Marketing is exhilarating, and it can be the lifeblood of your bottom line if you treat it correctly. The pitfalls for a beginner are many, however, and can be hard to spot. Here are five of the worst obstacles your fledgling marketing campaign faces without proper research and moderation.
Don’t Skimp on Materials
Even if it means your banner is half the size you intended, even if it means a couple hundred business cards instead of a few thousand, don’t go the cheap route for your materials. People will invariably associate your promotional handouts and business cards with the quality of your wares or services, and you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Less is More
While repetition can be a good thing, too much will send your clientele straight to your competitor out of annoyance. Make sure that purely promotional posts on Facebook and Twitter are kept to about 30% of the rotation, and take the time to connect on a personal level with new fans. Posting the same advertisements over and over will make you look more like a parrot than a successful marketer.
Don’t Ignore Networking
Never shrug off the power of a good barter, sponsorship or product placement. Talking with business owners in compatible fields can lead to a mutually beneficial situation. Restaurant owners, for instance, often team up with local florists to fill table vases, complete with affixed business cards.
Imitation is Unflattering
The temptation to copy mottos, colors and even logos from existing businesses is strong, but smart marketers avoid it. Make a unique impression with your customers by taking a page out of a competitor’s book – not the entire index. You want to come across as distinct, and that’s hard to do when you’re just like “the other guy.”
Unreliable Communication is Bad
Make a commitment to communicate and respond to questions at a regular interval. Long absences on social media, patchy phone availability and other perceived flakiness can scare off skittish would-be customers. Don’t pour money and resources into a campaign only to have it fail because of poor scheduling or apathy.
You are the best asset your business has, and marketing is the product your efforts produce. Use it sparingly and carefully, and don’t be surprised when business suddenly takes off. Follow through, be one-of-a-kind, and engage in an honest way with your customers and profits will rise accordingly.