The Secret to Avoiding the Most Common and Costly Marketing Mistakes



Avoid these Simple But BIG Mistakes that Could Cost You Money


Your Time!
Your income is a direct result of your sales and marketing, Sales and Marketing is the LIFEBLOOD of your business - Without sales, you don’t have a business!

So for that reason, sales and marketing is fundamental the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of your business, and that means that you should be spending more time developing and building your business.


Most business owners especially small business owners don’t spend nearly enough time building developing their customer base, they tend to leave it all to chance, by putting a few ads and flyers out and hope on word of mouth. On average only about 5-10% of the business owner’s week is spent on getting new customers. You must be very focus on the use of your time.


If getting customers is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of your business, who do you think they should carry out those ALL IMPORTANT duties? If your income is a direct result of your sales and marketing do you think it is wise to leave it to an employee, not criticising your employee’s but the best person is yourself and it makes scenes to spend as much time on it as possible, by moving non-important tasks and duties to your employees so you can free more time for yourself building your income.

Get ruthless about the use of your time is paramount, as no one cares more about your business than you do. You can have employees help with your marketing and sales but you must directly oversee its operation. You should be spending at least 50% or more of your time developing your marketing and generating new customers into your business.

Selling To Everyone.

So many businesses try to reach “everyone” believing wants their product. That’s completely bonkers. Trying to be everything to everyone is ineffective and very costly.

It’s tempting to try to sell to everyone. But some examples;
How about a butcher, he won't be able to sell to a vegetarian or vegan, will he?
What about a car insurance company selling to a non-driver, or a mortgage company selling to people who already own their own home or people who rent because they just can afford to buy! What about a diary company selling to people who just can’t eat dairy products or a wet suit company selling to people who fear the water. See my point?

In fact, the more specific and focus you are the better response you’ll get when it comes to marketing. Focus your attention and efforts on appealing to the people who are most likely to buy from you.

Many business owners may think that by limiting their target audience they limit their opportunity. Oh no - not true at all! By narrowing your focus and defining your target, you are more likely to attract the attention of your most relevant customers that want to buy from you. You are not limiting yourself, in fact, what you are doing is opening the doors of your prospects that want to buy from you right now!

Just look at some of the UK’s top insurance companies.
These successful company offers car insurance via niche markets, narrowing their
focus and defining their targets. They could have tried targeting everyone who wants car insurance - a huge and complex market. Instead, these companies use niche marketing to survive intense competition. They target specific types of customers and have matched their offer to that customer.

One of their brands targets younger drivers, living in cities and driving performance cars; Another brand is aimed at drivers with a no-claims bonus; Yet another brand targets women drivers; Another focuses on drivers of commercial vehicles, and For people looking for the cheapest online car insurance, there is a special brand again.

That’s five distinctly different target groups of customers and five different brands of car insurance speaking specifically to a certain type of customer. Most people rather speak to a company that understands what they want, that specialises in insurance for “people like me”! This has proven to be a highly successful strategy for many well-known companies.

Start by looking at your current customers. Who are they and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product or service.

Now create a profile of your ideal customer. Your ideal customer is someone who not only buys your product or service, but really wants what you have to offer.
They love it. They tell all their friends about it. They come back time and time again. And what’s more, you love doing business with them. Of course, the only way you will attract your ideal customer is if you have a crystal-clear picture of who they are and act upon it.

Not Focusing On The Benefits
Marketing is not all about the flashiest leaflets, the best website, or the biggest advert
The key is getting the message right. You need to grab your prospects attention then you need to keep it there until they buy.

Just look through the Yellow Pages or your local newspaper or even the leaflets from some of your loving local businesses, and what do you see?

A typical advert that starts with the company name or their logo, then simply lists the products or special offers and ends with the company address, telephone number and sometimes a website if they have one.

This is called “institutional marketing” where you basically say “This is us, here’s what we do, give us a call if you need us” If this is your ad or leaflet just don’t be surprised when no one responds to it.

This is a great way to go broke, shelling out your hard-earned cash to ad agencies with no return of your investment.

No matter how fantastic or innovative your product or service is, there is one question your marketing MUST answer, “What’s in it for me?” or people will not respond.
If your customer can’t see the benefit to them, they will not be interested.

No one cares about you or what you do or about your product, just what it can do for them. Sorry, that’s just the way it is, people and that includes you and I, as humans beings, we are all naturally selfish and we are constantly thinking about ourselves.

When you go out, you are constantly focusing on how you look, smell, if you have brushed your hair, wearing cool looking shades and if people will like and except you, wondering if they can see your hole in your jacket or whether or not they think your shoes go with your outfit, etc. What you are not focusing on is anyone else around you and what they are wearing etc. In fact, no one is focusing on anyone apart from

So when working on any marketing always think of your customer and what they want.


