Well, look. I don't know everything about marketing, or even most things.
But I can see things differently by looking at someone's business from the outside.
And the #1 marketing mistake I see is this: Taking short-term, tactical actions without a long-term, strategic plan.
It's a fact: Most business owners don't plan their marketing more than a day or two in advance. They have no weekly, monthly, or annual plans -- nothing.
Of course, no marketing plan ever survives first contact with the customer. The landscape changes every day and your plan should be flexible and allow for changes.
But the act of planning your marketing gives you clarity and power. And unless you base your plan on answers to questions like these:
- Who are my ideal clients?
- Where are they?
- How can I reach them cost-effectively?
- How much money can I invest in tactics to "buy" them?
- When will I deploy those tactics?
Example: I was talking to a very smart guy last week. He's in charge of marketing for a $10-million business. He asked me, "A magazine called me up and wants me to be in their next issue, about the 10 most influential marketing officers in America. It costs $5,000 for a feature article."
I asked, "Did you plan on spending five grand for print publicity?"
"No," he said. "But it sounded like a good idea when they called me."
It was not a good idea, by the way. We talked it over. I raised several red flags and saved him $5,000.
But that kind of thing happens every day. You might call it marketing myopia. Or simply a failure to plan.
Whatever you call it, know this: If you don't have a plan for your marketing, someone else does.
You might as well plan strategically, which simply means writing down your marketing calendar and budgets in advance. Otherwise, you are easy prey for someone else's plan. And you may be parted from your money, with little or nothing to show for it.
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