Are You Committing Marketing “Crimes?”

Over the years I’ve been able to connect with a lot of business owners. And over those years, I’ve seen a lot of marketing “don’ts.” Sometimes these “don’ts” are so heinous they really should be considered a crime (sometimes they actually are).

Here are my top 5 marketing crimes to avoid:

  1. Not knowing who your ideal client is.  Have you ever asked someone who their ideal client is and had them reply, “Oh, I can work with anyone…?”  Well anyone doesn’t really tell me much.  You want to be able to describe your ideal client so well that people can actually see that person.  You want them to think, “That’s me,” “I know someone just like that,” or “I’ll keep you in mind when I meet someone like that.”
  2. Not effectively explaining what you do.  You know you are guilty of this one if someone asks you what you do and your answer sounds anything like this, “I help women reconnect with the earth and access their inner wisdom” or “I help people remove their blocks and move forward.” Remember: be specific and focus on the benefits you provide your clients–not your process. And please remember to use language that your ideal clients would use.
  3. Marketing without a strategy.  Always know what action you want your prospective clients to take and give them a strong call to action.  You should also know what you want them to do after that and so on.  Always be thinking, “What’s next?” so your clients don’t have to guess.  Please think your marketing strategy through.  Just the other day I saw a company van with a giant QR code painted on it.  Am I supposed to whip out my iPhone and scan that while we’re both driving 70 mph?  Don’t be that guy or gal. :-)
  4.  Being unoriginal.  It’s ok to look around you for inspiration, but never flat out copy someone else.  Obviously, plagiarism and copyright infringement is illegal, but also consider what makes YOU different, unique, and fabulous.  The best way to attract your ideal clients is to be true to yourself.
  5. SPAMMING.  Please don’t send me (or anyone else) your newsletter without my persmission just because we met somewhere and exchanged business cards.  That’s spammy.  Also, please cool it with the auto DM’s on twitter. Think twice before filling your connections’ LinkedIn box with your promotional messages–every once in a while is ok, but don’t go overboard.  And please make sure you’re sharing something you truly think would be of interest  and value to your audience before you press ”send.” This crime is easy to avoid–if you don’t have permission or you’re keyboard happy, you might be a spammy bugaboo. :-)

I’d love to hear what you think about marketing crimes you’ve seen.  Please share your comments below.

If you need help getting your marketing together, take your next step and get a Marketing Makeover.

© 2012 Tiffany deSilva

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7 Response to “Are You Committing Marketing “Crimes?” ”

Jeff Brunson
January 25, 2012
3:16 pm

Comment :

Maybe these are in part crimes of marketing because people mistakening think they are marketing. In the 21st Century, I believe all true marketing is about ‘giving.’ Well … that’s where I’m hanging my marketing hat. And thank you for the comment about the DMs! As well, I would love people to turn off Twitter on their LinkedIn profiles. Okay, now I’m just complaining. Thanks for your post.

Tiffany deSilva
January 26, 2012
9:45 am

Comment :

Thanks, Jeff. I totally agree with you. Great marketing is all about providing great value and being of service. I don’t think you were complaining with the Twitter/LinkedIn comment, just providing feedback. ;-)

Linda Pucci
January 26, 2012
1:32 pm

Comment :

Thanks for these reminders, Tiffany! I must admit I’ve been guilty of some of these (especially 1, 2 & 3–in the past–I’m getting much better). The reminder is always welcome!

Heidi Alexandra Pollard
January 26, 2012
3:31 pm

Comment :

Great post!
The marketing crimes I cringe at – testimonials that look or sound really staged and phony.
Also marketing that attempts to use humour to lighten up a product or service that is really serious and conservative where the quirky humour laughs at what their offering really is.
I guess for me it is all about inauthenticity!

Sue Painter
January 27, 2012
8:13 pm

Comment :

Solid, basic tips that everyone should follow. And reminders are always good!

Mary Ellen Miller
January 27, 2012
9:55 pm

Comment :

Tiffany I loved your title and this blog post has me laughing in agreement. I too deplore auto DMs. Talk about taking the social out of social media!

Jennifer Bourn
February 6, 2012
8:00 pm

Comment :

Ahhhh … spamming is the worst crime ever. So is spamming without a way for people to unsubscribe, or spamming and making us reply and write a specific word in the subject. Spamming me and then telling em it could take 7, 10, or even 30 days to be removed is also unacceptable! Big Pet Peeve of mine!

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