Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Turnaround Management - Overcoming Marketing Mistakes

Cost cutting isn’t enough in today’s economy. You have to drive the revenue line as well. Here are 7 common mistakes made in marketing and what you can do about them.

1. No Game Plan.
Strategic planning gets a bad name but you can’t win without it. Doing marketing randomly isn’t a good idea. This will dissipate your energy and resources and make you feel even more desperate if your efforts aren't successful. Develop a game plan. Identify your target customers and be specific about their needs and how your product or service can meet those needs. Then build a step by step plan to deliver your message persuasively.

2. Nothing added. Just the same old, same old.
Everyone is providing value oriented services. Fast food places have “Value meals”. They offer special products but at a lower price. Retail stores have a two for one special or have bundled several products as a special. What can you do to increase the value associated with your offerings and not rely on price cuts which just make meeting the revenue target harder. Think about it and build it into your plan.

3. Having a meaningless marketing message to your customers.
If your message is not clear and full of value, prospects won't pay attention. If it is not persuasive, they won’t take action. Make sure your marketing message includes: a. a clear target market, b. a problem or issue your customer is experiencing, c. the bottom line outcome you produce and d. a compelling and provocative story.

4. Outdated, tired marketing materials.
Your plan is new. Your message is new or revitalized. You must communicate it with new fresh materials that have the look and feel of quality consistent with the image you want to establish. This holds true not only for the materials but also for the medium you are using including Facebook, My Space, twitter, website and blogs.

5. Letting your sales activities undermine the impact of the marketing.
The selling process often ends up as a rambling, unfocused conversation about your services, hidden among many other items. The message gets lost. Another major problem is that many presentations focus on your company and your product and not on the customer and their needs. They are only interested in “What’s in it for me.” There are many formats that can be used but all need to be focused and take the prospect through what is in it for them in regard to a problem they are experiencing now with a call to action and an easy next step.

6. Being your own worst enemy.
The economy is rocky and we are seeing problems in the stock market, housing prices, the automotive industry and troubles with the banks. Often we think stressful thoughts, feel worried and then become paralyzed from taking any creative action. Focus on what you can control and then take action one step at a time. Quickly, you will have progress toward the goals that you set in your plan.

7. Just not doing it.
You have to get out of your office and make it work. The best plan is no good sitting on your desk or on your computer. The more “face” time you can get with your customers the more you will sell. Face time can be defined as anything from an interactive e-mail to an actual face to face sit down sales presentation.

You may have shifted your focus from cost cutting to revenue generation built on your new more efficient business model. That puts you ahead of many other companies and perhaps most of your competitors. However, that only is a competitive advantage and will pay off if you aren’t making these marketing mistakes. How many of these marketing mistakes are you making? What's your plan to correct them?

Get some help and make your resources really work for you.

Turnaround Management.


John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management

View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

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