1. Investment vs. Expense
You hear it all the time: “It’s all about perspective” and the definition of perspective in this case could not explain it better:
– A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something, a point of view.
If your attitude towards the amount of your hard-earned dollars used as a budget is referred to, or viewed as an expense, it would be a lot harder to let your marketing develop and start working, mostly because of the lack of commitment to a longer term agreement; therefore consistency and frequency are not achieved. Also, keep in mind that a tendency in general business practices is to always eliminate or minimize expenses, so if there is a small negative income decline, the allocated marketing dollars are the first to go and whatever benefit or advancement made will be halted.
Now, if you view it as an investment, most likely you set realistic expectations and timelines when deciding the amount invested monthly; and typically the terms associated with investment are return and length of term. With this perspective in mind, you unintentionally allow your marketing dollars to develop and start working in their due time.
2. Expecting immediate results
In today’s society it is all about instant gratification and unfortunately this does not work or apply in marketing.
There are way too many factors involved in determining the outcome of a successful campaign and realistically it will not happen overnight -or even in the first month. Once the actual purpose of the marketing campaign is defined and realistic goals are set, you now have to look and pay close attention to the current market conditions, competition, your specific market share position, advertising medium used and level of investment.
3. Doing advertising for the wrong reasons
A lot of businesses fall in this vicious cycle and cannot escape it once they get in.
a) Me too attitude
If my competition or neighbor is doing it, then I must do it too. Sometimes we venture to say that we will do it better and spend more money, unfortunately we ended up using the same medium (TV, radio, digital or billboard) resulting in the utilization of more unnecessary funds.
How do we know if their marketing efforts are being effective?
b) Show off/outdo someone
Some people still get a rush from others looking up to them and create a false perception that their business is doing extremely well. Most of the time they buy expensive high-profile programming without even figuring out if their target demographic is being served.
c) They like their sales rep
This is a common mistake among small to medium size businesses where decisions are made by an individual and/or the owner. If that person feels comfortable with the sales representative, then most likely they will buy advertising from that individual. Although their heart might be in the right place and truly want to help you. The question remains: “Is it the best place to advertise your hard earned dollars?”
4. You are not your customer
If you ask people in the industry almost all of them will agree that at one point they have come across the same thing; people will buy either a television commercial spot in their favorite news program or an expensive billboard that they see every day on their way to work.
The thing to keep in mind is that you are not your customer.
So, although you will see the spot, most probably it will not be reaching your desired audience. At the end of the day, the only thing that will accomplish is that it will make you feel good when you see your own ad, but eventually you are going to start saying that marketing does not work .
5. Not spending the right amount on a medium based on your industry
This one is definitely one of the tricky ones because you might need to do educated guesses. However, if you rely on people you trust, you may be able to figure out which are the medium and top spending levels for a business in your specific industry and the medium you are considering.
Also, you have to identify what is the purpose of your investment: Protect market share, gain market share, branding or top-of-mind awareness, etc.
Even if you are not a marketing expert, take a few steps back when considering a marketing campaign and conduct the right research for your industry, market, competition and current conditions and, above all avoid the common mistakes. Taking this steps back will definitely steer you in the right direction.
There is also the option of hiring a marketing agency to help you walk through the process and do most of the heavy lifting for you. One great benefit of doing so will be to avoid the recycling and limited number of ideas generated in-house. Sometimes you just need a fresh set of eyes to look at your product or service. Remember that a brand starts with disrupting the norm, thinking outside the box and breaking out of the clutter.