You will have to invest a lot of your time into developing your contacts, establishing your presence on the market and many other things. But by far, one of the most important factors that can decide your future and the future of your company and small business is the way to market yourself to your customers and potential new clients. It is just as important to stay clear from the bad mistakes as it is important to make good marketing strategy for your small business. One wrong step can really damage your reputation and here are some of the most common small business marketing mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Time and Place
Some of the most easily avoidable and at the same time most horrible marketing moves that companies have made over the years have come from the most innocent mistakes. Often these mistakes come from the fact that most of the well tested office strategies don’t take into account the events that are currently taking place. If you want everybody to remember your company in a bad way, simply run a range of funny commercials that look like they make fun of a tragic event in recent history. This may look perfectly safe in the planning stages that have to be tested with live audience in order to avoid various problems.
2. Name Games
If the name of your product is the same as the name of some extremely virulent disease or it rhymes with the name of a war criminal, it may be wise to suggest renaming your product before it hits that market. If you decide that you simply don’t have to time to check if your product name matches any of these, you can be sure that millions of people worldwide will make plenty of funny or less funny clips, gifs and images with your product in them. This may increase sales in some cases for a limited period of time but ruin your brand in the long run. Therefore, make sure that the name of your company or a product is not misleading, offensive, and vague and that it works well as a www domain. There have been some ridiculous mistakes concerning company names in the past.
3. Customer Is Always Right
Over the years you will have to deal with a range of customers that are so stunningly difficult, that they will actually leave you speechless and make you question your own career choice. Remember that these people always have some social network that can easily spread their opinion to millions of people worldwide. Regardless of how wrong they are, always try to meet their demands when possible and avoid any open public arguments with your customers. There is simply no way for you to win and the only thing that you can get from such conflicts is bad PR.
Above all other mistakes that you can make in the marketing department, spamming is by far the worst one. Filling people’s inboxes and sending them mail to their homes is one sure way to never get them as your customers. Apart from flooding them with things that they don’t want, you are infringing on their privacy. If you decide to market your product by sending PR material, make sure that your potential customer likes that sort of thing.
If there is one thing that you don’t want your commercials and marketing efforts to translate to your customers it’s that you support discrimination of any kind. This means including all kinds of different group into your marketing efforts. While you may be completely sure that you are not discriminating people, if everybody else thinks that you do, there may be a big problem coming your way.
6. Forgetting about Merchandise
One of the most popular and most effective ways to advertise your services or your products is through advertising merchandise. Things like key chains, cups and similar stuff can really help your future customers locate. While marketing merchandise is a great way to attract people, overdoing it can really become an irritating thing to deal with. Keep your logos, brand images and similar stuff clearly visible on your merchandise but not at the price of functionality.
While there are plenty of ways to run into trouble and make errors along the way, the great thing about starting a new marketing campaign is that you get to learn from the mistakes of others. Make sure you avoid the most common mistakes before repeating them and study the mistakes that other people have made before you. This will allow you to avoid them.