When working on compelling ads to grab attention, one of the most powerful and simplest methods to use is the PSA formula; Problem - Agitate & Solve.

Problem - Identify the problem or pain your customer is experiencing or feeling
Agitate - Use strong emotion to hold their attention, play on their emotions
Solve -  Give them the solution to there problems.

Your ad is your way of communicating with your prospects in an attempt to get them to buy from you. People tend to buy from people who they can trust, so make them trust you. Write so they can understand you on their level and Instead of listing all the features of your product or service, focus on the benefits and the results that your customer will get when they buy or use it. Tell the customer how good it will make them. Tell them how it solves their problems, how it makes their lives easier and better, how they can earn more money, save more time, feel better, look more attractive…whatever that benefit is, and for now just forget about the features.

80% of your customers will want a product or service that will help them avoid pain or a problem, and 20% will want something to make their lives better and more satisfying, so use language that reflects this in your marketing.

A simple but effective way to do this is to list all the features of your product or service.
Features are descriptive things about your product or service. Examine each feature and ask yourself what is the final benefit of that feature?

Do this through all your list of features, then think of the emotion of your customer by solving that problem and add the benefits corresponding to the feature.

  • Example - Imagine you are dry cleaners,
  • Your list of features may include:
  • Bedding
  • Delicate clothing
  • Suits
  • Underwear
  • Work clothes
  • Curtains
  • Duvet
  • May even include:
  • Ironing & Alterations
  • Open long hours
  • Extra fast service

OK, now what is the benefit to your customer for each of these features:

Bedding & Duvets - You’ll now be fresher in the morning after having a great night sleep knowing your sheets are professionally cleaned and bug-free, smelling fresh and feeling relaxed and comfortable all night long.

Delicate Clothing & Suits - Your best cloths looking as good as new, feel great and comfortable in cleaner clothes that you look good in. Feel relaxed when you wear them knowing your delicate & your bests are all in safe hands and treated with the best of care, all clean and ready when you are.

Curtains - You will feel proud about your fabulously clean new looking curtains hanging pried of joy in your window for all to see, knowing that your neighbours can see that you like to keep your home clean and respectable. They will all think you buy new ones regularly.

Work clothes - Not just your work clothes, they are a statement about you and who your are when at work, now you can take pride in yourself at work looking fresh and clean, smart and professional. You wont get sacked now, your boss might even promote you for the way you look by impressing everyone.

Ironing & Alterations -  Just because you can’t or don’t like do it or have the time, doesn’t mean we don’t, so let us take care of all your Ironing & Alterations chores as we love doing them, they’ll be as good as new in no-time at all and we wont stitch you up on the price either.

Open long hours & Extra fast service - Don’t have to worry ever again about getting to that date, interview, meeting or getting home with that lipstick on your collar, we offer long opening hours that works around you & an extra fast service, so you can feel relaxed knowing that we can have your items done wile you wait and when you need them.

This way is more powerful and is more likely to attract your prospective customers’ attention than the standard list of features. See the difference by converting features into benefit make. Working on their emotions, solving their problems making them feel great even before they have giving you their business. That’s what it’s all about, reassurance, promises that your product or service can avoid their pain or discomfort and solve their problem at hand.

But if approx 80% of people respond more actively to avoiding a negative, how can we change the emphasis of what we say? One way to do this is to put the problem or pain first and then present your product as the solution.

Work on their pain or their loss if they don’t you or your product, play with their emotion, make them want what you have,  reassure them all the suffering will go away as soon as they use your product or service. Try it, It isn’t always easy to do, but it is certainly worthwhile - you’ll defiantly see a difference in the response you get.

Not Focusing On Your Customers
Many businesses start with an idea to sell a product or service focused on everything they do or want for themselves. That’s completely understandable. But wrong! The first thing we must figure out is what your end results are and the outcome of what your customer gets when they have your product or service.

Let’s assume you offer a weight loss program. It includes a structured eating plan, meal ideas, recipes, in fact, everything your customer needs to lose weight.
But that’s not what your customer is looking for. What they want is to fit into that new pair of jeans, or look great in the swimming pool on their holiday, or lose a few pounds for a special occasion.

Don’t just rely on what you think they get, ask them. Ask them what’s the outcome they want? Effective marketing starts with your customers - it’s the person who buys or uses your products or service that should be the main focus. After all, without customers, you don’t have a business. It’s the end result they want – to use it in your marketing.

Your weight loss program is the process they use to get that end result.

If you sell a spot cream, don’t talk about the texture of the cream, the new packaging, the high-tech formula….your teenage market really doesn’t care. All they want is clear skin so they can get a date. So sell them the date.

