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Monday, 26 February 2018

Common Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid Before You Crumble Your Business

You would agree with me today that business owners are becoming more comfortable than others financial wise. What better way to enjoy yourself other than running a business of your own and deciding how the money would be used.
Well, owning a business, like every other thing is not a bed of rose. Many business owners are seriously making some marketing mistakes that will affect them in a horrible way. The purpose of a marketing plan is to define the necessary steps to achieve your business goals. There's actually a big difference between writing out something that sounds good and something that actually works.
As a business owner, you need to be practical, smart and innovative when making plans to run your business for a long time!
Here are common marketing mistakes and wrong assumptions that could actually ruin your business if not avoided:

1. Depending On Ideas That Worked In The Past:
As a business owner, I hope you do realize that change is the only thing constant in life. Some business owners actually believe that if something isn't broken yet, no need to fix it! They forget that this is in no way a good strategy. That's not to say that you can't build on previous successes, but if you simply expect past successes to continue, you may fail to identify new opportunities or address new issues that are now potentially threatening. Many companies try to ignore competitor innovations and focus incorrectly, on incremental improvements to their existing product lines.
Do you remember how Blackberry dropped from being the dominant smartphone manufacturer after they sold Blackberry Messenger (BBM) to android producers?  They saw themselves as makers of things but forgot that their job was to keep improving those things. And then their competitor thought of themselves as customer satisfaction companies, and focused on what customers want and went ahead to provide.

Here's a tip, ditch analogue marketing/research and go digital. People no longer buy newspapers/magazines like before. Everything you do, check online for ideas and to see what customers are saying about your type of product or service. That way, you get to evolve your business as the world evolves.

2. Customers Will Appear As Soon As You Start:
This is a misconception among small business owners. They feel that with the right product or service, their customers will simply find them when they open for business. Most small business owners are focusing so much on making their product or providing their service and they fail to inform potential customers that the product or service exists, and how it will benefit them.
Here's a tip, go online, do a business campaign, tell customers what you have to offer and how it would be of help to them. You can target audience only in your region. Alternatively you can reach out to all your existing customers and give them more insight into your product / service and its benefits to them.

3. Customers Will Clamor For You:
Well, unless your products or services are almost free of charge, you need to always give your customers reasons to come back. A lot of people buy things regularly through persuasion. Others may just need a reason to buy. Don't just sit down and do nothing yet expecting customers to always line up and beg for your product or service. Be careful in assuming that what appeals to you necessarily appeals to your customer base. You need to be in touch with the needs and wants of your customers. Product innovation should flow from the end-user. That means, the source of ideas should come from customer analysis and customer input/feedback, then be sure to use the feedback to give them what they will clamor for.

4. Trying To Copy Competitors:
When you see a competitor's success, it’s tempting to want to put your hand up and say, "I want to do that too!" That’s what Microsoft did when it saw the sales for Apple's Ipad. So far, Microsoft has lost $1.7 billion on its Surface tablets. Worst of all, Microsoft is paying the NFL $400 million in a package that supplies players and coaches with Surface tablets, yet television commentators continue to refer to the devices as iPads! Microsoft is simply a software company that has been very successful in business sales, not a hardware company making consumer products. They actually failed woefully and lost money in their bid to copy a 'competitor'.
Here's a tip, think carefully about a me-too strategy. You have to sell at a significantly lower price point to even catch-up with the customers of your competitors. If you're not leveraging core competencies, copying competitors isn't likely going to get you anywhere. Instead, leverage what you know best by innovating around core business customer needs.

When you see your competitors doing better, don't panic, take your time and analyze their secrets of success and take note of their weakness and improve on it. Then watch how you will ride above them.

Trust me, to successfully run your own business without driving it into exile quickly requires a lot of brain work, new and evolving ideas, innovation and hard work. And make sure you avoid the four mistakes above in order to make your business last long and enjoy the feeling of been your own boss.

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