Facts and Myths about Marketing

If you are a business or association developing a marketing program for your products and services, here are some research findings that you should keep in mind.

First, the facts about marketing.

1. Most purchasing decisions are made in the unconscious.

2. Repetition is the secret to accessing the unconscious mind of people. The most important rule in marketing is repetition. Too many marketing programs give up too soon. On average, you have to have seven to nine repeats before you will see results in your marketing program.

3. Your marketing can be twice as effective if you aim it at both right-brained (emotional, aesthetic) and left-brained (logical, sequential) people. The North American population is about evenly divided, so if you use only one approach, half your advertising budget will be wasted.

4. The more data you have, and the more you know about your customers, the better your marketing will be. This data is available from many published sources, or you can collect your own by asking your customers lots of questions.

5. Children are influencing family purchases more today than ever. These are the results of more mothers working and children's greater access to media.

6. You can't rely on consumers to provide accurate information on their buying behaviour. They don't always do what they say they will! Therefore, be careful in interpreting consumer surveys.

7. There are two bonds to make a sale - the human bond and the business bond. People would much rather do business with a friend than with anyone else. So become their friend.

8. People are human beings and like to be treated as such. Don't treat people as prospects; don't treat them as demographic groups.

9. People have a basic need to belong. Let them belong to your club. Recognize the 20% of your customers that give you 80% of your business.

10. Getting a person to say yes to a sale works best if you establish momentum first with lesser questions to which it is easy to answer yes.

11. Your customers will be buying a lot more than merely your product or service. They are buying your personality, your reputation, your service, and your status in the community.

12. People will remember the most fascinating part of your marketing and not necessarily your product or service. That is why you need to be very careful every step of the way.

There are also some common misconceptions or myths about marketing that you should be aware of, and should avoid.

1. It is good to have a great deal of white space in advertisements, brochures, and other printed materials. Fact: Not today where the consumer wants as much information as possible about your company and products. If you don't have room, include your web address where they can go to get more information at their convenience.

2. Use short copy. People won't read long copy. Fact: This is one of the most dangerous, costly, and silly myths in marketing. People want enough information to make a buying decision.

3. It is expensive to purchase radio and television advertising. Fact: With the explosion of television channels, cable companies and interactive television, more and more cost-effective opportunities are becoming available. Be sure to get viewer or listener numbers so you can calculate the cost of reaching each potential customer. Rates may be cheap, but that may be because only a few hundred are listening or watching - not a good use of your advertising dollar!

4. Sell the sizzle and not the steak. Fact: The easiest way to sell a product is to offer it as a solution to a problem your customers may have.

5. Great marketing works instantly. Fact: Great price-off sales work instantly as does giving away product. Great marketing takes time.

6. Marketing should entertain and amuse. Fact: Show business should entertain and amuse. Marketing should sell. Winning marketing awards for your advertising does not mean more profits in your pocket.

7. Marketing should be changed every few years to keep it fresh and new. Fact: The longer your marketing promotes your product or service, the better, e.g., things go better with …

8. Public relations stories have a short life span. Fact: Only if you let them. Make copies and use it a part of your other marketing strategies.

9. Bad publicity is better than no publicity at all. Fact: Bad publicity is bad for your business! With on-line services such as the Internet, millions of people can get to know about bad publicity. Have an action plan in place for such contingencies.

10. Word-of-mouth marketing is all a great business needs. Fact: Not any longer. Businesses need to be marketing all the time with a variety of tools.

11. The purpose of marketing is to generate maximum sales volume. Fact: Wrong, the purpose of marketing is to generate maximum profits.

12. Quality is the main determinant in influencing sales. Fact: Confidence in the business is the main determinant; quality is second.

13. It makes a lot of sense for a small business to retain the services of an advertising agency. Fact: No it does not. Better work at more reasonable prices is available from marketing consultants.

14. Once your business has a solid customer base, it can cease marketing. Fact: Perhaps you can cut down on general marketing but you must maintain contact with your customer base or someone will take them away.

15. Repetition of a marketing message is boring. Fact: It may be boring to you, but it won't be boring to your prospects and customers.