No one cares if your product has the latest enhanced features etc, in fact, to be honest, no one cares about your product at all, or you! What they care about is themselves and what you or your product can do for them, now that’s a different story. They are only interested in the outcome your products produces, not the product itself.
What do I mean?

Let's say you want to make a hole, you wouldn’t go and buy a hole, will you? No! So you need to buy a drill to make the whole. But it’s still not the hole you really want.
Your buying the Warm Fuzzy Feeling. It’s the warm Fuzzy Feeling that you get when looking at your children’s faces in the photo on the wall, which is hanging on the hook in the hole on the wall that the drill made. We buy emotions, not features.

So remember; features only help with the sell, it doesn’t make the sale.

So just ask them face-to-face. Give them a call. Send an email. Or do an online survey. I’m not talking about extensive and expensive research. Just a quick survey will get you started. Make a list of all the possible outcomes your customer might get. Now ask your customers to rate what’s most important to them.

Now collate their responses and use that as the focus of your marketing.
Focusing on your customer is vital. Finding out what they want and giving it to them will get you more customers, more easily.

Not Asking For The Order.
It might seem a little obvious buy can you believe that over 90% of business fail
to include this critical component in their sales and marketing – they don’t ask for the order.

So many of us do a brilliant job of presenting our product or service.

You’ve gone to the trouble of presenting the well-crafted benefits that hit all the hot buttons and gets your prospect all worked up and we address all the objections and then … nothing. So many sales presentations fail due to no the lack of your ‘call to action’ which tells the customer what to do next and more often than not, they end with “if there’s anything we can do, just call us”. This is pointless, the customer will leave without doing anything more.

You might think it sounds a little pushy and not comfortable doing that, or you might think if the customer really wants what I’m offering, they’ll buy from me.

Well, it does take some courage as our culture seems to make us averse to asking for money. But it doesn’t take courage as much as setting up in business in the first place, and after all, asking for the order is just the way of doing business. If you don’t ask for the payment you will feel the effects in your pocket.

When you are buying something, let's say a new car or a new washing machine, or even a packet of soup. Don’t you think the salesperson should ask for your payment if they don’t how can you buy it? It’s just the buying process.

Sometimes the customer doesn’t know what to do and they don’t want to look silly by asking, so the more specific you are about the action you want them to take, the better your chances of that action being taken.

When asking for the payment or sale at no point your customer is left to standing and staring, wondering what to do next. Just gently persuade them toward the next step – and they will be were perfectly comfortable with the process, in fact, your directions will make it much easier for them.

Ask yourself, “Am I giving my customer easy directions so that they can take that all-important action?”

Maybe you want them to call you on the telephone, or to click on a link in your email, or to fill out a form on your website, or to sign-up for your newsletter,  – whatever it is you want them to do, don’t leave it to chance, give them specific instructions to take that action.

Be very clear and help them along the buying journey step-by-step, show them the action you want your customer to take.

And finally, be sure to use active, urgent language such as Call Now, Click Here, Watch
This Video. You can make your call to action even stronger by providing your customers with a reason to act immediately.

Have the offer available for a limited time, or a limited quantity. Offer an early-bird discount or last-minute bargain.

Make the offer specific to a certain group of customers only eg; For Members of the Federation of Small Business Offer a bonus, a free gift or an upgrade. Have a special introductory or trial price or provide a “no-risk” trial.

These are just a few ideas to help you get started. The important thing is to put yourself into that 10% category and make sure you always ask for the order.

Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket.
This will limit your opportunities within your target market. Do you hope that by sending out one email campaign, ran one advert or sent one sales letter out you’ll have a successful business?

Don’t be surprised that you get little or no response from this kind of marketing.

Your customers need to see and learn about you and your products through a few different vehicles before they will be prompted to respond to your offer.

They may not be ready to buy right now, perhaps they want more information or just need a little more time or persuasion.

They need more reassurance and you can only do that by more marketing.

Take McDonald’s for example, McDonald’s marketing is constantly always there so that when you want a burger, you think of McDonald’s first.

Even though McDonald’s spends millions per year on their marketing, the principle is exactly the same, whether you send £1 million on an international level or £10,000 on national or £1000 or even £100 on a local level. It doesn’t matter about the amount, its all about consistency, being in front of your customers when they need you.

By using a range of different marketing activities, you are giving your prospects
more opportunities to see your message, it can take on average seven different contacts with a potential customer before they take action.

This means you have to give your prospect lots of opportunities to see your message, whether it be through an advert, a sales letter, an email or a face to face. That means using a range of different methods
from emails, sales letters, phone calls, speaking at an event, networking, writing articles, leaflets, creating a website and so on to get your message heard.

