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One of the hardest parts of building a profitable business is getting your name out to your target market. It’s not enough to build a great product or provide an excellent service. With so much competition from other businesses, you need to carve out your space in the market and grab people’s attention.

Advertisement is the first step in the typical sales journey. It’s where your target customer gets their first impression of your brand – especially important as first impressions are huge factors in the buying decision. In order to protect those vital first impressions and not turn customers away, our good friends over at Team Organic have compiled the danger list of things to avoid!

Focusing on yourself

A lot of marketing campaigns focus on the product or service and how great it is. That might be true, but there’s still a gap between your great product and the customer. Good marketing bridges that gap and involves the target customer in the advertising.

The main thing that customers need to know is how this will transform their lives. For example, instead of advertising a handy product, market the time-saving nature of it and highlight what the customer can do with all that saved time. This is something that customers will relate more closely to because who doesn’t want to save time?

The best question to ask when considering an advertising campaign is – what’s in it for the customer? Rather than “how do we get them to buy from us”.

Not preparing for all the new business you generate

Sales and advertising work like a funnel. At the top, you aim to generate interest, then those customers go through a process that hopefully ends with them buying from you. However, if you have only been working at the top of the funnel (getting people interested) and haven’t put the work in on the back end, you could end up with a big problem.

If your advertising campaign goes well, you’ll need to make sure that everything is ready for an influx of new customers. Are your staff prepared? Can your website handle that many visitors? Have you got enough stock? You could end up doing more to damage your reputation if you can’t fulfil orders generated by your campaign. Negative customer reviews all over social media will make future efforts to win new business much harder.

That’s why many advertising campaigns start with a soft launch and go through rigorous testing before a larger campaign goes live.

No competitor research

While it’s important not to copy everything the competition does, it’s vital you know what they’re doing. Competitor analysis can teach you what works and what doesn’t. It’s not sneaky, it’s standard practice in every industry out there. Not conducting competitor analysis and research can put you at a massive disadvantage.

Relying on borrowed interest

Many businesses do this at some point, usually on social media. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s a bit of a reach, other times it’s a disaster. Borrowed interest refers to the use of an unrelated theme or event to get attention for a product or service you’re selling. For example, the anniversary of an event used as a theme in a new marketing campaign.

In some cases, it can even be insensitive or offensive, for example when companies piggyback on tragic events to sell something trivial like footwear. It’s always best to proceed with caution when using the borrowed interest method. Make sure you run any campaigns through tests and get feedback before it goes public.

Can you think of any major advertising fails you’ve seen? Are there any other mistakes you can think of that businesses should avoid? Let us know in the comments below.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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