3 Don’ts in Marketing (a.k.a. 3 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid)

By Paul Cowley, Founder, CEO, & Creative Director
09/23/2013

It’s easy to make mistakes in marketing if you’re not a pro.  People tend to think it’s “not that hard” and they’ll print out some homemade posters and think they’re good to go.  After 37 years in the business, I think I’ve learned a thing or two about what not to do in marketing, and I’ve outlined three of the biggest mistakes so you can avoid them.

3 Don’ts in Marketing

#1 Don’t: Mirror Marketing

This is a biggie. It’s very tempting to do, but can be a disaster if employed.

You say, “Radio doesn’t work, I have SiriusXM in my car,” “I hate the color red,” “I never watch TV,” “Our website is fine the way it is, I hardly ever go online.”

Oh and this is the worst: “I showed my wife (husband, partner) and she (or he) said…”

We are all guilty of MM – consulting “the man in the mirror” only – at one time or another.  We just can’t help ourselves; it’s human nature or something, I guess. MM should be avoided at all cost. Put your ego aside. If you have a question about something you are about to introduce to your market space, ask your target: they have the only answer that matters. Know your target, your target is king; they have the first and last word always.

Scrooge McDuck#2 Don’t: Underfunding

Make sure you have allocated the funds to see your campaign though to the end. Clearly define what the end is. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? So be clear about your goals and objectives then make sure you commit enough bread to see it though. Also make sure you have benchmarks along the way so that if you need to switch gears (change creative, adjust media, etc.) you can do it.

If your project is underfunded and it “fails” you will have no idea why! Was your strategy off? Was it the wrong messaging? Did the target not relate to the creative? You will never know because you just didn’t give it enough time or money to find out. How frustrating and costly!

#3 Don’t: Do Not “Do-It-Yourself”

“Do-It-Yourself” is for projects around the house (minus the electrical).

When it comes to marketing, hire a professional marketing firm. I know this sounds self-serving but marketing today is way too complicated with all the choices out there such as social media, SEO, PPC; let alone broadcast, print, and online tactics. I don’t care how well-meaning your in-house marketers are, they will never be as objective or honest as outside professionals.

Unlike professionals, yours is the only job in-house people have and in today’s economy, it would be unfair to expect your employees to jeopardize their positions by telling you things you don’t want to hear. Plus they are so close to the subject they can’t see the forest from the trees and miss the number one tool in marketingobjectivity!

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