In our current tough economy, it’s not uncommon to see some of your business rivals make marketing mistakes and fall out of the race. This can be a double-edged sword, reports Kevin Daum, author of the book “Roar! Get Heard In The Sales And Marketing Jungle”, and who is also a marketing consultant positioned in New York.

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“On the positive side you don’t still have 25 challengers nipping at your heels, and it’s most likely decreased to 5 or 6 . . . But the negative side is that the remaining 5 or 6 are focused, determined, and are undoubtedly following a strong strategy”.

What this means for you is that you need to be just as vigilant with your marketing plan as you are with every other aspect of your business.

Unfortunately, says Daum, business owners often fail when it’s time to choose the right consultants, and carry out correct advertising. Because they lack a solid marketing plan.

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Below I have laid out three of the most common marketing mistakes so that you can understand them, and avoid them like the plague.

The first mistake: Being oblivious of the exact return on your marketing costs.

Daum also states that many entrepreneurs spend large amounts on marketing, before calculating precisely what they’ll get back in final profits. This is vital, and if you cannot connect marketing outgoings to a greater end income, then you could be squandering your hard earned money.

One of the best and most effective way to measure your marketing effectiveness is the cost to acquire a new customer.

A good example of this is a business that spends money on phone book advertising. Business can go for years, spending over ten thousand dollars per year, on a dual page phone book ad.

Surprisingly, entrepreneurs assume that the ad will bring more in than it cost, without ever accurately measuring it. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs only stop spending on irresponsible advertising when it is too late.

You can’t have a solid marketing plan without understanding the customer lifetime value (CLV).

Companies that succeed try many different ways to advertise, little by little. They increase their spending on what works and cut those that don’t. They measure the effectiveness of their marketing spend. No amount of money is spent on advertising without the ability to measure its effectiveness.

The second mistake: Your website content is overly sales focused.

A website too focused on prices and product features is losing a great chance to bond with future clients.

“One of the primary mistakes that small companies repeat over and over is concentrating far too much on their business . . . And not on solving the problems of the potential clients they need to connect with”.

The famous American entrepreneur Henry Ford also had something very enlightening to say about this.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and to see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own”.

So, while adding quality content to your website might seem like a time-consuming effort without much return, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

And you are in fact following Mr. Ford’s “one secret” to success, seeing things from your clients’ view and helping them to overcome their problems, which they will appreciate, remember and remain loyal to you for in the long run.

Your problem-solving content can be in the form of instructional videos, tutorials, helpful articles or even a free and useful eBook.

When you have a great website, your clients will tell you about it. A website with a client orientated format is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

The third mistake: Expecting too much from your sales team.

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for business owners to expect far too much from their sales team when times are tough. When you read through sales job posting you can, often, smell the desperation. You read lines like “Sales Superstar Wanted,” and “Miracle Sales Professional Wanted.” If your company needs a miracle worker, you are in trouble.

Expecting a great financial save from your sales team alone puts unnecessary pressure on them, and more importantly. It is strategically unstable.

And while a good sales team is crucial to your business success, they should always be backed by an optimal marketing plan. No matter how good your salespeople are at talking with clients, they won’t make as many sales as possible if they aren’t reinforced with effective marketing.

So it’s best to ensure that the content your sales staff are using, whether verbal or written, is concise, clear and focuses on solving the client’s problem first. In these tough economical times, the greatest marketing mistake anyone can make is not putting their clients’ needs above their own.

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