Common marketing mistakes

The holidays are a vital time for small businesses to market their brand effectively, or risk being drowned out by the sea of competitors.

Despite the vast range of literature and resources on how to be a successful marketer, there are some very common, avoidable mistakes that many small business owners make that may be holding back their business’ marketing potential.

1. Lack of understanding of customers

Many marketers have a completely product-centric view of the world. They know their product up, down and sideways, but have only a vague idea of who might actually want or need it, or how it would be used. Worst case, the marketers do not think that customer research is important because their product is so state-of-the-art that it is obvious why it is a good thing to buy.

2. Not listening to customers

Even when marketers do have a concept of the ideal customer, they often spend little time actually listening to them. They do market research and run demographic numbers, but just sitting down and simply listening is not on the agenda. Not surprisingly, the result is marketing messages that do not mean anything to the people who are supposed to buy.

3. Not understanding customers needs

Some marketers who listen to an ideal customer listen for the wrong things. They try to find ways that the product they are marketing can fulfill the customer’s needs. While that sounds smart, it is actually not.

In business-to-business sales (which is the bulk of most sales activity) what is important is not satisfying the customer’s needs, but the needs of the customer’s own customer.

4. Lack of value-proposition

Marketers who understand their customer’s customer, often have a difficult time formulating a value proposition that makes sense to both the customer and the end customer.

5. Too much wordy writing

When marketers do have a great value proposition, they have a tendency to over write about it in long-winded sentences and jargon. Writing a crisp message is a specialised task that only talented individuals can accomplish.