7 Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them

As small business owners we need to market our business to get new customers, keep current customers happy and bring back past customers. We are not just owners of a business that concentrates in one field of interest whether it is technical, retail, consumer-oriented or business-to-business, we are the chief marketers of that business. Without marketing we shrivel up and die so it is imperative that we do it right! Here are seven mistakes commonly made by business owners (entrepreneurs) when conducting their marketing and how they can be avoided.

1. Being an advertising victim

It’s really easy to be an advertising victim. Some advertising sales rep or agency comes by and tells you that you need to advertise…because you need to advertise. And they want to sell you “institutional” advertising instead of “direct response” advertising. The difference is obvious. In fact, it’s right in the name. Institutional advertising is advertising like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, IBM, and Nike. This is advertising where results are not measured, there is no control over who sees it and you get nothing directly from it. This is also known as “branding”. It is an attempt to make their name so ingrained in your mind that when you need their product or service, you will automatically call them or walk into one of their stores. If you fall victim to this – YOU’LL GO BROKE! These companies spend – and have – millions of dollars to spend on this kind of advertising – YOU DON’T!

How to avoid: What you want to do and ONLY do is emotional direct response advertising. That’s advertising you plan to get more back from what you send and where every dollar is measurable and accountable.

2. No system for Customer data collection

If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t communicate with them, you can’t create a referral program and you can’t get testimonials. You also don’t know how many times they buy from you, when they buy or what they buy. The biggest VALUE in any business if the customer base. It is 10 times easier and cheaper to get existing customers to buy from you again than get a brand new customer. Plus, returning customer will spend twice as much per visit as new customers. If all this is true why don’t businesses collect customer contact information?

How to avoid: Set up a collection system within your business that collects contact information. It could be as simple as having them fill out a form by hand or as complex as putting an email capture form on your website. HOW you collect it is not as important as getting the information somehow. Make it part of the process and soon it will be automatic.

3. No diversification in your marketing

There are a vast number of advertising media available to you yet you probably use just one or two. This does not mean that if you are not using the Yellow Pages you are wrong. The Yellow Pages may or may not be a media you should use. Do you use email? Do you use direct mail postcards; sales letters? Newsletters? Voice broadcast? FAX? “Lumpy” mailing? If you don’t, one or more of these media’s can change the effectiveness of your marketing overnight. Do you say that “this can’t work for my industry” yet it could be effective if you just tried? Diversify your marketing and the delivery methods you use to find the ones that work best for you.

How to avoid: Learn about the various advertising media available and determine whether or not it may be appropriate for your business. Determine the costs, technology, effectiveness, etc. Then try one or more and observe the results. After that tweak, try others and go with your best ones.

4. No referral program

The second easiest customer to sell is a referral, right (the first being a former customer)? Yet how many people have a system for creating referrals. If you are like most businesses, referrals just happen, and that is not good for your bottom line.

How to avoid: Explore ways to ask for referrals on a regular basis without being “pushy” or “cheesy”. Make it systematic so you can count on having referrals on a regular basis. A “Customer Rewards Referral System” gives your customers an incentive to give you referrals. It can be done in many different ways, but if you don’t have one, it won’t work.

5. Thinking you are your customer

This is a really BIG MISTAKE. Many business owners say that their customers are too sophisticated for this type of marketing or that type of advertising. That is just putting your beliefs and prejudices onto them. How do you know that one type of ad will not work – because you tried it and it failed, or because you “know” it won’t work on your customers. I’ve had a number of business owners say that “X type of marketing doesn’t work in this industry” when others like them use it to full effect in other parts of the country.

How to avoid: Chances are that just because you might not respond to a particular method, doesn’t mean that your customers won’t. Test it and find out for sure. If it works in other industries, it will work for yours, and in many cases it works in your industry just fine – you just haven’t yet experienced it.

6. Working ‘IN’ your business rather than ‘ON’ your business

You started your business because you were good at being a plumber, electrician, chiropractor, financial planner, etc. Most trade schools and college courses don’t teach you how to market your business so you have to learn it on your own or find someone who does know marketing to help you. The excuse of “I’m TOO BUSY to worry about marketing” is the worst excuse ever used. As the owner of a business one of your most important jobs is marketing that business. This is in addition to working in it as a professional. If you completely outsource, or worse still, ignore marketing, your business will stagnate and die. The real money is in the marketing of your business not in the product or service it provides.

How to avoid: Set aside time to work on marketing your business and take the time to learn proper marketing techniques and you’ll be in a position to achieve financial freedom.

7. Infrequent Contact With Current Customers

The easiest customer to sell to is a former customer. To do that you need to know who they are (see #2 above) and you need to communicate with them. Many people are afraid to send information to their customers because they don’t want to “bother” them. Study after study shows that customers do not mind hearing from you AS LONG AS YOU HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY. They don’t want to hear about your latest vacation or where you had dinner last week, but they want information that can help them. In fact, DIRECT magazine reported that the proper frequency to contact your customers is every 20 days. In fact, for every month that you do not contact your customers you lose about 10% of your relationship with them, so after 10 months, you might as well be mailing to a cold list.

