Selling a brand today is much different from what it used to be 20 years ago. Buying behavior has changed. Media has changed a lot. Advertising outlets that were once hot are no longer hubs for many company today. With these changes came practices that are no longer effective.
1. Making cold calls
We were surprised to learn that cold calling is still a thing. For huge companies, that seems a reasonable thing to do. They have huge advertising budgets, anyway, so putting a bit of them into cold calling won’t necessarily dent their overall expenses harshly.
If you’re a small business owner or a budding entrepreneur, this isn’t a great option. Even companies that have established themselves don’t think of cold calling as an approach worth their resources.
2. In-person meet-ups
Back in the day companies would shell out funds to send agents to other companies to make sales. If you want to do this and you don’t have an agent because you’re still a one-man or one-woman team, then you have to dress up, drive to the office of your prospect, and make a convincing sales pitch. You better make sure you seal the deal. Otherwise, you’re only wasting a good hour or two or three.
We don’t do that anymore. Aside from being expensive, it’s also has little guarantee of putting your brand out there. It’s slow, much slower than tactics in today’s digital era.
It’s nice to meet your associates, partners, and customers. Doing so isn’t a requirement, though.
3. Doing product demos and nothing else
Demos earn you good points. They show customers what a product does and how it can make your lives easier. Demo videos are what a lot of companies do on YouTube. A smart marketer would include demos in their overall marketing plan. Integrated well into their social media marketing strategy, how-to guides add value to your campaign. But they alone aren’t everything.
One of the weaknesses of demos is they’re easily superseded by a demo by your competitor. If your competitor comes up with a product that does more things than yours, then your brand becomes passe.
In fact, it’s not just about the demo. It’s how you do it. It’s what you do with it and what else you do. You get the point?
4. Being brand-centered
Gone are the days when you can talk endlessly about how exceptional your product or service is and see sales. Today, in a largely cynical market, it’s hard to push your brand into the commercial world and expect customers to come in just because they saw it and just because you said it’s awesome. Hardly anyone looks at your ads and starts placing money on your brand without asking questions. It’s even harder to convince people to patronize you by simply claiming you’re the best.
Playing into the hands of your customers may seem counter-intuitive, but it throws off an impression that you care about their sentiments and tastes. Instead of being brand-centered, be consumer-centered.
5. Trying too hard
We people in the marketing industry are only human. We can do only so much. At some point, we just have to admit that we’ve lost it or blew it and just call it a day. It happens. Despite your best efforts, despite market research, despite having the best team, there’s one day that everything just goes south and what you thought was a clever plan doesn’t live up to expectations. Don’t push it. Instead, learn from it and move on to other plans.