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Would you like to learn the lessons of the businesses that struggled last year without having to follow in their footsteps? I’d like to share with you seven of the mistakes that are among the most common that are made. This information is value critical if you intend to see marketing efforts drive sales increases.

Since all successful relationships, professional and otherwise are based on meeting mutual needs, both parties have to leave the metaphorical table feeling satisfied that their needs have been met. Anything less and the relationship is less than successful. This is the reason that relationship marketing forms the framework for the mistakes and the solutions to them offered here.

1. Market and Sales Departments must move along parallel tracks. Effectiveness depends on both being under the control of a knowledgeable marketer to ensure both short and long term growth.

This actually gives one-person small business operations an advantage over larger corporate entities. One of the major reasons this advantage exist is the increased ability to respond quickly to changing market climates or in implementing new information. In this case, coordinating sales and marketing to produce consistent results.

2. Using invented words to function alone in branding. Instead attach made up words to a defining tagline. To get maximum value of this kind of branding strategy, make sure your tag line tells prospects about your value proposition.

3. Marketing an exclusive message that caters only to a specific group, such as IT managers or engineers, when your sales will demand you have a broader reach. Remember that the decision maker may not be a technical expert.

Along those same lines however, there are many small software developers who market primarily to the internet home based market when they could significantly increase revenue by targeting traditional small business owners who can’t afford large CRM (customer relationship management) applications offered by software giants.

4. Promoting technical innovation instead of its value to potential customers. This actually ties in with number two because avoiding this “faux pas” is another function of your value proposition.

5. Introduce new products and technical development with articles in professionally prepared press release and article directories. Your articles must inform the public of your products value and benefits to their bottom line or essential needs. Focus on increasing business profits & an individual's success and you’re definitely on the right track.

Those articles and press releases begin to form the basis of stronger sales material and direct mail campaigns. Build on this publicity by employing focused placement advertising in publications and events that will enhance the credibility your product.

6. Use clearly understandable language rather than industry jargon to communicate value and context for application. Of course that is not to say you should not attempt to educate your prospects, it is a matter of how it is presented.

Rather than alienating audiences with insiders terminology, explain any terms that may be unfamiliar. In fact, taking an educational approach can work effectively as part of a marketing/sales strategy, but as many of the failed dot-com(s) taught us the business model must be designed to drive sales, not just demand or interest.

7. Trendy creative advertising often fails to reach the target audience though it may make people pause and look. Maximum ROI (return on investment) demands that promotions focus on user benefits and how your product will drive sales for their company, directly or indirectly. If your focus is not on the btob market, then you must concern yourself with otherwise solving your customers problem. Helping them to meet the need that prompts them to purchase your products.

Increasingly it appears that a greater number of companies are looking to technology to help drive sales, rather through product expansion or increasing internal efficiency. Success depends on approaching advertising as a component in your relationship marketing strategy. Each promotion effort should further or establish your rapport with customers. This in turn requires understanding their evolving needs. The advice offered here and a simple plan for your strategic marketing endeavors will help drive not only your revenue, but increased profits and much success.

Yvette Dubel is the founder of http://www.enhancementconsulting.net and creator of the Simple Plan System© featuring Clarity Relationship Valuation. Enhancement Consulting publishes “Elements of Simple Plan for Success” e-zine. Request information about online events by email (events-survey@freeautobot.com)

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