How to avoid: Create a newsletter, send emails, reach out with tips and advice. Your customers and prospects will

How many of these mistakes do you make? Would you like more information on the most proven, tested and successful systems assembled to GROW your business. If so, go to http://www.statement-marketing.com and look through the blog, make comments and sign up for our newsletter.

Beyond Yours Marketing Opportunity Review

Beyond Yours Marketing is a new direct sales company that is so new in fact, that it is still in pre-launch. The company is based in the health and wellness industry with its focus on water. Beyond Yours has done extensive research with water sources around the world as well as creating a longer shelf life of the water itself through a unique treatment process to create a truly refreshing experience they believe. So how does the business opportunity match up to the product they have created for you to market?

The goal of Beyond Yours is to “impact world health and help people both physically and financially while in the process creating the largest health and wellness Company in the world.” So how good are the products? Water is the basis for life on our little planet and bottled water has been a growing trend for some time now. The biggest issue with the bottled water industry was the shelf life of the water itself, and with the unique process that Beyond has created, this issue they believe is now taken care of and a plus for those who want to market these products. This company also comes with a detoxification product that could enhance the sales of the main product. The compensation plan is based on a binary team.

This particular plan comes with several bonuses on productivity in retail sales of both legs and is endless as far as building you team on both sides. The difference between the wholesale price and mark up will be the commission for direct sales of any products. Binary plans can be both good and bad depending on the marketing skills of those above you. Building in this type of plan will need balance in both legs which will take careful consideration when taking on new business owners and which leg that you should place them in for balance in your teams, unbalanced legs are the same no matter if they are your own literal two legs or that of a binary compensation plan.

Overall Beyond Your Marketing Inc. seems to have a good product although expensive. Learning to market the product online with only replicated sites could be a challenge in the heavily saturated health and wellness industry. Branding yourself, and marketing online comes with a learning curve. Learning how to effectively market this business online and glean from that marketing a good team will be a step in the right direction with this business opportunity.

Niche Marketing Explained – Understanding All About Niche Marketing

What exactly is niche marketing?

Niche marketing is marketing to a select group of potential customers inside a much larger customer base. This is often done because there is a need that is not being addressed by providers who target the larger customer base. In other words, there is a demand for something that isn’t being supplied. If you can satisfy that demand, you have a potential market waiting to pay you for what you can offer them.

The Internet Marketing niche has many sub-niches

For example, inside the target market of Internet marketing, there are many niches, including search engine marketing, PPC marketing, Google AdWords, article marketing, bum marketing, and more. Those who write eBooks on just Internet marketing don’t directly address these niches.

You could further refine those to include even more specific niche markets. For example, you could fill the niche market of PPC marketers who just use Google AdWords or just use Yahoo Search Marketing, etc.

As these niche markets have grown, so have their desire for information and resources that they can directly use for their businesses, which are not satisfied by those who just target the large Internet marketing market. Those businesses that primarily focus on article marketing are not going to be very interested in PPC marketing, just like those who primarily use Google AdWords are not going to be very interested in article marketing.

That’s why there are marketers who market directly to niches – they can better satisfy what those niche customers are asking for because those niche marketers directly address the problems facing the niche target markets.

The over saturation of a niche

Niche marketing has become one of the primary ways to market over the last few years because many are starting to realize that Internet marketing is becoming over saturated with Internet marketers and their products. This makes it much harder to earn profit from the large Internet marketing market. Those who are new to the Internet marketing world will have an even harder time breaking through into the Internet marketing market because there are many established Internet marketers who have very loyal customer bases that trust those specific marketers and their products.

New Internet marketers can better compete or even dominate a niche because there is little to no competition in that niche. The more you can target a specific niche, the better the chance you will have of carving out a profitable piece of that niche and/or even becoming the main provider to that niche. This is how new Internet marketers especially can make it big online.

Niches can be discovered in just about every market

Many Internet marketers make nice sums of income online by targeting different niches, some not even related to each other. They’ll do the necessary research to determine whether a profitable niche market exists for a product/service they can supply, select a domain name, build a website, and start marketing it to the niche target market.

However, niches don’t have to deal directly with marketing. Niches can be carved out of almost any possible market, whether it would be dogs, cats, plants, electronics, writing, cars, etc.

For instance, talking about electronics, you can have niches that involve computers, stereo systems, televisions, MP3 players, DVD players, etc. Furthermore, you can narrow those niches down even further; for computers, you could have desktops and laptops. You could break those down even further – with laptops, for instance, you could have whether they utilize Centrino technology or not, as well as what computer brand they use and what processor powers them.

You can also limit niches to other factors involving the target market, such as age, occupation, income, place of residence, etc.

For instance, you can target teenagers who want MP3 players. You can make your offer more appealing to that market by including free music downloads of the most popular young artists today when they purchase the MP3 player from you.

Research your way to discover new niches

As you can see, virtually any market can be broken down into smaller markets, or niches, by way of the product, the target market, or both. The key is to finding out what needs are not being satisfied by companies and websites that are already out there and then providing a valuable offer that that niche target market will be eager to purchase. With an almost unlimited number of niche markets, and more appearing every day, niche marketing will likely not become saturated anytime soon.