Avoid Costly Marketing Mistakes, Part 2 Business mistakes happen, but they don't have to happen to you. Here are the last four marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

5. Not getting help when you need it. If you findyou're too busy to handle your marketing efforts or that yourmaterials aren't looking as professional as they should,it's time to call in the reinforcements. Hire a full- orpart-time employee, a marketing or public relations agency, or anindependent business consultant, but make sure you're gettingthe message out in a manner that reflects your business.

6. Fixing programs that aren't broken. If youradvertising campaign or direct-mail program is producing results,don't change it just for the sake of changing it. Once you seereturns slow down, look for new approaches, but always test thembefore implementing changes on a full scale.

7. Allowing ego to get in the way of common sense. Egotempts very bright people to do very dumb things. Your marketingdecisions should be based on factors that will positively impactsome area of your business--usually its bottom line. Hiring anexpensive multinational agency for a small account, sacrificingvaluable frequency for full-page advertising, and buying blanketmailing lists without matching criteria to your customer profileare all examples of an ego that's sabotaging effectiveness.

8. Relying on hunches. It came to you in the shower: theBig Idea for promoting your business. So you put all your marketingdollars into, for instance, painting your delivery trucks with neoncolors. Before you blow your money on hunches, however, do yourhomework. Talk to your customers and others who may have donesomething similar. Then test your theory by trying a small-scaleversion of the Big Idea. If the initial results are promising, gofull-steam ahead. If not, you've saved yourself a big neonheadache.

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