What’s wrong with my marketing?

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“My marketing isn’t working.” Most business owners I’ve worked with experience the same problem. Often they know they have a marketing problem but they don’t know how to fix it.

The real problem is an understanding of what marketing is and what it isn’t. Many business owners will tell me that they have their marketing worked out. “I’m running ads in my local paper and I’ve got a bold listing in the Yellow Pages directory.”

Other business owners will tell me that they don’t need to spend money on advertising because they only use word-of-mouth. These business owners will happily tell say they are fortunate because they don’t spend a cent on marketing. It’s really no use arguing with someone whose mind is ready made up. If they believe they are right, then nothing you say will make them change their minds. Besides, it’s rude to argue with prospective customers, isn’t it?

Yet ask any business owner what is their major challenge and nearly all will answer:

“Finding new customers.”

You can’t blame business owners feeling the way they do about marketing. Too often they’ve been approached by airheads or greedheads promising to turn their business around with their marketing skills.

Unfortunately their “marketing guru” has spent time in a cram school doing graphic design and is now their marketing consultant. This marketing xspurt is a social media guru spinning for corporates and dabbling in “likes” and “tweets”.

Finding paying customers is a totally different ballgame altogether. Real salespeople find customers through referrals. The corporate marketing desk jockey manages the “brand” catering for the curiosity seekers.

Ad agencies dazzle business owners with their sheer brilliance but when you peel back the layers all you find is a load of “BS” and a big fat sum large enough to suck all the cash from your business.

Those who work outside the stratospheric realm of hype and “creating brand awareness” look on in awe at the audacity of such extortion. They know how difficult it is to attract one paying customer or even persuade a prospect to opt in to a list.

It’s little wonder that business owners shy away from these marketing pedlars and do their own thing.

Unless you’re one of the street-savvy marketers who knows the psychology of your customers, you aren’t going to last long in this wild new economy.

It’s sad to see in my local shopping centre one lone business still operating while all the businesses on either side have gone to the wall. If only they had known that marketing involves positioning, communicating with potential customers, how to reach them, creating an irresistible offer as well as winning and keeping their trust.

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