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5 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make


In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along

the way.  Marketing is no exception.  Time and time again, retail

stores of all sizes make the same costly mistakes.  But knowing

how to avoid these mistakes can save you energy, disappointment –

and money.


Mistake #1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.


When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms of

marketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right?  But cut

these, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring in

new customers to turn your business around.  This is the time

when you may be spending more time analyzing the results of your

marketing efforts.  But by stopping marketing efforts, you will

be setting yourself up for additional loss of business.


Mistake #2: Not measuring results.


Don’t wait until times get tight to start measuring the results

of your marketing efforts.  By analyzing regularly, you will be

able to reinvest in what is working, and drop what isn’t. Ask

customers how they found your business, and then track the

results.  Use in-store or on-line coupons. Or host a focus group

of a variety of customers to discover what attracts them to your



Mistake #3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.


If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of

promoting your business, you won’t realize the highest return on

your investment.  Diversifying your efforts will increase the

frequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketing



Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program with

a local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put the

majority of their marketing dollars there.  They feel as if they

have to advertise with the same media source, just because they

always have or because fear they will lose ground since their

competitors are advertising there as well.  Some business owners

actually stay with a company for fear of upsetting their sales



Remember, it’s your money and your investment.  Don’t ever let

anyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producing

the best results for your business. And measure the results of

your advertising dollars spent vs. the income received from your

advertising on a consist basis.


When you diversify, don’t’ forget about direct marketing. Many

business owners only do a few direct-mail programs a year,

targeted to their existing customer base.  They need to do more.


Your customer base and mailing list is gold, make sure you have

budgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise to

your existing customers.  They already love you, so keep them

coming in by sending promotional (promotional – not just sale)

postcards to them at least six times a year.


Mistake #4: Allowing your ego to get in the way of common sense.


Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things.  Your

marketing decisions should be based on factors that will

positively impact some area of your business – usually the bottom

line. Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not

focusing on your business’ unique offerings may result in money

going out the window.


Mistake #5: Not getting help when you need it.


If you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts or

that your materials aren’t looking as professional as they

should, it’s time to call in the reinforcements.  Hire a full-or

part-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the

“business end” or hire an independent business consultant to

bring in new concepts and fresh ideas.




Debbie Allen is a motivational business speaker with an expertise

in sales and marketing.  She has presented to thousands of people

in nine countries around the world.  Her expertise has been

featured in “Entrepreneur”, “Sales Marketing Excellence” and

“Selling Power.”  She is the author of five books including her

best seller, “Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters” published

in five countries.  To learn more about her presentations or to

take her free business card quiz to evaluate your own marketing,

view the website at






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