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7 Naive Marketing Mistakes That Make Me So Angry – Part 1

Because of what I do, I'm constantly studying other people's online marketing.  I have folders in my email system filled with mail pieces and campaigns.  It's my private library of ideas.

Some of the ones I collect I really like and keep for future reference.  Others pain me to no end.  Seeing the mistakes people make because they just don't know is a big concern.  They've worked so hard to get these out there then, for lack of knowledge, kill their chances of making the impact I'm sure they wanted to make.

Let me share with you things I've see.

Lesson #1 - Pricing Is ALWAYS About Perceived Value

Way too frequently I see business owners price their products and services way too low.  This happens for a number of reasons:

  • They price themselves based on their cost of doing business.
  • They price themselves to serve the lower end of the market they believe is under served.
  • They price themselves below more established players in the market.
  • They need money badly and figure dropping their price is a quick way to get money.

Often times, their flawed pricing is based on erroneous thinking about how people buy.  This was my mistake big time when I opened up shop.  I'm a logical buyer who studies everything in detail.  Come to find out after a long time trying that I'm the minority.  Few people are as thorough and research oriented in their buying as I am.  So I had to learn to not provide extremely long discoursed about minute descriptions that no one really cares about.  I had to stop going into all the features I would be including in my solutions and focus on the benefits the customer would be getting from working with me.  A friend of mine stresses that people don't want a drill.  They want the hole you bore with the drill.  You have to focus on that benefit they get.

This way of thinking was so counter-intuitive to me.  It has enabled me to up my pricing because people see that benefit and value what they get more than features.

Unless sales is your profession and you have a ton of pricing experience, get an outside voice.   Even if you are an expert in those fields, get an outside voice.  Work with others who have the experience.  If you don't have access to some experts, run your pricing by anyone who will help.   Then do it some more with other people.

If you are going to get a coach, this would be a top area where I would focus.  Pricing is so key to the success of a business that you cannot put too much emphasis on it.  It can make the difference between your business barely surviving (or not surviving at all) and thriving.


Lesson #2 - Make Yourself Stand Out...Make Yourself Remarkable.

I run into business owners often who's message sounds just like every one else in their field.  You can't tell them apart from the Next guy.

If you follow my blog, you'll see reference this book,  Purple Cow: Transforming Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.   (Click here to read my article specifically on  this book.)  His main point is you MUST figure out a way to get noticed or perish.  Goden's book title came from his trip to France where he drove the countryside with his family.  Initially, they were amazed by all the cows.  Then after a few hours, they were just...cows.   His point is that to stand out among all those cows, you had to become that purple cow.  There is so much competing for your buyer's attention that you MUST figure out a way to get yourself noticed.

I can't stress enough how important it is to differentiate yourself even in the simplest way.  You must be different, noticeable...remarkable.  What is it about you that makes you a purple cow?

And as business owners, we need to know intimately what, if anything, makes us remarkable.  And if you don't know or don't believe you are remarkable in some way, either quit while you're ahead or keep working on it and work on it hard.  Your unique "remarkable-ness" is what will get people to notice you so you become that coveted Purple Cow.

Lesson #3 - What Used to Work Continues to Work

It's interesting to watch people approach Internet marketing like it's completely different from what was happening before the Internet was invented.

A lot of what used to work offline, works perfectly well online.  For example, if you as old as I am, you'll remember direct response sales letter.  They'd come in the mail.  It would be a long discourse telling you about something with a sales pitch built in it.  If you read long sales letters on a web page, the best ones follow formats that were perfected decades back.   I still one of these in the mail every once in a while.  Someone is thinking that all our empty mailboxes are sales opportunities to them.

Record clubs from back in the 70's and 80's got people hooked with an inexpensive first sale and then racked in the monthly recurring revenue that followed.  I remember forms in magazines that would show you where to tape you four quarters.  You would get your first set of a dozen records for $1 then they would send you a record a month charging you regular record prices.   This model is timeless.

There are proven methods that get adjusted here and there to accommodate medias and ways people buy today, but they are timeless models that will likely be around forever.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article which will cover the remaining four.