Taken from: Biznik Community ~ Maria Ross ~ Marketing Coach . . . .
I deal with the Small Business Entrepreneur – and invariably, these fine people are not marketing savvy – Without a budget they tend to let the marketing go – but these 10 references are great words of advice and wisdom:
- Scattershot messaging – does your company information on the website match your elevator pitch??? Do you have an elevator pitch??? When people ask you what do you do what do you say to them??? Does your explanation take minutes to tell? If so, you have lost them after the first 30 seconds or so. Really take the time to fine tune this pitch – mine is ” I help you tell your story to the people who need to hear it” – sometimes, I simply say I am in marketing, web design and blogging – depending on who asked the question.
- Amateur design: Sometimes, design that looks simple is actually painstakingly done by a true professional. Simple does not equal cheap. Using Word to create your brochure should be a tool to give to your graphics person to create the brochure, rack card, postcard, business card in the format that a printer will want to have for printing production. Printing your document on your printer can display “CHEAP” ~ most people do not have a laser printer that costs 1500 and can do some quality printing when needed.
- Trying to sell to everyone: Your market is NOT everyone! I cannot stress this enough! You simply cannot talk to a teenager the way you would talk to a senior citizen – You have a specific value that you provide to a specific type of person. Go AFTER that person. Examples here – Tiffany doesn’t try to sell jewelry to everyone who buys jewelry; Dolce and Gabbana does not try to sell dresses to anyone who wants to buy a dress – and Hyundai doesn’t try to sell to everyone who needs a car! This is a common type of thinking that comes from the “New” entrepreneur – figure out who your message is for and stick to it.
- Focusing on quantity vs. quality: Spending money on an event that attracts 5,000 people is great – if those 5,000 people will ever buy from you. It’s much better to microtarget your marketing whenever you can to yield less leads but better conversion.
- Confusing advertising with PR: Advertising is something you pay for and everyone knows it. It’s biased. PR is when 3rd parties like the media, analysts or critics write or speak about you – or ask you to write or speak. Neither comes cheap if you do them right (in both $ and/or time) but make sure you know what you’re investing.
- Confusing awareness with direct response marketing: Awareness is a phase all buyers must go through before they buy from you – they have to know you exist right? But you can invest in awareness campaigns without ever yielding a direct, qualified lead right away. Qualified leads fall out of the funnel that awareness creates. Awareness activities like events, PR and the like may not necessarily lead to immediate sales. Those happen over time as you nurture those people.
- Forgetting the noise: It’s not enough to run one ad or sponsor one event or send one email and think you’re going to get a response. There is too much noise in the marketplace vying for attention and, while you’re mom thinks you are so important, your prospective customers may not! You may be sick of your brand and message after 6 months, but others have not had a chance to digest it.
- Playing Me-Too: If you’re making all your marketing moves based on what competitors are doing, you’re making it harder on yourself. Often the way to differentiate from a sea of look-a-likes is to zag when they zig! If they are all using the same language to describe what they do, for example, can you say something different?
- Investing in one-off tactics vs. integrated campaigns: An integrated campaign is multi-touch, multi-media endeavor. And it packs more punch. When you negotiate, see what else you can get for your money (ie, an online ad, a webcast sponsorship, a special emailing, the chance to write a contributed article, etc.) Focus your efforts around key themes, rather then reinventing the wheel each time.
- Failing to articulate your mission, values and goals: Without documented clarity, you’re floating in the wind. Ground yourself by articulating exactly what your business does (and does not) stand for and what you envision your impact to be. It’s not enough to “know” it: write it down, share it, post it, own it!!! These will guide you into a clear brand strategy that will make your marketing – and business – decisions easier.
I really wanted to share this with all of you. For myself, by re-writing it, solidifies in my mind what all of these mean and how to continue to conduct my business. I write everything down! Now, all I have to do is find the notes I wrote!!!