Whether you are selling lemonade, promotional products or vacuum cleaners there are pitfalls in marketing that you need to avoid. Here are my 5 Marketing Mistakes that businesses make:

1) Inconsistent Message – A symptom of this is a disconnect between the branding in different channels. You need to have a cohesive message in order for your clients to be able to possess a distinct image of your company. Conversely, if you send mixed signals and try to be everything to everyone you are going down a path of confusion (e.g.: Positioning yourself as a top shelf company in a brochure & then trying to be the cheapest guy on the web)

2) Not Having A Budget I’ve touched on this in other blogs and as fundamental as it is many companies miss it. You can tell when someone doesn’t have a budget when they say things like “As cheap as possible” or “We’ll play it by ear”. If you do not have a budget then you do not know how to correctly apportion for different initiatives. It’s kind of like grocery shopping and not knowing what you can spend. You will either overspend and have to take food back or you will have to skip meals during the week.

3) No Target Audience– This aspect & the messaging tie in very closely. If you don’t know who you are talking to then you don’t know what to say. If you don’t know what to say then you say things differently every time. Target Audience & messaging should be aligned in tandem and utilized to keep each other in check.

4) Ignoring What Customers Say – The customer isn’t always right, but the customers are always right when a feedback trend has been established. You are serving them so pay attention closely to what they are saying because you aren’t the only one they are telling it to.

5) Failing To Track – The quantitative aspect of marketing has to do with finding metrics that tell you if what you are doing is working. The days of strictly using your gut & going by feel are over. There should always be a data analysis component to your marketing in order to calculate ROI and understand what needs to be tweaked.