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Top 7 Sins Of Marketing

By Wild Bill Montgomery

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During my years in marketing and sales, I have studied the pros and cons of many-a-marketing program. What I would like to do today is give you a checklist of the seven most common sins in marketing. What about you? How many of the following sins in marketing apply to you?

  1. No, I didn't test the product market before I picked my product. This is by far the biggest mistake I see in marketing today. One I've made myself many times over. It's down right amazing how many companies decide on the product they will sell before ever checking to see if the potential customer would be interested. The most prominent reason for this is infatuation. The seller falls in love with his or her own product and assumes the public will too. This infatuation clouds the marketing professional's ability to objectively, rather than subjectively, determine the true potential of the product market. Just because you love it doesn't mean that they will. Test the waters, ask your customers and clients what they think. Survey a portion of your current clients and the general public. You owe it to yourself to see if this product will in fact meet the needs and wants of your customers.

  2. You neglect to explain why you can sell it cheaper. Whenever I see a lower price, the first question that pops into my mind is....How? How can they sell it at a lower cost than their competitors. If they fail to answer that question in their marketing strategy, I immediately become suspicious of the quality of the product. If they had only explained how they could sell it cheaper. If one of your selling points is a lower price, you better explain to me how you can do it.

  3. You didn't make it easy for me to do business with you. How many times have you found an interesting product, but they make it so difficult and undesirable to business with them that you go elsewhere. Why would anybody want to make it hard to do business with them? I have certain subconscious requirements to do business with companies. The most important being convenience. The way I see it, I'm the consumer and if I'm willing to spend my hard earned cash with them, I expect them to make it easy for me to do so. The worst is "time consumption." If you want to lose me as a customer, go ahead waste my time. Time is a valuable commodity to me and I don't want to spend it waiting. I'd rather pay the extra dollar or whatever with the competition if they can get me out the door faster. Consumers expect their shopping experience to be an enjoyable one. If you can make it fun and entertaining to do business with you, chances are they'll be back.

  4. Don't be a clone. If you do not have a unique proposition, why would we be interested in you? I'm sure if you have been in marketing for even the smallest amount of time, you know what a niche is. Find and develop your own unique selling strategy. To have an advantage over your competitors, you better know your niche, know who your customers are, where your market lies, and how you will exploit it.

  5. I loved your product, what else do you have to offer. Here's a big sales loss. You didn't develop your "back-end" sales strategy. It's extremely important before you sell your first product to already have your follow-up product at the door and waiting. If your customer has purchased from you once, there's a good chance they will again. You have already established a certain kind of trust with your customer. Don't let them down and never rely on one primary product to carry your business. Product development is an integral part of any business. If you want to stay in business, keep your present customers coming back for more.

  6. Use the truth to sell your way out of trouble. Every business will run into this problem sooner or later. No matter how good you are, you are bound to promote a poor marketing campaign or product. When you need a fast way to stimulate sales for a product that is not selling, try the truth. But know how to use the truth to your advantage. Tell your customers that you have an overstock of the product. Tell them you are selling the product at cost or below cost. There is a viable market of bargain hunters out there. Two common approaches are the "Reward" and "Introduction" techniques. The reward technique might look like this: Because you are one of our VIP Customers, we want to offer you this special price..... or As a special Limited Time Introductory Price we...

  7. If It's Not Broken....Don't Fix It! Why do marketers feel the need to change a marketing strategy that works. The fact is, they become bored with seeing it, and by that token they wrongfully assume the consumer is also tried of seeing it, even though the sales are the same. Seems incredible, but happens every day. They fool themselves into thinking that they can foresee the end of a successful marketing campaign. If it's making the sales it should leave it alone. Now that's not to say that you shouldn't test new marketing ideas, but never drop a winner because you are tired of seeing it or you believe it's nearing it's end. Major corporations and small companies alike have successfully used the same marketing campaigns for decades.

Today's Top7Business article was submitted by "Wild Bill" Montgomery.
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Article Submitted On: January 28, 2000