Top 10 Marketing Pitfalls

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5. Poor planning: 

I am not sure which is worse; over planning or under planning a marketing promotion.

Obviously, if you run a promotion and no one responds, you have spent money for no return and may also be left with excess inventory. But the opposite can be just as bad.

“Sold out” is not always a good problem to have because you lose the value of the opportunity and also could give competitors an opening to fill the gap. It’s best to test small promotions at first and use very limited time offers.

Learn what the response rates are for your particular business. Use this knowledge to plan effectively.

4. Assuming the competition won’t copy you: 

Spend time thinking about what your competition might do in response to your marketing efforts, especially if they can increase the value of what you’re offering easily.

It can cost you additional big bucks in terms of having to respond—resulting in a lot less margin for you. Try to find a way to make it difficult for your competition to copy your promotion.

3. Lack of crisis preparation and response: 

I see examples of this almost daily, even among top-tier companies that should know better.

Just as you have an emergency plan at home, think about having one for your business. At minimum, have the tools and backup information in place to communicate to your most precious asset--your customers.

In addition, find a local course on media training. It can help you respond more effectively if you have to speak in public about an issue facing your business.

2. Your “pilot” goes global: 

If it goes on the Internet, you’re global. So be prepared to manage this with whatever you’re selling. If you can only sell/ship in the United States at first, say so prominently.

1. Poor customer value proposition: 

Make sure that what you’re offering is different and better than what your competition is doing.

Today’s customers are smart about evaluating their options. Help them choose you by giving them something compelling--a great product, a great service experience, a great return policy, your own unique “formula” to solve their problem.

We all have battle scars. Let me know if I’ve missed some that you’ve experienced running your own marketing and how you overcame them.

Miriam Vializ-Briggs was Chief Marketing Officer for LatinBusinessToday.com. She collborated on the creatin of Latin Business Today is also a marketing consultant assisting organizations with revenue building programs and re-igniting the image of established brands. Miriam holds an MBA from the Columbia University School of Business. In recognition of her marketing and business leadership, she was named one of the “Elite 20 Hispanic women in business” and elected as Corporate Executive of the Year by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (2004).

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About the author

Miriam Vializ Briggs

Miriam is a co-founder of Briggs & Briggs Marketing Services, offering marketing training and consulting services to small businesses.  Miriam holds an MBA from Columbia University School of Business and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University.  In recognition of her business leadership, she was named one of the “Elite 20 Hispanic women in business” by Hispanic Business magazine (2006) and selected as Corporate Executive of the Year by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (2004). Currently, Miriam serves on the Board of Advisors to the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT and Latin Business Today  Contact information: www.brandmarketingtips.com

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