According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, there are a number of elements that successful CSI initiatives have in common. These include a clear theory of change, quality and depth of information, concentrated effort and expert partnerships.
Start-ups, avoid these four marketing mistakes
By Donna Rachelson
As an entrepreneur, I network extensively with other entrepreneurs and I am always inspired by their energy, expertise and passion. Yet as a professional in the marketing industry, I often find that entrepreneurs and start-ups do not know how to tackle marketing effectively. This means that they may miss out on the business growth that they could be enjoying.
Start-ups need to learn to embrace marketing and to ensure they handle it effectively. Here are four mistakes that I see being made regularly, and how you can steer clear of them.
- Poor marketing collateral. When it comes to producing marketing material, trust me when I say that its worth investing in having it professionally produced. This means you may need to hire a designer and /or copy writer. You might think that doing it in-house will save you money, but if the design is bad or there are spelling and grammar mistakes, youre actually going to damage your brand, which is the opposite of what your marketing collateral should be achieving. Even if it means scaling back on your plans, rather get it done excellently by using the right service providers. Shop around for those who have good references and who will offer you a fair price. Also remember that saying, If you think hiring a professional is expensive, just wait till you hire an amateur to do the job.
- Haphazard marketing. I know that as an entrepreneur, time is of the essence and you never feel like you have enough of it. But many entrepreneurs shoot themselves in the foot by not taking the time to develop a marketing strategy. Instead, they implement ad hoc marketing tactics whenever they get a chance, which dont offer any long-term value. Websites, brochures, social media, email campaigns and billboards can be brilliantly designed, but they wont fulfill their purpose unless they are aligned with an effective marketing strategy. Spending money on marketing tactics without a marketing strategy is just a waste of resources. Marketing needs to become a core business activity and one of your business systems.
- Skipping free marketing. In my discussions with entrepreneurs, Ive realized that many see marketing as major expense. Often, because they dont have much budget for marketing, they dont bother with it at all, which I believe is a huge mistake. My advice is to start with the many cost-effective marketing methods available, from tailoring your customer service so that it creates raving fans, to making asking your clients for referrals part of your marketing strategy.
- Lack of measurement. In any area of business, progress is difficult to achieve unless you have an idea of your starting point. In order to understand what works, what doesnt and where to spend your money wisely, you need to have marketing metrics in place. Is your website running Google analytics? When youve embarked on a marketing campaign, do you go back and see how effective it was afterwards? Metrics dont have to be terrifying either starts by getting feedback from your customers or tracking your newsletter statistics to see which information is of most interest to readers. Remember, you cant improve what youre doing to make it more effective until you understand what your current performance looks like.
Branding and Marketing You - www.brandingandmarketingyou.com or contact 011 262 4504.
About the author:
Donna Rachelson is a branding and marketing specialist and founder and CEO of Branding and Marketing You. She is the author of Branding and Marketing You as well as the sequel, Branding and Marketing You through Teams and is guest lecturer at Gibbs as well as Yale University.
Please contact Marisa Ravenscroft on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 082 595 9501
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