The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing
Most marketing efforts do not fail because of what we do, but usually because of the things that we do not do. Here's a list of seven simple things that businesses do not have, or do not do. You will be amazed at how easy they are to change and how they can make an impact on your business marketing today.
1. Not having a Marketing Plan
The most common marketing mistake is not having a plan. The plan doesn't have to be complex. In fact, sometimes something short and to the point is better. Your plan must describe who your customers are and what messages and vehicles you can use to make it easy to buy your product or service. This means thinking about how you can contact them and what you will say.
2. Not having a Marketing Budget
You must have one - it doesn't matter how large or small it is. You will need to spend some money (and time) to educate people about your business. To make the most of your budget you should integrate your activities and plan how you will spend your budget most effectively. But first of all you must allocate the money.
3. Not understanding the value of a Repeat Customer
Too many businesses concentrate on making sales and not on building customer relationships. You spend time and effort to convince every single new customer to buy your product or service. So think about it: Is it better to have five customers that come back ten times a year, or fifty new customers every year who buy once and never come back? Remember customer acquisition is an expensive process and it is far better to concentrate on customer retention, especially when you spent money obtaining them in the first place.
4. Not having a Customer Database
Get your names and contact details in a database so you can communicate readily with your customers. A phone call or an e-mail to a trusted customer is cheaper than running a whole new bunch of ads. And make sure you enter the details accurately, there is nothing more off-putting then receiving a direct mail piece that is incorrectly addressed.
5. Not tracking your Sales
In order to have a low-cost, high-impact marketing strategy, you must track every sale. There are several things you must find out:
- Where/how did your customer hear about you?
- Who referred them to you?
- How much money did the customer spend?
- How many items did they buy?
- Are they a repeat customer?
Be an aggressive tracker: it will save you valuable dollars. You can do this with a simple survey form or just a friendly chat as you close the sale. Remember the three R’s: Reward the people who gave the referrals, Rerun the successful marketing programs and Reward frequent buyers.
6. Not up Selling or Cross Selling
You should try to up sell or cross sell every customer. Offer additional merchandise at the point of sale or, if you're selling a service, offer more services or longer term contracts. Do you know how much revenue the phrase “Do you want fries with that?” has generated! It’s a simple strategy.
7. Not asking for Referrals or Testimonials
A simple, but often overlooked strategy is asking for business referrals. Suggest that customers refer their friends and family to you, or if you're more aggressive, ask them for names and contact details. You can even throw in a commission or discount for every successful referral. Talk to others in business. Talk to people within your industry. And make sure that once you have a happy customer that you get their permission to obtain and publish their testimonial.
So there it is – all the things you should not. Now is the time to start on work on all the things you should be doing.
Katrina Drewer is a Principal of Creative Thinking Marketing, a business that helps you stretch your marketing dollars further - just like having your own marketing department. email@example.com www.creative-thinking.com.au
Copyright (c) Creative Thinking Marketing 2003
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