Common Sense Needed – Part 3

April 8, 2013

Common sense may be the most important trait in developing a marketing strategy, but it is sometimes missing in the decision-making process.  Our third and final post lists some of the common mistakes we frequently encounter:

  1. Retaining a large agency to handle your public relations, advertising or online marketing.  If you’re one of an agency’s smaller clients, you’ll end up having someone just out of college handle your account – and you’ll end up paying much more than if you worked with a sole practitioner or a small agency.
  2. Signing a long-term contract with an agency.  If an agency is any good, it should be willing to sign a contract that enables either party to cancel the contract with a 30-day notice.  That way, the agency will be forced to prove itself every month.
  3. Renting space at a trade show without having anything to show. You probably wouldn’t make an ad buy without anything to advertise, so why rent space at a trade show if you don’t have a booth, professionally designed graphics and a product to promote?
  4. Going to a trade show without scheduling appointments ahead of time.
  5. Using outdated lists for your e-mail or direct mail campaign. A campaign is only as good as the list you use. If you have an in-house database, update it regularly. If you rent lists, make certain you’re getting back any nixes. Just because a mail house promises that its lists are updated continuously doesn’t mean the list is accurate.  When you use e-mail, be certain to track the results carefully, including which e-mails bounce or are deleted without being opened.
  6. Allowing someone who doesn’t give a damn about your business to answer the phone.
  7. Going after new customers without paying sufficient attention to your existing customers.
  8. Failing to cross sell to your existing customers. Your existing customers are more likely to give you additional business than anyone else.
  9. Failing to ask your customers for referrals.
  10. Using a logo that looks like it was designed before World War I. Even Betty Crocker gets a facelift when she needs one.
  11. Failing to ask former customers why they stopped doing business with you; and failing to contact them at a later date to see if they want to do business with you again.

What mistakes do you see being made frequently?

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