Top 7 Marketing Oops!

1. Marketing to Everybody: You can't be everything to everybody, as much as you would like to try. You need to choose who you want as clients and tailor your marketing to them. By being very specific, you will be able to focus your efforts and will be far more effective. Define who you really want to work with and stick to it.

2. Varying Your Look: "Who are you?" That's what people will say when they see your promotions taking on different personalities. If one day you're Mr. Rogers and the next day you're Judge Judy, people won't know how to respond to you and what you offer. Decide who you really are and design your campaigns to match.

3. Being a Marketing "One Trick Pony": If you market in only one place, you will be missing the opportunity to reach potential clients who respond to different means of communication. We all learn in different ways. Some like to hear a message, others like to see pictures and others like to read words. Just keep the look and feel the same and always be YOU.

4. Forgetting About Your Old Clients: I call it "Scorched Earth" or "Slash and Burn" marketing. I can't tell you how often I've seen this way of doing business in certain industries. They are your best friend until you spend your money and are signed up and then they are gone. You are off their radar while they are on to bigger and better things. You as a customer end up feeling forgotten and a little used. Your past customers are the best market for new products and services and source of referrals because they already know you and trust you. The art of building and maintaining relationships is a skill worth developing and is the best way to have repeat business and referrals.

5. Confusing Your Audience: Have you seen those absolutely great ads on TV that you love and you haven't a clue as to what they are selling? Somebody spent, who knows how many thousands, getting those produced. They were sold a great ad and aren't getting their money's worth. "A confused mind NEVER buys." Be clear about what you are selling. A simple and direct message is always better.

6. Promising the World: You see it over and over, especially in the Sunday supplements and usually involving some weight loss system or age-defying wonder cream. Certainly don't undersell the effectiveness of your product or service, but be realistic. We are all savvy and wary of claims that sound too good to be true. Don't turn people off with rhetoric that is over the top.

7. Marketing "On the Cheap": Making your own business cards on your home printer and slapping up a thrown together, "make do" website says, "I'm not serious about what I do and quality isn't important to me." This is not the message you want to get across to potential clients. Yes, shop around. Get the best you can afford in professional design and paper quality in everything you do around your marketing. Put thought, care and effort into everything you put out there. For potential clients, it isn't "just an ad," it's YOU.

7 ½. Giving Up if it Doesn't Work Right Away: Building a reputation and audience takes time. If it is a proven, well planned strategy, give it a chance. I know of too many people who become a moving target and are constantly changing everything about their marketing strategy. Remember it takes a minimum of 7 messages for us to respond to a marketing message; and that is if we need the service and are ready to buy. It's all about consistency and persistence.