No one is perfect. Myself included. But I do know a thing or two about marketing. Over the years, I’ve helped hundreds of brilliant men and women market their start-up babies into business realities. What have I noticed about these bright minds? They’re brilliant but often stubborn when it comes to marketing. If knowing is half the battle, I’m happy to share these tips.
- Standing on product alone. A product or service should be great, that’s a given. But that’s only half of the equation. Often when I’m talking to prospective clients about marketing, they say their product is so good that it doesn’t need marketing. Thinking you can sell on word of mouth or reputation is not enough. In fact, it’s one of the biggest mistakes a new business can make. Getting the word out is crucial, especially for companies without an established name in the audio/video community.
- Stubborn “I got this” mindset. Start-up owners have dazzling minds, but oftentimes, they can be tenacious on this topic. Companies need marketing assets in the field to establish credibility. Because without marketing, that new company won’t be around for very long. Even if they have great distribution in place, those distributors will have very limited success turning prospects into customers without marketing assets to work with. These guys and gals require brochures, signage, business cards, etc. to use when speaking to customers. It’s a basic need.
- Overlooking the details. Marketing isn’t just advertising. It begins with the product itself. First, how does the product look and feel in your hands. Next, packaging design. Does it explain the benefits to the buyer? Is it compliant for retail sales with bar codes and safety agency approval information? Potential buyers need to be educated with reasons to love the product. Also, marketing research should be done. Is the price competitive in the market?
- Silence on social media. I’ve had many customers say they don’t want to invest time or money in social media. Social media is one of the most inexpensive tools available to share your brand message, plus the benefits of your products and services. Social media is a marketing asset, use it! It’s a way to share your expertise and gain credibility. It can even be a forum to announce new products and clear out old ones. And, it’s a great way to provide another way for a customer to reach you.
- Uptight corporate approach. Look around and listen up. Marketing styles flew past conservative to business casual straight to wear-your-jeans-to-work-Friday. Tone of voice has changed as has visuals. Now, it’s all about storytelling, short-format videos and real photos. It’s also about allowing prospects to understand your company and learn more about your products. Share company culture, philosophy and passions. Offer useful tips and tricks to best use your product. Introduce the employees behind your brand.
- Waiting for perfection. Start-ups often see-saw, wanting to wait until they are more established before starting a marketing program. What they don’t realize is that consumers love following brands they trust from the bottom up. It’s exciting to “story tell” the journey. What better way to create customer loyalty than showing them how you got there. Show photos of products in design. Share a video of your staff. Market your product with a unique promotional item that can be used in the field. Customer loyalty takes work from the beginning.
- Going the safe route. Customers want to buy products they can depend on. But they also love a brand that makes them smile. How do you do that? By trying new things in marketing. And doing it regularly. To move a prospect into a customer, it typically takes 7 hours, 11 touchpoints and 4 platforms to make the conversion. The safe, predictable approach doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive market. Try a PURL (personalized URL), a short format video or a rebranding. Live a little by sending an unusual mailer – a bulky package always gets opened first. It might just work.
- That didn’t/won’t work mentality. In marketing, nothing works 100% of the time. Everything requires testing, measurement and adjustments along the way. The beautiful thing about today’s digital space is informational power is at our fingertips. With this comes the ability to review marketing campaign performance easily, then use these tools to course correct and rebroadcast to audiences. Just because something “didn’t work” perfectly on round one doesn’t mean abandon ship. Successful companies know this and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
I hope you enjoyed my tips, if you have any questions on overcoming these common marketing mistakes, feel free to reach out to us.