Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Marketing is the process of getting your business name out there to as many people as possible. It is essential to any business and along the way includes potential pitfalls and mistakes that could be costly.
No trademark check: Most businesses start out with a brand in mind and go through the process of branding your new company. You pay for a logo, marketing materials, a website, print materials and everything else you need. Things seem to be going well – until you get an angry-sounding letter from a lawyer from a business that shares the same name as yours, only they have been around for the past couple of decades and have a trademark on the name. It’s only then you realize that you didn’t do a proper trademark search before getting started, and now you have to rip everything up and start again. According to trademark lawyer Xavier Morales, this happens more commonly than you think. Make sure you spend time investigating your chosen name and ensure you aren’t stepping on anyone else’s toes.
Living in the past: The marketing world moves at an astonishing pace, and it is critical that you stay on top of current trends. While you want to remain different and stand out, it is imperative that you understand the current landscape. The latest research and tools will have a significant impact on your ability to operate as a business.
Wearing the Emperor’s new clothes: However, be wary of ‘the next big thing’. Because the marketing landscape moves so fast, there are many new ‘innovations’ that are unnecessary for you. In fact, too much investment in these areas could prove costly. Always look for products or services that can guarantee you a return on your investment. And, at the same time, keeping your business on the path you’ve created without meandering away by the latest shiny tool.
Not investing in strategy: Without a strategy, goals, and a clear plan for what you want to achieve, there is no point in marketing. So, before you start thinking about creative ads to attract customers, ask yourself why you are doing it. Create a timeline of events, which lays out your expectations and identifies potential problems. Look at the overall picture before segmenting your marketing initiatives and deciding the route of best fit. You should also include contingency plans, in case anything goes wrong.