5 Marketing Mistakes Business Owners Make

Is your marketing not bringing in all the customers you think it should? Maybe one of these five common marketing mistakes is to blame.

Wondering why your marketing isn’t working all that well? Never fear, help is here. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) many marketing challenges can be traced back to a handful of marketing mistakes.

Today, I’ll talk about the top five marketing mistakes business owners make.


1. Too broad a target market (who you’re selling your product or service to).

If I ask you who your customer is and you answer “anyone with a pulse,” then I’m talking to you.

Even if your product or service CAN help just about anyone on the planet, not everyone is going to buy it. They don’t have the money or the interest or whatever. And when you try and target everyone, you really end up targeting no one.

The way to start making money (not to mention getting better results with your marketing) is to narrow your target market so you’re only talking to one specific group. However, there are pitfalls with that as well, as we see in the next mistake.

RELATED: How to Identify Your Target Market

2. The wrong target market.

This happens when you’ve chosen the wrong target market. What do I mean by wrong target market? They either aren’t interested in buying your product or service or they don’t have the money.

Let’s look at the first one, lack of interest. What happens here is the word “need” is misused. “I know my target market needs this, therefore they’ll buy it.” Not so.

This happens a lot with people in the health and wellness field and it typically goes something like this. You are passionate about teaching yoga and you want to reach committed couch potatoes. Do committed couch potatoes need to be doing yoga? No question. Do they want to be doing yoga? Probably not or they wouldn’t be committed couch potatoes.

So let’s look at the second one, lack of funds. This happens when you’re going after a customer base that desperately wants what you’re selling but can’t afford it. For instance, a high-end spa targeting low-income single mothers. Would this target market adore the stress relieving benefits of a day at a spa? No doubt. Can they afford it? Probably not.

Now, that example is obvious, but it’s not always so cut and dried. Especially with service professionals. Business and life coaches for instance. They’re so passionate about what they do and they want to see people succeed, they go after a target market that may really want and need their services, but they can’t afford them. So these coaches lower their fees or coach for free or trade out (even if they aren’t interested in the trade) or something else that isn’t terribly helpful to their own business success.

Bottom line — make sure you choose a target market that not only can afford your product or service but also want it. (Desperate for it is better yet.)

3. Looking for your target market in all the wrong places.

This is a situation where “build it and they will come” doesn’t work. Once you know who your target market is, you need to go to them. And you shouldn’t waste your time in places where you won’t find them.

Let’s say your target market is Fortune 500 companies. Is hobnobbing at your local Chamber of Commerce going to pay off for you? Probably not. But buying a targeted list and putting together a direct mail campaign? Much better idea.

Or, for instance, a friend of mine just realized a new niche target market she was going after doesn’t spend much time online. And, you guessed it, she does most of her marketing online. So, she either has to change her niche market or change how she markets to them.

Once you’ve selected a viable target market, make sure you’re putting your marketing time and dollars into places where they hang out.

4. Not a compelling message.

Okay, you know you’ve got a good target market and you know how to reach them. But you’re still not getting any results. Now the problem might be your message.

People have a lot of choices on where to spend their money. You have to give them a very compelling reason why they should spend their hard earned money with you.

Here’s where it makes sense to brush up on your copywriting skills (writing promotional copy) or hire someone to write your copy for you.

RELATED: How to Create an Offer Your Customers Can’t Refuse

5. Not getting in front of your target market often enough.

So you’ve run one ad. Or mailed one postcard. Or attended one networking event. And the work isn’t pouring in the door.


It’s a sad fact that you need to consistently get in front of your target market time and time again. Unfortunately, for the most part, your target market won’t wake up and say “Gee, I have to give so-and-so some money today” without some encouragement on your part. Remember, it’s not your target market’s job to remember you. It’s your job to remind them you’re here and would love to have their business.

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