as the most reliable ones.

Reliable, popular brands are sparking conversation, and a key to sparking conversation is saying something different. This means it is almost as important to differentiate your brand from your direct competitors as it is to differentiate it from other marketing tactics across other industries.

Here are some of the most cliché tag lines or promises that ads make, and that your brand should avoid using any iteration of if it wants to stay in the game:

Our company does ______ so you don’t have to. Popular in an age where new apps and technologies consistently aim to streamline our lives, this is one of the oldest clichés in the marketing book. Just playing around with syntax and punctuation can help you to frame your value proposition more creatively.

World-class. Claiming that your product is the best of the best is very direct… and very transparent. It falls into the trap of putting brand before the customer. Visit our Challenger Marketing Center to learn more about crafting a message that conveys true commercial insight.

One million people can’t be wrong. First of all, of course they can. Second, be more specific. What are those million people doing? Why are they doing it? What do they have in common? This cliché suffers from not digging deep enough.

One-stop shop. Marketers probably hear this one from their ad agencies as much as they put it back out into the world. It’s an oldie, but it has regained popularity as the Internet expands—Lots of technology aims to do more things with less space, so it’s no wonder we hear this everywhere.

Take X to the next level. What is the next level and why do we need to get there? Again, it’s important to think about what exactly your product offering is before you can sell it. If you switched the logo on this ad to one of your competitors’, would it still be true? Work from there!

Have you seen any of these clichés tweaked so that they work well? How have your brands re-purposed them for multi-channel marketing?