So many businesses, especially small ones, make the mistake of thinking they can skimp on marketing materials. When the economy is tight like it is today, it’s easy to cut marketing dollars first. Before you invest your time and effort into “doing it yourself” stop and think about what this says about your business.
More importantly, ask yourself. If someone didn’t know my business, and saw this material, what would they think?Here five reasons why many marketing pieces â€” brochures, post cards, mailing packages, flyers â€” fail, and what you can do to keep your next piece from falling victim to one (or more) of these common mistakes.
#1 Your piece looks too much like everyone else’s.
C’mon, admit it. You’ve thought about creating your own marketing pieces. There are templates for brochures and postcards out thereâ€¦ tons of clip art and you have a digital cameraâ€¦ right? Before you fire up that color printer, realize that while it’s tempting (but not as easy as you think) to slap your own information into a template, the end result is that you don’t stand outâ€¦ your business blends in with everyone else.Â
Marketing that’s effective needs to be uniqueâ€¦ professionalâ€¦ carefully targeted to those most likely to buy your product or service. It is a worthwhile investment to work with a professional graphic designer â€” these pros know how to use visuals and color, as well as understanding formatting, photography and printing.Â
#2 It’s all about you.
Another key mistake many business owners make with marketing materials is to focus the content on the business, rather than the prospective customer’s problems and concerns. They end up with a beautiful brochureâ€¦ that customers don’t notice or remember.
Sure it’s gratifying to see your storefront or office on a printed pieceâ€¦ after all you’ve worked long and hard to get here. Unfortunately focusing on YOU in your marketing materials leaves the reader out in the coldâ€¦ and your piece in the trash.
A better option is toÂ devote a small part of a marketing piece to your own story, and focus the rest on a specific need of your market and the solution you provide.Â
#3Â You try to be all things to all people.
When budget’s are tight, it’s natural to try to get the most bang for your buck. Unfortunately when it comes to marketing, generic messages and images fall flat.
Instead, target your message, visuals and content. Use the language and terms of your potential buyers so that you leave the reader with the sense that you understand the problem and offer the only real solution. A marketing copywriter can help you create content that uses powerful words to convey your messageÂ to anyone who sees your piece.
#4 You don’t make it clear what you want.
Readers need to know what you expect, and you’ll want to be sure your marketing materials contain a clear call to action â€” exactly what you want the reader to do. Call. Go online. Drop a card in the mail. Whatever action you want, be sure the reader knows just what to do â€” never assume.
If buyers need a bit of hand-holding before they buy, you might offer a free information booklet or regular seminar to introduce prospective customers to you and your services.Â
#5 You don’t follow up on leads.
One of the most surprising mistakes businesses of all sizes make with marketing materials is not following up on the leads these pieces generate. Sounds impossible, but it often happens..
Research into sales shows that up to 80 percent of leads are lost sometime during the sales process. Maybe even a few of the ones you’ve been holding ontoâ€¦ planning to give a call when things slow down. You need to make sure they don’t forget about you.