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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

3 Major Marketing Missteps that Your Business Should Avoid

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

marketing misstepsThere is a lot of advice out there regarding what you should do to properly market your business. But what experts often fail to mention is that there are a ton of common marketing mistakes that can cause real damage to your business (possibly harming it more than not marketing at all!). Here are just a few marketing missteps that your business should definitely seek to avoid:

(1) Inconsistency
One of the biggest marketing mistakes that I see is inconsistency with regard to marketing avenues and frequency. I’m sure that you see this too- a company will market to anyone and anywhere with no clear direction or real thought as to where the customers that would actually use their products or services are (I receive countless emails regarding Viagra- need I say more?). This automatically raises the distrust red flag and trust is one of the most critical components for having customers purchase from your business. Your business should focus all or most of your marketing efforts on one particular marketing avenue or channel that has reach to your specific target customers first. You can always expand to other avenues as you have more success, but it is so hard to break through all of the marketplace noise nowadays that a targeted focus with a higher frequency will be a much more effective strategy than marketing on myriad avenues more infrequently.

(2) Forgetting Your Customers
There is a real tendency for business owners to fall into “business lust” with their own ideas (I call this “business beer goggling”- the concept that an idea looks a whole lot better to the business owner than it is in reality). And this condition doesn’t just apply to the main concept behind a business; it often applies to every other aspect of a business, including the marketing. But in order for your marketing efforts to be successful, they need to focus on your customers’ wants, likes and needs, rather than your own. Describe what your customers want in the way that appeals to them. It doesn’t matter that you love the color orange; if your customers like blue, you should definitely be using blue. This goes for everything from the marketing content and messaging to the actual offers themselves. Put yourself aside and market towards what your customers are seeking. This will make your marketing efforts much more successful.

(3) Going Only Half Way
One more major error that I come across is marketing that only goes a part of the way. It’s not enough to just get your name out there (unless your company is, say, Coca-cola). Since there is so much competition, you really have to go above and beyond traditional brand name recognition now to see results from your marketing efforts. So, if you’re not following up, providing a call to action and offering clear, easy to find contact information, your marketing strategy is missing vital aspects that will yield much higher results. You can even put systems in place that will help bring consistency to your marketing and ensure that you are making the most out of every marketing endeavor and customer that comes your way.

These are just a few of the missteps that are made when marketing businesses. What other missteps do you see? Please share them below.

Thanks to Emily Carter of Grass Roots Marketing, Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed, Lisa Pelto of Concierge Marketing and Publishing, Angel Tuccy of Experience Pros Radio Show, Jerry Bader of MRPwebmedia, and Peter Geisheker of Geisheker Group Marketing Firm for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth