Marketing is like art.  Not everyone can explain why it works, but they all know what they like.  They chuckle when they recall “Where’s the Beef?,” they can still singalong to “I’m a Pepper,” and point and yell out “Spuds MacKenzie!” when they see a bull terrier – even when it’s the Target dog.

Yes, I know, my 80s are showing and if you’re younger than 35, I’ve probably lost your attention to something on TikTok. But, for those of you still reading, my question is this:  When it comes to marketing, does clever, memorable or funny even matter if it doesn’t get results?

Marketing can be very tricky and full of hidden traps and opportunities to make a wrong turn.  So if you choose to venture into the marketing maelstrom without a trusted guide – good luck.  You’ll need it.  But if you avoid these marketing pitfalls, you’ll be off to a good start.

  1. Premature Advertising – Spending money getting the word out before deciding what the word should be.

    What is your competitive advantage?  How should it be communicated and delivered to your customer for optimum response?

  2. Door over Floor – Focusing your marketing efforts on getting people in the door without giving any thought into what to do with them once they’re on your sales floor.

    You can never recover from a mediocre first impression.  Have your people been adequately trained to present your products’ benefits over specs?  Can they upsell?  Cross sell?  What are your service standards?  What is expected of them?

  3. Myopic Selling – Focusing so much on products and services that you miss the opportunity to develop relationships.

    People buy from people they like and from where they’ve had a good experience.  They also tell their friends! Give customers an opportunity to provide customer feedback and mystery shop your team for a true customer experience.

  4. Dust Collecting – Creating a 40-page business plan, putting it on a shelf and forgetting about it.

    A true business plan should focus on maximizing your strengths, minimizing your weaknesses, seizing opportunities, and recognizing threats.  It should have specific action items and should be reviewed continuously.

  5. Marketing Misplacement – Treating marketing as a support function instead of a business strategy.

    Ever hear of guerilla marketing?  It’s a war out there.  Marketing is anything but passive.  Just ask yourself what ever happened to Saab, General Cinemas, or McCall’s Magazine?

  6. Penny foolishness – Having no clear budget to market your product to your audience.

    What good is a great product that no one knows about?  Don’t rely on luck to market your product or service.  People say “You have to spend it to make it” because it’s true.  But you should also expect a return on every dollar you spend so track results.

  7. Following the Leader – Modeling your marketing plan after your competitors instead of breaking away from the crowd.

    Find your competitive advantage and focus all your efforts on it.  Do everything you can to not be like everyone else.

  8. Skeet Shooting – Reacting to whatever is presented without a clear method to gauge its relevance to your plan.

    Your marketing plan will keep you on track to reach your goals through targeted, concentrated efforts. Use it!

  9. Introspective branding – Basing your brand’s identity on what you think it is.

    A brand is what and how the buyer thinks and feels about your product.  Product quality isn’t always the determining factor.  It’s often more about brand image and relationship.

  10. Ghost Towning – Infrequent posting content on your social media pages.

    A social media page whose last post was in 2015 gives the same impression as a store whose dusty display window features an undressed one armed mannequin – abandoned.   Your prospects and customers want to know what’s happening inside your business and inside your industry.  Give them a peek inside and engage with them.

  11. Inbound-phobia – Avoiding marketing channels you do not fully understand.

    Marketing plans employing only traditional forms of marketing such as television, radio, and newspaper are expensive and ineffective.  It’s time to explore inbound marketing and reap the benefits of digital and social marketing.

  12. Media Envy – Placing expensive ads in publications dominated by “the big guys.”

    If your media budget isn’t as big as theirs, you’re wasting your money. Chances are you don’t need to cast such a wide net anyway.   Today’s environment offers many highly targeted, less expensive ways to reach your audience.

    BONUS TIP: Playing Doctor – Performing your own surgery, replacing your own fillings, diagnosing your own illness. After all, you know your body better than any health care professional.
    Don’t try to market your company or product yourself.   Let the experts help while you focus on running your business. 

     Ready to ask for assistance with your marketing efforts?  Contact Electrum Branding for an effective branding strategy customized for your unique audience and budget.