If you’ve ever read Chicken Little, you know how he was laughed at when he said that the sky was falling- but when more and more people started saying it, more and more people began to believe it. The same holds true when talking about marketing; just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s true or effective. Businesses waste thousands each year trying to market with traditional methods just because that’s what everyone else does – here are some of the most common myths about marketing, and how you can avoid the troubles that come along with them.
If I offer a great product, my business will be successful.
Of course your product or service’s quality is important, but it has little relevance to how successful your business will be. Some very successful brands offer a low-quality product, while there are failed businesses offering great products. Your brand’s success is dependent upon more than quality, and offering something great won’t lead the world to your product. To avoid this pitfall, “beta test” your offering; use brand tracking studies to ask your potential audiences for their opinions.
Spending more on advertising means more profit.
This is a common mantra among ad salespeople, and its repetition means that it’s taken seriously. Doing anything in business just because it’s always been done that way can only end in trouble; many brands spend copious amounts of money on advertising that misses the mark. There are ways to build a brand, but advertising isn’t the only way, it can often be a maintenance step. Use broadcast, print and online media to build your visibility and credibility.
Referrals will make your business profitable.
This myth is the most common reason why start-ups fail; we’ve heard business owners say that they don’t advertise or use other branding methods because they’re waiting on good word-of-mouth. This may work to some degree, but with all the options available to customers these days, waiting for referrals can be a slow way to build business. Launching a blog is a great way to build an email list and gain word-of-mouth at the same time; blogs are free to set up and they’re good for engaging customers.
You need a variety of skills to become successful.
There are many competent, personable people who’ve failed at creating a successful brand. Having the above qualities puts you at an advantage, but the reality is that even people with neither of these qualities can be successful. There’s one skill that businesses overlook: daily marketing. To grow your business, commit to doing things like releasing articles, making phone calls, posting on new websites, or launching a blog.
It costs a lot to brand your business through marketing, public relations and advertising.
This myth is so widely believed that it’s unreal! It’s true that a lot of new brands don’t succeed due to insufficient funding, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to build a brand. Using widely-available social networking, print and online media tools, you can build your credibility. You can also gain exposure for your brand by convincing local media to feature your business; even if you want to go global, you should start closer to home.
This guest post was written and contributed by Amy Fowler on behalf of Hall and Partners, who specialise in brand tracking studies. Find out at hallandpartners.com or read more about branding and marketing here.