One of the keys to all advertising is accentuating what gives you the competitive edge. Too many ads are clever but do not sell the benefits of the product or service.
Not establishing an image
You can recognize the McDonald's arches while whizzing by on the highway. Likewise, there are plenty of products you recognize from the packaging or logo. Image counts when it comes to advertising and promoting your business. Too many advertisers do not build a consistent image.
Being too thrifty
There are ways to save money, but typically advertising is not the place to cut corners. It will affect sales, and that affects the bottom line. Successful advertising may cost some money, but that is because it works.
Advertising in the wrong place(s)
If you budget $5,000 per month for advertising, that makes it very easy from a bookkeeping perspective. However, if like most businesses you have seasonal highs and lows, you are spending too much money advertising at the wrong times and not enough when you want to attract customers. Too many entrepreneurs do not budget based on their seasonal advertising needs.
It is common for business owners to choose the best place to advertise based on pricing and potential rate of returns and then not to look elsewhere. As is the case with investing, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread your advertising dollars around.
Trying to be everything to everyone
No product or service will appeal to everyone. Many business owners, including corporate executives try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It can spell disaster for small businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, find your market and be everything you can be for that audience.
Not testing your ads in advance.
If you have the time or money to invest in focus groups, you should test your ads on other people. See if they get the message that you are trying to convey. There are other less-expensive ways to test your ads as well. Try questionnaires.
Monitoring your ads
It is very easy to ask new customers or clients where they heard about you. As simple as this is, many entrepreneurs do not bother to do so. It is advantageous to know which ads are generating business.
Marketing is absolutely every bit of contact any part of your business has with any segment of the public. Guerrillas view marketing as a circle that begins with your ideas for generating revenue and continues on with the goal of amassing a large number of repeat and referral customers. The three keys words in that paragraph are EVERY, REPEAT, and REFERRAL. If your marketing is not a circle, it's a straight line that leads directly into Chapters 7, 11, or 13 in the bankruptcy courts.
HOW IS GUERRILLA MARKETING DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL MARKETING?
Guerrilla marketing means marketing that is unconventional, non- traditional, not by-the-book, and extremely flexible. Ten factors make it different from old-fashioned marketing:
1. Instead of investing money in the marketing process, you invest time, energy, and imagination.
2. Instead of using guesswork in your marketing, you use the science of psychology, laws of human behavior.
3. Instead of concentrating on traffic, responses, or gross sales, profits are the only yardstick by which you measure your marketing.
4. Instead of being oriented to companies with limitless bank accounts, guerrilla marketing is geared to small business.
5. Instead of ignoring customers once they've purchased, you have a fervent devotion to customer follow-up.
6. Instead of intimidating small business owners, guerrilla marketing removes the mystique from the entire marketing process, clarifies it.
7. Instead of competing with other businesses, guerrilla marketing preaches the gospel of cooperation, urging you to help others and let them help you.
8. Instead of trying to make sales, guerrillas are dedicated to making relationships, for long-term relationships are paramount in the nineties.
9. Instead of believing that single marketing weapons such as advertising work, guerrillas know that only marketing combinations work.
10. Instead of encouraging you to advertise, guerrilla marketing provides you with 100 different marketing weapons; advertising is only one of them.
These are ten very critical differences and are probably the reasons that the concept of guerrilla marketing has filled a void in the world's economy, explaining why the guerrilla books (GUERRILLA MARKETING, GUERRILLA MARKETING ATTACK, GUERRILLA MARKETING WEAPONS, GUERRILLA MARKETING EXCELLENCE, GUERRILLA FINANCING, GUERRILLA SELLING, GUERRILLA ADVERTISING (June, l994) and GUERRILLA MARKETING HANDBOOK (November l994)) have been translated into 33 languages, sold over one million copies, are required reading in most MBA programs, are available in audiotape and videotape versions, as computer software, as a nationally-syndicated column, as a newsletter, and are the most popular and widely-read marketing books in the world.