The Number One Rookie Marketing Mistake

“That didn’t work,” my clients tell me. “So I didn’t do it again.”

I hear this from business owners time and time again: they sent a direct mail postcard out and nobody came in to the store. They placed an ad in a magazine and they didn’t get an increase in sales. They Tweeted for a couple of weeks and nobody followed them.

Their conclusion: the marketing approach didn’t work.

Reality: there’s not enough data.

Marketing efforts rarely have a 1:1 cause/effect relationship when it comes to return on investment. Rather, it’s through repeated, consistent exposure to target audiences in a variety of media that gets your brand noticed, leading to a steady growth in sales over time.

Let’s look at it another way. Imagine yourself on a rowboat in the middle of the ocean. You sink your oars into the water and give a hard pull. At the completion of the movement you look up and see: no change. You’re still in the middle of the ocean. Now imagine you do this motion for days, weeks and months on end. Eventually, you’ll look up and see land.

So, to recap: the Number One Rookie Marketing Mistake? Inconsistency.

How to fix it? Have a plan and stick with it!

For example, if you’re running a direct mail campaign, plan to hit the same group of people with different mailings weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. When placing an ad, buy ad space in the same publication for a year at a time. If you’re marketing through social media, reach out to your Facebook fans daily, and Tweet (and respond to others’ tweets) several times a day. Of course, these are just examples; the actual number should be determined by your desired outcome.

And speaking of desired outcomes, one last thought: there’s a reason it’s called “marketing” and not “sales.” When you view marketing asĀ  building a relationship between your brand and your target audiences, the desired outcome becomes brand loyalty versus a one-time sale. Let your sales people do the selling once your clients are in the store.

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