Do You Make These 5 Common Marketing Mistakes? Marketing is a process, not an outcome.

marketingmoneymojoBBy James Burchill

December 8th, 2016


The famous P.T Barnum once said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens, NOTHING!” And marketing (or promotion) is all about combating that dreaded ‘nothingness’. The question is… are you doing it right?

Gone are the days where you could open up shop, hang out a sign, and people would beat a path to your door. It just doesn’t work like that anymore (if it ever did). No, these days you’ve got to find a way to ‘get the word’ out, and that’s all a part of marketing.

Advertising is often the most common way this is achieved – after all, many people think that advertising is marketing, and it’s not – it’s just one part of it.

Mistake #1 – Confusing Advertising With Marketing
Marketing is all about marshaling your available resources to assist in the sales process. After all, nothing

Lot of traffic lights at big pole

This is confusing!

happens until someone makes a sale. Marketing is about influencing the buying decision at all points of influence and contact. It covers the way the phone is answered to the way your washrooms look and smell. If you’re not thinking about marketing in this fashion you’re leaving the door wide open for your competitors to slip in and steal your customers away.

Mistake #2 – Running Institutional or Brand Building Adverts
You’ve seen the ads – “XYZ Automotive Service & Repair. The Best Service In Town!” These adverts are a sheer waste of money because they don’t direct the reader, viewer or listener toward any intelligent action or buying decision.

Moreover they immediately cause the prospect to say things like “yeah, sure!”, or “so what!”
Advertising serves one purpose and one purpose only – to sell stuff. Anything else is either vanity, folly or both. Ads are like ‘silent’ sales people – evaluate adverts with the same eye you’d use when evaluating a sales person and you’ll see the difference.

Direct response style advertising on the other hand, makes a complete case for the company, product or service. It overcomes sales objections. It answers all major questions. And it promises results, backing up the promise with a risk-free warranty or money-back guarantee. Direct response style advertising works.


That one stands out doesn’t it?

Mistake #3 – Not Stressing Uniqueness
Most successful businesses or professional services are built around a USP, or unique selling proposition. It might be reliable post-purchase service, super-fast delivery, convenient hours or a combination of things. Think about what it is that sets your business apart from the rest and then make your USP the engine that drives all your marketing and advertising efforts.

The next time you see your competitor’s adverts; see if you can identify their USP. Take note: if you can’t identify your own USP, you can be certain your customers can’t either!

Mistake #4 – Targeting The Wrong Prospects
Always send your sales messages to the people who are your primary prospects – and ignore the rest. You can’t be all things to all people and attempting this makes you nothing to everyone.

If you wish to reach people over 45, for example, your ad’s headline should say something like “If you’re 45 or over…” And make certain all your headlines and ads are specific and targeted to your ideal prospect – avoid abstractions.


Did you test? Do you know what your customer is thinking and what they want?

Mistake #5 – Failing To Test
Finally, if you don’t test prices, headlines, offers, advertising copy, and all your verbal and non-verbal sales messages, you’ll never know what the market wants, or what it will pay. You’re just guessing – which can be financially disastrous.

Marketing is a process, not an outcome. Eliminate these five marketing mistakes from your business and you’ll see positive results – guaranteed!



burchill-jamesJames Burchill is the founder of Social Fusion Network – an organization that helps local business connect and network.  He also writes about digital marketing, entrepreneurship and technology and when he’s not consulting, he teaches people to start their own ‘side hustle.’

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