These Three Marketing Mistakes Can Kill Your Business

by Darren Takenaga - Date: 2007-02-15 - Word Count: 692 Share This!

In 1996 I owned a retail store that sold sports memorabilia and trading cards. In case you don't remember, trading cards (sports related) were very popular at the time. In fact, people were taking money out of their stock trading accounts and purchasing trading cards for investment.

Just about anyone could make money from trading cards. There were monthly price guides that gave values to the cards as if they were stocks. Some cards that were printed in the beginning of the year could be worth hundreds of dollars by the end of the year. Basically, one could operate a trading card business without utilizing much marketing methods at all. This is where I picked up some bad habits.

The trading card market basically crashed soon after and so did my store. Many other businesses also closed their doors. However, some survived and still continue to operate today. The businesses that did survive used smart marketing to keep the profits rolling in.

Since my store closed, I continued with other business endeavors. And through the years, I often reflect back to why that and other businesses failed. Please note that it wasn't a real failure because I learned from the experience and was able to improve on my next venture.

Why have I written about my failing? Well, it turns out that my marketing mistakes are not uncommon. Businesses today are committing the same marketing mistakes that I made ten years ago. These businesses flounder and barely stay afloat. If these businesses change their marketing a little, they will find that profits will increase and sales will soar.

Anyways, I found quite a bit of marketing mistakes from my trading card store. There are three that really stand out. I am sure that if you avoid these three mistakes in your business, you will see marked improvement in your bottom line (profits).

The first big marketing mistake I made was not selling to those people who already bought from me. A customer would come into my store and make a purchase. I didn't attempt to capture his or her name for a mailing list. I could have sent promotions through the mail or email. I could have had special events for my special customers. It turns out that by not marketing to the people that already bought from me; I lost my customers to other stores and card conventions.

The second marketing mistake I made was using advertising filled with jingles, slogans, and cutesy pictures. After many years of studying successful marketing, I have found that jingles and slogans are ineffective. I don't have enough money for branding. I want every bit of my marketing dollars to convert to sales. Benefits in advertising and marketing are what sell. You need to inform your customer all the benefits they will receive when they make the purchase. The more you tell, the more you sell.

The third marketing mistake I made was not asking for help. After my store closed, I found out later that I could have received free help from the local chamber of commerce. They offer a service that allows you to meet with business people that know about marketing. They have experienced many different situations and often have a good plan to help with your particular problem. I could have also contacted the trade organizations or sought the advice of someone successful in my industry. The answers to my problems were there. I just didn't look hard enough.

Obviously hindsight is 20/20. But I know that if I was aware of these three marketing mistakes, my store would still be open today. If you are making these marketing mistakes, you might want to see if they are the cause of any business woes.

Darren Takenaga writes on various topics including business, travel, and hobbies. He learned most of his successful marketing techniques from Dan Kennedy - a marketing expert that has written many books, consulted with major corporations and celebrities. Dan Kennedy is responsible for many businesses multiplying their sales and experiencing unbelievable growth. You can find Dan Kennedy's marketing courses at or follow this link: Dan Kennedy Business Courses You can email Darren Takenaga at

Related Tags: marketing, advertising, business, sales, dan kennedy

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