Avoid Dreadful Marketing Ideas

Don’t Let Your Prospects Slip Away!

What a great article. The writer made some good points. I’ll add my two cents to the mix.

The following marketing landmines masquerade as quick fixes. When the business chips are down, each of these worst ideas pops up to look like a good solution. Don’t be fooled. Make sure every new idea soars above every single idea on this list.

1. Fight bad business with good advertising.

Here’s the scenario: Business is down, so the owner points fingers at the economy and the competition and decides to run ads to overcome the problem. But the economy and the competition likely aren’t the culprits. Business is down because customers have defected — and new prospects haven’t been converted — because the company‘s product or service is lacking.

Running ads before improving the offering will only put a spotlight on the problem. In the words of advertising legend Bill Bernbach, “Nothing kills a bad product like a good ad.” Instead, fix the product, polish the service, then run the ad.

*There is no use in illuminating the problem. The solution is simple. Hire a qualified person to do the job. Trying to cut corners by using family, friends and random people will lead to a messy marketing situation. Do not skip the step of checking the looking over the testimonials and track record for success the companies you want to hire. Check with other clients to get feed back. The right marketing strategy will take a deeper look into the target market, but will also look at the results of past to current marketing ideas. They will compare them to the effect the ads should have on supposed to have on the audience. Some ideas should be implemented at another time in the year. Timing is everything! Carefully observe results after you hire a qualified company to market for you. Try out the campaign, if nothing happens up to the target date, extend the campaign for a longer period or stop all forward movement and replace with a new strategy. Why waste valuable time  showing ads no one is interested in. Might as well put out the best in time than bad ads over night.

2. Run kitchen sink ads.

A kitchen sink ad is like a kitchen sink argument in that every point — every feature, every idea, every department’s viewpoint — is tossed into the mix in an effort to get more bang for the buck (a truly awful phrase that deserves its own place on the list of worst ideas). The result is a jam-packed ad featuring a long list of product bells and whistles but no clear focus and no attention-grabbing consumer benefit to seize and hold the prospect’s mind.

Take aim instead: Know your best prospect and what need that person seeks to address. Then stop that person with a headline that highlights the promise of your most compelling benefit, backed by copy that proves your claim with facts.

3. Portray the customer as a fool.

Trying to be funny or grabbing attention by showing the customer as an inept bumbler wandering through life in search of your solution is hardly the way to win customers and influence buying decisions.

Form a sincere relationship with your prospect instead of poking fun at the very person you’re trying to influence.

*Customers want respect. They know what they want. It’s up to you to give them the best you have to offer. Not all customers are into comedy. Assuming you know a customer is a recipe for no business success. Better off using a formula that is known to work for grabbing attention. Research, research, research.

4. Save the best for last.

It happens in presentations, sales letters, and ads. Businesses wait to divulge the greatest benefits of their product until the last minute, thinking that prospects will be sitting on the edges of chairs in rapt anticipation.

Not so. If your opening doesn’t grab them, they won’t wait around. Four out of five people read only the headline, they listen to only the first few seconds of a radio ad, and if the first impression of a personal presentation is weak, they tune out for the rest. Eliminate slow starts and lead with your strengths.

*Keep your copy hot. It’s true people look and if you lose them once, you may never get them to look at what you are showing again. Always present your business ads if its your last shot. After all it might be. Best to play it safe if you want your business to stay off the bench. Aim high!

5. Change your logo often and dramatically.

And while you’re at it, change your Web site constantly. And your advertising tagline, too. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s what happens when businesses let media departments, freelance artists, employees, and others create materials without the strong parameters of image guidelines to ensure a consistent company image.

If you want prospects to trust that yours is a strong, steady business (and you do!), show them a strong, steady business image.

6. Build it and trust they will come.

Sorry, but consumers aren’t just sitting around waiting for the next new business, new Web site, new branch outlet, or new event to come into existence. They need to be told, reminded, inspired, and given reasons and incentives to take new buying actions. When you build it, build a plan to market it.

*Marketing is all in business, some businesses say. If a customer does not know you exist they will never come to your business. Marketing is like modeling. Showing off your business does not have to be a hassle either but plan to or plan to have slow traffic at best.

7. Move fast: If you snooze you might lose.

This is irresistible bait for businesses that operate without a marketing plan. They don’t know their own objectives and strategies, and so any tactic sounds like a fine idea.

As a result, when a proposal comes in from an ad salesperson, an Internet businessopportunity promoter, or even from a company that wants to merge or partner, the business owner is all ears, fearful that this might be an opportunity too good to pass on. Often, the idea comes with a quick deadline or the threat of involving a competitor instead, leading straight to a hasty decision.

Remember what they say about the correlation between haste and waste.

8. Think people will care that you’re under new management.

Or think that they’ll care that We’ve doubled our floor space, We’ve added a new drive-up window, or any other self-congratulatory announcement that produces similarly low market enthusiasm. To move the spotlight off yourself, add a customer benefit. Turn We’re celebrating our fifth anniversary into We’re celebrating our fifth anniversary with five free events you won’t want to miss.

Remember, prospects care most about what’s in it for them.

9. Believe there’s a pie in the online sky.

Contrary to rampant belief, the opportunities of the cyber world aren’t just ripe for the picking. The chance of opening a Web site and instantly winning business from distant new prospects is as likely as opening a toll-free line and immediately having it ring off the hook with orders.

To win your slice of online opportunity, invest time and money to drive people to your site.

*Marketing is a time-consuming full-time job but it is extremely important to the likelihood of all businesses. The more prospects see you in action the more they are to trust your brand. Longevity and strategy are two keys to having an online enterprise.

10. Believe your customer is captive.

Reality is, your customers know they have other options.

If they’re standing in front of you, and you turn your attention to answer a phone, they notice. If you offer new customers a better deal than current customers enjoy, they notice. If you spend more time and money courting new prospects than rewarding business from current clientele, they most certainly notice and in time will begin to disengage from your business as a result.

Realize that customer loyalty is the key to profitability, and that earning it is a never-ending process.

Source: Barbara Findlay Schenck

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