None of us are perfect and especially being a business owner there are lots of things on a daily basis vying for your attention. Regardless, there are some common marketing mistakes to be aware of – do any of these sound familiar?

No Up-sell

If you sell more to each client, you’ll increase your turnover. This is often overlooked but it really is that simple. Ensure that you have the right presentation of the complimentary products / services ready to go. If you don’t’ then you can always consider a strategic partnership.

Have you ever been to Pizza Express for a meal? Have you ever noticed what happens when you order? You’re always asked if you’d like a side salad or garlic bread. This is a tad sales focused so if you want to increase the life-time value of your clients then think of ways to up-service! (I recently purchased a house and our friendly, professional conveyancers sent us a little pressie for our new home. Isn’t that simple (and inexpensive) but effective?)

No follow-up

There are some industries more guilty of this than others but doesn’t it drive you up the walls when you make an enquiry and no-one gets back to you. Taking this point a little further, a follow up isn’t one phone call or one email, you have to be persistent. (It might take between 5 to 8 times for your potential customer to touch your brand before they buy, can you build that into your customer journey?)

Making an impression

The right impression. Lots of businesses fall into the trap of making the first sale too difficult. You have to be able to incentivise first-time customers through pricing strategies or discount structures. (Remember, the lifetime value of the customer maybe worth the smaller margin up front).

No clear USP

We’ve all heard this one before, old isn’t it? Maybe but brands don’t always make it clear why customers should buy from you. Humanise your brand, communicate your values and make the “what’s in it for me” very clear!

You could try a guarantee – they’re very effective. Do you remember Pizza Hut’s “30 minutes or free” promise?

Customers first

Think like your customers, be your customers and put them first. This has a multitude of meanings it’s important for you to figure out what this means specifically to you. We talk about creating a buying persona ~ if you understand who you are talking to, you can talk to them more effectively.

Are you tackling business development for your business? We have a download that can take you through creating a business development plan for your business, go to business fluidity to find out more.

Business Fluidity

Is your company website guilty of over-loading the home page and making your visitors think? Is that home page about as welcoming as a door mat? Maybe that’s a bit harsh but our creative website designers are sharing some of the gruesome sins of website design….

1) Designing first…

When starting a new website design project, it’s ever so tempting to open the paint box and get cracking. We say plan first. The client, project manager and website designer should have a chat before designing to plan what information has to be on the page, the goal of the page and so on. The web designer can then get creative and design the beautiful elements and site around that key information.

What really matters is ensuring that the navigation is intuitive and clear. Well organised content makes for an effective web page and website design.

2) The almighty fold.

Many home page designs are cluttered and overwhelming as we try to communicate everything to everyone and it all has to be “above the fold”. Ideally you want to tell visitors in a glimpse who you are and what you do. Nothing more. And we promise… people do scroll! Give your home page space to breathe and create a hierarchy of information. Forget the fold!

3) Going overboard with flashy stuff.

We hope we can confidently say that gone are the days of Flash… In it’s place we have mobile and tablet friendly ways of ensuring we ‘create a little movement’ on the home page using jQuery to make sliders or images fading in and out. The rule here is to ask 1) does this add value and 2) is it overboard?

For user experience, load times are important so you don’t want it to take too long for a page to load.

4) Be yourself.

These days it’s all about brand story and building relationships, forget the hard sell and remember that people do look at the ‘about’ page. Make it personal and be yourself, include team members and if you can – videos talking about what you do and why you do it! The products and services pages are important too, we’re not denying that but the old saying goes people buy from people and that’s just as true online! Do you know that we get more traffic to our about page than our portfolio page!

5) Remember who you’re talking to.

Sounds obvious right? But in fact it’s really easy to design your website and navigation around ‘what you do’ – the services, products and often we get caught up in how internally we categorise things. Do your users follow the same train of thought? Step back for a moment, build a buying persona of someone who is going to visit your website. Then map out how they got there, what they are looking for, what they will do next and what you want them to do when they leave. This kind of ‘user-journey’ mapping can really help to put your user at the heart of your website design.

Planning a new website or upgrades to your current website?

Here are some other articles which might be of use! If you have any queries please feel free to contact our web design team in Birmingham.



Are you interested in incorporating online to your marketing strategy?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business owner or marketing manager and just getting started with online marketing, the marketing team at Sixth Story in Birmingham have put together a step-by-step DIY guide to setting up an online marketing plan for your business.

From establishing keyword strategy to leveraging social media, we introduce some practical marketing techniques to get you on your way.

We hope you find this information useful and look forward to hearing the results you’ve achieved. If you have any queries or would like to bounce some ideas around please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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