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Marketing tripwires and how to avoid them

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Dr. Mark Frohman

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BY MARK FROHMAN
Business Columnist

Monday, October 23, 2017

If there is a magic formula for marketing, no one I know has it. But there are marketing mistakes that typically have unpleasant consequences for your business. Here are some common marketing tripwires and how to avoid them.

Not setting goals for your marketing efforts: Whatever type of marketing you’re doing, you won’t know if it’s working unless you know what you intend to accomplish. Set measurable, specific goals for each marketing campaign so you can assess its success.

Not having a marketing plan: You can waste money by marketing haphazardly. For example, advertising in the wrong place, at the wrong time or to the wrong audience will do little good. Before you start, develop a plan for reaching your target customer base through the marketing channels they pay attention to.

Not marketing to existing customers: Customers who return again and again are the lifeblood of your business. But you can’t count on customers coming back unless you continue to connect with them. Don’t put all your marketing efforts into attracting new customers; budget for marketing to retain current customers, too.

Not managing your reputation: Word-of-mouth marketing is important for every type of business, whether B2B, B2C, online or off-line. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on what people are saying or posting about you both online and off. If your business is listed on rating and review sites, monitor them and respond.

Focusing on features, not benefits: Features are things your product or service has; benefits are ways it helps your customers. Customers care less about your products’ features—and more about what it can do for them. Create your marketing content with the customer in mind; answer their question, “What’s in it for me?”

No call to action: When customers receive your ad or marketing email, what action do you want them to take? Businesses often forget to include a specific call to action in their marketing and advertising. Each piece should direct prospects to do something, whether that’s visiting your website, calling your business on the phone or scheduling an appointment.

Not testing or tracking your marketing activities: Digital marketing offers capabilities to track what prospects do when they see your offer. If you are not testing multiple versions of the same ad or email, or not paying attention to which marketing tools get better results, you're probably throwing some money away. Get familiar with the analytics tools that Google, social media sites and email marketing services offer. The more you learn about your marketing results, the better your marketing will pay off.

Dr. Mark Frohman is the owner of Frohman Consulting Corp. and a counselor with SCORE, a nonprofit business-consulting group.

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