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Four Super-Deadly Marketing Sins - And How To Fix Them

By Adam Urbanski
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005

It seems nowadays every marketing guru and their brother-in-law has a “deadly sins and how to fix them” book, ebook or at least an article! But apparently nobody is reading this stuff! How do I know? Because nine out of every ten businesses continue making the same marketing goof-ups.

The most amazing part is – they are convinced their marketing is great and their phone will be ringing off the hook any moment now!

Time for a reality check! Are you guilty of these four marketing sins? Find out how to fix it!

Deadly Marketing Sin #1
Not Standing Out From Your Competitors

You want to be one in a million not one of the million. In the marketing jargon it’s called a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). I call it a HUB – Hot Undeniable Benefit of doing business with you. Your HUB sets you apart from the crowd. It tells your customers why you are special. And it answers the question your customers are asking themselves, which is: "Why should I do business with you versus anyone else?"

So how do you go about discovering your HUB? Do you know what makes you different from others offering similar product or service? The more competitive your industry the more important it is to emphasize even the smallest differences. Do you cater to a specific group of people? Are you better than others in addressing a specific issue? Do you guarantee your work?

How about the one thing no one can duplicate - what makes you – you?

If you can’t find anything unique right now, look for unresolved problems in your industry and become an expert in providing a solution to them. Here is good example. You’ve heard of a small parcel delivery company called FEDEX, right? Do you know their USP? It’s: "When you absolutely, positively need it overnight. Guaranteed." Funny thing is they are no longer the only company doing it – but they offered it first.

Discover your HUB, articulate it in all your marketing messages and watch your results soar.

Deadly Marketing Sin #2
Assuming Your Customers Know As
Much About Your Business As You Do

Small business owners are a very special breed – we walk, talk, breathe, eat and sleep thinking about our business. Listen, just because you think about your business all the time doesn’t mean your customers do the same!

Fact is, I can count on one hand the businesses I became exposed to in the last twelve months that didn’t fail to educate their customers on how they solve their problems and meet their needs and wants.

Your customers don't really buy products and services. They buy SOLUTIONS to their problems. Use articles, presentations and case studies to educate them about WHAT you do, HOW it works and WHY it’s the only logical solution to their problems.

And don’t just do it once. Frankly, if you don’t have a way to consistently and automatically keep in touch with prospects, customers, centers of influence and strategic partners – you are missing the boat!

Deadly Marketing Sin #3
Wasting Time and Money On Marketing
Strategies That Don’t Work!

Do you know which of your marketing efforts result in new business? Do you ever calculate the time, money and effort it takes to get a new customer from each promotional strategy you use? Why? Because if it is working – you want to do use it more often! And if it isn’t - you need to stop wasting your money!

Case in point; most professionals believe that networking is the best way to get new business. And it can be - but not always and not for everyone. Find out for yourself. Add up the amount of time you spent networking last month. Put a dollar value on it based on your fees. Add the actual price you paid to attend those events. Then divide this total amount by the number of new customers your networking produced. Are you happy with your results? Or is it a shock to see what it actually costs to get new clients by networking?

It doesn’t matter if it’s networking, advertising, referral or joint venture strategies – if you don’t know your ROME (Return On Marketing Efforts) I guarantee you are wasting money doing things that don’t work! Every marketing strategy can be tracked and measured. So figure out what works best for you!

Deadly Marketing Sin #4
Missing Out On Repeat Business

You’ve heard about the back-end-sales, haven’t you? Are you doing it? It’s astonishing how many small business owners do not develop strong relationships with their customers and have no plan for generating repeat business.

You see, one of your biggest costs of doing business is marketing and getting new customers into your funnel. And once you’ve done a great job for them, and then you nurture the relationship you’ve developed, it’s so easy to ask for more business. But you have to develop different levels of products and services to offer to them.

Listen to your clients and develop new offerings to respond to their needs. Create assessments to uncover hidden opportunities for additional projects. If you can’t or don’t want to offer those new solutions – partner up with someone who does. McDonald’s made a fortune on “supersizing” their fries – time for you to start thinking about supersizing your business with each client.

Bottom line is this: when I hear businesses talk about bad economy, clients not having money and overall complaining about how tough it is to make a sale I can always pinpoint their poor performance to at least one of those marketing sins. Frankly, there is no such a thing as a shortage of business – there is a shortage of knowledge how to get that business.

(c) 2004 Adam M. Urbanski

The Author, Adam Urbanski, a Marketing Mentor, helps Service Professionals and Small Business Owners attract more clients. For more free tutorial articles, hot how-to tips and a FREE 32-page marketing guide go to (


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