In today's world, it pays to remember one main reality in the marketing world - you cannot afford to make mistakes. With so much competition, your moves must be well-planned and calculated, that one major mistake may dislodge you from your comfortable position in the industry, thus paving the way for a mad scramble for the position you left vacant.
Most often, the failure of a marketing strategy is not the fault of the strategy itself, but the person implementing it. Below are the top three major mistakes in marketing that you must stay clear of.
AIMING AT EVERYONE. Imagine formulating a marketing plan with no clear target market. So where does that take you? Let me give you one guess - nowhere. Selling blindly, without no clear concept of who to sell to is silly, and quite pointless. It's just like waiting and hoping that someone listens to your pitches. Having a clear target market to which your marketing efforts are directed to is essential, because it dictates the direction for all your promotions strategies - what media to use, what language/manner of speaking, tone, and pitches to utilize, as well as what product to promote to a particular type of market. It not only affects your marketing strategies, having a target market is also crucial to product development.
You, of course, will not publish a book with a 8-font size if your book is about "Finding happiness in your senior years." Do that and you might as well include a free magnifying glass for every purchase. You know it is not realistic, and the chances of it selling like hotcakes is nill. Do not be afraid of losing some business which people outside your target may bring. Remember that in your effort to appeal to everybody, you may lose out entirely to ALL existing markets out there, due to the lack of a clear direction.
Targeting a niche market (or a specific group with similar preferences and needs) is the best way to position your product.
FOLLOWING THE LEADER. Don't do things just because your competition is doing it. If he is the market leader and you want to emulate his success, don't be a copy-cat. Remember that some marketing strategies that proved successful for one business does not necessarily mean that it's going to be effective for any other competitor.
Take pride in some form of uniqueness. Don't pattern your business after a very similar one. If your major competition is succeeding because his prices are low, then don't sacrifice profit just because you want to beat his prices - especially if this means a loss for your business. If you do this, you will find yourself in the middle of an ugly price war. Don't push yourself into financial ruin! Who knows, your competitor may have found a supplier with lower prices - which is why he could price his items so low? Another point to remember: Buyers do not necessarily favor the business with the lowest price - what they want is the product with the highest value for money.
Instead of imitating your competitor, why don't you find an unmet niche or want, and then fulfill it? This way, you will have something which your top competitor does not have. Those patrons who are searching for this particular feature will now troop to your business, to have their needs met. See? Uniqueness, without being too out-of-this-world - that could be your advantage over the others.
Focusing on getting new customers instead of promoting to current loyal patrons. This is a common mistake of most businesses - they think that the answer to their continued success is to perpetually acquire more and more new clients. Reality check: your loyal customers have reasons why they remain loyal - because they see value in doing business with you. With this in mind, you must then remember to primarily focus your selling to your existing customers. Make sure they are happy, and that their needs are met. Ask them for feedback, in order to know where you need to make adjustments and changes. And when you know you have made them happy, ask to be referred to their own set of friends. Remember, a positive feedback is the same as a positive testimonial - these are the crowd-drawers.
That's the best way to get new customers, because you are already backed up by positive words of your satisfied old clients who feel confident to refer you to their own friends. The best way to do business is to make your captive market happy and contented, so rather than merely sell, satisfy existing business relationships. Focus on doing repeat business with your current client base - they are the ones who will stand by you no matter what storms your business will go through.
Michael Griffiths is the CEO and Founder of My Small Business Marketing Guru. Helping small business owners generate more leads, clients and increase profits with relationship based marketing strategies. We invite you to get your free black mask marketing resources to help you business grow today, when you visit http://www.mysmallbusinessmarketingguru.com.au