For a successful marketing campaign, you need to employ a mixture of several marketing activities to reach more people more times. Of course, it’s no good jumping in and doing a bit of everything. Taking on too many activities and spreading yourself too thin, is almost as bad as relying on just one or two methods to get customers.

The key to success is to identify the range of activities you are going to focus on, make sure they link together, instead of a string of separate bits of marketing, work your marketing with a consistent message and once they are all working effectively, repeat them over and over again.

If something is not working, change and adapt and adjust so that you continually improve your results. Then repeat what works over and over again.

Remember it takes time – don’t expect overnight success. After all, do you buy a McDonald’s every time you see their adverts or pass one of their restaurants? No, the marketing is continually there so that WHEN you want a burger, you think of McDonald’s.

If you do the same, promote your message from as many angles as possible and you will be top of mind when they want what you provide.

Wasting Money On Brand Build!
Don’t be fooled into spending your hard-earned cash on money-wasting advertising. This is a very common mistake with small businesses.

Many so-called advertising and marketing agencies will be happy to take your money and sell you ad with nice images and white space, very little text, that just doesn’t work.

But these companies are not accountable for the lack of sales it brings in for your business, you are, as a small business owner you need to be very careful what you spend your money on.

Most small and medium business cannot afford to waste money on the brand building alone.
Small businesses are not in the same league as large corporations and their objectives are not the same either, so your marketing should not follow suit. Neither does a smaller business have the same kind of budget to waste on the brand building alone.

Brand building has its place but for a smaller company where sales are king, they need to concentrate mostly on their sales and referrals. Brand building should always be a by-product of direct sales marketing. Don’t except direct sales as a by-product of brand building, it rarely happens.

Branding will follow, once you have established yourself in your arena, filed and market. It will organically build whilst you build your business, you don’t need to waste money on the brand building alone.

Build it internally, Use direct sales marketing to build your business before turning your sites on brand building. The larger corporations didn’t spend money on their brand-building when they first started out, that was never on their marketing agenda until they became a giant with a giant advertising budget competing for shelf space.

Always build your brand around your direct sales marketing campaigns. Branding is very powerful when done correctly, but not worth paying for alone, when budgets are tight.

This is a very expensive game to pay for small businesses, you need to concentrate on sales and referrals and brand building should always be the by-product of that.

Not Following Up
With the long hours and the money spent putting together a marketing campaign, you would expect to get a good return on your efforts. But so many businesses waste a small fortune right here! They fail to do one simple but very important step in their marketing, following up! When someone sees your ad, your letter or your email enquires about your product or service, and you don’t follow up, you could be throwing away £1000’s or even £100,000’s.

Let's say you spend £1000 on your next marketing campaign, and you got just 100 leads from it which you converted a massive 10% of them into a sale, and let say you got £200 from each sale, that’s a £2000 return with £1000 profit. Not bad, most businesses would be very happy with that. But you might as well take out your wallet and burn the cash inside, as that’s effectively what most businesses are doing by not following up when you consider that it can take anything from 5 to 8 follow up attempts with someone before they buy.

If each customer is worth £200, and you have left 90 customers on the table without following them up to get them to buy from you, that’s a whopping £180,000 you have just given up on and thrown away. This is exactly what businesses are doing every day.

Statistics have clearly shown that as long as you make a really good impression you could see anything between 1-2% result from your first contact with someone. That’s just 2 customers out every 100 leads you to speak to. Up to 3% result from your second contact and 5% result from your third contact. So you would need to make at least 3 follow up attempts just to get a 10% result, that’s 10 customers from 100 leads.  

Statistics also show that your chances increase dramatically if you continue following up, you could achieve anything of up to 10% from your 5th follow up attempt, this is because people are now becoming familiar with you and starting to trust that you are still around and not a fly by night, here today gone tomorrow kind of company. By your 6th - 8th  follow up the attempt, you could expect anything up towards 80% results, or even higher.

That’s a whopping 80% instead of just 2%. That could be a difference between a £400 return and over £100,000 or even double that with the above example, how?

You do the maths. If you got just 100 leads per month and converted just 50% of them, that’s 50 customers per month. 50 x 12 months x £200 = £120,000 just from following up! What if you got 80%?

Just by putting in a simple follow up system, you will be able to easy and quickly follow up and convert most of your enquires into sales, saving and earning you £1000’s.

Not Taking Massive Action & Implementation
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make, is that they fail to take action and implement their marketing strategies in the correct way. You don’t have to be a great marketer, you just need to understand the fundaments and take massive action and you must be willing to do more than your competitors.

This part is PARAMOUNT, it is the foundation on which everything is built. Working on your marketing and implementing these strategies is far more important than any other part of your business, it is the LIFEBLOOD of your business and without a vehicle to pull in customers you don’t have a business, you don’t have an income.



© Copyright 2016 MJ Marketing Madness