December 16, 2011

Four Marketing Myths That Steal Sales

How many times has bad advice gotten you into trouble?  Yeah, everybody's saying and doing it, so you jump on the band wagon… and guess what… you get the same results as they get.  Maybe it's a comfort to know that you're not the only one who played the part of the fool, but when it comes to marketing…you may not have enough leeway to count the loss and go on.

Yeah, there sure are a LOT of ideas out there about what will and what won't skyrocket sales numbers and profit margins!  And to be truthful, a lot of those ideas are just a bunch of bunk.  Yep, you've got to be on your toes and know the truth about marketing tales.  Here are a few of the lines of misinformation that you've probably heard before…

You've Got To Have The Cheapest Prices In Town To Be Competitive

Let me ask you this…Do you always buy the cheapest product on the shelf, or always shop at the store that has the lowest prices?  No, I don't either.  What you and I know that these people don't is, that value counts for a lot.  Oh yeah, sure… there are a few people out there who only buy the cheapest things in town, but most of us understand that the cheapest isn't always the best buy for our buck.

How does this apply to you?   Here's something you can try…make it a little test to see just how true this myth is.  Find a low-cost way to enhance the perceived value of your product or service, then raise the cost a little.  See what happens!  Don't be surprised if your sales and profits shoot up!

Advertisements Need To Be Changed To Keep The Public From Becoming Bored 

This one reminds me of one of my cousins.  He's famous for breaking things that are fixed.  Yeah, he'll go out and buy a perfectly good running car, but every time you see him, he's under the hood tinkering with something.  Before long…you guessed it…the car won't run and has to go to the garage for repairs.

It makes no sense to run a business like Cousin Jim and his cars.  Hey, if it's working why try to fix it?  Think about it…what's the goal for advertising?  Yeah, to attract new customers.  Once the new customer comes through the door, the advertisement has effectively done its job.  Does that customer need to be affected by the same ad? No, so let the ad do its job for the rest of the people out there who haven't seen it yet.

Now, I'm not saying that you should never change your advertisement… just never abandon a winner midstream.  A good rule of thumb is to spend 80 percent of your advertising money on proven methods, and to risk 20 percent on experimental advertisements.  Keep the tried and proven working for you, while you test the waters for new ideas that might work even better.

The More Choices A Customer Has, The More Likely He Is To Buy 

Yeah, yeah…they say variety is the spice of life and all that, but too many choices can lead to procrastination.  We all know what happens when we procrastinate.  Yep, we never get back to it!

Do you know what happens when a customer can't decide?… you lose a sale that you already had in your pocket.  Yep he came in to get it, saw more options, stopped to make up his mind, then walked out still thinking about it…maybe to never return.

A tip for the wise marketer – limit your customer's decisions to either yes or no.  Let them decide either yes I'll buy or no, I won't buy.  Don't risk confusing them and losing the sale.

Everybody Needs My Product/Service So I Don't Need To Advertise 

Hey, building a business is a lot of hard work!  There aren't many free rides along the way.  Chances are, your potential customers need to be convinced that they NEED to choose your service/product.  Yep, finding the customer, convincing him to use your service/product, then closing the deal is a process that can't be easily bypassed.  Don't be fooled into thinking you're any different!  It could be hazardous to your profits.

A friend of mine owned the only dog grooming shop in her town.  Hey, no competition means you don't need to advertise…right?  After an initial anouncement of her grand opening, this lady did no advertising.  Business slowly trickled in and barely covered the overhead.  Finally in a desperate attempt to get business off the ground she began putting flyers in all of the local veterinarian clinics and ads in the local newspaper.  Bingo!  Business began pouring in… and most of the people said, “I didn't even know you were here!” or “Fifi's been needing groomed for quite some time.  When I saw your ad, I decided to go ahead and get it done.”

Let's face it, people are often….well, lazy.  They don't always go out of their way to find the phone number to contact you, even when in the back of their mind they know they need to do something.  Yeah, advertisements are often the little prod they need to get motivated.  Don't shortchange yourself by neglecting to advertise.

How about you?  Have you ever driven by a business for a long time without even noticing it?  Yep, we all get too busy to pay attention sometimes.

Hey, you've learned a few of the misguided marketing myths that many people are fooled by…now you can apply the REAL marketing concepts to your own advertising campaign and watch the results!

Allyn Cutts