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Common marketing mistakes and how to fix them

Industry News

Experts and small-business owners share tips to avoid blunders that affect your bottom line.

Entrepreneur.com | April 18, 2011

A lean economy means many of your competitors have been knocked out of the ring. That's good news and bad, says Kevin Daum, a New York-based marketing consultant and author of the book, Roar! Get Heard in The Sales and Marketing Jungle. "The good news is that you no longer have 30 competitors in your space. You now have four or five," he says. "But the bad news is those four or five are actually doing it right."

This means your marketing strategies need to reflect your best efforts. But, Daum says, entrepreneurs often miss the mark when it comes to everything from advertising to hiring consultants, because they don't have a clear marketing strategy. Here are three of the most common mistakes to watch out for:

That's good news and bad, says Kevin Daum, a New York-based marketing consultant and author of the book, Roar! Get Heard in The Sales and Marketing Jungle. "The good news is that you no longer have 30 competitors in your space. You now have four or five," he says. "But the bad news is those four or five are actually doing it right."

This means your marketing strategies need to reflect your best efforts. But, Daum says, entrepreneurs often miss the mark when it comes to everything from advertising to hiring consultants, because they don't have a clear marketing strategy. Here are three of the most common mistakes to watch out for:

Mistake No. 1: You don't know the return on your marketing investment.
Too many business owners throw money at marketing without taking the time to figure out what their getting for those dollars spent, says Daum. If you can't tie the expense to a specific result, you may be wasting your money, he says.

Take Helaine Smith, a Boston-based cosmetic dentist. She used to spend $1,300 a month on a double-page phone book ad for eight years without measuring how much business it brought in. She stopped running the ad only when she had to cut costs to move into a pricier office space. It wasn't until Smith revamped her website in 2005 and again in 2009 that she got a clear sense of how online marketing can help her business. She had added a wealth of content and optimized the site to put her at the top of keyword searches.

At the same time, Smith began tracking how each of her patients heard about her practice, specifically through the Internet. Now she knows that the $36,000 a year she spends on marketing through her website and blog brings in about $70,000 a year in new patients, a figure that helps justify the expense.

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