The Top Ten Marketing Sins and How to Identify Them

Posted 9:39 AM by Mezhal Ulao in Labels:
There are many sites and companies that have spent so much time and effort along with money of course, but still are scratching their heads wondering why in the world nothing that they have done so far is making any difference. I have to admit that when I first started blogging and marketing my main site Empty Streets that I too have fallen prey to similar erroneous beliefs and because of it have caused me to loose out on the things that I should have gained in a short span of time. In fact I have to openly admit to these so called "sins" of marketing and be finally cleansed of them by sharing them here with you.

Here are the Top Ten Marketing Sins:
  1. Your business is not Market Focused and Customer Driven: Your answer to who your market is shouldn't be "Everyone". Make it easy for your customers to reach you and your business either by phone, fax, or e-mail with inquiries, suggestions, and even complaints. You must ensure to respond quickly.
  2. You do not fully understand your targeted Customers: Conduct consumer/user research - create polls, surveys, and interviews. Establish an efficient Customer/Client and Dealer/Publisher feedback system.
  3. You have not been able to fully define and monitor your competitors: Do not focus on just your near competitors and miss the distant competitors as they may hold the keys you lack. Monitor new technologies and research on emerging techniques with regards to marketing your business. Conduct intelligence work and analyze what your competitors are doing right as well as what they may be doing wrong. Replicate similar practices you may have noticed with your competitors.
  4. You have not fully managed your relationship with the people and resources involved: Be happy with what you are doing and ensure that the people involved will feel the same way.
  5. You have demonstrated lack of time and effort in finding new opportunities: Set up a system that allows determine what efforts you have done so far is proving effective just as much as what you may be doing wrong. Experimentation is the key and being active in finding new methodologies is what will keep you one step ahead of the game. Observe the major marketing environments: Political, Economic, Social, Technological and Environmental - it is here that you will be able to narrow down the sources you would need to look into to find the clique you will need in gaining marketing ground.
  6. Your Marketing plans and planning process is inefficient: Create a draft of what you are doing now and ensure that it is layered in such a way that you can determine what you have done so far and what you are planning to do next. I personally use a white board with a skeleton chart of what I have done so far and it includes the statistics I have gathered telling me what has been effective and what has not. This also enables me to Plot out what I should be doing next as I gain more knowledge and experience allowing me to eliminate on those that have not garnered the returns I expected and keeping those that have while at the same time play around with new ideas that I believe theoretically would work. In it's basic core I have created a cause and effect chart to help me analyze cause and effect situations giving me time to determine if my presumptions are accurate or not. I have also implemented the practice of SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
  7. The product and services policies and procedures isn't clearly defined: Learn to streamline your product, diversity is good but too much will cause you to loose focus on the products that are giving you the $$$. Understand which product or service is being strongly received first and ensure that it is being continuously developed and only once you have had a strong handle on that should you try and experiment on diversifying without having to loose track on what people/consumers are coming back for. This entails that you should in a way develop a tracking system and evaluation method in order for you to determine which of the products and services your market is gaining on versus those that bring in nothing at all.
  8. Branding and communication channels/mediums are weak: If your business/site is starting to look like all the others in the market you are sure to loose their interest and be branded by most as a copy cat. Learn to stand out without loosing track of what you and your business/site is offering. How you look in more ways than one should be able to reflect what you are offering. Learn to experiment on image and allow for time to examine which is being responded to well and which isnt. Take this as an example - if you were driving down the road and you see a cow that looked like any other cow on the road would you stop as compared to seeing a purple coloured cow? Being different is good but ensure that you dont over do it either. It is also vital at this point that you fully utilize the power of the publishers and the mediums you have at your disposal. Have a talk with them and discuss what they have found to be effective as they have more experience in regards to how the public sees a product. Investigate what is it about the top players in the industry of the niche you have chosen are doing that is effectively drawing in the market and where they are coming from.
  9. Being unorganized: Planning is and will always be vital in any type of business. It is also the most important as this would be the backbone for your success. Learn to organize the days, the tasks, and the timing for everything you are to put your mind to. Allow your plan to be flexible enough for sudden change while giving a degree of predictability for your targeted market as you will need this to be utilized if in case a pilot study needs to be conducted. Set Goals and Expectations and ensure that your clients/consumers/users are aware of them. This will ensure that they wont be disoriented and wonder what you are upto and who you really are which will eventually cause them to loose interest.
  10. Not fully maximizing the resources available in marketing your business most especially the technology available: How one utilizes the website is the most important thing to consider as this is the new era of marketing. You have to ensure that it is attractive, that it is well defined, and easy to use. Too much graphics may be pretty to look at but if the download speed takes to long then it is just as bad as having no website at all. To be able to do all this one should find time to do research on new practices and technologies and applications that would give you an edge in the market. Participate in Beta testing projects and programs as not only will you be able to benefit from it immediately and probably be ahead of your competitors but it also creates publicity for you with the companies asking for your help to volunteer.
After going through the top ten list of our marketing sins am sure that you would want to try some of it out, and I strongly recommend that you do. In short, always keep an open mind to the possibilities available around you. Business is a game that has to be played wisely and one that has to include calculated risks. The rest is upto Lady Luck.

More Marketing tips to come, till the next time. xoxo

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