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Duh! Avoid These 3 Marketing Mistakes

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Sometimes a simple oversight, or a poor marketing decision, can cause a business to lose customers.

Sometimes a simple oversight – or a poor marketing decision – can turn a “maybe” customer into a definite “no.”

The Case of the Stale Website:

Several weeks ago, I was out running errands.  I decided to stop by a store that I had frequented before.  I knew the store had moved their location a few months previously but I wasn’t quite sure where – so I went online to get the new address.

Their website still showed their old address.

I finally found the store and when I mentioned the issue to the store employee, he replied, “Yeah, other people said that and I’ve told the owner several times but he told me he’s been too busy to change it.”

Too busy? The fact that I had tracked down the new location was probably more than most people would do; the fact that the owner couldn’t take the time to perform a simple marketing task shows a lack of concern for customers and for the business.

Remember that websites need constant housekeeping – with new and updated marketing content – and correct contact information!

The Mystery of Inconsistent Branding:

One of the tenets of creating a strong brand is consistency – in the verbal, visual and emotional message that a business delivers.  If you own a business — and a domain name — use that domain name in your email address.

I’m baffled when a company owns a domain name but their email address is different from the domain URL.  For example, let’s say I get an email from bob@plumbingforyoudotcom, I assume that if I go to www.plumbingforyoudotcom, I’ll get more information about the company.  Instead, I may find out that website doesn’t exist. This just confuses the issue – and the customer.

I hear the excuse, “But so many people already have my email address and it’s too difficult to change.”  Instead, think long term: you may be frustrating, and losing, possible new clients.  While you’re in the process of informing clients about your new address, your provider can direct emails with the old address to your new email account.

It’s important that your business secure a domain name, build a website with that URL and that the URL appears throughout your promotion and especially in your email address.  Having a Hotmail, Gmail, aol or Yahoo! account says “free,” sends the message: “I’m not real serious about my business,” and does not help define your brand.  Furthermore, no one ever found your company website from your Gmail address.

The Typo Tragedy:

I’m currently training for a marathon and every Saturday our group runs along the boardwalk in Venice, CA.  On a recent run, I saw the sign pictured here advertising “The World’s Best Funnel Cakes.”  Look again.  It says “Wrolds.”  Funny, yes.  And in this particular context (it’s spelled correctly on an adjacent sign), probably not horribly detrimental to the of World's Best Funnel cakes sign in Venice, CA to illustrate brand message

There’s a saying: “The devil is in the details.”  In other words, make every effort to broadcast a grammatically-correct, typo-free brand message. If it were my business, I’d want people to focus on my funnel cakes, not my mistake.


Need help branding your business? Martha is a Los Angeles-based small business marketing, branding and content marketing consultant.  Click to find out more about Martha Spelman.

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Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding and marketing expert and the co-founder of Packbands silicone storage and organization straps. Martha is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog. Click to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

To find out more about Packbands, visit the Packbands website. Martha can be reached directly at: 310.266.6992 or